Step-by-step: How to bet a Super High 5

July 13th, 2022

Hitting a Super High 5 wager isn’t easy; it’s one of the trickiest and most expensive horse racing bets to pursue, because you have to select the top five finishers in a race in the correct order.

But winning tickets often yield big paydays. Did you happen to see the Super High 5 payoff from the 2022 Kentucky Derby? When 80-1 longshot Rich Strike came home on top, one TwinSpires bettor cashed for an astonishing $741,018.90.

Interested in giving the Super High 5 a try? Our step-by-step guide to betting the Super High 5 will help lead you through the process.

Step 1: Traditional or jackpot?

There are two main types of Super High 5 wagers. Traditional types split the daily betting pool (minus takeout) among all winning bettors; if no winning tickets are sold, there is a carryover to the next race offering Super High 5 wagering. The base bet amount is often $1, making traditional Super High 5 wagers expensive to play.

Jackpot Super High 5 wagers work a bit differently. On days when multiple winning tickets are sold, only a portion of the daily betting pool is split among the winners; the rest is added to an ever-increasing jackpot carryover that pays out only in the event a unique winning ticket is sold.

The carryovers for jackpot-style Super High 5 wagers often build into the six-figure range because a single race doesn’t offer an unmanageable number of possible outcomes (certainly not compared to a Pick 6), and it’s rare for one unique winning ticket to be sold. Plus, jackpot-style Super High 5 wagers often feature lower minimum bet amounts, making it easier for bettors to cover lots of obscure combinations.

For these reasons, traditional Super High 5 wagers typically offer superior betting value than their jackpot counterparts. A notable exception comes on days when the carryover for a jackpot-style wager is scheduled for a mandatory payout, which essentially turns the wager into a traditional Super High 5 with a massive carryover. Needless to say, the dispersal of a six-figure jackpot adds a lot of betting value.

Step 2: Choose an appealing Super High 5

Once you’ve determined whether you want to play a jackpot or traditional Super High 5, the next step is to find an appealing race to play. Some tracks offer Super High 5 wagers throughout the day—perhaps on every race featuring seven or more entries. Other tracks offer the Super High 5 only once per day, often on the last race of a card.

It’s helpful to look for a Super High 5 race in which you hold a solid opinion. If you’re supremely confident Horse #3 is going to win, you can key Horse #3 on top of your tickets, leaving only four other slots to sort out. At that point, betting a Super High 5 isn’t much more complicated than playing a superfecta.

Step 3: Plan your strategy

Planning strategy is critical when betting the Super High 5, because taking a scattershot approach can quickly grow expensive. You might not think twice about boxing three horses in a $1 trifecta, because the cost is only $6. But box five horses (the minimum you can play) in a $1 Super High 5, and the cost is $120. Box six horses (providing insurance in case one disappoints), and the cost jumps to $720.

As mentioned previously, betting a single horse on top in the Super High 5 can be a sound strategy for reducing complexity and cutting costs. Keying one horse on top (and boxing four horses for second, third, fourth, and fifth place) costs only $24 per $1 ticket, which is a lot more affordable than $120.

Step 4: Keep pool sizes in mind

It’s important to remember that $741,018.90 Super High 5 payoffs are the exception, not the norm. An exotic wager like the Super High 5 can’t pay out more money than is in the betting pool, no matter how unpredictable the results. If a Super High 5 pool contains $2,500 after takeout, the highest possible payout is $2,500, so spending $1,000 in search of the winning combination is unlikely to be a sound strategy.

Now that you have a step-by-step strategy for betting the Super High 5, be sure to give it a try the next time you see an appealing opportunity!