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Superfectas—The Nine-Point Game
by Todd Sorensen

Superfecta games in Jai-Alai change the betting landscape. Superfecta matches are played to 9 points instead of the normal 7 and determine the first four places of finish instead of three. Some see this just as an opportunity to snag a super and take home the big bucks, but in reality it alters the statistical probabilities and hopefully your betting strategy as well.

The only real difference between the 7- and 9-point game is the total points needed to win, but it does have a profound effect on the statistical probabilities for the order of finish. For example, in a 7-point game, the eight post would have to win four times their first time up to win the game. That would be one single point and three double points using Spectacular 7 scoring. Remember that all points double after the first round of play. That means in any 7-point game the eight team has a 1 in 16 chance of winning the game their first time up.

In a 9-point game, the eight post would have to win five times their first time up to win the game (one single and four doubles). That makes the probability of them winning the game their first time up 1 in 32 instead of 1 in 16. Statistically, that means that in a 9-point game that the eight post is only half as likely to win the game their first time as they are in a 7-point game. The reason I’m stating this is that Super games are longer than 7-point games, and the improbable orders of finish become more probable. The unlikely scenarios don’t seem that much more likely if you view the game as a 2-point difference (7 vs. 9), but if you view it as each team only has about half the chance of winning on their turn, as compared to a 7-point game, then it’s easy to see how big of an impact it really is.

Another quick example: If the two-post gets three points the first time up, then the odds to win the game their second time up in a 7-point game would be 1 in 4 (two double points), and in a 9-point game 1 in 8 (three doubles). The high posts (5, 6, 7) really have a better chance to come in the money in a Superfecta game. Don’t forget: that goes for all the rare combinations, like the 2-6-5 trifecta, as well. The 4, 5 and 6 posts are almost assured an extra turn in a 9-point game.

The only high post whose stock doesn’t go up as much is the eight team. In a 7-point game the eight-post has somewhat of an advantage to finish in the money because of the double point factor. In a 9-point game, being buried at the bottom of the rotation reduces that advantage. The Superfecta match in Jai-Alai has more time to develop than a 7-point game and helps give all the teams in the match a better chance to win—statistically at least. Don’t be afraid to go after the long shot orders of finish in a 9-point game. There might just be a killer exacta or trifecta waiting for you.



Dania Jai-Alai’s J. Arriaga Wins World Championship
The 2001 edition of Jai-Alai’s World Cup is complete and Dania Jai-Alai backcourt star J. Arriaga teamed with former Dania star Alberdi II (or Oregi) won the title. J. Arriaga played inspired Jai-Alai in the twelve-day championship, taking home the victory and tournament MVP honors. His athletic, wall-climbing style awed the crowd, and his frontman, Alberdi II, played mistake-free in the tournament. In the finals, it was J. Arriaga and Alberdi II defeating Bereikua and Osa of Spain 35-24. The match was close at 15-14 when Arriaga and Alberdi made their charge running out to a 26-16 lead. From there they never looked back on their way to winning the World Cup. “I don’t really know what to say. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said the twenty-eight-year-old native of Deba, Spain when asked about winning his first world championship.

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