How to Bet on Horses - Basic HorseracingBetting Wagers
To effectively bet on horse racing you firsthave to understand the types of wagers offered. Most online horsebetting sites and racetracks offer the popular wagers listed below.
Be sure to check out our Free Horse Picks from resident handicapper Reggie Garrett.
Traditional horseracing betting wagers - Win, Place, Show
WIN - You bet your horse to finish first.If your horse wins you collect. PLACE - You bet your horse to finish second. If your horsefinishes first or second you win. SHOW - You bet your horse to finish third. If your horsefinishes first, second or third you win. ACROSS THE BOARD - You bet your horse to win, place andshow. If your horse finishes anywhere in the first three positionsyou win. WIN-PLACE - You bet your horse to win and place. If yourhorse finishes in either of the first two positions you win.
EXACTA - You bet two horses to finishfirst and second in exact order. A $2 Exacta 3-5 means that horse#3 must win and horse #5 must finish second. A $2 Exacta box 3-5costs twice as much ($4) but combines the two horses to finishfirst and second, in either order. A $2 Exacta Box 3-5 pays offif the final order finish is either 3-5 or 5-3. Exacta bettingis a favorite among skilled handicappers and can provide somevery lucrative payoffs. At some racetrack Exactas are referredto as Exactors.
QUINELLA – You bet two horses to finishfirst and second in either order. A $2 Quinella 4-5 pays off ifthe final order of finish is 4-5 or 5-4. As long as your two horsesfinish in the top two positions, you win. Quinellas generally(but not always) pay less than Exactors, simply because your twoselections can finisher in either order, rather than in exactorder.
TRIFECTA – You bet three horses to finishfirst, second and third in exact order. A $2 straight Trifecta4-5-6 pays off only if the final order of finish is 4-5-6. A popularwager among many horseracing fans is a $1 Trifecta box of threeor more horses. A $1 Trifecta box of three horses such as 4-5-6costs $6 but includes six possible winning $1 combinations. Thebox pays off if your three selections finish in the top threepositions in any order. The cost of a $1 Trifecta box is equalto the number of combinations multiplied by $1. Trifectas canproduce huge payoffs on occasion. At some racetracks Trifectasare referred to as Triactors.
SUPERFECTA – Another wager that can producehuge payoffs. You bet four horses to finish first, second, thirdand fourth in exact order. A $2 straight Superfecta 4-6-5-2 paysoff only if the final order of finish is 4-6-5-2. A popular wageramong many fans is a $1 Superfecta wheel, in which you selectone horse to win and a combination of other horses to finish second,third and fourth. The cost of a $1 Superfecta wheel with one horseto win and three other horses to finish in any order in the second,third and fourth positions, costs $6. The cost of a $1 Superfectabox including four horses to finish first second, third and fourth,in any order, is $24.
WAGERING DENOMINATIONS - Exacta and Trifectaboxes and wheels are offered at most online betting sites andracetracks as $1 wagers. The minimum bet for a Quinella is $2.Superfectas are offered at some racetracks for as little as $0.10per combination. For example, a $0.10 Superfecta box includingfour horses would cost you $2.40. Of course, a lower wageringamount normally means a lower payout. If a $1 Superfecta box paysoff at $100, a $0.10 Superfecta Box would pay $10.
Multiple-race wagers require you to pick thewinners of a set number of consecutive races on one ticket. Thesetypes of wagers can and do produce excellent payoffs, particularlywhen favorites fail to win.
The Daily Double, featured on the first two andlast two races of the day at many racetracks, requires that youpick the winners of two consecutive races. The Pick-3 or Win-3requires you to select the winners of three consecutive races.The Pick-4 or Win-4 requires you to select the winners of fourconsecutive races and the Pick-6 requires you to select the winnersof six consecutive races.
Multiple race bets are usually offered as a $1wager or greater. The cost of the wager is equal to the numberof horses selected in the first race (first leg) multiplied bythe number of horses selected in the second race (second leg),multiplied by the number of horses in the third leg etc. for upto six races, multiplied by the amount of your bet. For example:
$1 Win-4 Wheel: 1 with 4,5,6 with 2, with 3,4 wouldbe:
1 selection * 3 selections * 1 selection * 2 selections * $1 =$6
It is slightly more difficult to select winningcombinations when playing exotic and multiple race bets, but therisk is often worth the reward, especially if the favorite getsbeat. These wagers offer the best chance of making a big scoreat the track for the least amount of money.
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