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Horse Race Betting
 

There are many types of bets that can be placed on horse races. Some involve a straight up wager on the eventual outcome of a particular horse during a race while others involve the final outcome of multiple horses. This handy guide will explain each type of horse race bet.

Horse Race Betting


 

 

WIN
A win bet is a bet that the horse you pick will win the race. You win if the horse wins.
 

PLACE
In order for a horse to place it must finish the race either first or second. This bet generally pays less than the win bet but it gives you two chances to win instead of one.
 

SHOW
In order for a horse to show it must finish the race either first, second or third. This bet generally pays less than either the win or place bet, but it gives you three chances to win.
 

ACROSS THE BOARD
This is a quick way to say that I want to bet a horse to finish in any of the first three positions etc. If the horse wins you collect all three bets. If the horse finishes 2nd then you collect the place and show bets. If the horse finishes 3rd then you will only collect the show bet.
 

QUINELLA
With a Quinella bet, you must pick the horses that finish first and second. Either one can be first and the other one second. This bet functions exactly the same as the "Exacta Box". However,  the payoff can vary substantially. Quinella bet are entered into their own pool separate from the exacta pool.
 

Exacta
With this bet you must pick the first two finishing horses in the order of their finish. You must pick both the horse that wins and the horse that finishes second.
 

Exacta Box
A "box" on two or more horses in a race means taking all the possible combinations of those horses in each place of finish. If you have determined that two horses are the best in the race but you are not sure which one will win and which one will finish second, then the safest bet is to do the exacta box. You can box more than two horses, but it is very important to remember that with each additional horse you add to the box that the cost of the wager goes up substantially.
 

Exacta Wheels
If you are confident in a horse winning a race, but you are not sure who the second place finisher will be, you may elect to do an exacta wheel.
 

Here's a quick example: You feel certain that the #2 horse is going to win and either the #3, #9, #6, or #8 horse will finish second, you could place the following wager: ($2 exacta wheel the 2 WITH the 3, 6, 8, 9). This bet would cost $8 with one horse to win and any one of four horses to finish second.
 

Trifecta
With a trifecta bet you must pick the first three horses in the exact order of their finish. In other words, you must pick the horse that wins, the horse that finishes second and the horse that finishes third.
 

Did You Know? The trifecta wager is also called the triple at some tracks.
 

Trifecta Box
The trifecta box has a $1 minimum bet per combination -- $6 minimum total cost. You can box three or more horses on a single ticket and wager $1 (or more) on each combination.
 

Trifecta Key
The Key Wager requires the Key horse to finish FIRST with any combination of two or more horses finishing second and third.
 

Trifecta Full Wheel
You may select one or two horses to finish in a given position and combine your selection with all possible combinations. The number of combinations will vary according to the total number of horses in the race.
 

Trifecta Part Wheel
The trifecta part wheel is offered at a $1 minimum bet per combination -- $2 minimum total cost. It is now possible to make a Trifecta wager coupling one or more horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
 

Daily Double
This horse race bet involves picking the winning horse in two consecutive races. All tracks offer the early daily double which involves races #1 and #2. Most tracks also offer a late daily double which is the last two races of the day. Combination bets can also be made on daily doubles.
 

PICK 3
This bet requires you to select the winning horse in three consecutive races.
 

Quick Example: You select the #8 horse to win the first race, the #3 horse to win the second race, and the #1 horse to win the third race, you would tell the clerk ($2 pick 3 - 8, 3, 1).
 

Superfecta
The Superfecta bet requires you to pick the first four finishing horses in the order of their finish. In other words, you must pick the horse that wins, the horse that finishes second, the horse that finishes third and the horse that finishes fourth in the exact order. This bet can be costly but usually offers a big payoff.
 

Superfecta Box
The Superfecta Box has a $1 minimum bet per combination -- $24 minimum total cost. You can box four or more horses on a single ticket and wager $1 (or more) on each combination.
 

Superfecta Key
The Superfecta Key Wager requires the key horse to win the race with any combination of three or more horses finishing second, third and fourth.
 

Superfecta Wheel
With this bet you can select one or more horses to finish in any given position and combine these selections with all possible entries in the other positions. The number of combinations will vary according to the total number of horses in the race.
 

Here's a quick example: You really like horse #2 to finish FIRST in a 10 horse field and want to have $1 Full Wheel. Simply tell the clerk: "$1 Superfecta 2-All-All-All."
 


Horse Race Betting online at All Horse Racing

 

Horse Betting | Horse Race Bet Types | Horse Racing Glossary
Thoroughbred Tracks in The United States | Harness Tracks in the United States

 

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