Horse Racing Bet Types

In horse racing, payoff odds are determined by the pari-mutual system. According to this betting system, all bets are recorded and the sums wagered on each is totaled. This amount, less a percentage for tax, running costs, etc., is then divided, in proportion to the stake, among those who placed bets on the winner.

Here, in alphabetical order, are types of bets you can place.

  • Daily double. You must pick the winners of two designated races if you are to win. These are usually the day’s first two races.
  • Exacta. As the name implies, you have to pick, in exact order, the horses finishing first and second. This type of bet is also known as “perfecta.”
  • Exotic bets. These involve more than one race. Usually, they are the daily double, exacta, pick six, quinella and trifecta.
  • Pick six. To win, you must pick the winners of six designated races. If no bettor wins, the payoffs are carried forward to the next day, minus a portion for those bettors who pick the next highest number of winners. These bets are, understandably, not the easiest to win.
  • Place. When betting on a horse to place, you’re a winner if your chosen horse finishes either first or second.
  • Quinella. To win, you need to pick the horses finishing first and second, regardless of the order.
  • Show. In picking a horse to show, you win if the horse finishes first, second or third.
  • Trifecta. Also called a “triple,” you have to pick, in exact order, the horses finishing first, second and third in a designated race, if you’re to win.
  • Win. In order to win when betting on a horse to win, your selected horse has to finish first.

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