1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://horseracing.about.com/od/helpfornewfans/a/aaquickbets.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Discuss in my forum

Quick Guide to Betting the Horses

By

The toteboard

The toteboard shows the win odds and the win, place, and show pools

© Cindy Pierson Dulay

Here is a quick description of common wager types at race tracks in North America with minimum bets and how they work. These wagers are found at just about all types of tracks, including thoroughbred, harness, quarter horse, and greyhound tracks. Also included is a guide for estimating the cost of wagers that involve multiple combinations like boxes and keys and a chart of payoffs for $2 win bets.

Wager Types:

Win
Your horse must finish first to collect. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Place
Your horse must finish first or second to collect. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Show
Your horse must finish first, second or third to collect. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Exacta
You play two horses. They must come in first and second in EXACT order to collect. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Exacta Box
You play two horses. They must come in first and second in EITHER order to collect. Since this has multiple wagers in combination, it is a $1 minimum wager at most tracks.

Trifecta
You play three horses. They must come in first, second, and third in EXACT order to collect. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Trifecta Key
You play three horses. You chose one horse to win, called the key horse, who must come in first followed by the other two horses second and third in any order to collect. You may play more than two horses in second and third, which means any two of those horses can finish in those positions and you will win. Since this has multiple wagers in combination, it is a $1 minimum wager at most tracks.

Trifecta Box
You play three horses. They must finish first, second, and third in any order to collect. Since this has multiple wagers in combination, it is a $1 minimum wager at most tracks.

Superfecta
You play four horses. They must come in first, second, third, and fourth in EXACT order. This is a $2 minimum wager at most tracks.

Superfecta Box
You play four horses. They must finish first, second, third, and fourth in ANY order. Since this has multiple wagers in combination, it is a $1 minimum wager at most tracks and some even go as low as 10 cents for the minimum!

Superfecta Key
You play four horses. You chose one horse to win, called the key horse, who must come in first followed by the other three horses second, third, and fourth in any order to collect. You may play more than three horses in second, third, and fourth, which means any three of those horses can finish in those positions and you will win. You play four horses. They must finish first, second, third, and fourth in ANY order. Since this has multiple wagers in combination, it is a $1 minimum wager at most tracks and some even go as low as 10 cents for the minimum!

Multiple Combination Wager Costs
All costs are based on using a $1.00 minimum wager amount

Exacta Box
2 horse box - $2
3 horse box - $6
4 horse box - $12
5 horse box - $20
6 horse box - $30
7 horse box - $42
8 horse box - $56

Trifecta Box
3 horse box - $6
4 horse box - $24
5 horse box - $60
6 horse box - $120
7 horse box - $210
8 horse box - $336

Trifecta Key
1 horse over 3 others - $6
1 horse over 4 others - $12
1 horse over 5 others - $20
1 horse over 6 others - $30
1 horse over 7 others - $42

Superfecta Box
4 horse box - $24
5 horse box - $120
6 horse box - $360

Superfecta Key
1 horse over 3 others - $6
1 horse over 4 others - $24
1 horse over 5 others - $60
1 horse over 6 others - $120
1 horse over 7 others - $210

Win Odds and Payoffs for a $2.00 wager

1-9$2.10 6-5$4.40 3-1$8.00 12-1$26.00
1-5$2.40 7-5$4.80 4-1$10.00 15-1$32.00
2-5$2.80 3-2$5.00 9-2$11.00 20-1$42.00
1-2$3.00 8-5$5.20 5-1$12.00 30-1$62.00
3-5$3.20 9-5$5.60 6-1$14.00 40-1$82.00
4-5$3.60 2-1$6.00 8-1$18.00 50-1$102.00
1-1$4.00 5-2$7.00 10-1$22.00
Related Video
Quick Tomato Sauce
  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Horse Racing
  4. Beginners Tips
  5. Quick Guide to Betting the Horses

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.