How to Bet On Horses

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The most basic horse bets are the Win, Place, and Show bets. Others include the Trifecta, Superfecta, Exacta, Quinella, Daily Double, or Pick 3, 4, 5, or More bets. The following are each bet’s definition and instructions. Refer to your race book for the latest odds.

Win Bet
The Win bet is picking the first position finisher. This bet has a good payout, especially if your horse had long odds. Big favorites produce lower payouts. The bet only pays if your horse finishes first.

Place Bet
The Place bet is picking the second position finisher. The payout is modest compared to a Win bet. The bet also pays if your horse finishes first.

Show Bet
The Show bet is picking the third position finisher. The Show bet pays out the least amount because a bettor’s risk is lower. The bet also pays if your horse finishes first or second.

Sample for how to place a win, place, or show bet from a horse racebook.
Win Place Show Sample Bet Diagram

  1. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  2. Click your mouse on the checkbox in the WIN column that corresponds to your horse. In this case, the bettor has chosen Atiello with 6:1 odds to Win.
  3. The same procedure applies for making Place and Show bets. Click your mouse on the checkbox corresponding to the horse and wager.
  4. *** Notes: You can pick multiple horses for each bet type. Remember these additional wagers cost more money and will decrease your winning bet’s profit. Consider an analogy to roulette: If you put a chip on every number, you’d obviously win. However subtracting the cost of covering the board from your single number win lowers your profit substantially.

Trifecta Bet
The trifecta is an advanced horse wager. To make a trifecta, select the first position horse, second position horse, and finally the third position horse. Your trifecta wins if the horses finish in the precise order you specified.

Sample for how to make a Trifecta Bet from a horse racebook.
Trifecta Betting Procedure

  1. Select the "Trifecta Bet" from your racebook’s wagering menu.
  2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  3. Select the first position, second position and third position horse. Remember, final order matters. In this diagram, the first position horses has 2:1 odds, the second position horse has 10:1 odds, the third position horse has 12:1 odds.
  4. ***Notes: Your 3 horses must finish in the order you specified. Advanced bettors could place a Trifecta Wheel bet by choosing more than one horse to finish in a each position. For example, horse Jones is selected to win. Horses Smith or Charlie are BOTH selected to take second. Horse William is selected to take third. Please see our Trifecta Betting page to learn more.
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Superfecta Bet
The superfecta bet is an advanced horse wager. To make a superfecta, select the first position horse, second position horse, third position horse, and finally the fourth position horse. Your superfecta wins if the horses finish in the precise order you specified.

Sample Procedure for how to make a Superfecta Bet from a horse racebook.
Superfecta Sample Bet

  1. Select the "Superfecta Bet" from your racebook’s wagering menu.
  2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  3. Select the first position, second position, third position, and fourth position horse. Remember, final order matters. In this diagram, the first position horses has 4:1 odds, the second position horse has 5:1 odds, the third position horse has 6:1 odds, and the fourth position horse has 12:1 odds.
  4. ***Notes: Your 4 horses must finish in the order you specified. Advanced bettors could place a Superfecta Wheel bet by choosing more than one horse to finish in a each position. For example, horse Jones is selected to win. Horses Smith or Charlie are BOTH selected to take second. Horses William or James are selected to take third. Horse Henry is selected to take fourth. Please see our Superfecta Betting page to learn more.

Exacta Bet
To make an exacta bet, select the first position and second position horse. Your exacta wins if the horses finish in the precise order you specified.

Sample procedure for how to make an Exacta Bet from a horse racebook
Exact Bet Sample

  1. Select the "Exacta Bet" from your racebook’s wagering menu.
  2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  3. Select the first and second position horses. Remember, final order matters. In this diagram, the first position horse has 2:1 odds. The second position horse has 5:2 odds.
  4. ***Notes: Your 2 horses must finish in the order you specified. Advanced bettors could place an Exacta Wheel bet by choosing more than one horse to finish in a each position. For example, horse Jones is selected to win. Horses Smith or Charlie are BOTH selected to take second. Please see our Exacta Betting page to learn more.

Quinella Bet
To make a quinella bet, select 2 horses to finish either first or second. Finishing order does not matter. Your quinella wins if both horses finish in the first 2 positions, regardless of order.

Sample procedure for how to make a Quinella Bet from a horse racebook
Quinella Sample Bet

  1. Select the "Quinella Bet" from your racebook’s wagering menu.
  2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  3. Select two horse to finish in the first two positions. Final order does not matter. In this diagram, our two horses have 5/2 and 8/5 odds, respectively.
  4. ***Notes: Your 2 horses must finish in the first two positions. Order does not matter. Advanced bettors could place a Quinella wheel bet by choosing more than two horses. For example, horses Jones, Charlie, Larry and Tom. Please see our Quinella Betting page to learn more.

Daily Double Bet
To make a Daily Double bet, select the winners of two different races.

Sample procedure for how to make a Daily Double bet at a horse racebook
Daily Double Sample Bet

  1. Select the "Daily Double Bet" from your racebook’s wagering menu.
  2. Note the horsess in each race, listed on the left. The next "ML" column lists the odds.
  3. Select a horse to win each race. In this diagram, our two horses have 5/1 and 6/1 odds, respectively.
  4. ***Notes: Your 2 horses must their races. Advanced bettors could place a Daily Double wheel bet by choosing more than two horses. For example, horses Jones, Charlie or Larry for race #7. Horses Hank, Paul or George for race #8. Please see our Daily Double Betting page to learn more.

Pick 3, 4, 5 or More Bet
The Pick 3, 4, 5 or more bet is similar to the Daily Double bet. You will choose the winners of 3, 4, 5 or more races. All of your horses must win to collect a payout. The odds of winning a picking 3 or more race winners are remote. However winning bettors will collect enormous payouts for relatively small bets.

See Also
Win Place or Show Betting
Trifecta Betting
Superfecta Betting