Intro to Exotic Betting

There are many money-making opportunities that surpass the basic WPS format. These break down into two major categories:

  • Multi-horse picks within one race
  • Winners of multiple, consecutive races.

This lesson will focus on the first bullet point, saving the second type of race for grade 7.

Let’s begin with the exacta. With the exacta, you are trying to predict the first two horses. This has to be in the precise order that they finish in order to win the bet. Many people will box their exacta selections, or in other words, select all horses on a ticket for all positions. With two horses involved, this is only two bets. As you can probably guess, it becomes much more expensive to box a ticket when more horses are involved. The quinella, which is only offered at some tracks, performs the same function as an exacta box, but for a cheaper price. As a result, its payouts are generally lower than an exacta would be.

The trifecta takes it one step further than the exacta. Here you are trying to predict the correct order of the top three finishers. You can box a trifecta, but it costs much more. To box a $2 trifecta costs $12, if you want to include all three horses. There are ways around spending this much money though. Suppose you have three horses: A, B, and C. You think A has a certain shot of finishing in the top two, but you are convinced that it will not finish worse than that. You can key in different combinations. For example your ticket might look something like this:

A, B, C / A, B, C / B, C

Now, instead of six possible combinations, you have four, making a $2 trifecta cost $8, rather than $12. Of course, your odds of winning are slightly less, but if you are certain enough that A is going to win, this should not dissuade you.

The superfecta goes even farther than the trifecta. With the superfecta, you are predicting the first four finishers in the correct order. Many tracks will have reduced the betting minimum for these wagers to $0.10 in order to attract more revenue from individuals who do not have a large enough bankroll to afford an expensive superfecta structure. A $1 superfecta box costs $24, while a $0.10 box costs $2.40. Even a $0.10 wager can have a relatively large payout. It is not uncommon for this type of bet to return $75 to $100.

Money management when it comes to exotic bets becomes important. It is very easy to think having a larger spread of horses will win you more bets. This is technically true, but you will not win enough to offset the extra price you are paying for including more horses. If you pick a $2 four horse exacta box, you will be spending $48. Odds are that your return will not be as high, especially if two favorites win. True, many of your bets will be profitable over the short-term, but you will go broke if you do this over a long enough time frame. Correctly positioning your bets is imperative if you wish to be successful. This topic will be discussed in greater detail during grade 10.

elementary school
Pre-KHorse Racing Basics
KindergartenPari-Mutuel System Betting
1st GradeHorse Racing 101
2nd GradeWhy Pick One Horse Over Another
3rd GradeReading Horse Charts
4th GradeWhy Class Matters
5th GradeSpeed Figures
middle school
6th GradeIntro to Exotic Betting
7th GradeExotics Part II Multi Race Bets
8th GradeSelecting the Right Races
high school
9th GradeThe Morning Line
10th GradeMoney Management
11th GradeBetting Tactics to Avoid
12th GradePerfecting the Craft