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Beginner's Guide To Horse Betting

PARIMUTEL WAGERING

Unlike a casino, Xpressbet has no financial interest in who wins or loses. They merely serve as a broker. Of the money that’s wagered, percentages are deducted for the track, the state and for purse money (this is called the “takeout”). In essence, you are wagering against everyone else in a competitive format. The money that’s wagered creates a “pool.” Once the race is run and declared official, payouts are determined based on the number of correct tickets.

ODDS FOR $2 WIN WITH RESULTING PAYOFFS
1-9 $2.20
1-5 $2.40 - $2.60
2-5 $2.80
1-2 $3.00
3-5 $3.20 - $3.40
4-5 $3.60 - $3.80
1-1 $4.00 - $4.20
6-5 $4.40 - $4.60
7-5 $4.80
3-2 $5.00
8-5 $5.20 - $5.40
9-5 $5.60 - $5.80
2-1 $6.00 - $6.80
5-2 $7.00 - $7.80
3-1 $8.00 - $8.80
7-2 $9.00 - $9.80
4-1 $10.00 - $10.80
9-2 $11.00 - $11.80
5-1 $12.00 - $13.80
6-1 $14.00 - $15.80
7-1 $16.00 - $17.80
8-1 $18.00 - $19.80
9-1 $20.00 - $21.80
10-1 $22.00 - $23.80

TYPES OF WAGERS

(Same-Race/Intra-Race Bets)

TYPE DIFFICULTY $2 PAYOFF LIKELY RANGE EXPLANATION
Show Easiest $2.10-$4 Your horse can finish first, second or third and you will collect. The most conservative wager in racing and your safest chance at cashing a ticket.
Place Easy $3-$10 Your horse can finish first or second and you will collect. Pays a bit better than show, but you won't get rich on this path.
Win Moderate $4-$50+ Your horse must finish first (WIN) in order to collect. Most traditional bet type and still one of the best.
Quinella Less Tough $5-$75 Your horses must finish first and second – in any order – in order to collect. A more conservative approach than the exacta, hence a smaller return. Because exacta boxes are essentially the same thing, not all tracks offer quinellas.
Exacta Tough $10-$150 Your horses must finish first and second – in the exact order – in order to collect.You're beginning to take risks, but the rewards sweeten. Experienced horse players often box, key or formulate partial wheels based on their opinions (see below).
Trifecta Tougher $50-$1000+ Your horses must finish first, second and third in order to collect. Now, you're pushing your luck! Very popular wager with big returns if you can conquer it. Experienced horse players often box, key or formulate partial wheels based on their opinions.
Superfecta Toughest $100-$5000+ Your horses must finish first, second, third and fourth in order to collect. A major thrill-seeking wager for a single race. Good luck, but note that the odds are against you. Experienced horse players often box, key or formulate partial wheels based on their opinions. The 10-cent superfecta has become a very popular wager in recent years. The lower cost allows players to use more horses on their tickets without having to break the bank.
Super High 5 Lotto-Like $3000+ Your horses must finish first, second, third, fourth, and fifth in order to collect. The ultimate thrill-seeking wager for a single race. The Super High Five most often is offered just once daily on a racing program, customarily the last race of the day. If no one hits all 5 horses in order, a % of the money bet (called the “pool”) will carry over to the next racing day's High 5.

TYPES OF WAGERS

(Multi-Race/Intra-Race Bets)

TYPE DIFFICULTY $2 PAYOFF LIKELY RANGE EXPLANATION
Daily Double Easiest $15-$150 You must correctly select the winners of two consecutive races. Both must win in order for you to collect. Often held on the first two races and the last two races of the day.
Pick Three Tough $50-$500+ You must correctly select the winners of three consecutive races. All three must win in order for you to collect. Much tougher than the daily double, but payoffs typically make up for it. Experienced horse players often use more than one horse in each race of the pick three sequence box, but the more horses you use, the higher the cost of your ticket.
Pick Four Tougher $200-$2000+ You must correctly select the winners of four consecutive races. All four must win in order for you to collect. Challenging wager that has become very popular in recent years. Experienced horse players often use more than one horse in each race of the pick four sequence box, but the more horses you use, the higher the cost of your ticket.
Pick Five Toughest $300-$100,000 You must correctly select the winners of five consecutive races. All five must win in order for you to collect. Challenging wager that became very popular during the spring/winter '11 meet at Gulfstream. Reducing the minimum wager from $1 to 50-cents, which some tracks have also done with their Pick Fours, allows fans of the bet to potentially utilize more horses in each leg of the sequence. The more horses you use, the higher the cost of your ticket.
Pick6 Lotto-Like $1000-$1million You must correctly select the winners of six consecutive races. All six must win in order for you to collect. The ultimate jackpot wager in the racing industry is not for cautious types. If no one holds a perfect ticket on a given day, the majority of that day’s pool will be carried over to the next racing day, greatly increasing the amount of money in the jackpot. Experienced horse players often use more than one horse in each race of the pick six sequence, but the more horses you use, the higher the cost of yourticket. With six races in the sequence, the ticket cost can multiply quickly.

EXOTIC WAGERING TIPS

Box: Most horseplayers utilize the “box” when it comes to playing exactas, trifectas and superfectas. By “boxing” horses, they can run in any order, so long as you have the right combinations. For instance, if you like #1 and #2 for the exacta, if you “box” the exacta, you will collect if they finish 1-2 or 2-1. The chart below will help you calculate the cost to make a “box” wager:

$1 EXACTA BOX
2 horses costs $2 (2x1)
3 horses $6 (3x2)
4 horses $12 (4x3)
5 horses $20 (5x4)
6 horses $30 (6x5)
$1 TRIFECTA BOX
3 horses costs $6 (3x2x1)
4 horses $24 (4x3x2)
5 horses $60 (5x4x3)
6 horses $120 (6x5x4)
DIME SUPERFECTA BOX
4 horses costs $2.40 (4x3x2x1 x 10 cents)
5 horses $12 (5x4x3x2 x 10 cents)
6 horses $30 (6x5x4x3 x 10 cents)

Wheel: Horseplayers who really like one horse may decide to “key” or “wheel” that runner with all other betting options, hoping to catch a longshot to round out their wager. This option is particularly popular in daily doubles and exactas.

Partial Wheel: This is the art of using multiple horses in a given position. For example, if you like the #1 and the #4 equally, and I think #2 and #7 are also good enough for second, you could construct an exacta ticket this way – 1-4 with 1-2-4-7. You would then have played six combinations: 1-2, 1-4, 1-7, 4-1, 4-2 and 4-7. If you bet this ticket for $2, your cost would be $12 (6 combinations X $2 = $12).


DRAWING “THE LINE"

The job of a morning-line maker is to predict, as accurately as possible, the final odds of each individual race on a day’s program.

When calculating odds, the final total of points should add between 122 and 126.

Odds Points Odds Points
1-5 70 7-2 22
2-5 65 4-1 20
3-5 60 9-2 18
4-5 55 5-1 17
1-1 50 6-1 14
6-5 45 8-1 11
7-5 41 10-1 9
8-5 38 12-1 8
9-5 35 15-1 6
2-1 33 20-1 5
5-2 28 30-1 3
3-1 25 50-12