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Exotic Horse Racing Bets

Exotic Horse Racing BetsWe continue our journey in the world of horse racing with exotic bets. It is prudent to approach them after you have become familiar with the standard horse racing bets and can easily operate with the specific lingo of this fascinating sport. Exotic bets are more complex as they involve wagering on multiple competitors and sometimes even multiple races at the same time. Chances of winning can be increased by playing multiple tickets, at a higher price, of course.

Despite the considerable difficulty of this type of horse racing bets, they are popular among online punters all over the globe due to the possible gargantuan profit. Experienced betting enthusiasts can usually choose between Exacta, Quinella, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, and Pick 3 (4, 6, etc.) all of them coming in different forms that carry a high or low degree of risk.


ExactaExacta horse racing wagers are an example of a bet where safety and sizable payouts are not that far apart. Punters need to predict which two horses will be the first and second finishers in a particular race. If one of them fails to take a top position, the bet is considered unsuccessful and you lose your stake. This bet type has a straight form where the exact placement must be indicated, a boxed one where the order of the two horses is of no importance, and also a wheel option. As we have a separate paragraph about box and wheel horse racing bets, we will now focus on the first option.

Exacta gives you the opportunity to take advantage of your knowledge in the field and your confidence that you can point out the horses that will finish first and second in a certain race. With the right prediction, this bet is usually more profitable than any of the standard wagers, with stakes of the same or even smaller amounts.

If you want to take as little risk as possible when placing an exacta bet, stick to races with fewer participants. Thus you will have more time for research and fewer horses to mess up your plans.

After you have done your homework and decided which two horses to select, there is not much to do since placing an Exacta bet is quite simple. Here is what the betting interface may look like:

Exotic Betting Markets
Pick 4
1 Vahash7.50
2 Paint Me Red23.00
3 Brooklyn Boss2.90
4 Helmiton12.00
5 Aria Electra9.00
6 From Pantherland5.00
7 La Zucca3.60
Add to betslip

This particular race has 7 participants. After looking at the current odds and exploring the statistics of each horse we decided that #7 is most likely to finish as a winner and #5 to be the runner-up. The following steps need to be undertaken:

  1. Click on the relevant checkboxes
  2. Press the “Add to betslip” button
  3. Specify the stake amount
  4. Confirm your bet

Please note that the odds displayed are true by the moment you witness them. Due to the essence of the pari-mutuel system, the exact payout will become clear at the very last moment when bets are no longer accepted.

Reverse Forecast/Quinella is almost the same as the Exacta except that the correct order of the two horses is not subject to wagering. This means you are more likely to place a successful bet, however, with less lucrative profit.


TrifectaIf somebody tells you horse racing betting is not suitable for punters who pursue mammoth payouts, he is totally wrong and simply does not know the sport in detail. It is enough just to mention that the Trifecta payout in the 2005 edition of the famous Kentucky Derby was the impressive $133,134.80 with a stake of… $2. Do not get us wrong, neither this is an easy to perform wager, nor profit is always that high. For example, the same type of bet just a year later brought only $987.60 but given how low the stake is, this is still a great return.

As the name suggests, Trifecta covers the performance of three horses as you must indicate their exact order after the end of the race. If you do not correctly guess all three horses or if you arrange them irregularly, you win nothing. This is definitely not an easy bet to place and namely because of that profits can reach such high amounts.

There is no unequivocal answer to thе question of how to win through Trifecta, simply because there is no such thing as a perfect system that works all the time. Correct prediction is difficult, but not impossible. The key to success is to make careful judgments, not succumb to your emotions, and do your best to get good value for your money.


SuperfectaIf what we have told you about trifectas has piqued your interest and you are drawn by the possible tempting payouts, then you should take a look at Superfectas as well. According to this exotic horse racing bet, you have to correctly select the first four positions in the race, which makes it even harder to predict, but also leads to even better prizes.

We prefer not to talk about luck when it comes to sports betting because we strongly believe that learning, research, and experience are much more paramount. However, when the Superfecta is the subject of discussion, we just cannot ignore it. Let’s say that guessing the winner and the runner-up is an easy task. What about third and fourth place? The competition is usually so fierce that to properly rank the top four horses leans to impossibility. After all, on a track with eight horses, there are 1,680 possible combinations regarding the Top 4.

Nothing is impossible, though. Some combinations are more probable than others so if you manage to narrow the range you choose from and follow some basic tips, you can eventually accomplish a betting feat. Here are our top three recommendations:

  • Do not try to cover lots of combinations and races. It will cost you a lot and there is no guarantee for success. Quality over quantity, so, be selective.
  • A single straight Superfecta is not a good idea either, it is just too risky and relies mostly on luck.
  • Sift out the obvious underdogs and do not include them in any version of a Superfecta bet.

Daily Double

Daily DoubleWith the Daily Double bet, punters need to go beyond one single race since their task is to point out the winners of two consecutive races. There is no consolation prize for this multi-horse, multi-race wager which means both your selections must be successful. Otherwise, you lose your stake. An advantage of the Daily Double is that it is an inexpensive option that allows practicing reasonably profitable horse racing betting with stakes of less than $10.

The Daily Double option is supported by almost all racetracks around the world and usually applies to the first two races within one competition. Fortunately, some bookmakers have implemented a rolling double that comprises any sequence of two races up until the end of the card. There is a separate pool for Daily Double bets placed both by on-site and online betting enthusiasts that regularly provides higher payouts than if you place two independent Win bets.

At times bookmakers offer Special Daily Double bets that cover races not included in a single card, usually being conducted one day apart. The applicable betting rules are in no way different, you just need to wait a little longer to see if your bet is winning or not. Special Daily Doubles are separately announced and look like this:

  • Juvenile Turf/Turf on race 10 Friday with race 11 Saturday
  • Juvenile Fillies/Distaff on race 7 Friday with race 10 Saturday
  • Juvenile/Classic on race 9 Friday with race 12 Saturday

These are real data from the 2021 Breeder’s Cup World Championship held in Del Mar, California where the minimum bet amount was just $1.

Pick 3 and Beyond

Pick 3 and BeyondWe will end our review of exotic horse racing bets with the Pick 3 market for which you must select the winners of three consecutive races. Given the great interest expressed by bettors, some tracks offer Pick 4, Pick 6 and even wider race ranges thus challenging the most experienced and notable punters to test their skills.

Although the Pick 3 involves three separate races it is still considered one bet. As with the Daily Double, it has its own prize pool filled with all monies wagered on this particular market. In general, the sequences of races that can be bet on are conducted in the second half of the program for the day, as they are more contested and therefore difficult to predict. The weightiest reason for Pick 3 and beyond bets to be so popular is value, especially when wagering on favorites that usually come with short odds. In such cases, a higher profit can be expected from one successful Pick 3 bet than from three individual Win bets.

Pick 6 is the most spectacular part of the betting range and arguably the hardest to hit. Often, the minimum bet is $2, which means you need deep pockets to give yourself a sound chance of winning. There are days when no punter manages to realize the required 6 correct predictions and the betting pool is transferred to the next day. If this lasts for several days, the prize pool on some tracks could reach millions of dollars.

Boxing a Horse Racing Bet

Boxing a Horse Racing BetDespite the allurement of horse racing betting, the complexity of the highest paying betting markets frightens a lot of inexperienced punters. Most novices choose to hold back because they are not sure in what order the horses will finish and so they miss great opportunities for profitable bets. Probably the best solution at such times is to place a box bet thus eliminating a great part of the possibilities for a failure. In brief, to box a bet means to put your wager on a selection of horses that you think will finish at the top of the final rankings, without worrying about the exact order of finish.

By boxing their bets, punters can cover the highest number of combinations for a reasonable investment. Take a look at the below table showing how the number of horses covered by an Exacta box bet is related to the number of winning combinations and the total stake amount. Calculations are made based on a minimum $1 bet.

Number of horsesNumber of combinationsStake size

Although betting odds are floating you must always carefully check them. They are a wonderful reference point showing if adding multiple horses to your box bet is worth it. It is by no means impossible to win a bet and still lose money, so stay alert.

A peculiar variation of this horse racing betting strategy is to key one horse in the box bet, which enables betting enthusiasts to demonstrate their confidence in the eventual winner and pick other two or more horses to back up the second place. If your favorite is No.3 for example, but you dubitate which out of No.1, No.6, and No. 7 will be the runner-up, you can include them all in one box bet that will cover the following combinations:

  • 3-1
  • 3-6
  • 3-7

If any of them becomes reality after crossing the finish line, your bet is considered a winning one. When you key a horse, fewer competitors are covered which in turn leads to a lower stake. The same principles apply to the other types of exotic bets only covering a different number of horses.


ConclusionIf you are impressed by the diversity of exotic horse racing bets you will be glad to hear that we covered only a part of the options available with bookmakers from all over the world. These include jackpots for the hardest to predict bets, various prop wagers, matchups, accumulators, etc.