The Duel

Horse Racing Wager Types and Payouts

David Kaestle
The 152nd Belmont Stakes was initially scheduled to run Saturday, June 6, 2020.
The 152nd Belmont Stakes was initially scheduled to run Saturday, June 6, 2020. / Horsephotos/Getty Images
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With the whirlwind of cancellations across the sports world, The Duel now offers the latest odds, racing picks and tips, and results in horse racing!

Sports betting is pretty uniform across all the major sports. Relatively the same terms, numbers, symbols and lingo can be applied almost everywhere, but horse racing is a little different as an exception. It has its own separate list of buzz words, guidelines and bet types.

FanDuel Sportsbook offers horse racing on their platform for you to wager on. For tutorials and more information, please click here.

In this article we provide a full breakdown of the most common bet types in horse racing. Let's begin with the most simple ones and work our way down.

Payouts make for one area of horse betting that slightly differs from your typical sports betting. When you place a bet in sports betting, you are locked into the odds and/or price at the time of your bet. In horse racing, the odds are fluid. So if you bet a horse in the morning to win the final race of the day at 10/1 odds, but by the time the race rolls around later that day, that same horse could now be bet down to 5/1 odds, and then you get the 5/1 odds or whatever the value closes at when the race starts.

This makes payouts difficult to calculate ahead of time unless you are picking a horse to straight win.

Straight Bets:

Win: betting on the horse to win the race, or finish in first place. The most common and simple bet offered.
Place: You win if your horse finishes in either first or second place.
Show: You win if your horse finishes in first, second or third, anywhere in the top three.

Horizontal Exotic Bets:

Daily Double: Correctly pick the winner of two consecutive races.
Pick 3: Correctly pick the winner of three consecutive races.
Pick 4: Correctly pick the winner of four consecutive races.
Pick 5: Correctly pick the winner of five consecutive races.
Pick 6: Correctly pick the winner of six consecutive races.

Vertical Exotic Bets:

Straight Exacta: Correctly pick the horse to finish in first and second place in the exact order.
Straight Trifecta: Correctly pick the horse to finish in first, second and third place in the exact order.
Straight Superfecta: Correctly pick the horse to finish in first, second, third and fourth place in the exact order.

Vertical exotic bets can also be "boxed." When you box an exacta, trifecta or superfecta bet, you are essentially betting every possible combination of that bet. So for a trifecta bet, if you pick horses 2,4,6 in a race, then you will win if those three horses finish in the top-3 spots, regardless of order. Box bets can get expensive depending on the bet minimum, but it is also a safer play since you are covering all possibilities involving the horses you selected.

Quinella
Quinella bets are similar to an exacta box in the sense that you are betting the two possible combinations of the two horses you are betting to place first and second. The difference is, in an exacta box, if the minimum bet is $1, then your total wager amount is $2, but that is split into $1 each for each possible outcome. With a Quinella bet, the whole amount is dedicated to the outcome that occurs, but the standard wager is $2, so the amounts even out in totality.

When deciding between the two bets, it is more advantageous to bet an exacta box when you think the horse with worse odds will win and the horse with better odds will place second, because the payout will be higher based on the finishing position of the horse with higher odds. Quinella bets should be used on the reverse situation, when you think the horse with better odds will finish first and the horse with worse odds will finish second, in most instances this would make the Quinella payout higher.

Please use the below links to access FanDuel's horse racing betting portal and to learn more information!


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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