Betting on a Horse Race

Betting on a Horse Race? Know the Different Types of Horse Bets

Betting on a horse race, commonly known as horserace betting takes place in almost every horse race globally. The first betting on a horse race was made in the 16th century in the UK during King James I era. The horserace allows gamblers or betters to stake money on horse placements in the race. However, betting is prohibited on some race tracks like Springdale Race Course in South Carolina.

For the race tracks where gambling is allowed, the betting market offers various types of horse bets on which gamblers’ money is pooled and shared proportionately amongst the winners after deducting a certain amount from the pool.

The bets you place in a horse race can be classified as either exotic bets or straight bets. While straight betting is simply wagering on a single or a group of horse to complete the race first, second or the third, exotic betting is a bit complicated. Horserace betting is fun but there are a lot of things to know before you start putting in your money on a horse. Moreover, you must limit your spending at the track and learn about different betting types to calculate the odds strategically.

Win bet

This is the simplest way to bet on which your selected horse needs to win the race. This kind of horse betting has the highest odds in straight bets. Once your horse wins the event, you simply cash your ticket after tax deductions.

Place bet

This bet allows you to make your decision on whether the horse will win first or second position. The odds are lower than win bet, however, you can cash your ticket if your horse wins any of the two positions.

Show bet

Show bets are the lowest odds in straight bets. This bet allows you to choose the horse and if it comes first, second or third, you get to cash your ticket.

Across the board bet

This bet consists of various bets combined. It makes it easier for better to win as they are allowed to choose more than one horse to win. You can also make a combination of straight bets, place bets or show bets. Though, they may cost more as per separate bets.


Exacta is a form of exotic bet in which you can pick two favourite horses in the field of starters and bet them together and in order. Like, if you think that horse number five will win and the same horse will place or come second, you can bet them as an exacta.

Exacta Box

Placing a bet on the exacta box means whether the horse you choose in the exacta runs first or second. This means you cash your ticket if the horses you select run first and second in the race irrespective of which one finishes the race first. However, an exacta box is actually two bets which means, you win if any of the two horses win the race and the other one becomes the second in any order.


Quinella is like an exacta box, though it is considered as a single bet. In this bet, you can place a bet for two horses but the price will be kept inclusive of both and not as separate bets. Since an exacta box costs higher than quinella, it pays more as compared to the latter.


Trifecta is also like exacta box, except this betting includes three horses. You get to choose three horses participating in the race who you believe will win, show or place in order before you make your wager.

Trifecta Box

You win under the Trifecta box if the three horses you select to bet complete first, second and third positions in any order. Box trifecta costs more than trifecta since the combination of winning is more.


Superfecta is like a trifecta and an exacta but it has four horses. All the horses have to complete the race in the order they are choosen to win.

Superfecta Box

Just like the former ones, the superfecta box has four horses who can win in any order i.e., first, second, third or fourth. The chances of winning increase eventually which makes this betting type a costlier one.

Daily Double

The daily double is an exotic betting type in which bettors can select the winner of the two races nominated by the event. The races are usually the third last or final race and often are the feature race of an event. These betting are mostly considered a better option to win big due to increased pool prizes and the fact that odds are less.

Running double

In this bet, you have to choose the winner of the consecutive races in a specific event.


In this horserace betting, you simply need to predict which horse will win in the three separate races. The winning that is earned from each race roll over to the next one. Thus, the amount becomes large provided all the three predictions made by you are correct. But, if any of the legs in the treble lets you down, your entire bet gets lost.

All up

This bet requires you to pick a horse that can win in multiple races. For instance, you select a horse you think will win three different races in a day or the horse which will win five races. Each horse you select must win the exact number of races for you to get the prize. Alternatively, you can choose a bunch of horses and place different bets on separate matches.


In this bet, you will be asked to select three horses you think will win three separate races. You place three doubles along with a treble within a group of horses to win. If any of the horses let you down, you still receive some form of payment because of the rest.

Parlay Betting

The Parlay betting, which consists of a fixed number of combinations where each must win for you to earn, is another type of multi-bet. The number of legs in each Parlay is fixed, but if you choose one, you are actually selecting all conceivable permutations of multi-bets for that many legs. Some Parlays additionally feature single wagers on each option or leg in additions. The main benefit of a parlay over a traditional multiple is that you will still earn a payout depending on the number of winning combinations you selected even if only some of your legs are successful.

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