Horse Betting 101: Exotic Bets

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Hello everyone, and welcome to lesson two of horse betting 101. Now that you have a basic knowledge of how to bet horses after reading lesson one, it is now time to talk about more exotic wagers.

Today’s lesson covers three main bets. These bets are exacta, trifecta, and superfecta. The description of each, and how you can win money on these wagers is shown below.

Exacta Bet

Simply put, an exacta bet is one that is played when a gambler believes two specific horses will finish first and second. There are two types of exacta bets, a straight and a box.

A straight exacta costs a minimum of $2, and you pick exactly which horse finishes first, and which horse finishes second. A box exacta is essentially picking two horses to finish first and last but in any order. This bet costs a minimum of $4.

The payout is greater for the straight exacta bet, and most most people believe that you should stick to these. If you were to place an exacta bet on two longshot horses, the payout would be astronomical.

Trifecta Bet

The trifecta bet is exactly the same as the exacta bet, except that you must pick the first three finishers in a race. In most cases, the trifecta box is more popular. With lower odds of being able to hit a trifecta straight, the player will instead increase their odds with a trifecta box.

Another twist of playing these is by adding a wheel or part-wheel to this. This essentially means that you pick a specific horse to finish first, but then will box the horses for second and third place.

For example, you pick horse 3 to win the the race, but you think that horses 2 and 7 will finish second or third.

In this case your bet slip will be 3 with 2/7 with 2/7 for a minimum bet of $4.

The payouts of trifectas are much, much greater, and if you were to ever hit one, you would earn a massive amount of money.

Superfecta Bet

You probably guessed it right. To hit a superfecta bet, you must pick the top four finishers for a given race. The rules are the same for this bet as the two previous ones, and the payout of this bet is the biggest! It is extremely hard to win a superfecta, and many tracks will allow bets as lows as ten cents to those who want to give it a try.

Keep this in mind. If you place a dollar on a superfecta bet, you will more than likely win thousands of dollars. Players rarely, if ever, win on these bets and you can also create box sets of these bets.

Now that you have a quick understanding of the three main exotic bets in horse racing, get out there and test your luck even more. Stay tuned for the next post that will even go more into detail on how to bet horses like a professional.

Good luck!




I enjoy sports, gambling, finance, and things that affect young people.

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Jeff Perkins

I enjoy sports, gambling, finance, and things that affect young people.