Horse Betting Explained on the Exacta

Posted by Alex Murphy on May 14, 2015 in

When you head to the horse track, there are a number of different types of bets that you can place. You can simply pick the horse that you think is going to win first place, a horse to place (finish first or second) or to show (finish first, second or third). There are several types of exotic bets in horse betting that make things a little more complicated (and exciting for many), such as the exacta. Also known as the exacta or perfecta, depending on the track where you are gambling, this sort of bet requires that the bettor choose the two horses that will finish first and second, in order.

Taking a Closer Look at the Horse Betting on the Exacta

Bets that depend on an exact sequence of finish at the horse track bring in more of a return that bets on how one horse finishes, because of the lower probabilities involved. When you’re betting on multiple horses, you’re increasing the number of possible factors that can keep you from winning your bet. Let’s say that you are at the Kentucky Derby with an exacta, if you’ve picked the first and second place horse, you might have the winning horse right, but another horse from the field could have an amazing day and end up second, leaving your bet a loser when your second-place choice finishes third.

It is possible to hedge your risk a bit with the exacta by choosing a box, which is available in some tracks. Here’s how this happens. If you buy a two-horse box, you pick the two horses that you think will finish first and second. However, if they flip flop (meaning that your first place horse finishes second and your second place horse finishes first), you still win. This makes the payout from an exacta box less, but it also increases your chances of walking away with some money at the end of the race.

You can also buy exacta boxes that have more than two horses. All that has to happen for you to win is that any two of the horses have to finish first or second. The bigger the boxes (the more horses that you can include), the more expensive your ticket, because you are taking advantage of a larger pool.

Easy Steps to Placing Your Exacta Bet

When you’re ready to place your exacta, walk up to the betting window, and tell the teller exactly what you want to do. Tell him which track you’re betting on, and which race. Also indicate which two horses you want to wager on. Look at the slip very carefully before you walk away, and make sure that it accurately reflects your bet.

The reason for this is that too many people walk away from the counter, thinking the slip says one thing, only to find that the slip actually said something else. Then, the ticket ends up being a loser even though the bettor’s chosen pair won. Whatever is on the printed ticket is the official record of the bet. If you walk away from the counter after seeing the slip, but you don’t check it thoroughly before you leave, you can end up with an incorrect ticket. Imagine sitting and watching your two chosen horses run across the line in the order you need for the exacta (or at least to make the box a winner), only to pull out your payslip and find a terrible mistake has taken place. This is why checking your slip is so important! For inspiration check out these historic gambling legends.