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The beginner’s guide to exotic wagers in horse racing

When you start out betting on horse racing, it is advisable to stick to the standard types of bets. The mechanics of straight win, place, show and across the board wagers are easier to wrap your head around when you are just starting out. However, once you have mastered these, it is fun and interesting to start looking at more interesting betting systems. These are referred to as ‘exotic wagers’ and below is some horse racing advice for mastering these types of bets.

The types of exotic wager available

Exacta – This type is difficult to pull off, but offers a higher yield if you get it right. It rewards skilled horse pickers and requires you to pick first and second positions. A standard exacta bet involves picking these in exact order, however you can “box” your bet and get a payout if both your horses come in first and second, regardless of order. This variation costs twice as much to place as a standard exacta bet.

Quinella – A quinella is exactly the same proposition as a box exacta, however it costs less to place. Why would anyone choose the box exacta? The payout is higher for a box exacta but it costs twice the price of the quinella.

Trifecta – This requires you to pick the top three places in exact order. Again, you can box your trifecta, but this will cost you six times the price of the standard trifecta. There are many combinations possible and it takes an incredibly skilled and lucky punter to pick the top three, but the rewards are enormous if you nail it.

Superfecta – The superfecta means picking the top four horses in exact order. This is a remarkably difficult feat, but again you can box your bet at additional cost.

What to look for in a successful horse

There are a number of considerations when choosing to back a horse for a win or place. There are different levels of competition and as you go up, you find better performing horses. Have a look at your horse’s past performance at the level you are betting on, whether they are making a step up or talking a step down, and how many races they have run during the season.

The type of surface is another guide to how a horse will perform. Some horses are proficient at several surfaces, while others excel at one in particular. Look not only at the horse that has caught your eye, but also the competition in the field.

The history of the jockey is another factors, with some consistently placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd regardless of the horse they are riding. This is a good indication of their ability and could make the difference for a middle of the pack horse to place in the top three or four.

Of course, there are many factors that you cannot control. The weather, unforeseen accidents, or the horse just performs above or below itself for this race. However, by focusing on narrowing the odds by taking care of the basics, you can give yourself a better chance of race track success.