Betting Terms

Win: Your horse must finish first, payoffs determined by the odds set by all bettors, minus parimutuel takeout. Chances of winning are good. Favorites win about one-third of the time.

Place: Your horse must finish first or second. Chances of winning are better than with win wagering. Payoffs determined by the amount of money wagered on first two finishes in place pool, minus takeout.

Show: Your horse must finish first, or second or third. The easiest bet to win. Payoffs determined by wagers on first three finishers in the show pool, minus takeout. You won't get rich.

Exacta: Known as a multiple-pool wager, your two horses must finish first or second in exact order. Longshots in exactas can make you rich. Higher degree of difficulty than win betting. Payoffs determined by the amount bet on each individual combination in exacta pool.

Quinella: Like an exacta, only your horses can finish first and second in either order. Easier than the exacta in that sense, the payoff is about half of what a winning exacta pays.

Trifecta: Your three horses must finish first, second and third in exact order. A sometimes costly wager when using many horses, the degree of difficulty increases proportionately.

Superfecta: Your four horses must finish first, second, third and fourth in exact order. Very high degree of difficulty and expensive when using many horses. Four-figure payoffs are routine. Five-figure payoffs occur with fair regularity, especially in contentious races with large fields.

Daily Double: Your horses must win two consecutive races. Twice the degree of difficulty as win betting, obviously, but an efficient wager since the takeout is extracted once, not twice.

Pick 3: You must win three consecutive races in sequence. Exponentially harder than the daily double even though it's only one more race. Your chances increase when making larger investments. Can be expensive. Payoffs very commonly in three figures.

Pick 4: You must win four consecutive races. Bettors of multiple combinations have a good chance despite the degree of difficulty, which is extremely high.

Pick 6: A near impossible wager to win, especially for the novice, and it demands a very large investment of capital. If you're right, the winnings could change your life. Four-figure payoffs extremely common. The ultimate challenge.