Exacta Horse Wagers

by jason

One of the best types of exotic bets you can do is called the exacta bet. This form of wagering are offered virtually everywhere these days and basically require you to choose the top 2 finishers of a race. So if you like the #2 and #5 horse in a race if you would select the #2 to win and the #5 to place you would have a winning ticket. These pay much better than if you would to wager on these two on separate win and place tickets however the odds of the exact order are much harder to obtain.

When your making bets on the exacta your not limited to just one set of horses. You can choose as many exacta sets as you want. Depending on the number of horses and the total amount wagered on a particular exacta will determine how much you win. The average exacta win on a $1 ticket is around $9 which isn’t to shabby! Although don’t underestimate these types of wagers I have seen them payout over $60 on a $1 ticket before.

If your uncertain on what two horses will probably finish 1st or 2nd you can also do what they call an exacta box. This is a combination of ways on how you can win instead of just playing the exacta where there is only 1 possible outcome based on your ticket. Lets say there is 3 horses you think will finish in the 2. You can play a three horse exacta box in which will give you 6 unique ways on winning on that race. The cost to do a three horse exacta is much more than just the single exacta which will run you $6 which comes out $1 per exacta option.

Here is a table you can use that will help you understand the cost for boxing a set amount of horses.

Exacta Options/Boxed Cost
Exacta Bet $1.00
2 Spot Exacta Box $2.00
3 Spot Exacta Box $6.00
4 Spot Exacta Box $12.00
5 Spot Exacta Box $20.00
6 Spot Exacta Box $30.00
7 Spot Exacta Box $42.00
8 Spot Exacta Box $56.00
9 Spot Exacta Box $72.00
10 Spot Exacta Box $90.00

As you can see with the exacta box table above these can get very costly and to a point where you will lose tremendous amounts of money when betting large exacta boxes. In general it’s never a good idea to box 4 or more horses in a exacta box unless its a very large field. Statistically you potential return will go into the negative unless on a rare occasion your boxing two big underdogs.

A way to minimize the cost on exacta boxes is to bet what they call the exacta wheel. Basically in a nutshell your betting on a horse to win along with a few other horses you like to get 2nd. So if you like the #2 horse to win but also like the #7, #8 and #9 horses to finish 2nd. What you could do is wager what they call an exacta part-wheel which would look something like this: 2/7-8-9. This type of horse wager would have 3 unique and seperate combinations (2/7, 2/8, 2/9) in which the #2 horse would have to win and the 7, 8, or 9 would have to get 2nd. The cost for this ticket would cost you $3.

Yet another way to wager in this form is the true exacta wheel which is where you predict a horse to win and your unsure who will get 2nd. To make this type of bet you would have more combinations based on the amount of horses in the race. If the race had 6 horses in it this would be the combination set on them: #2/all (2/1-3-4-5-6) and the total cost would be $5.00. If the #2 horse wins the race you would win your exacta wheel and these usually pay out a tad higher than just the win bet but it’s based on the amount of horses, bets took in, and who actually gets 2nd place. If the 2nd place horse is an underdog the higher the payout will be.