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How to Bet Exactas
The Exacta or perfecta is a bet made in horse racing to pick the first and second place horses in a race. The exacta was the first “exotic” bet at most racetracks and today is the least exotic when compared to the trifecta, superfecta, pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6 wagers.
There are 3 types of exacta bets; the straight exacta, the exacta box, and the exacta wheel. In a straight exacta you are picking the first and second place horses in a race and they must finish in exactly that order. An example of a straight exacta bet would be a $2 exacta ( 5-7). This means that the 5 horse must finish first and the 7 horse must finish second. Any other outcome makes that bet a loser. In the Exacta box you are covering both combinations, a $2 exacta box (5-7) would be a winner if the 5 finished first and the 7 second, or vice-versa, the 7 wins and the 5 places. When you make a $2 exacta box with 2 horses you are really betting $4: a $2 (5-7) and a $2 (7-5). You can box as many horses as you would like in an exacta, and the price of the bet will rise accordingly. The more horses you cover in your exacta box, the more likely you are to hit your exacta but the payoff may not cover the cost of the bet.
In an exacta wheel, you are usually picking one horse to win and two or more horses to come in second. A $2 exacta wheel 7 with 2,3,5 would cost $6 and would be a winner if the 7 won and either the 2, 3, or 5 came in second.
How to Bet Trifectas
The Trifecta or triple is a bet made in horse racing to pick the first, second, and third place horses in a race. The trifecta is the second most popular “exotic” bet in horse racing behind the exacta. The payouts for hitting the trifecta can be astronomical. The trifecta in the 2005 Kentucky Derby (Giacomo - Closing Argument - Afleet Alex) paid a whopping $133,000 on a $2 bet.
There are three types of trifecta bets; the straight trifecta, the trifecta box, and the trifecta wheel. In a straight trifecta you are picking the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in a race and they must finish in exactly that order. An example of a straight trifecta bet would be a $2 trifecta ( 3-5-8). This means that the 3 horse must finish first, the 5 horse must finish second, and the 8 horse must finish in third - any other result and you can tear up your ticket. It takes a bold and confident handicapper to make a straight trifecta wager. In the Trifecta box you are covering all possible combinations of your 3 or more horses. A $2 trifecta box using (3,5,8) would cost $12 because there are 6 combinations of (3,5,8) coming in - 3,5,8 / 3,8,5 / 5,3,8 / 5,8,3 / 8,3,5 / 8,5,4. If you add another horse to your trifecta box (3,5,8,1) you will have 24 combinations and your $2 box will cost $48 ($2 X 24 combinations). A quick way to figure out the cost of a trifecta box is to take the number of horses you wish to include, for example 5, and multiply 5
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