Betting 101

Types of Bets

Win-Place-Show Bets

Betting on horse racing can be fun and easy. There are several different wagers offered each race, but these are the three most basic:

  • The first is a "win" wager. Betting a horse to win is just as fun as it sounds – the horse must win the race in order for you to win the wager.
  • Next, is a "place" wager. This is betting on a horse to finish in the top 2. You win the wager if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Betting a horse to "show" means selecting a horse who you think will finish in the top 3. You win the wager if your horse finishes first, second, or third.

Because of the difficulty of a win wager, it will yield the highest payoff of these three wagers. A show wager will yield the lowest payoff but offers the greatest chance of winning.

The minimum bet for a win, place or show wager is only $2.

Exacta Bets

If you've mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try an exacta. An exacta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, but yields a higher payout. You bet an exacta by selecting a minimum two horses to finish first and second. These horses must finish first and second, in that order, for you to win the wager.

If picking two horses in order sounds too difficult, you can "box" your wager. A boxed wager will win if your horses finish 1st and 2nd, in any order, making it more likely for you to win.

The minimum bet for an exacta or exacta box wager is only $2.

Trifecta Bets

If you've mastered the art of win, place and show wagers, try a trifecta. A trifecta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, as well as exacta wagers, so it yields a higher payout than any of those bets.

You bet a trifecta by selecting a minimum three horses to finish first, second, and third. These horses must finish first, second, and third, in that exact order, for you to win the wager.

If picking three horses in order sounds too difficult you can "box" your wager. A boxed trifecta wager will win if your horses finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in any order, making it more likely to win.

The minimum bet for a trifecta wager is only 50 cents and you can bet a trifecta box for as little as $3.

For more guides on betting and handicapping, visit TwinSpires' betting guide library.

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