Exacta betting requires you to pick the first two finishers in a race in exact order.
Exacta horse bets are attractive because of the potential for large payoffs.
Exacta wagering also offers an opportunity to make a good profit on race in which a heavy favorite makes win betting a poor value proposition.
Use our Exacta Odds Calculator to help learn how exact horse bets work.
There are three ways to bet exactas:
The first exacta wagering option is the straight exacta bet, generally offered in minimum denominations of $2.
A $2 straight exacta bet 3-4 would require that horse 3 win the race and horse 4 finish second in order for you to cash a winning ticket.
Exacta boxes are popular, all you need to do is combine 2 or more horses to finish first or second in either order.
An exacta box of horses 3-4 would represent 2 possible combinations – 3-4 and 4-3, at a cost of $2.
The cost of a $1 exacta box correlates directly to the number of horses and possible combinations in the box.
A $1 exacta box of 3 horses (2-3-4) represents 6 possible $1 winning combinations that include 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, 3-2, 4-2 and 4-3. While any of these combinations would allow you to cash a ticket, keep in mind that your payout would be only half of the actual $2 straight exacta payout, because you played a $1 box.
To determine the cost of a $1 exacta box take the number of horses you want to box and multiply that number by the number of horses in the box minus 1. A $1 exacta box of four horses would be calculated as 4 * (4-1) * $1 = $12, which equates to 12 $1 exacta bets.
Below are some additional exacta box calculations with costs:
$1 exacta box of 3 horses = 3 * (3-1) = 6 combinations * $1= $6
$1 exacta box of 4 horses = 4 * (4-1) = 12 combinations * $1 = $12
$1 exacta box of 5 horses = 5 * (5-1) = 20 combinations * $1 = $20
$1 exacta box of 6 horses = 6 * (6-1) = 30 combinations * $1 = $30
$1 exacta box of 7 horses = 7 * (7-1) = 42 combinations * $1 = $42
$1 exacta box of 8 horses = 8 * (8-1) = 56 combinations * $1 = $56
You can box as many horses as you like in an exacta
The third method of playing exactas is to wheel one horse (or more than one horse) in one position with any number of horses in the other position.
For example, if you were to play a $1 exacta wheel 3-with-All in an eight-horse field (3 with 1,2,4,5,6,7,8 – seven $1 combinations) it would cost you $7.
The 3 horse would have to win and any of 1,2,4,5,6,7,8 would have to finish second in order for you to cash a ticket. Or, if you think the 3 horse has a better chance of finishing second, you might play a $1 exacta wheel All-with-3 (1,2,4,5,6,7,8 with 3 – again seven $1 combinations) at a cost of $7. In this case any horse in the race could win and the 3 horse would have to finish second in order for you to cash a ticket.
Exactas can also be played as part-wheels, which differs from a full wheel in that you do not use ALL the horses in one part of the wheel.
For example, in an eight-horse field, you might play a $1 exacta part-wheel 3 with 2, 4, 5 (three possible winning combinations of 3-2, 3-4, 3-5) at a cost of $3.
Or you might play the part-wheel the other way, 2, 4, 5 with 3 (also three possible winning combinations of 2-3, 4-3, 5-3) at a cost of $3.
While exacta wheels and part-wheels are not quite as inefficient as boxes, they still leave room for improvement, which brings us to our preferred exacta betting strategy.
Triple Crown Horse Betting Tools
The excitement of horse race betting is generally amplified only a few times per year, when the hype of the Triple Crown races dominate the headlines.
The Kentucky Derby odds bring the initial excitement in May, which is followed two weeks later by the Preakness Stakes and then capped with the Belmont Stakes in June. These are the three premier horse races each season and can turn into a lucrative proposition for horse betting winners.
Whether you are a bigger fan of gambling or the horses, these events combine the two seamlessly. Betting on horse racing brings an excitement that is tough to match, as the race is filled with intensity from start to finish as the lead changes hands multiple times.
Off track horse betting is easily one of world's most popular sports, and the action at Saratoga is nothing short of exhilarating.
Bet on any of regular races during the season, or better yet, bet on the ponies during a major Triple Crown horse races or handicap events.
Horse racing is truly a magnificent sport that has stood the test of time.
Be sure to get your Travers Stakes Horse bets down early at Bookmaker sportsbook, because the Saratoga Race Course action is here.
Sign up now for your free horse racing account, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
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