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Horse Wager

Wagering on horse races is generally based on Parimutuel wagering (from the French language: pari mutuel, mutual betting). Parimutuel wagering is a system in which all wagers of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and a house take are removed, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all placed bets.

All horse wagers are placed based on the numbers assigned to a horse by the track. These numbers are printed beside the name of the horse on the race program. "Scratches" are horses that have been withdrawn from a race. No wagers are sold on these horses. Wagers are refundable on late scratches unless the wager specifically states otherwise.

Types of Horse Wagers

Straight bet, Single or Win Wager
This is the simplest and most common horse wager. You wager on a race winner at given odds. You collect if your chosen horse is the first to cross the finish line.

Place
A place wager is a wager on a horse to finish either first or second. This means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first or second.

Show
A show wager is a wager on a horse to finish either first, second or third. This means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first, second or third.

Combination Bet
Combinations cover from two to four horses to cross the finish line in a chosen order.

Pick 3
This wager requires the player to pick the winners of three consecutive races. Some race tracks have a rolling pick 3 which is when the player must pick three races in a row and it continues for the next three races.

Pick 6
This wager requires the player to select the winner of six consecutive races prior to the first race of the pick six. Some tracks place the pick six as the first six races, the middle six races, or the last six races. Many tracks have carry over pools for the pick six that can grow to as high as a million dollars.

The Daily Double
The daily double is a wager on the winner of the first and second race. You win if you pick the winner of the first and second race. Your bet must be placed before the start of the first race.

Quiniela (known as Reverse Forecast in the UK)
You win if you pick two horses that finish first and second, in either order, in any single race.

Quiniela Double
Quiniela Double is a combination bet of two winning quinielas in the last two races. Select two horses to win and place, in either order, in each of the last two races. You must win both quinielas to win your Quiniela Double.

Quiniela Wheel
You can also 'wheel' a favorite horse, so that it is combined with all the other horses. Based on the $2 value, the total cost of a wheel with say, 6 other horses is $12. For example; if you wheel #2 with 6 other horses in the same race and #2 comes in first or second, you win because you have all the 6 combinations covered.

Perfecta or Exacta (known as Straight Forecast in the UK)
The Perfecta is similar to the Quiniela, except the two horses must finish in the exact order.

Straight Trifecta (known as Tricast or Treble Forecast in the UK)
Pick the first three horses to cross the finish line in exact order.

Superfecta
The straight superfecta is played by picking the first four horses to finish in exact order.