Learn to Bet: What Is an Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta

Learn to Bet: What Is an Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta

Betting on horses can be fun and exciting for even the casual bettor. What some don’t realize is there is potential for big winnings as the odds are much different than betting on a sporting event at an online sportsbook.

To give horse betting a boost, bettors can choose from a number of exotic bets including the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta.

For the average bettor, these bets might sound more complicated than they really are. They are simply a wager placed on more than one outcome. Mastering these exotic bets can produce even bigger winnings than on an individual horse.

Horse Racing Bets – The Basics

Less experienced horse bettors can get started with win-place-show bets. You can bet on a horse to win. The horse must finish in first place for the bet to pay out.

You can also do a place wager. Bettors win if their horse finishes in either of the top two places. A show bet pays out on your horse if it finishes in first, second, or third place. Win-place-show bets are perfect for recreational bettors. These wagers have a minimum bet of $2.


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What Is a Exacta Bet

Bettors can place an exacta wager by choosing two horses to come in first and second place. In order for the bet to win and pay out, the bettor must predict the correct order of finish.

Another exotic horse racing bet involves boxing the exacta. If you box the exacta, the two horses can finish in any order and you still win the bet. The catch is that it costs two times as much to box an exacta bet.

What Is a Trifecta Bet

As the name sounds, a trifecta bet involves choosing three horses. To win a trifecta bet, you must correctly pick the first, second, and third place winners in the exact order for the bet to payout.

Boxing a trifecta is also possible. If the three horse finish in the top three spots, the order does not matter. By boxing the bet, you still win. Again, it costs more to box the bet than to wager a straight trifecta.

Boxing a trifecta is more popular since it is a harder bet to hit. Bettors can also wheel a trifecta. If a bettor has a good idea of the horse that will win, choose the horse that will finish first and then “wheel” the other two choices. Don't make a beginners sports betting mistake.

The other two horses can finish in any order as long as they finish in second and third place. So, you pick the winner and then the two horses that will finish in second and third.


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What Is a Superfecta Bet

If you are following the number pattern, you may have figured out that a Superfecta is a bet on the first four horses to finish a race in the correct order. This is an extremely difficult bet to hit.

Oftentimes, bettors will box or wheel a superfecta because it is so hard to hit. Most tracks offer a superfecta bet at very low minimums, some as low as ten cents.

The payouts on a superfecta can be huge. At the 2018 Kentucky Derby for example, a $1 bet on Justify, Good Magic, Audible, and Instilled Regard paid out $19,618.20.