Most professional sports handicappers make their money using exotic bets. In a previous article I reviewed the more basic bets for beginners and here we'll check out some of the more complex and challenging betting strategies.


The exacta bet requires to better to call which horses will come in first and second place. If you choose to bet 'straight' the horses must come in the order you call. If you choose to 'box' the exacta you simply call two horses and you will win if they are the first two to complete the race in any order. It's important to remember that the exacta box will not pay out much if you choose the two favored horses in the race since the odds won't be in your favor. Especially if you choose to box the exacta, you will need to identify a race in which you believe there is a 'sure thing' and a potential winner who has better odds (10-1 or more).


The trifecta bet comes in two varities: straight and boxed. When making a trifecta bet you are claiming the horses who will come in first, second and third place. A straight trifecta will require you to predict the top three in exact order. If you choose to 'box' the trifecta, you will win if the three you choose come in as the first three in any order. Important to remember is that if you box the trifecta it will cost you more since you are essentially making more bets. The straight trifecta will pay out much more since it's a much more difficult bet to call. Many amateur betters choose to put a 'sure thing' horse in a trifecta box along with some potential winners who have better odds.


Like the previous two 'fectas', I'm sure you can predict the purpose of the superfecta. This bet requires the better to predict the top 4 winners of a given race. If you play the superfecta 'straight' the horses will need to come in the exact order you call. If you 'box' the superfecta the four horses you choose can be the first four horses in any order. The same conditions apply here in that the box costs more and pays out less.

Daily Double

The daily double is a very fun bet to place and is often available for the track minimum bet of $2. This bet requires you to call the winners of two consecutive races. Most often tracks will not allow the Daily Double during the last two races or for some 'featured' races at the track. The track program will have information regarding the races eligible for the Daily Double.

Surprisingly, there are still more exotic bets to make a the track. I encourage you to make some small exotic bets to try and understand how they work. I'm sure you'll have fun.


A day at the track.