Exacta Horse Betting
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 a race in which a heavy favorite makes win betting a poor value proposition. Let’s look at exacta horse betting and some examples to consider.
Straight Exacta Betting
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 two 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
Exacta Wheels and Exacta Part-Wheels
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.