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Wagering Information

 

Pari-mutuel Wagering


In pari-mutuel wagering, the bettors are wagering among themselves, not against the "house", as with casino-style gambling. A racetrack will offer various types of wagers that require the selection of a particular number of race animals to finish the race in particular places.

For example, to place a win wager, the bettor must select the race animal he or she believes will finish first. If making a "place" wager, the bettor will win if the race animals he or she selects finishes either first or second. Below is a description of the types of wagers available at Texas racetracks. Not all racetracks offer all of the wagers, however, and not all wagers are offered on every race.

 

Types of Wagers

 

Win
The bettor selects one race animal. The bet pays off if the animal selected finishes first.

Place
The bettor selects one race animal. The bet pays off if the animal selected finishes first or second.

Show
The bettor selects one race animal. The bet pays off if the animal selected finishes first, second, or third.

Quinella
The bettor selects two race animals. The bet pays off if the animals selected finish first and second, regardless of the order.

Exacta
The bettor selects two race animals. The bet pays off if the animals selected finish first and second, in the exact order designated by the bettor.

Trifecta
The bettor selects three race animals. The bet pays off if the animals selected finish first, second, and third, in the exact order designated by the bettor.

Superfecta
The bettor selects four race animals. The bet pays off if the animals selected finish first, second, third, and fourth, in the exact order designated by the bettor.

Daily Double
The bettor selects one race animal in each of two races designated as the Daily Double. The bet pays off if the animals selected win each of the two races.

Twin Trifecta
The bettor selects three race animals in each of two races designated as the Twin Trifecta. The bet pays off if the bettor has correctly designated the animals finishing first, second, and third, in exact order, in each of the two races.

Tri-Superfecta
The bettor selects three race animals in the first of two races designated for the Tri-Superfecta, and four animals in the second of the two races. The bet pays off if the bettor has correctly designated the animals finishing first, second, and third, in exact order, in the first race and the animals finishing first, second, third, and fourth in the second race, in exact order.

Pick "N" ( "n" represents the number of races involved in the wager)
The bettor selects one race animal in each of the several races designated as the Pick-"N". The bet pays off if the bettor correctly selects the winner of each of the races. Most often, this wager is offered as a Pick-3, involving 3 races, or a Pick-6, involving 6 races.

Odd-Even
The bettor selects either odd or even. The bet pays off if the post position number of the winning animal is the same type of number (odd or even) that the bettor selected.

Glossary of Wagering Terms


Across the board
A wager on a race animal to win, place, and show.

Bet down
A race animal whose odds drop due to the amount wagered on the animal.

Box
A group of wagers that cover all possible combinations of selected race animals.

Breakage
The odd pennies left over after a pari-mutuel pool is divided among the winning wagerers. A pool is usually divided in increments of 10 cents; the odd cents left over after that division is the breakage.

Combination
Multiple wagers for which a single ticket is issued.

Common pool
Combining the wagers placed at a guest racetrack with the pool created at the host racetrack for purposes of calculating odds and payoffs.

Daily double
A wager requiring the selection of the winners in two specified races.

Dead heat
When two or more race animal finish simultaneously.

Decoder
The electronic device required by a guest racetrack to unscramble the audio/video signal and wagering data transmitted from a host racetrack.

Encryption
Scrambling an audio/visual signal by a host racetrack to ensure it is unreadable and unusable except by authorized guest racetracks which have been provided a decoder.

Exacta
A wager requiring the selection of the two race animals finishing first and second, in exact order.

Exotic wager
A wager that involves more than one race animal or more than one race, such as the exacta, trifecta, and daily double.

Expired ticket/voucher
An outstanding ticket/voucher that was not presented for payment within the prescribed time period. In Texas, all outstanding tickets/vouchers expire at the close of business one year from date of issuance.

Favorite
The race animal with the lowest odds.

Field
Two or more race animals grouped as a single wagering interest when there are more entrants than positions the totalisator can accommodate.

Flat bet
Betting the same amount of money on each race.

Flat box
A box wager combining only two race animals.

Guest racetrack
A racetrack at which a simulcast race is received and offered for wagering purposes.

Host racetrack
A racetrack at which a race is conducted and simulcast for wagering purposes.

Hub
A central processing location for a totalisator company that services more than one wagering location.

In the money
Finishing first, second, or third.

Key
Wagering on multiple exotic combinations using several race animals with one or more animals designated in specific positions within the exotic combinations.

Manual merge
Combining the wagering data from a guest racetrack via telephone or fax when the computerized communication link between the guest and the host is lost.

Minus pool
When a race animal is so heavily wagered that not enough money is in the pool to pay off the legally prescribed minimum after the deduction of the state tax and commissions. In the case of a minus pool, the pool is divided among the winning wagerers in increments of 5 cents, rather than 10 cents.

Morning line
The probable odds on a race animal, determined by the track handicapper and printed in the program.

Mutuel pool
The amount wagered on a particular type of wager.

Net pool pricing
A method of calculating payoffs when the guest racetrack and the host racetrack have different takeout rates. This method is used primarily in Canada, but has been used in the United States at times.

Odds
The ratio that represents the probable payoff price in the win pool, based on the amount of money wagered on each race animal to win.

Odds-on
Odds of less than even money.

On the nose
Wagering on a race animal to win only.

Outstanding ticket
A mutuel ticket for a winning wager that is not cashed by the close of business on the day it was issued.

Pari-mutuel
A process of wagering in which the wagerers bet amongst themselves, instead of against the house.

Parlay
Wagering the total returns from one wager into another wager.

Patron
A member of the public at a racetrack to view the races or wager.

Payoff price
The amount paid to the winning wagerers, usually based on a $2 bet.

Pick-six
A wager requiring the selection of the winner in six races.

Place
Finishing second in a race. A place wager wins if the selected race animal finishes first or second.

Pool
The total amount wagered on a particular type of wager.

Quinella
A wager requiring the selection of the race animals finishing first and second, in either order.

Show
Finishing third in a race. A show wager wins if the selected race animal finishes first, second, or third.

Simulcast
The live television transmission of a race to other tracks and locations for the purpose of wagering.

Straight bet
A wager that requires the selection of only one animal, such as win, place, show, and odd-even.

Superfecta
A wager requiring the selection of the race animals finishing first, second, third, and fourth in exact order.

Take (takeout)
The percentage deducted from a mutuel pool before dividing it among the winning wagerers. The take is usually distributed according to statutory or contractual percentages among the state tax, purses, and the track's profit.

Totalisator
The computer system that dispenses and records all wagers and calculates the odds and payoffs of the wagering.

Trifecta
A wager requiring the selection of the race animals finishing first, second, and third in exact order.

Tri-superfecta
A wager requiring the selection of the trifecta in one race and the superfecta in a second race.

Twin trifecta
A wager requiring the selection of the trifecta in each of two races.

Wheel
When a wagerer keys one favorite race animal with all others in the race to wager on multiple combinations.

Win
Finishing first in a race.

 

Payoffs


The odds on a particular race animal determines the price paid on each dollar wagered if that animal wins. The chart below illustrates the approximate payoff on a $2 win wager at various odds.

Odds
Payoff
1-9
$2.20
1-5
$2.40
2-5
$2.80
1-2
$3.00
3-5
$3.20
4-5
$3.60
1-1
$4.00
6-5
$4.40
7-5
$4.80
3-2
$5.00
8-5
$5.20
9-5
$5.60
Odds
Payoff
2-1
$6.00
5-2
$7.00
3-1
$8.00
7-2
$9.00
4-1
$10.00
9-2
$11.00
5-1
$12.00
6-1
$14.00
7-1
$16.00
8-1
$18.00
9-1
$20.00
10-1
$22.00

 

Combination Bets


A combination bet consists of multiple wagers. The bettor increases the chances of a successful wager by selecting more animals than are required for the wager. The cost of a combination bet depends on the type of wager, the type of combination (box, key, or wheel), and the number of race animals included in the wager.

Box
For a boxed bet, the bettor selects multiple animals and wagers on every possible combination of the animals. For example, an exacta box bet using three animals is actually six different wagers, as illustrated below:

  • Wager 1: Animal A to win and Animal B to place
  • Wager 2: Animal B to win and Animal A to place
  • Wager 3: Animal A to win and Animal C to place
  • Wager 4: Animal C to win and Animal A to place
  • Wager 5: Animal B to win and Animal C to place
  • Wager 6: Animal C to win and Animal B to place

The cost of a box bet depends on the type of wager and the number of animals boxed, because that determines the number of combinations.

Quinella Box ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
3
3
$6
4
6
$12
5
10
$20
6
15
$30
7
21
$42
8
28
$56
Exacta Box ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
2
2
$4
3
6
$12
4
12
$24
5
20
$40
6
30
$60
7
42
$84
8
56
$112

 

Trifecta Box ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
3
6
$12
4
24
$48
5
60
$120
6
120
$240
7
210
$410
8
336
$672
Superfecta Box ($1 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
4
24
$24
5
120
$120
6
360
$360
7
840
$840
8
1680
$1680

 

Key
For a key bet, the bettor selects one animal to "key" with other selected animals. For example, a trifecta bet with one animal as key and three other animals is six different wagers:

  • Wager 1: Key Animal A to win, Animal B to place, and Animal C to show
  • Wager 2: Key Animal A to win, Animal B to place, and Animal D to show
  • Wager 3: Key Animal A to win, Animal C to place, and Animal B to show
  • Wager 4: Key Animal A to win, Animal C to place, and Animal D to show
  • Wager 5: Key Animal A to win, Animal D to place, and Animal B to show
  • Wager 6: Key Animal A to win, Animal D to place, and Animal C to show

 

Quinella Key ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
1 with 2 others
2
$4
1 with 3 others
3
$6
1 with 4 others
4
$8
1 with 5 others
5
$10
1 with 6 others
6
$12
1 with 7 others
7
$14
Exacta Key ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
1 with 2 others
2
$4
1 with 3 others
3
$6
1 with 4 others
4
$8
1 with 5 others
5
$10
1 with 6 others
6
$12
1 with 7 others
7
$14

 

Trifecta Key ($2 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
Key 1 with 2 others
2
$4
Key 1 with 3 others
6
$12
Key 1 with 4 others
12
$24
Key 1 with 5 others
20
$40
Key 1 with 6 others
30
$60
Key 1 with 7 others
42
$84
Superfecta Key ($1 bet)
# of Animals
# of Combinations
Cost of Bet
Key 1 with 3 others
6
$6
Key 1 with 4 others
24
$24
Key 1 with 5 others
60
$60
Key 1 with 6 others
120
$120
Key 1 with 7 others
210
$210

 

Wheel
A wheel bet is a type of "key" bet. The bettor selects one animal to "key" with all the other animals in the race. In a race with 8 animals, an exacta bet with one animal wheeled is 7 different wagers:

  • Wager 1: Key Animal A to win and Animal B to place
  • Wager 2: Key Animal A to win and Animal C to place
  • Wager 3: Key Animal A to win and Animal D to place
  • Wager 4: Key Animal A to win and Animal E to place
  • Wager 5: Key Animal A to win and Animal F to place
  • Wager 6: Key Animal A to win and Animal G to place
  • Wager 7: Key Animal A to win and Animal H to place

 

Page updated: 7/19/10

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