Straight bet or Single or Win bet: This is the simplest and most common bet. You bet on a winner at given odds. You collect only if your chosen horse is the first across the finish line.
Place: A wager for place means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first or second.
Show: The third horse across the finish line. A wager to show means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first, second or third.
Combination Bet: Combinations cover from two to four horses to win in 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: You win if you pick the winner of the first and second race. To bet you say “$2 daily double on 3 (your pick to win in the first race) and 5 (your pick to win in the second race)”. Your bet must be placed before the start of the first race.
Quiniela: (Reverse Forecast, UK) You win if you pick two horses that finish first and second, in either order, in any single race. To bet you say “$2 quiniela, numbers 5 and 6”. If the results of the first two horses are either 5-6 or 6-5, you win.
Quiniela Box: Pick three or more horses. You win if any two of your selections finish first and second. To bet you say “$2 quiniela box on 4, 5 and 6”. You are making three separate bets so your minimum bet is $6. If they finish 4-5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-5, 5-4 or 5-6 you win. You can box as few as three or as many as the field.
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: (Straight Forecast, UK) The Perfecta is similar to the Quiniela, except the two horses must finish in the exact order. To bet you say “$3 Perfecta, 5-6”. Only if the horses finish 5-6 you win.
Perfecta Box: As with the quiniela box, except the two horses must finish in the exact order. To bet you say “$2 perfecta box on 4,5 and 6”. You are making six separate bets so your minimum bet is $12. If they finish 4-5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-5, 5-4 or 5-6 you win. With Perfecta Box, for each extra horse you add to the box the possible combinations get compunded and your number of bets increases accordingly. A “$2 perfecta box on 4 horses” will cost you $24 (12 bets), a “$2 perfecta box on 5 horses” $40 (20 bets), and a “$2 perfecta box on 6 horses ” $60 (30 bets).
Straight Trifecta: (Tricast or Treble Forecast, UK) Pick the first three horses to cross the finish line in exact order. To bet you say “$2 trifecta numbers 7,4 and 5”. Only if they finish 7-4-5 you win.
$1 Trifecta Box: Pick three horses to finish first, second and third, in any order. To bet you say “$1 trifecta box 2,3 and 5”. You are actually making six $1 bets, so your total bet is $6. If they finish 2-3-5, 2-5-3, 3-2-5, 3-5-2, 5-2-3 or 5-3-2; you win.
$1 Trifecta Key: Pick your favorite horse to win, then two or more others to place and show in any order. To bet you say “$1 trifecta key on 1 with 2 and 3”. You are actually making two $1 bets so your total bet is $2. To win your Key horse must win and the other two must finish either 1-2-3 or 1-3-2.
Superfecta: The straight superfecta is played by picking the first four horses to finish in exact order. To bet you say “$2 straight superfecta 1-3-2-8”. You would collect if the race finishes exactly 1-3-2-8.
Off-track betting (OTB) : A system of placing bets away from a racetrack.At legal off-track betting parlors, if bettors win, they have to pay the parlor a surcharge taken directly from the winnings. Bettors in New York can avoid paying the surcharges by placing their bets via an off-track betting corporation’s account wagering service or at so-called super branches or teletheatres that charge a daily admission fee. Other jurisdictions such as Pennsylvania do not levy a surcharge on winnings.
You can Box, Key or Wheel most of the above bets.
Note: Different countries and different race tracks may have different rules, use different terms for how to bet and also for the types of bets. If unsure, ask the sportsbook or bookmaker when placing a bet.