The exotic bets in horse racing are where the big money lies and with such big payouts comes a great deal of excitement.  The exotic bets are a little bit more complicated than the standard win/place/show bets, but once you understand them they can offer some huge payouts if you pick the right horses.  Below you will find explanations of a wide variety of exotic horse bets.  Not all of these bets will be offered for every race, but if they are at least you will know what they mean.

Single Race Exotics

Exacta – An exacta involves betting on the horses to finish first and second, in that order.  This is generally the easiest exotic bet to win, but it will still return a pretty penny.

Quinella – A quinella is similar to an exacta in that you pick two horses, the difference being that they can finish in either position.  It is basically the same as betting two exacta’s, but swapping which horses comes first or second in each.

Trifecta – For this bet to payout you must pick the horses to come in first, second and third in that order.  As you can imagine, trifecta’s are very difficult to win, but if you hit your horses you will receive a large sum of cash.

Superfecta – This is the ridiculously hard to win exotic bet that pays out like the lottery.  The superfecta involves picking horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in that order.  It is not uncommon to hear of Superfecta’s paying out upwards of $50,000 off a $2 bet.

Multiple-Race Bets

Daily Double – This bet is similar to the exacta in that you must choose two horses to come in specific positions, but the difference is the two horses are not running in the same race.  The daily double involves picking the winning horse in back to back races.

Pick 3 – To win a pick 3 bet you must pick the winning horse in 3 consecutive races.

Pick 4 – To win a pick 4 bet you must pick the winning horse in 4 consecutive races.

Pick 6 – To win a huge pick 6 bet you must pick the winning horse in 6 consecutive races.  This is generally considered an even more difficult bet to win than the Superfecta, but if you get it right you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Exotic Betting Options

Wheels – A wheel bet is a good option when you are confident in a horse to win, but want to add other horses for the exotic bets.  A full wheel is when you bet on a horse to win and then add every other horse to the exotic bet, while a partial wheel is when you select a horse to win and then you choose a select few other horses to add to the various exotic bets.

Boxes – When you ‘box’ a bet you are betting on every permutation of your selected horses.  For example, if you fill out a Trifecta bet with horse A finishing 1st, horse B finishing 2nd and horse C finishing 3rd and then you box the bet you will be adding bets for the same three horses to finish in different positions (eg A-2nd, B-1st, C-3 and so on).