The following is a discussion of Exactas betting. Successful exacta bettors can win solid amounts of money. The exacta bet is much safer than the Trifecta or Superfecta bet. Further, Exacta Betting variants are even safer.
Straight EXACTA BET
The Straight Exacta Bet is a wager on the horse that will place first followed by the horse that will place second in a race. The horses must finish in the order you specified, meaning first and second position consecutively.
Otherwise, you lose your wager completely. Exacta bets are safer than making trifecta or superfecta wagers because you only need to pick the top two horses in order compared to three or four horses in order. If you want to decrease your risk even more and improve your odds of winning, read on about exacta box betting and exacta wheel betting.
Sample procedure for how to make an Straight Exacta Bet from a horse racebook
Example: $2 Straight Exacta Bet
Most exacta bets cost $2 at minimum. If you’re betting an exacta for the first time, bet the lowest amount possible – usually $2 – until you’re more comfortable making exacta wagers.
Example Bet: $2 Straight Exacta Bet on Horses 12-4 means you are betting $2 that horses 12 and 4 will finish first and second in consecutive order, respectively.
Exacta Betting Variant #1: Exacta Box Betting
Unlike a straight Exacta bet, Exacta Box betting involves picking the top two horses that will finish the race in ANY order. Exacta Box betting improves your chances of being successful because the order in which the horses finish is unimportant.
There’s one small catch: Exacta Box bets cost more than a straight Exacta bet. Each possible winning combination of your Exacta Box bet costs $1. So, if you have a 3 horse Exacta Box bet, there are 6 possible finishing combinations of 3 horses. Therefore, your Exacta Box bet will cost $1 per combination, for a total of $6. The $6 amount is usually the minimum wager required to make a Exaccta Box Bet. There’s no such thing as a two horse Exacta Box bet, because that is actually a Quinella bet, discussed on another page of our site.
Example: $1 Exacta Box Bet
A $1 Exacta Box bet on horses 13-2-9 means that there are 6 different possible winning combinations in which these horses can finish. Therefore, your cost is $1 per combination, for a total of $6. The bet wins if horses 13, 2, or 9 finish in the top 2 in any order.
Exacta Box Combinations on horses 13, 2, and 9 at $1 each:
Finishing 13-2 = $1
Finishing 2-13 = $1
Finishing 13-9 = $1
Finishing 9-13 = $1
Finishing 9-2 = $1
Finishing 2-9 = $1
Total 3 Horse Exacta Box = $6
Exact Betting Variant #2: Exacta Wheel Betting
The Exact Wheel bet involves keying in a horse OR horses into the race’s eventual first and second place positions. Exacta Wheel betting is much less risky than a straight exacta bet because you are allowed to select more than 2 horses to finish in the top two positions in the exact order you specify. Exacta Wheel betting requires a specific order of multiple horses, whereas exacta box betting requires any order of any 2 horses.
The Exacta "Key" Concept
Understanding "keying" horses into your Exacta Wheel is crucial to making a successful bet.
First, start with the first place position. Select a horse or set of horses that can place first in your wager. For example, if horses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are in a horse race, you could choose any one of the six to place first OR some combination of the six to place first.
Example 1st Horse Key is: Horses 4 & 1
This means when the race has finished, if horse 4 OR horse 1 places first, your first place exacta wheel key will be successful.
Next, pick your horse or horses that will place second, using the same procedure as the first key. You can pick any of the horses to fill your second and third keys.
Example 2nd Horse Key is: Horses 2, 5, 6
This means when the race has finished, if horse 2 OR horse 5 OR horse 6 places second, your second place exacta wheel key will be successful.
Example Winning Combination with our Keys: 4 & 6
Given the keys we created above, a race result of horse 4 placing first and horse 6 placing second the bet would win.
Example Losing Combination with our Keys: 2 & 3
Given the keys we created above, a race result of horse 2 placing first and horse 3 placing second would equal a losing bet, because we did not include these horses in the correct order in our first and second keys.
Exacta Wheel Bets Cost $1 Per Possible Finishing Combination
Consider the following examples, where we’ve keyed select horses into the first and second place positions; and how much the total bet would cost considering all of the possible finishing combinations.
Example 1: You believe horse 12 or 7 will win the race, and those horses are your first key. Next, you believe one of horses 8, 4, or 13 will finish second, and that set is your second key.
Exacta Example #1 Wheel Combinations on horses 12 or 7 to place first, then 8-4-13 to place second, at $1 each:
Finishing 12-8 = $1
Finishing 12-4 = $1
Finishing 12-13 = $1
Finishing 7-8 = $1
Finishing 7-4 = $1
Finishing 7-13 = $1
Total Wager = $6
Example 2: You believe either horse 5 or 11 will win followed by one of 4-1-3-9-2 in second.
Exacta Example #2 Wheel Combinations on horses 5-11 winning and 4-1-3-9-2 placing second at $1 each:
Finishing 5-4 = $1
Finishing 5-1 = $1
Finishing 5-3 = $1
Finishing 5-9 = $1
Finishing 5-2 = $1
Finishing 11-4 = $1
Finishing 11-1 = $1
Finishing 11-3 = $1
Finishing 11-9 = $1
Finishing 11-2 = $1
Total Wager = $10
Exacta Betting Reference Examples:
3 horse $1 Exacta Box = $6 Wager
4 horse $1 Exacta Box = $12 Wager
5 horse $1 Exacta Box = $20 Wager
6 horse $1 Exacta Box = $30 Wager
7 horse $1 Exacta Box = $42 Wager
8 horse $1 Exacta Box = $56 Wager
Exacta Wheel, with one horse key and various other horses
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 3 horses = $3 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 4 horses = $4 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 5 horses = $5 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 6 horses = $6 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 7 horses = $7 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 8 horses = $8 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 9 horses = $9 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 10 horses = $10 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 1 horse with 11 horses = $11 Wager
Exacta Wheel, with two horse key and various other horses
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 3 horses = $6 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 4 horses = $8 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 5 horses = $10 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 6 horses = $12 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 7 horses = $14 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 8 horses = $16 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 9 horses = $18 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 10 horses = $20 Wager
$1 exacta wheel 2 horse with 11 horses = $22 Wager