2022 Kentucky Derby Betting 101: How to Bet on Horse Racing & Terms to Know
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Horses compete in a race at Churchill Downs.
If you are new to horse racing or just need a refresher on how things work with the ponies, no worries.
We have a basic glossary of terms below to help you bet the ponies as we get ready for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Continue to follow The Action Network for complete, in-depth coverage and picks on this year’s Kentucky Derby from handicappers Andie Biancone and Jeremy Pond, who will provide their detailed thoughts and best bets.
Where to Bet on Horse Racing
Some state racing associations, NYRA for example, offer an app for users to place bets. There are OTBs (Off-Track Betting shops) around the states.
You could also go to any race track and bet on the Derby prep races — or any race around the country for that matter. And in some states, there are select bars with betting kiosks. My favorite spot to bet horses is Churchill’s in Rockville Centre, a beautiful village on Long Island.
You’re welcome to stop by any time.
Types of Bets: Exacta, Trifecta & More
There are plenty of ways to bet on horse racing, and while they are pretty simple once you get the hang of it, you may hear some weird track-slang thrown around. Here’s a quick rundown of the basics:
To Win: A bet on a particular horse to win. Easy enough, right?
To Place: A bet on a particular horse to finish second.
To Show: A wager on a particular horse to finish third.
Win, Place, Show: A bet on a particular horse to win, place (finish second) or show (finish third). In other words, if the horse you bet on finishes first, second or third you win.
Exacta: A bet on two horses to finish first and second, in order. In other words, if you bet an exacta with the No. 12 horse and No. 20 horse and punch in a 12/20 exacta, the No. 12 horse needs to finish first and the No. 20 horse needs to finish second. This is different from an exacta box (defined below). You can bet exactas with more than two horses.
Exacta Box: An exacta wager, but it doesn’t matter which horse finishes first and which finishes second. Example: If you play an exacta box with the No. 12, No. 20 and No. 7 horse and the No. 7 horse finishes first and the No. 20 horse finishes second, you’re a winner. There’s no limit to the number of horses you can place in an exacta box.
Trifecta: A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order. Basically, an exacta with three horses instead of two.
Trifecta Box: Same concept as the exacta box, except with the first three finishers: A trifecta wager where you don’t need your horses to finish in exact order to win. There’s no limit to the number of horses you can place in a trifecta box.
Superfecta: A bet in which you pick four horses to finish first, second, third and fourth in exact order.