The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By HRI Foreign Staff — Would you like to better understand the 7 Common Types of Horse Racing Bets in the US? You’ve come to the right place.

Horse racing in the United States offers bettors a wide selection when it comes to bets, stretching from a simple win bet up to Pick 6, the white whale of races. If you are still a beginner in this field, equip yourself with the basics of the betting menu, which is Win, Place, and Show (WPS). These are straightforward types of bets.

Meanwhile, as the years pass by, more complicated bets, also called the “exotics,” have kept bettors on their toes at the race tracks. The exotic bets consist of two main types, horizontal and vertical. Learn more about each type of bet that you’ll most likely meet as you explore the ever-growing wagering landscape.


Straight win bets remain the most popular type of bet in every racebook. This type of bet is straightforward and one of the simplest horse race bets ever in America. What you need to do is pick a horse and bet on it.

The minimum amount you can wager in a Win bet will cost you around $2 only. So, for instance, your horse places 2-1. You receive $4, less the track fees like breakage and takeout. The total amount that you can collect for your winning is strictly settled by the race odds of the horse you choose to place your money on. Thus, if you want more info on racing odds, you can visit online bookmaker sites to have an edge in betting.


Despite being a poor wager among the choices, Place bet remains a popular choice for many bettors. This is because this type of wager allows you to bet on a horse that will most likely place second or better in the races. And you should also know that a Place wager pays far less than a straight bet does.

But there are instances where Place wagering can be advantageous, too. For example, betting on an odds-on race favorite is among the few Place bets that return a good amount of profit every year without requiring any handicap. Though this can be a risky way to bet on horse racing, proper research beforehand may come in handy.


All the bettors that you know of might discourage you into placing your bet on a Show wager, but, regardless, this type of bet remains popular among horse race enthusiasts. The payout for a Show wager only ranges from $0.20 to $2! Here, you will only pick a horse that might finish third or give you a winning ticket at the end of the race. 


Exacta wagering is one of the first exotic bets ever introduced to bettors across the United States. This type of bet is a vertical exotic where you must pick the first two horses that finish the races in consecutive order. Bettors have loved Exacta because it lets you pick two of your favorite horses and hope they’ll give you a win!

When playing Exacta, it is best to have a key horse in mind. In this particular betting strategy, you have to pick one horse more likely to win and then submit several Exacta tickets with the other horses you think will place second. The average profit for this wager may go up to $20.


Along with Exacta, Trifecta is also one of the oldest exotic bets played in the US. In this type of bet, you will pick three horses that are most likely to finish first, second, and third, in exact order. The payout for a Trifecta bet may amount to as high as $1000 if the horse combination includes the long odds.

Daily Double

Daily Double must be the most recognizable wagering type among the choices offered at the race tracks. This type of exotic bet will require you to choose the horses that are most likely to win in the two consecutive horse races. These races usually are the first and second ones on the card.

On a daily average, you can receive a profit of about $15 in a Daily Double bet. This may be a small amount, but it is much better than a $1-profit wager. So, if you are only betting for fun and just want to live stream the races, this type of bet is the most suitable option for you.

Pick 3

Pick 3 wagering is a multi-race bet that requires the picking of the winner of three different races. For instance, you make a Pick 3 bet on races 5, 6, and 7. Most race tracks provide a rolling Pick 3 that starts around the second race after a Daily Double.

Rolling Pick 3 means that the wager is set to start again whenever a new race begins and will continue until all the final three races on the card have commenced already. The payout for this type of wager may amount up to $100.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing more exhilarating for every bettor than placing a bet on a horse and getting the right results. That is why it is necessary to know the different types of horse bets. Not only do you enjoy the races, but you also receive profit when it’s already time to go home!

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *