what is a exacta in horse racing

An exacta wager in horse racing requires bettors to correctly predict the first and second-place finishers in the exact order. Unlike a win bet, which only requires selecting the winning horse, an exacta bet demands accuracy in both positions. It’s a more challenging bet, but it also offers higher potential payouts. The difficulty of predicting not just the winner but also the runner-up increases the risk for bettors, but it correspondingly increases the potential rewards.

Exacta in Horse Racing

An exacta is a type of bet in horse racing where you predict the exact order of finish for the top two horses in a race. It’s a popular bet among seasoned bettors due to its higher payout potential compared to other bet types.

Selecting the Exact Order of Finish

Selecting the exact order of finish involves careful analysis of several factors:

  • Recent Performance: Review the horses’ recent race records to assess their current form and consistency.
  • Jockey and Trainer: Consider the skill and experience of the jockey and trainer involved, as they can influence the horse’s performance.
  • Post Position: The starting position of the horse can impact its chances of a favorable start and avoiding traffic.
  • Track Conditions: The surface and weather conditions on race day can affect the horses’ performance, especially in races involving turf or dirt.
  • Pace and Trip: Analyze the likely pace of the race and the horse’s preferred running style to determine how it will stack up against the competition.

By combining these factors, you can develop an informed prediction about the exact order of finish. Remember, horse racing involves a high degree of unpredictability, so it’s essential to approach exacta betting with a realistic understanding of the potential risks and rewards.

Exacta Payout Structure

Exactas: A Guide

An exacta is a wager in which you must select the first and second-place finishers in a race in the exact order. It’s considered a more challenging type of bet, as you need to correctly predict not only the winner but also the runner-up. However, this challenge comes with potentially higher payouts.

Payouts and Odds for Exactas

The payouts and odds for exactas vary depending on several factors, including the difficulty of the race, the number of horses entered, and the amount of money wagered. Generally, the payouts are higher for races with a larger field of horses, as it’s more difficult to predict both the winner and runner-up correctly.

  • Straight exacta: In a straight exacta, you select both the first and second-place finishers in the exact order.
  • Box exacta: A box exacta allows you to choose multiple horses for either the first or second-place position. For example, you could box the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd horses to cover all possible combinations where those horses finish 1st and 2nd.
Exacta Odds and Payouts
Bet TypeOddsPayout
Straight exacta10-1$100 for a $1 bet
Box exacta (2 horses)5-1$50 for a $1 bet
Box exacta (3 horses)2-1$20 for a $1 bet

What is an Exacta Bet in Horse Racing?

In horse racing, an exacta bet is a wager where you predict the first and second-place finishers of a race in the correct order. It’s a popular bet type because it offers potentially high payouts, especially if your selections aren’t favored to win.

To place an exacta bet, you simply select the two horses you believe will finish first and second, in that order. The odds for an exacta bet are determined by the probability of your selections finishing in the top two spots. The higher the odds, the more difficult it is to predict the correct order, and the higher your potential payout.

Boxed Exactas

A boxed exacta wager is a variation that allows you to select more than two horses to finish first and second. With a boxed exacta bet, you are essentially creating multiple exacta bets, one for each combination of your selected horses finishing in the top two spots.

The advantage of boxing your exacta bets is that it increases your chances of winning, but it also comes with a higher cost. The more horses you box, the greater the number of possible combinations, and the more expensive the bet will be.

Wheeled Exactas

A wheeled exacta wager is another variation that allows you to select more than two horses for first place but only one horse for second place. The advantage of a wheeled exacta bet is that it gives you more flexibility than a boxed exacta while still increasing your chances of winning.

With a wheeled exacta bet, you select one horse to finish first and multiple horses to finish second. This means that you win if your first selection finishes first and any of your second selections finish second.


The payout for an exacta bet varies depending on the track, the race, and the odds. However, generally speaking, the higher the odds, the higher the payout.

The following table shows the payouts for different exacta odds:





Exactas in Horse Racing

An exacta is a type of bet in horse racing where you predict the first two finishers in the correct order. It’s a more challenging bet than a win or place bet, but it also pays out at higher odds.

Strategy Considerations for Exactas

  • Look for horses with a history of finishing in the top two.
  • Consider the track conditions and the jockey’s experience.
  • Calculate the odds of different exacta combinations.
  • Box your exacta bet to increase your chances of winning.

Boxing an exacta means betting on all possible combinations of two horses finishing first and second. For example, if you box the horses #1 and #3, you are betting on the following combinations:


Boxing an exacta will cost you more than a straight exacta bet, but it also increases your chances of winning.

Exactas can be a fun and rewarding bet to make, but it’s important to understand the strategies involved before you start betting. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of winning.

Alright folks, that’s all there is to know about the exacta. Thanks for sticking with me through all the horse racing jargon. I hope you’re able to use this knowledge to your advantage the next time you’re watching the races. In the meantime, if you want to get your fill of other sports betting topics, be sure to check out our other articles. We’ve got everything from betting on football to playing the lottery. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, happy betting!