what is an exacta in horse racing

An exacta in horse racing is a type of bet where you predict the first and second place finishers in a race, in the exact order. To win an exacta bet, you must correctly select both the winner and the runner-up. Exacta bets are more difficult to win than win bets or place bets, but they also offer higher payouts. The amount you win on an exacta bet depends on the odds of the horses you select and the amount you bet.

Meaning of an Exacta in Horse Racing

An exacta in horse racing is a wager where you attempt to predict the exact finishing order of the top two horses in a race. This bet is more difficult to win than a win bet, but it can also yield a higher payout. Here’s what you need to know about exactas:

How an Exacta Works

  • To place an exacta bet, you will need to select two horses.
  • The order in which you select the horses is important, as the horses must finish in the exact order you predicted.
  • If both of your horses finish in the top two positions, regardless of their order, you will win the exacta bet.

Exacta Box

An exacta box is a type of exacta bet that allows you to cover multiple possible finishing orders. For example, if you bet an exacta box on horses 1 and 2, you will win if either of the following scenarios occur:

  • Horse 1 finishes first and horse 2 finishes second.
  • Horse 2 finishes first and horse 1 finishes second.

Exacta Payouts

The payout for an exacta bet will vary depending on the horses you select and the odds of the race. In general, the more difficult the exacta is to win, the higher the payout will be.


Let’s say you are betting on a race with the following odds:


If you bet an exacta on horses 1 and 2, the payout would be as follows:

Horse 1 finishes first, horse 2 finishes second$12.20
Horse 2 finishes first, horse 1 finishes second$12.20

Exacta Betting in Horse Racing: A Guide to Picking the Top Two Finishers

In horse racing, an exacta bet is a wager where punters correctly predict the first and second-place finishers of a race, in the exact order. As a popular ante-post bet type, it offers potentially lucrative payouts but also requires a certain level of skill and knowledge.

Understanding Exacta Bets

  • Selecting Horses: Punters must choose two horses from the race.
  • Exact Order: The horses must finish in the specified order, not just within the top two positions.
  • Payouts: Exacta bets typically pay out higher odds than other bet types due to the increased difficulty of predicting two finishers.

Types of Ante Bets

  • Straight Exacta: A wager on a specific first and second-place combination in the exact order.
  • Box Exacta: A bet that covers all possible combinations of the two selected horses finishing in the top two spots.
  • Key Exacta: A wager where one horse is designated as the key horse and the bettor picks multiple horses to finish second.
  • Reverse Exacta: Similar to a straight exacta, but the horses can finish in either first or second place.

Tips for Successful Exacta Betting

While there is no guaranteed formula for success, here are some tips to improve your chances:

  • Study the racehorses’ form and recent performances.
  • Consider the track conditions and jockey’s form.
  • Look for value bets by analyzing the odds and comparing them to your own predictions.
  • Manage your bankroll responsibly and bet within your limits.


Horse A3/1
Horse B5/2
Horse C2/1

If you place a $10 exacta bet on Horse A to win and Horse B to place, and they finish in that order, you would receive a payout of:

  • $10 x 3 (Horse A’s odds) = $30
  • x 5 (Horse B’s odds) = $150

Net payout: $150

An Exacta in Horse Racing

An exacta bet in horse racing is a wager where you predict the exact order of the top two finishers in a race. It’s one of the most popular types of bets because it offers a higher payout than win or place bets, but it’s also more difficult to win, as you have to correctly predict not only the winner but also the runner-up.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Ante post betting odds are offered for major races well in advance of the event. These odds are based on the horse’s past performances, its current form, and the strength of the field. As the race approaches, the odds may change depending on how the horse is performing in its workouts and how much betting action it’s receiving.

  • Ante post betting odds can be a good way to get a better price on a horse that you think is going to win.
  • However, it’s important to note that these odds can change significantly in the lead-up to the race, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re getting the best possible price.

How to Place an Exacta Bet

To place an exacta bet, you simply need to select the two horses that you think will finish first and second in the race. You can do this by visiting a racetrack or by betting online. When you place your bet, you will need to specify the amount of money that you want to wager.

Exacta Payouts

The payouts for exacta bets vary depending on the track and the betting pool. However, the general rule is that the more popular the horses you select, the lower the payout. For example, if you bet on two heavily favored horses, you will likely get a lower payout than if you bet on two long shots.

$10Two heavily favored horses
$50One heavily favored horse and one long shot
$100Two long shots

Ante Post Betting Strategies

Ante post betting is a type of wagering that allows you to place a bet on a horse to win a race at a later date. This can be a great way to get better odds on a horse that you think is a good bet, as the odds will often be higher before the race than they will be on the day of the race.

There are a few different ante post betting strategies that you can use, depending on your budget and your risk tolerance. One common strategy is to bet on a horse that you think is a good value bet. This means that you think the horse is a good chance to win the race, but that the odds are too high.

Another strategy is to bet on a horse that you think is going to be a popular choice. This can be a good way to get a good return on your investment, as the odds will likely be lower on the day of the race than they will be when you place your bet.

Here are some tips for ante post betting:

  • Do your research. Before you place any bets, make sure you do your research and understand the horses and the race. This will help you make informed decisions about which horses to bet on.
  • Set a budget. It’s important to set a budget for yourself before you start betting. This will help you avoid getting in over your head financially.
  • Place your bets early. The odds will often be higher before the race than they will be on the day of the race, so it’s a good idea to place your bets early.
  • Don’t chase your losses. If you lose a bet, don’t try to chase your losses by betting more money. This is a surefire way to lose even more money.
  • Have fun. Ante post betting can be a lot of fun, so make sure you enjoy the experience.
  • Recommended Ante Post Betting Strategies

    Value BettingLook for horses whose odds are higher than their chances of winning

    • Higher potential return
    • Opportunity to find undervalued horses
    • Less likely to win
    • Requires more research
    Favorite BettingBet on the favorite horse in the race
    • Higher chance of winning
    • More likely to get a good return on investment
    • Lower potential return
    • Less chance of finding value
    Longshot BettingBet on a horse with low odds of winning
    • High potential return
    • Chance to find a hidden gem
    • Less likely to win
    • More risky

    And that’s a wrap on our quick dive into the world of exactas in horse racing! I hope you enjoyed the ride and gained some valuable insights. Next time you’re at the track or making your picks online, don’t forget to give the exacta bet a try. It’s a great way to add some extra thrill to the race and potentially increase your chances of winning. Thanks for reading, and be sure to stay tuned for more horse racing tips and insights. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the prize, and happy betting!