Commonly Used Horse Racing Gambling Terms
Are you a newbie to betting on the horses? Browse our list of definitions for horse racing gambling terms.
For the people who are new to horse racing here are some commonly used gambling terms.
Account wagering – Betting by internet or phone, in which a bettor must open an account and deposit money with which to bet.
Pari-mutuel – System of wagering where all the money is returned to the bettors after deduction of track and state percentages.
Handle – Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutuel system on a race, full day of races, or entire racing season at a track.
Bounce – An especially poor performance on the heels of an especially good one.
Chalk – Betting favorite in a race.
Chalk player – Gambler who wagers on favorites.
In the money – A horse that finishes first, second or third.
Key horse – A single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic bet.
Morning line – The starting odds set by the track handicapper.
On the board – Finishing among the first three.
On the nose – Betting a horse to win only.
Parlay – A multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on a succeeding race.
Part wheel – Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations.
Exotic (bet) – Any bet other than win, place, or show that requires multiple combinations. Examples of exotic wagers are trifecta, Pick 6, Pick 4.
Win – A bet on a horse to finish first.
Place bet – A bet on a horse to finish first or second.
Show bet – A bet on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.
Across the board – A bet on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one-way, losing the win and place bets. Actually, three bets.
Exacta – A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be picked.
Quinella – Bet in which the first two finishers must be picked in either order.
Trifecta – A bet in which the first three finishers must be selected in exact order.
Box – A betting term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered horses.
Trifecta box – A trifecta wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet upon.
Exacta box – A wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are selected.
Pick (6 or other number) – A type of multi-race bet in which the winners of all the included races must be selected. Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6 are commonly used by tracks in the United States.
Daily Double (or Double) – Type of bet calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races.
Speed Figure or Buyer Figure – A metric that rates a horse’s performance in a race, which is determined by a combination of the horse’s performance and the level of competition he/she competed against.
Underlay – Horse whose odds are more promising than his potential to win.
Overlay – A horse whose odds are greater than its potential to win.
Wheel – Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key.
Bridge jumper – A person who wagers large amounts of money, usually on short- priced horses to show, hoping to realize a small but almost certain profit. The term comes from the structure those bettors may seek if they lose the bet. We prefer not to use this term literally.