Betting horse is all about getting the most value for your dollar. Often when you bet you should bet against yourself particularly in exotic wagering.
A QUINELLA wager is picking the first two horses in the race. For example:
You like the 7 horse and the 2 horse in the race. You wager a $2 quinella on the 7 and 2.
Your horse can come in 2-7 or 7-2 and you win the wager.
An EXACTA is picking the horses in exact (hence the word EXACT-a) order of finish. You bet a $2 exacta on the same horses, 7 and 2. The order of finish has to be 7 and 2. If it comes in 2-7 you lose the wager.
You can EXACTA BOX the horses, which allows the horses to come in either way; 7-2 or 2-7. The difference will be in the cost. A $2 wager for an exacta box is $4.
So now, you may be asking; why not just bet a quinella, it is the same wager, only cheaper? You would be correct, but the payout is different. Exacta is 2x that of a quinella. The 7-2 quinella pays $14.80, the exacta will pay $29.60.
I always box the exacta.
I also like to box three horse in an exacta. 7-2-1 are my horse. A three-horse box of 7-2-1 for $2 will cost $12. This means any of those three horses can come in 1st and 2nd and I win. If I am, having a good day I will up this is a $5 wager that will cost me $30, but if I win, I get the exacta 2.5 times.
I mentioned above about “betting against yourself.” This is necessary at some points in wagering. You may exacta box the 7 and 2. Why not take a small amount of money and do ALL over the 7 and ALL over the 2? If a long shot happens to win the race, (exactly why you do this wager) you will make your money back and more.
This all depends on your wallet and how many horses are in the race of course, but let us say you have $20 on you and there are nine horses in a race. You exacta box two horses (7&2) for the cost of $4. You have $16 remaining. If you did ALL over the 7 for $1, it would cost you $8 and ALL over the 2 would be another $8. Now you are covering your wager in case both your horses get beat. The total cost of all three wagers is $20.
Yes, there is the risk of the 7 and the 2 not coming in the money or one of them winning the race and the other not coming in second, but that’s why it is called gambling.
Betting against yourself is particularly effective in TRIPLE wagering.