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What are some alternative ways to bet on horse races?

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Quick Answer

Alternatives to traditional horse racing win, place or show bets include compound bets and single bets on multiple horses. These bets have both advantages and disadvantages relative to traditional bets; some are more expensive with better odds of winning, while others have worse odds but are more affordable.

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Full Answer

A compound bet combines multiple win, place and show bets into a single wager. Common compound bets are win/place and place/show bets. A win/place bet pays both the win and place money if the horse wins the race, but only the place money if it comes in second. A place/show bet works the same way, but for a horse that finishes in second or third place. An across-the-board bet combines a traditional win, place and show bet for a large reward but a high entry price.

Exotic wagers are bets on multiple horses. The exacta and quinella are single bets on two horses to come in first and second place. In the exacta, both horses must finish the race in the precise order specified when making the bet, while the quinella allows the horses to finish in any order.

The trifecta and superfecta are even more extreme types of exotic wagers. The trifecta requires an exact order of three horses, while the superfecta requires four. Because of the low odds of winning, both the trifecta and the superfecta are very inexpensive bets.

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