Terms to Know When Betting Horse Racing

Southwest Stakes (Coady Photography)

Popular Betting Types and Terms when Betting at the Window


There are many terms and phrases associated with horse racing. When betting on the races, it’s helpful to understand terms and how to place a bet. This saves both you time along with the ticket window clerks at the track, and makes it easier to process your bets. It will also help you when clicking through options to bet online.

Here are some simple and popular terms to know when betting at the window or online.

Placing your bet at the counter.

Straight bet — Betting a horse to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Win — Betting a horse to win the race and finish in 1st. (“I’d like $5 to win on number 3”)

Place — Betting a horse to finish in 2nd.

Show — Betting a horse to finish in 3rd.

Across the Board — A bet on a horse to win, place and show.

Exacta — Betting the first two finishers in a horse race in exactly the right order.

Exacta Box — Betting two or more horses to finish in 1st or 2nd in either order.

Trifecta — Betting the horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in exact order.

Superfecta — Betting four horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in exact order.

Daily Double — Two consecutive races selected by the track and often the first two races of the day. Pick the winner and bet one or more horses to win each race.

Pick 3 — Pick the winner of three consecutive races, and you must bet and make your selections before the first race of your pick 3 wager.

Pick 4 — Pick the winner of four consecutive races.

Pick 6 — Pick the winner of six consecutive races

Additional Betting Terms

Odds — The odds are the numerical summation of how likely it is that a horse will win a race. The odds are posted on the tote board at the race track and also on the TV screens at the track. The odds change as patrons bet on the horses.

Morning Line — Odds on the horses that are set by the official race track handicapper often a day or two ahead of the race.

For a FULL list of terms used in betting, visit us here.

Twinspires.com is your online betting resource for wagering on the races. Set up an online account and start cashing in on all the races!

by FairwayJay