How to Place an Exacta Bet in Horse Racing

Learn everything about How to Place an Exacta Bet in Horse Racing.

What is an exacta box bet? Horse racing’s exacta bet (sometimes called an exacta wheel) asks you to pick the race’s top two finishers in order. Only the top two finishers matter, not the number of horses. An exacta bet, also known as a perfecta bet, goes beyond a win, place, show bet.

Breaking Down Exacta Bet Odds

Assume you want to wager on the Kentucky Derby. Derby straight exacta odds could look like this:

Exacta Betting
Gate Horse Jockey Odds 1st 2nd
1 Mister Ed Wilbur Post 10/1 (+1000) x
2 Black Beauty Farmer Grey 15/1 (+1500)
3 Artax Atreyu 20/1 (+2000)
4 Gunpowder Ichabod Crane 50/1 (+5000) x
4 BoJack Horseman Diane Nguyen 30/1 (+3000)

In exacta horse racing, a first-place result is a “win.”Second place is a “place.”Let Mister Ed win and Gunpowder finish second in this imaginary Kentucky Derby scenario.

If so, you win your exacta bet. Because you must pick the horses in order, if Gunpowder wins and Mister Ed finishes second, you lose your racing wager. Most racebooks and horse tracks have a $2 exacta minimum, but you can stake anything.

Try our Odds Calculator to estimate your exacta box payoff based on your race betting amount.

In addition to exacta betting, you can make a box or key bet.

Exacta Box Bet

This exacta variant has more possibilities. Although you can “box” your choices, you must pick the first and second horses in order. You can pick more than two horses. Any two of three horses must finish in sequence.

Use the same fictional horses from the Kentucky Derby betting example to make an exacta bet on BoJack Horseman, Artax, and Black Beauty. Six combinations could win a ticket:

  1. BoJack Horseman 1st, Artax 2nd
  2. BoJack Horseman 1st, Black Beauty 2nd
  3. Artax 1st, BoJack Horseman 2nd
  4. Artax 1st, Black Beauty 2nd
  5. Black Beauty 1st, BoJack Horseman 2nd
  6. Black Beauty 1st, Artax 2nd

Choose three to eight horses, depending on the racebook or track. Larger exacta box bets cost more. If you guess correctly and win, you may make extra.

Exacta Key Box Bet

This exacta variant challenges you to pick a “key” horse that appears in all combinations. Choose the favorite horse as your key. The Kentucky Derby ticket for Mister Ed, the favorite, would look like this:

  • Mister Ed 1st, Artax 2nd
  • Mister Ed 1st, BoJack Horseman 2nd
  • Mister Ed 1st, Black Beauty 2nd

For your chance to win, Mister Ed must win the Kentucky Derby and one of your picks must finish second.

Exacta Betting Payoffs

Exacta payoffs vary substantially. If your two horses are the favorites, it might pay less than $12 or $35 or more in a larger field. If you’re a bold horse bettor, two long shots in the exacta may bring you almost $1,000.

The fact that most track and online scoreboards display exacta wager rewards is a benefit of this bet. Use this function to find overlays or combinations that are paying too much and bypass those that are paying too little. Most racebooks and tracks pay exactas at $2.

  • A $2 exacta box with 1 and 2 horses costs $4. If the race is 1-2 or 2-1, you win. Any other combination would invalidate the ticket.
  • A $2 bet on a three-horse exacta box costs $12. Ticket is a Sportsbook if two of three horses finish first and second.
  • A $2 exacta key bet costs $12 and involves choosing one horse to win and others to place. Two horses over four horses is another exacta key that costs $12 on a $2 increment.

At you can bet on the different betting types, such as moneyline, spread, and total, and wager either on your favorite team or an undervalued underdog, always with the best and latest lines. Open your account now and receive a 100% bonus on your first cryptocurrency deposit, just click below:

100% CRYPTO BONUS - YouWager Sportsbook Bonus