If you are ready to win and win big, it might be time to calculate the perfect Exacta Bet. Exacta horse racing betting is popular, but not always easy. It’s more straightforward than most of the other exotic wagers, and it’s one of the simplest bets. Sure, it’s harder than a straight bet, but when you get it right, it can be a lucrative win with remarkable margins.

What Is An Exacta Bet?

An Exacta Bet, also referred to as an Exactor or Perfecta, is one where the bettor picks both the first and second place winners in exact order. In order to win an Exacta Bet, both horses must finish in the chosen order. If either prediction is wrong, the bet is off.

For example, in an Exacta Bet you choose horse #2 to place first and horse #5 to place second. If that happens, you win. But if horse #5 places first and horse #2 places second, you lose.

It’s an all or nothing gamble, which makes it difficult to accomplish but it’s easier than some of the other bets (such as Trifectas and Superfectas). This makes Exacta Betting extremely popular among horse racing enthusiasts. When you master it, the rewards can be great.

Different Types of Exacta Bets

There are two different types of Exacta Bets. A straight Exacta Bet or an exacta box bet. A straight Exacta Bet is exactly as described above, two horses chosen for first and second place. An exacta box allows you to choose more horse combinations in a single bet, but makes that bet significantly more expensive. Here’s a breakdown of how they each work:

Straight Exacta Horse Racing Betting

A bet on two horses to finish in first and second (Win and Place) in precise order. Minimum bet is $2. An Exacta Betting slip would show $2 Exacta (2-7). This means you have placed a $2 Exacta Bet on horse #2 to finish in first place (Win) and horse #7 to finish in second (Place).

Exacta Box Horse Racing Betting

An Exacta Box bet is more versatile, allowing multiple bets on a single slip. For example, you can bet on horse #2 and #7 and you win whether it’s a #2 Win – #7 Place, or #7 Win – #2 Place. This is actually multiple Exacta Bets and so the cost increases with each additional horse. If you want to add to your Exacta “Box” you can also add in a third horse. Each additional horse increases the cost of the bet. You can actually put as many horses as you like on the Exacta Box, but be aware that the price will continue to rise with each horse added.

Exacta Bet Calculator

Playing an Exacta increases your chances of winning, while also increasing your cost of playing. To calculate the cost of an Exacta Bet, multiply the number of horses used on top, or the win position, of the exacta with the number of horses used in the second position (less one if the same number is used on top in the exacta).

$2 Exacta Costs

  • Basic Exacta 2 & 6: $2 (one combination)

$2 Exacta Wheel and Part Wheel: Choose one or two horses in first position, and cover multiple other horses in second position. It’s more efficient than the Exacta Box, and cheaper.

  • Exacta Wheel 1 with all (ten horses in race): $18.00 (nine combinations)
  • Exacta Part Wheel 2 with 3,4,5,6: $8.00 (four combinations)
  • Exacta Part Wheel 2 with 3,4,5,6: $8.00 (four combinations)
  • Exacta Part Wheel 3,4,5,6 with 2: $8.00 (four combinations)
  • Exacta Part Wheel 2,3,4,5,6 with 2,3,4: $24.00 (12 combinations)

$2 Exacta Box: Any two of your horses must finish first and second. To figure the cost: Multiply the number of horses used by the number of horses used less one times $2 wager.

  • Exacta Box 1,2: $4 (two combinations)
  • Exacta Box 1,2: $4 (two combinations)
  • Exacta Box 1,2,3,4: $24 (12 combinations)
  • Exacta Box 1,2,3,4,5: $40 (20 combinations)

The more horses you add to an Exacta Bet, the more likely you are to lose money in the end. If you bet on 8 horses, you have more chances of winning, but you would be lucky to make $30, resulting in a loss of nearly $650. For this reason, Exacta Box horse racing betting is generally best left to experienced handicappers, or those who employ the services of a veteran handicapper.

What is the Minimum Stake on an Exacta Bet?

For most horse racing tracks, the minimum wager for an Exacta Bet is $2. There are some tracks that offer a $1 exacta wager.

How To Calculate the Payout for An Exacta Bet

Payouts for these wagers are calculated using the pari-mutuel system. This means you’re betting into a pool and there are no fixed odds involved. All of the money for Exacta Bets goes into one pool, that pool of money is distributed among the winning tickets. This means that if there is an upset in the race, you can win big – whereas if lots of people bet on the winners, the winning prize may be much smaller.

Let’s look at an easy example…

  • A total of 3,000 $2 Exacta tickets are bought for a race.
  • The proceeds from those tickets form the prize pool.
  • 3,000 x $2 = $6,000, so the prize pool has $6,000 in it.
  • 50 of the tickets sold have the correct finishing order of the first two horses.
  • Each winning ticket receives an equal share of the prize pool.
  • $6,000 / 50 = $120, so each winning ticket returns $120.

Of course, the track will take out its portion before the prize pool is calculated so the payout wouldn’t be exactly $120. But still, a $100 return on a $2 bet is amazing odds.

Whether it’s a huge race or an unexpected win, an Exacta payout usually gives a decent return, which is why it’s one of the most popular bets.

And They’re Off!

Well there you have it – an Exacta Bet!

The beginning of a horse race is so exciting because it’s anyone’s game. There’s no way to know which two horses are going to win. There’s always the possibility for a surprise win or a major upset. Whether you’re placing your first bet or you’re an old pro, at AmWager we want every bettor to be successful! That’s why we made our online betting platform so easy to learn and use. Even first time bettors will have no trouble navigating our platform. Sign up today to place your next winning bet.