Horse racing does not have the broadest range of market in the United States, unlike other sports such as basketball and football. But in reality, there are actually more on to it than most of the plebeians think. 

They might not know it because of the terms the sport uses. There is a couple of jargon that horse racing incorporates, especially when betting. Most novice bettors are not really familiar with these words, affecting their betting performance. 

Here are some of the horse betting basic terms for you to know more about the betting system in horse racing.

Straight Bets

Straight bets are the most known betting type. They are the simplest and easiest to do. The journey of young bettors will mostly start here due to its simplicity. 

Almost all horse betting sites offer this option too. However, the downside of a straight bet is its smaller payouts.

Across the Board

Across the board is wagering on three bets: the winner, the second, and the third place. 

If your horse picks wins, you will receive the prize for the three bets. If your pick places second, you'll get the prize for the second and third places. If your pick places third, you'll get paid only once.

Win Bets

A win bet is when you place your wager on a horse you think will win the race. You will get paid when your pick wins.

Place Bets

A place bet is when you place your wager on a horse you think will end up either first or second place in the race.

Show Bets

A show bet is when you place your wager on a horse you think will finish the first, second, or third in a race.

Exotic Bets & Combinations

Betting can be indeed confusing and complicated to understand. You might consider reading different sites such as tvg horse racing betting guide to clear up things. 

Exotic bets and combinations are probably one thing that can put you into confusion because of their complexity. Because of that, they are hard to win but with much greater payouts.

Daily Double

A Daily Double is a horse betting term that usually happens on the first and second races of that day. 

This kind of bet requires you to place the wager on the horses you think will win the two consecutive races. 

Pick 3

Basically, a Pick 3 bet is an enhanced and advanced daily double. Instead of two, you need to pick a horse you think will win in three consecutive races. 

This can even be extended from Pick 4 up to Pick 6, which means you bet on the winning horses in six streaks. This is extremely hard but returns way larger prizes of payouts!

There are times that there will be no Pick 6 bets. The unclaimed winning will carry over to the next race, and the potluck will be stacked until someone gets it struck big.


Exacta is a bet wherein you have to pick the horses you think will finish the track first and second in order. In some places like Canada, the exacta is referred to as "exactor," a short word for "exact order."


A trifecta bet is when you place your wager on the horses you think will be the winner, the second, and the third placer of the race―again, in order. 

This bet is much harder to win than exacta but has definitely a larger payout once you get it right.


When talking about difficulty, superfecta can is comparable to Pick 6. Superfecta is a bet in which your horse picks must end up in the first, second, third, and fourth placers in the correct order. 

This is a risky bet since it is expensive, but with much bigger returns when you win.


A quinella is like an exacta. You bet on horses who will end up first and second but in any order; either they swap or not, the same winnings because this is a single bet.

Boxed Bet

Boxed bets are combinations of multiple races, but each combination is a separate bet. You can box an exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bet to gain more money. However, take note that this might get expensive.

Other Terms

Off-Track Betting

Off-track betting, OTB for short, is a term in horse race betting, where the race is being held outside a race track. Despite the history of being illegal, OTB is now legal.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

In pari-mutuel betting, all bets are placed into a central pool. The odds, including payouts, are proportionally dependent on the stake size and fund being pooled. 

Morning Line

Morning Line is the term for the track's commencing point on the morning of race day. This will predict how the bettors will affect the odds. 


Knowing these horse betting terminologies is an excellent help in understanding the betting system more. This will also somehow affect your betting strategies toward a winning bet. 

Keep reading and familiarizing the other terms out there to win more!


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