How to Place an Exacta Box Bet on a Horse Race

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Sometimes just picking the winner is too easy, or too hard. So many horse players choose to shoot for the exacta wager. It offers a higher payout but is definitely more difficult to win. But a cold exacta is pretty tough to pick, so many choose to box their wager, offering them more chances to win. Of course, this costs a little more money. Here is how to place an exacta box wager.

Things You'll Need

  • Handicapping skills
  • Money to bet
  • Choose the winners. An exacta consists of two parts: the horse that wins and the horse that comes in second. When you box an exacta, it means that you can choose as many horses as you want to come in first and second, and any combination of those horses wins. The better the odds, the better the payout. Include whoever you think has a chance of winning: maybe the favorite, maybe the second choice, or maybe a long shot. Whoever it is, put them on top.

  • Decide who's coming in second. You'll need to handicap the race and figure who will finish behind your winner. Will it be a leader who fades but holds on to second, or maybe a closer who gets up for place? Either way, choose who has a chance of coming in second and write them down.

  • Think strategy. An exacta box bet means that any two horses in your bet can finish one-two and you win. So if you bet an exacta box using the 1, 2 and 3 horses, you win if the results are any of the following: 1-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2. If your horses come in first-third or second-third, you do not win. So think strategy when you make your exacta box bet.This means that if you are going to include the favorite at low odds, it won't be worth it to include a lot of horses. Exacta boxes, like straight exactas, come in the $1 or $2 form, and it's $1 or $2 per combination of horses. So a three-horse exacta costs either $6 or $12. With three horses, there are six combinations, so it's either 6 x $1 = $6 or 6 x $2 = $12.

  • Make your bet. When you go to the betting window, you should know the lingo so you don't slow the line down. Have your bet ready when you approach the window and be ready to make your wager. Here is what you say: In the (number of race) at (race track), I want a ___ ($1 or $2) exacta box with , and (say the program number of the horses you want to include).Remember, it's either $1 or $2 per combination of horses. So a $1 exacta box would cost:2 horses = $23 horses = $64 horses = $245 horses = $120, and so on ... so have your money ready.

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