Derby 101 : Betting & Winnings
Place Your Bets!
With a race schedule in one hand and pencil in the other, gamblers (new and seasoned) fill their tickets with hopes of joining the victorious in the Winner’s Circle. As the horses dash over the finish line, the announcer’s play by play accounting echoes through the roaring crowd, and hopefuls dash to the betting booths to predict who will bring home the purse!
How Much Can I Win Betting on Horses?
When you win, you will receive back the money you bet, multiplied by the odds of your bet winning.
Where Do the Winnings Come From?
Each type of bet has its own cash account or pool. When you win, your money comes from this pool. Horse Racing bets are a pari-mutual system, which means you are not betting against the racetrack to try to win, you are wagering against other betters.
Some Derby patrons choose to come prepared with statistical analysis, others choose the winning horses based on the whimsical Thoroughbred names or colors of the silks, but in the end, it's all up to the performance of the horses and jockeys to make you a winner!
WIN ... Your horse must finish first for you to cash a ticket.
PLACE ... If your horse finishes first or second, you are a winner.
SHOW ... You are a winner if your horse finishes anywhere among the top three.
ACROSS THE BOARD ... You're betting to win, place and show. If your horse wins, you collect on win, place and show. If your horse comes in second, you collect on the place and show bets. If your horse comes in third, you collect on the show bet.
DAILY DOUBLE ... Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second. To collect, you must select the winner of two consecutive races. For example, you must select the winner of the first race and the second race. Wagers must be placed before the first of your two races.
THE EXACTA BETS ... To collect, you must pick the horses that finish first and second in exact order. For example, if you play a 4-7 exacta the #4 horse must Win and the #7 horse must Place (come in second) for you to win the exacta payoff.
PERFECTA ... You win by picking the first two horses to cross the finish line in exact, or perfect, order.
BOX ... Is made to guarantee the outcome of the first two finishers regardless of which horse wins. For example, if you box the #4 and #7 horses and either the #4 or the #7 horse wins and finishes second, you win.
TRIFECTA ... Is similar to an exacta, except you must pick the horses that finish first, second and third in exact order. For example if you play a 4-7-1 trifecta, the #4 horse must Win and the #7 horse must come in second and the #1 horse must come in third.
SUPERFECTA ... Is similar to an exacta and trifecta, except you must pick the horses that finish first, second, third and fourth in exact order.
TWIN TRIFECTA ... You win by picking the first three horses to cross the finish line in exact order in both of two designated races. Only those who correctly pick the trifecta finish on the first race may exchange their tickets for a second-half twin trifecta ticket. If no one correctly picks the twin trifecta, the pool is carried over until the next racing day, or until someone wins.
KEY... Key a horse to win, plus two others in either order to come in second or third. Pays one half of the Trifecta
BOX ... Is made to guarantee the outcome of the first three finishers regardless of which horse wins. For example, if you box the #4, #7 and #1 horses and either the #4, #7 or #1 horse wins, finishes second and third, you win.
PICK 3 ... To collect, you must pick the winners of three consecutive races. You must make your selections before the first race of your Pick 3 wager.
PICK 4 ... To collect, you must pick the winners of four consecutive races. You must make your selections before the first race of your Pick 4 wager.
BOXES AND WHEELS ... You can increase your chances of winning with boxes and wheels because they allow you to combine several bets all on one ticket.
A PARTIAL WHEEL ... Lets you pick only some of the possible combinations, and costs less than a complete wheel.
Post Time Wagering Ticket Provided By Derby Experiences
Upon arriving at your destination, ask your Derby Experiences representative for your wagering card with post times or stop by a Derby Experiences hospitality venue to pick up your card. The back of the card will have the above terms and odds for a quick reference. Example pictured below.
How Do I Get Information on Odds?
Race Day Programs include the odds for each horse running in the races, a summary of their past winnings, and information about their jockeys and caretakers. Additionally, betting Odds at Churchill Downs are posted on tote boards in the track infield, in the paddock area and on televisions screens and are updated in real-time as bets are placed.
How Are Odds Calculated?
Odds are calculated by how many people bet on each horse. Odds quoted are based on a $1 bet, even though a minimum bet is $2. If the odds are 20 to 1, you could win $20 for every $1 you wagered.