horse racing info

Horse Racing Bet Types

horse racing bet typesA comprehensive guide to Australian horse racing bet types including win, place, doubles, quinella, trifecta, quadrella, and parlay betting types.

Once upon a time the TAB had a monopoly on bet types, but bookies have introduced several exotic bettting options in recent years, rewarding punters with a variety of betting choices.

Win and place bets are popular bet types with most racing enthusiasts, while each-way bets, where you invest half for the win and half for the place, are also still in vogue.

Exotic bets, such as trifectas and quadrellas, offer the promise of a big payday for a small outlay, thanks to flexi betting options.

Online bookmaker Unibet is our preferred choice for all your betting requirements!

Guide to Australian Horse Racing Bet Types

Our Australian bets type guide answers the following questions and more.

Horse Racing Info explains the most common horse racing bet types below.

Win and Place Bet Types

The following bet types are typical of win and place betting with online bookies and include Win, Place, Each Way, Starting Price, Best Fluc, Fixed Odds bet types and more.

Win Bet

Win only, or "Straight Out", is a bet placed on a runner to win only. For your bet to win, your selection must win the event.

E.G. $10.00 a win at $5.00 returns $50.00 if your runner wins.

Place Bet

Place only is a bet placed on a runner to run 1st, 2nd or 3rd subject to field size. If a field has less than eight runners then place bets will pay on 1st and 2nd. For a place bet to win, your horse must run a place.

Place Bet Field Pay Outs

Always be aware of field size when place betting, especially small fields.

E.G. $10.00 on a place bet at $2.45 returns you $24.50 if your horse places

Each Way Bet

An each way bet is actually two bets: (1) a Win bet (as above) and (2) a Place bet (as above). For example, a bet of $10 Each Way is a Win bet of $10 and a Place bet of $10, for a $20 bet total.

E.G. If you have $10 each way on a horse paying $10.00 for a win and $2.50 for a place you will outlay $20.00.

If your horse wins, you return $125.00 ($100.00 for win and $25.00 for place). If your horse fails to win but runs a place, you return $25.00 (Zero for Win and $25.00 for Place)

Best Odds Bet

Guarantees the better of the official Bookmakers' starting price (SP) and the official Win dividend declared by a TAB as nominated by the client.

E.G. VIC Tab paying $2.30, NSW Tab paying $2.30 & UNItab paying $2.55 then the Best Odds dividend would be $2.55 at UNItab.

Starting Price (SP)

The Starting Price is an average of the on-course bookmaker's prices taken at the start of each race. These prices are not known by punters at the time of betting.

E.G. If you have $100.00 on a runner to win at SP and the final Starting Price is $3.30 then you return $330.00. If the horse drifted out to say $4.25 during betting, before firming again, then you only get the SP price and miss the best price offered.

Best Fluc Bet

Best Fluctuation or Top Fluc, is available up to 30 minutes prior to jump. Bets placed prior are guaranteed to be paid at the top official on-course bookie fluctuation as determined by the Bookmakers Pricing Service (BPS). the Win portion will be paid at the best official Bookmakers' price. For Win/Place wagers, the place portion will be paid at a price equivalent to the Tote Place dividend declared in the state in which the race is run.

E.G. You have $100 a win on a runner at Best Fluc and during betting the fluctuations are as follows $4.20 | $4.50 | $4.40 | $4.70 then the Best Fluc is $4.70 which returns you $470.00.

Fixed Odds Bet

Fixed Odds is a set price at which the Win portion of a bet will be paid at the fixed price as determined by the bookmaker.

E.G. $100.00 a Win at the Fixed Odds of $4.20 will return you $420.00 and if the horse drifts out to $4.50 during betting then you missed the best price, however if it firms into $3.90 then you got the better price at the time.

Exotic Bet Types

The below bet types are known as exotic bets and include Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Quadrella, First 4 and Super 6.

Quinella Bet Type

This bet requires you to select the first and second place finishers, in either order.

E.G. If you have $2.00 on numbers 4 and 6 to run the quinella then either horse can win or run second (4-6-x or 6-4-x) but they must both finish 1st and 2nd for you to win. Quinella dividends are calculated by the amount of total money in the pool at race end and a dividend is then declared after the race is run.

Box Quinella Bet

A Box Quinella allows the ability to choose as many runners as you like from the same race, however two of the selections must place First or Second in any order. It also costs you more for your initial outlay as there are more runners.

E.G. If you have a $1 quinella on numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 then first you need to calculate the cost for boxing 4 runners.

To box a Quinella for $1

3 Runners - $3.00
4 Runners - $6.00
5 Runners - $10.00
6 Runners - $15.00
7 Runners - $21.00
8 Runners - $28.00
9 Runners - $36.00

To box 4 runners the bet will cost you $6.00, and if any of your four runners finish 1st or 2nd then you win your bet.

Standout Quinella Bet

The Standout Quinella is when you specify a group of runners that you think may come first, and a group that may come second, specifically in that order.

E.G. If you had a $1 quinella with number 2 to win and numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 to run second then number 2 has to win the race while the other four have to run second for your bet to win. It will also cost you $4 to place the bet as there are in effect four Quinellas which are 2&4, 2&5, 2&6 and 2&7

Exacta Bet

This bet requires you to select the first and second place finishers, in that order.

E.G. If you have a $2.00 Exacta on numbers 8 and 2, then number 8 has to win and number 2 has to run second for you to win your bet. Exactas traditionally pay more than Quinellas but they are also harder to win as they have to run 1st and 2nd in order.

Box Exacta Bet

The formula for calculating the cost of an exacta box is (horses in box x (horses in box minus 1) x dollar amount of bet). A $2 box of two horses would be (2 x 1 x 2) = $4. A $2 box of three horses would be (3 x 2 x 2) = $12. A $2 box of four horses would be (4 x 3 x 2) = $24.

As you can see the cost of the exacta box increases greatly with each additional horse. Also remember that you can wager a $1 exacta box. This reduces the amount of your wager by 50% but also reduces your earnings by 50%.

To box an Exacta -

3 Runners - $6.00
4 Runners - $12.00
5 Runners - $20.00
6 Runners - $30.00
7 Runners - $42.00
8 Runners - $56.00
9 Runners - $72.00

And do on for 10 or more runners.

Trifecta Bet

This bet requires you to select the 1st, 2nd an 3rd place finishers in order.

E.G. If you have a $1.00 trifecta on the numbers 4 to win, 5 to run second, and 8 to finish third, then they would have to finish in the order 4-5-8 for you to win.

Triectas can be also be taken as Boxed or Standout bets, as per Quinella bets.

Box Trifecta Bet

These are offered in denominations as low as $1 per unit per Box Trifecta. A $1 trifecta box of horses 1-3-5 would include six $1.00 combinations at a cost of $6.00. To receive a winning pay out, the order of finish would need to be one of the following combinations.

  1. 1-3-5
  2. 1-5-3
  3. 3-1-5
  4. 3-5-1
  5. 5-3-1
  6. 5-1-3

To calculate the cost of a trifecta box, simply multiply the number of horses you would like to box (say 8), by that number minus one (8x7), and by that number minus two (8x7x6), and then multiply it by your bet amount to find the number of combinations.

E.G. If you wanted to have a $1 Box trifecta with 4 horses the $1 trifecta box would be calculated as follows: (4 * 3 * 2) * $1 = $24 (24 x $1 combinations). If any three of your selections fill the first 3 placings then you would win the bet.

Box Trifecta Calculation Costs

  • 3 horse trifecta box (3x2x1) - 6 combinations = $6
  • 4 horse trifecta box (4x3x2) - 24 combinations = $24
  • 5 horse trifecta box (5x4x3) - 60 combinations = $60
  • 6 horse trifecta box (6x5x4) - 120 combinations = $120
  • 7 horse trifecta box (7x6x5) - 210 combinations = $210
  • 8 horse trifecta box (8x7x6) - 336 combinations = $336
  • 9 horse trifecta box (9x8x7) - 504 combinations = $504
  • 10 horse trifecta box (10x9x8) - 720 combinations = $720

And so on for 11 or more runners.

Standout Trifecta Bet

A runner selected to finish first (a standout) is combined with two or more other runners to finish second and third in any order. You can also standout a single runner to finish second or third if you wish.

E.G. If you had a $1 standout Trifecta on number 5 to win, and numbers 1, 2 and 3 to run 2nd and 3rd, then number 5 would have to win and two of the other three would need to fill the 2nd and 3rd placings for your bet to win.

Flexi Bet Trifecta

This bet allows you allows you to still specify the number of runners you wish to back, but you can also specify what amount you would like to invest based upon your budget. The payout you receive will be a % of the winning dividend based upon the difference of the normal cost of a boxed Trifecta and the amount you chose to invest.

E.G. You want to box 5 horses in a trifecta. This would normally cost $60, however you only only wish to invest $15, which is 25% of $60. If your trifecta selections win, then you'll receive 25% of the Trifecta dividend. If the trifecta pays $2400, then you return $600, which is 25% of the trifecta dividend.

First Four Bet

A First 4 requires selection of the first four finishers in correct order.

There are four different types of First 4 betting - Straight, Box, Standout and Multiple First 4 bets.

Straight First 4
Requires selection of the first four placings in a race in the CORRECT order.

Box First 4
This bet allows your selections to finish first, second, third and fourth in ANY order. Boxing four selections gives you 24 combinations with which you can win a First 4 bet type.

Standout First 4
One runner is selected to finish 1st (a standout), and is coupled with three or more runners to finish second, third and fourth.

Multiple First 4
A multiple First 4 is where two or more runners are selected to finish 1st, with a number of other runners to finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Big 6 Bet

A Big 6 bet type involves selecting the winners of six nominated races nominated as legs of the Big 6 for a particular meeting.

Pick all six winners across the six races and you win the Big 6 dividend. As with the First 4, flexi betting is available for the Big 6, allowing you to add as many runners as you like to suit your betting budget.

Naturally, the possible combinations are much higher, and more expensive, than a First 4, especially with a Big 6 running across six races.

E.G. Simply multiply your runners in each six Big 6 legs to calculate your total number of combinations - 2 x 3 x 2 x 5 x 2 x 2 = 240 combinations. To take this bet for the full dividend it would cost you $1 per combination, or a total of $240.

A flexi bet at 50% would cost you $120 and you would receive 50%, or half, of the total dividend. If the Big 6 paid $8600 then you would receive a dividend of $4300 for your 50% outlay.

Quadrella Bet

A Quadrella requires you to pick four winners from four races nominated by a TAB at a race meeting. A Quadrella differs from an All-Up in that the dividend is determined by dividing the amount of money in the dividend pool amongst successful investors, as opposed to an All Up that transfers your winnings from one race to the next.

The minimum investment for a Quadrella here is 50 cents, however all dividends are displayed for $1. Flexi and Mystery Quaddie betting options are also available.

To calculate the amount you need to spend to couple more than one horse in each leg simply multiply the number of selections in each leg together.

E.G. You want to have a $1.00 quadrella with 2 runners in each leg. This will cost you a total of $16 (i.e 2 x 2 x 2 x 2) to receive a full 100% return.

A 50% flexi bet for a 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 combination would cost you $8 and return you 50% of the full 100% return.

Exotic Multi Bets

Some bookmakers provide their own exotic options, such as a Place Card. This is selecting four horses to finish in first, second or third place in four designated races, basically a quadrella for place getters.

Place odds are multiplied together to calculate a price. To win, all four selections must place in each race.

We recommend Unibet for the best horse racing bet types.

Doubles Bet

Daily Doubles and Extra Doubles requires you to correctly pick the winners of two TAB nominated races at a meeting.

E.G. You have a $1.00 Daily Double and take number 2 to win the 1st leg (Race 5) and number 6 to win the 2nd leg (Race 7). They both have to win their race for you to successfully win your bet. Double dividends are calculated by the amount of total money in the pool at race end. A dividend is then declared after the race is run.

Running Double Bet

The Running Double requires you to correctly select the winners of any two consecutive races at the one race meeting e.g. Race 2 winner and Race 3 winner.

Running doubles are available across the board and can often through up a good dividend if you think outside the box.

Treble Bet

A Treble involves picking the winner of three separate races. The first bet returns are rolled over to the second bet, then the second bet returns are rolled over to the third bet. Each of the three selections must win for your bet to be successful. Selecting three winners can accumulate into a large dividend if bet with value in mind.

E.G. You have a $1.00 Treble bet, taking number 3 to win the 1st leg, number 6 to win the 2nd leg and number 9 to win the 3rd leg. All three bets have to win for your bet to be successful.

All Up Betting

Also known as an Accumulator or Parlay. An All Up allows you to select one or more runners to win or place on different races and all of your selections are required to be successful for the All Up to win. The payout is worked out by multiplying your initial stake amount by the odds for each of your selections.

E.G. You have a $1 all up on on four races at a meeting. Number 2 (Race 2), Number 4 (Race 4) number 6 (Race 6) and number 8 (Race 8).

Assuming all runners win...
Race 2 - $1.00 on #2 @ $4.00, now you have $4.00 which goes all up.
Race 4 - $4.00 goes on #4 @ $3.00, now you have $12 which goes all up.
Race 6 - $12.00 goes on #6 @ $4.00, returning $48 which goes all up
Race 8 - $48.00 goes on to number 8 @ $2.00 and your total return is $96.00

All up betting allows you to win a large amount of money for a very small outlay if you select wisely. Most bookies allow you to have all up bets over different meetings across different race codes, including Harness racing and Greyhounds.

Parlay Betting

Another form of Multi-bet is the Parlay, which is a set number of combinations where all are required to win for you to be successful. Each Parlay has a set number of legs but when you select a Parlay, you are choosing all possible combinations of Multi-bets for that number of legs. In addition, some Parlays also include single bets on each selection or leg.

The key advantage of a Parlay over a standard multi is that if some of your legs are successful, then you will still win a dividend based upon the amount of successful combinations you chose.

Trixie - (3 legs – no single bets - $4)
4 bets on three legs. ($4 total for a $1 bet).
1 x 3-leg multi; 3 x 2-leg multi.

Patent - (3 legs with three single bets - $7)
7 bets on three legs. ($7 total for a $1 bet).
1 x 3-leg multi; 3 x 2-leg multi and 3 single bets.

Yankee - (4 legs – no single bets - $11)
11 bets on four legs. ($11 total for a $1 bet).
1 x 4-leg multi; 4 x 3-leg multi; 6 x 2-leg multi.

Lucky 15 - (4 legs – 4 single bets - $15)
15 bets on four legs ($15 total for a $1 bet).
1 x 4-leg multi; 4 x 3-leg multi; 6 x 2-leg multi and 4 single bets.

Same Race Multi

Same Race Multi is an exciting bet type available at online bookmakers. It allows you to pick multiple runners to Win, or finish within the Top 2, 3 or 4 in a race

The Same Race Multi bet affords you greater flexibility with your betting, No longer do you have to finish in the top 3 to receive a return on your bet.

We recommend online bookmaker Unibet for betting online.

where to bet

In Conclusion

Whatever your bet choice, always remember to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to lose. The following horse racing info explains more about betting on Australian thoroughbred racing.

Betting Guide - If your new to racing then we recommend reading our Betting Guide to learn more about the intricacies of online betting.

Multiple Betting - For more information on how multi betting works, visit our Multiple Betting page which explains things in more detail.

Race & Track Types - Head over to our Australian race types and Australian track ratings pages to find out about the various race types and track ratings used for racing in Australia.

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