Exacta Horse Race Betting
With this bet you must pick the first two finishing horses in the exact order of their finish. In other words, you must pick the horse that wins and the horse that finishes second.
A "box" on two or more horses in a race means taking all the possible combinations of those horses in each place of finish. If you have determined that two horses are the best in the race but you are not sure which one will win and which one will finish second, then the safest bet is to do the exacta box. You can box more than two horses, but it is very important to remember that with each additional horse you add to the box the cost of the wager goes up substantially. 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%.
If you are confident in a horse winning a race, but may have several choices as to the second place finisher, you may elect to do an exacta wheel. If for example, you think the #4 horse is going to win and either the #2, #5, #7, or #10 horse will finish second, you could place the following wager: ($2 exacta wheel the 4 WITH the 2, 5, 7, 10). Following the same formula for calculating the cost of the exacta wager as above we have (1 x 4 x 2) = $8. So it will cost you $8 to do an exacta wheel with one horse to win and any one of four horses to finish second.
Another point to note is that some horses do not like to win. They allow other horses to pass them without making an extra effort to win the race. This can easily be determined by simply looking at their past performances. If for example, their racing record indicates that they have won one race and have finished second six times, you may want to place multiple horses in the win column and this "seconditis" horse in the place column. The previous wager might be ($2 Exacta Wheel the 2, 5, 7, 10 WITH the 4).