What Is an Exacta in Betting?
An Exacta is an exacta (treble-play) wager in which you predict the outcome of a horse race in three specific races. You can also place a single-play wager on a horse race in which you predict the winner of one of the three individual races.
You can learn more about exactas and why you might want to place one here:
Why You Might Want To Place An Exacta
If you want a way to play a game and make some extra money, you might consider placing an exacta wager on a horse race. There is nothing wrong with predicting the winner of a horse race exactly. However, if you want to maximize your earnings, consider the following:
Exactas Line Up
You might want to place an exacta wager on a horse race because the lineups of the three individual races often align. When this happens, it’s nearly impossible for the outsider to pull off a major upset. These types of wagers are fairly easy to research and prepare for. You just have to look at the jockey’s cards and see if one of the three individual races is a ‘long shot’ to win. If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to put your money on the favorite in that race. It’s always better to take a risk when lining up multiple exactas.
How Many Wins Exacta Should I Place?
This one is fairly easy to answer. If you are a seasoned horse racing player, you know exactly how many wins an exacta should contain. For instance, if you’ve won four times with your exacta, you might want to stick with four wins in future betting sessions.
Even if you’ve never placed an exacta wager before, you can get an idea of how many wins to expect by looking at the lineups of the three individual races. The more races in your exacta, the higher your winning percentage should be. For instance, if you’ve placed an exacta containing the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, you might want to bet on the Yankees in the MLB (Major League Baseball) game that night.
Exacta Vs. Half-Payment
An exacta is a wager in which you place three separate bets of equal value. You don’t get half of what you lose when one of your bets loses. If you lose the overall wager, you lose the entire bet. This type of wager is popular among professional horse racing players due to the fixed odds offered and the fact that there’s no limit to how many bets you can make.
Some people might consider placing an exacta just to get half of what they would’ve paid for a single bet. The appeal is that you get to make multiple picks, each with its own house advantage. If any of your picks wins, you profit; if they all lose, you lose what you’ve invested, but at least you aren’t out of pocket.
Reducing Your Losses
One important factor to consider when placing exactas is reducing your losses. You can’t eliminate all risk of loss, but you can reduce it by diversifying your bets. Consider placing a bet on the favorite in one of the individual races, which is likely to pay off, but also placing a’slightly’ less-likely bet on one of the other two races. This will give you some insurance in case the favorite loses, or conversely, if one of the other two races is a ‘long shot’ to win. In this way, you can ensure you reduce your losses as much as possible.
How To Place An Exacta Wager
The best way to place an exacta wager is by following these 4 steps:
1. Find races that are compatible with each other
You should avoid placing exactas on races that are too far apart in time. If you do place an exacta on such a race, you will have to wait a long time to get your money back (if your picks lose).
Horse races that are compatible with each other will almost always line up. Look for races that are held at the same time of day, so you can capitalize on any seasonal effects (if there are any).
For example, you might want to avoid placing an exacta on the Kentucky Derby, as this is run on the first Saturday in May. The next best day to place an exacta on the Kentucky Derby is on the last Saturday in April. This gives you plenty of time to place your bet and collect your winnings without risking too much (if the pick loses).
On the other hand, the early morning hours of the third Saturday in October are usually best for the Melbourne Cup. You can’t place a bet on the Cup before the event itself, as it’s not yet over a month before the next one!
There are many instances in which you might want to avoid placing an exacta. For example, if a horse, which you’ve bet on to win, is shown to have a serious injury during the race, it could cause the outcome of the race to be altered. In this case, it might be a good idea to unload your bet.
2. Determine The Favorite
You can’t place an exacta without first knowing which horse is going to win. You already know the general outcome of the race (hopefully), but not which horse is going to win. Use all of the publicly available information, including past performances, to make an educated guess.
You can learn a lot about a horse by looking at their past performances. A lot of times, these performances will give you a good indication of how they will perform on the day of the race. It is always good practice to look at the past performances of the horses in the upcoming race, so you can determine which one is most likely to win. For an in-depth look at each horse’s past performances, we recommend you read this article:
How Do I Read A Jockey Card?
You might also want to look at the reviews associated with the race. If there are any reviews that sound particularly positive or negative about a particular horse, this can give you a good indication of how they will perform on the day of the race. For example, if there aren’t any reviews at all for a horse, this could mean that nobody knows how they will behave; however, if there are a lot of negative reviews, this could mean that the horse will be a total flop.
It’s always best to look at a horse’s reviews before the race. This way, you can get an idea of how they will perform before even stepping onto the track. If the reviews are good, this means the horse will likely do well. If they are bad, it might be a good idea to avoid that particular horse.
3. Check The Form
After you’ve determined which horse is going to win, it’s time to move onto the next step. You need to make sure that the event is actually going to take place as scheduled. Sometimes, due to circumstances out of the horse’s control, they might be forced to pull out of the race. It’s best to check the form, or the state of the entries, prior to making a wager. This will ensure that you aren’t wagering on a fake event.
Sometimes, a horse can just be entered into a race that’s not up to par. This might happen if the track conditions are bad or there aren’t enough entries. In these types of situations, it’s best not to participate unless you’re fully confident that the race will happen. After all, you’re putting your hard-earned money on the line. In most cases, this sort of thing is pretty obvious, but be smart about it anyway.
You can use tools like Form Follower to get an idea of when the next race is and if it’s going to be a dead heat. This is a great way for seasoned horse racing players to get an early jump on the betting action, as well as for those who want to try out a new bookmaker.
4. Calculate The Odds
If you’re new to betting, it’s important that you enter the odds. Odds are basically the expectations of winning or losing an event. Calculating the odds is pretty simple. Just look at the current odds for each horse (if there are any):