Infographic: Basics of Betting at the Races
Editor's Note (10/28/21): The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has announced that Saratoga Race Course's 2022 season will open on July 14 and conclude on Labor Day, September 5.
Are you new to the track? Is it your first visit in a long time? Whether you're a brand new bettor or a track veteran, it never hurts to have a refresh on the basics of betting at the Saratoga Race Track!
If you're looking for guidance on how to choose the best horse at the races, this infographic isn't going to help you much. But if you just want to know the differences between types of bets, how to place your bet, and what wagers you can place, you've come to the right article!
The infographic on the basics of betting at the Saratoga Race Course covers where to place your bet, what order you should say your bet in at the counter, and the difference btween straight wager bets and exotic wager bets like the Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta. By the time you get to the end of the infographic, you'll be a betting pro for your next visit to the track!
How to Place a Bet at the Saratoga Race Course
When you place your bet, you will need to place it in a certain order. Tell the clerk the following information (or enter it on the automated betting terminal):
- What track (in this case, Saratoga, which can be assumed if you are placing the bet at the track)
- Race number
- Dollar amount of your bet
- Type of bet
- Number of the horse(s) you are betting on.
When you place your bet, it will sound something like: "At Saratoga, Race 3, $5 to win on number 6!"
Types of Bets You Can Place at the Saratoga Race Course
Straight Wager Bets
- Win - Pick a horse to finish first. This is the most common and simplest bet you can place.
- Place - Pick a horse to finish first or second.
- Show - Pick a horse to finish first, second, or third.
Exotic Wager Bets
- Exacta - Pick the first and second place finishers in exact order.
- Trifecta - Pick the first, second, and third place finishers in exact order.
- Superfecta - Pick the first, second, third, and fourth place finishers in exact order.
- Box - You can also box any of the exotic wager bets, which will place a bet on any combination of the horses you have chosen. This increases your chances of winning, but also increases the cost of the bet. For example, a $1 Trifecta Box costs $6 because you are effectively placing 6 bets.
Multi-race bets are pretty much what they sound like. You will choose the winner in X number of consecutive races. These bets are called
- Daily Double - Pick the winner in two consecutive races.
- Pick Three - Pick the winner in three consecutive races.
- Pick Four - Pick the winner in four consecutive races, and so on...
How to Calculate Your Payout
Your payout is going to be determined by the number of horses in the bet, the odds on the horses you chose, and it almost goes without saying, the wager amount.
Straight Win Bets are easy to calculate, for example, as you simply multiply the amount wagered by the odds, and add the amount wagered.