Exotic Horse Race Bets and Everything About Them

Exotic bets, also known as accumulators, are a great way to ramp up the excitement factor and potential wins when you’re putting money on horse races. Simply put, an exotic wager covers more than one outcome and to win you need all predictions to be correct.

As you can imagine, the odds are higher with exotic than with simple bets. Happily, the payouts are correspondingly larger. That’s why, if you have enough experience and insight, exotic bets can be so profitable. The best way for you to start horse racing betting is with small amounts, as you build your confidence.

We also advise that you get familiar with the different types of exotic wagers, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide for you. Accumulators can be divided into two broad categories, horizontal and vertical bets, with their common denominator being the fact that you’re always betting on more than one horse. You can learn about both of these categories below.

Horizontal Exotic Bets

Horizontal exotic wagers are predictions over numerous races. The most common horizontal exotic bets are:

  • Daily Doubles: You need to name the winners of two consecutive races. Usually, Daily Doubles are offered on the first two and last two events held on a single day such as the Kentucky Derby.
  • Pick 3, 4, 5 or 6: You must say which sprinters will come first in three, four, five or six consecutive races.
  • MultiBets: You make predictions on winners of non-consecutive events. Each race is called a leg, and you need all legs to win in order to be paid out.
  • Quadrella: A MultiBet involving four separate races.
  • Bipot: You must name the horse, or horses, that will finish first or second in each of six bookmaker-specified events.

Vertical Exotic Bets

Vertical exotic bets involve several predictions on a single event. Often they end in -cta, such as Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas. Vertical exotic bets include:

  • Duet: You need to name two of the top three finishers in a race. Hopefully your Duets will be less volatile than Sonny and Cher’s!
  • Exacta: In Exactas, you specify the first two finishers of an event, in the correct order.
  • Trifecta: Similar to an Exacta, but you need to specify the first three event finishers in the right order.
  • Superfecta: As with Exactas and Trifectas, in Superfectas you need to specify the finishing order of the top horses in a race. In the case of a Superfecta, you must name the first four finishers, in the correct order.
  • Swinger: A prediction involving two horses and three finishing places. You pick two sprinters and then say whether they will finish first and second, first and third, or second and third. The finishing order doesn’t matter.

Checkpoints Before Exotic Bets

Before you place an exotic wager, be sure to check what happens if one of your selections is declared a non-runner. Different sportsbooks automatically put in a pre-nominated sub, or allow you select your own sub. They might also refund you, or adjust the percentage return. Make sure you’re happy with the situation at your bookmaker.