Types of Exotic Bets

Exotic Bets are types of bets made on horse races or other parimutuel races in which an improbable combination of winners and near winners must be predicted exactly in order to receive a typically large payoff. As might be expected, the more unlikely the winning combination, the larger the payout. Due to a curious fact of human nature, bettors often willfully ignore the odds of winning the payout and focus instead on the amount of the winnings. This is a characteristic shared by those who enjoy playing lotteries, and the hope of winning exotic bets - and bragging to friends and acquaintances - attracts many people to horse wagering who otherwise might ignore it.

Parimutuel betting has allowed the establishment of exotic betting, both at the track and at off-track venues. Bettors are enticed by fluctuating payoff amounts determined by odds makers and the amount of money in the betting pool. As well, bettors who make a practice of studying the horses and accounting for race conditions will often try to use their acumen towards predicting a series of race results. This does work on occasion and many of us recall hearing on the television news or reading in the newspaper of an especially large payout on an exotic bet.

Many of the terms used to describe exotic bets are somewhat familiar to most people. Exactor, Trifecta, Quinella and of course the Daily Double are all terms for exotic bets that go beyond the usual Win, Place or Show.

A Daily Double refers to a bet specifying the winners of two consecutive races.

Naturally, the Triple or Treble demands that the winners of three consecutive races be chosen correctly. A Trifecta, also known as a Triactor, calls for the bettor to predict the first, second and third place winners in any single race while the Quinella only asks that the first two horses across the finish line be chosen in any order.

Perhaps the most difficult exotic bets to win are those known as “Sweeps”. Sweeps call for the bettor to predict the winners in 4, 5 or 6 consecutive races. As one might expect, the payoff for winning a Sweeps bet is usually exotic in its own right!