Understanding Payoffs

Below is a sample race result with Win, Place, Show, Exacta and Trifecta payoffs. In our example result the #2 horse won, the #5 was second, and the #8 was third.

Finish Order $2 Win $2 Place $2 Show
1st - 2 $10.00 $7.40 $5.20
2nd - 5   $5.40 $4.20
3rd - 8     $3.80

$2 Exacta 2-5 $54.40
$2 Trifecta 2-5-8 $106.20

A $2 place wager on #5 would return $5.40 because the #5 did in fact finish either first or second (in this case he finished second). A $2 show wager on #2 would return $5.20, his show payoff. Remember that even though #2 won the race, if you have a show ticket on this horse you will only receive the show payoff.

As you can see, the win wager is the most risky because only one horse can win a given race. The show wager is the least risky because a horse needs only to finish first, second, or third. The payoff on any given horse will nearly always be highest for win. With risk comes reward.

The winning exacta selection paid considerably more than the win, place, or show prices because it is much more difficult to hit. In a race with 10 horses there are 90 possible exacta combinations. In the same race there are 720 possible trifecta combinations.