Quinella vs. Exacta

Quinella and exacta are two simplest bets that you can place, but despite that, they have often confused many a people.  Which of the two should you choose? Which promises more returns?  Well, in essence, they are the same, but there is still a difference. Here is some useful information about the two, along with the differences.Related image

So are quinella and exacta the same?

If you place quinella, you choose two racing horses that must secure the first and second places. You don’t have to specify which of the two horses will be first and which will be second, but both must take the top two positions. If you place exacta, you again choose two horses, but this time, you must specify which of these will be first and which will be second. So if you ‘box’ the exacta, the bet is treated as secondary. While the price of the wager doubles, the bet is on the reverse order.

How much do bets pay?

Quinella is one single bet, whereas exacta is treated as two bets. So if you bet a $1 quinella, the ticket price is also $1. If you place a $1 exacta bet, the ticket price is $4 because the wager doubles. Since the price pools are different, one bet generally pays out more than the other.

But before deciding between the two bets, keep in mind the fact that the track takes some percentage for every bet that is placed.  The exact percentage varies depending on where you choose to place the bets and the odds of the track.

Which bet should you place?

So you think you should place exacta, and always forget about quinella, not necessarily. Yes, we know, quinella has a smaller price pool, but in some cases, it may actually be a better choice. Here is a really simple calculation that can help you decide the type of bet which you should place.

First select your horses, and then calculate the expected payout amounts. Get relevant information from BlueBet or whichever betting platform you choose, and plug in all the numbers in the formula below.

Q/E + Q/EB < 1 —> place exacta bet


Q/E + Q/EB > 1 —> place quinella bet

Q = Expected payout amount for quinella

E = Expected payout amount for exacta

EB = Expected reverse payoff for exacta or the exacta box

Assume that if you bet quinella, the payout will be $15 on the two horses that you selected. For exacta, the payout amount is $20, and for reverse exacta or the exacta box, it is $50. Now put in all these numbers in the formula above, which gives 1.05. Since this number is greater than 1, your payout will be higher if you place quinella bet. If the number was less than 1, you would have gone with exacta.

Please note that expected pay amounts will vary if the odds change frequently. Be sure to put the latest numbers in the formula.