Horse racing betting terms: glossary and explanations

Last Updated 1 day ago | Commercial content | 18+

Commercial content | New Customers Only | 18+

If you have always wanted to start betting on horse racing and learn about horse betting terms, this is the right place to start. Terms such as exacta, quinella, trifecta, and superfecta might sound like a foreign language to you right now, but soon enough everything is going to make much more sense. Therefore, kick back and check out the complete glossary we’ve created below!

What Are the Horse Betting Terms for Types of Bets?

The beauty of betting on horse racing is that there are so many different types of bets to place. Some of them are quite simple, others are unique to horse betting and more complicated to understand. Before to place your bet or use your Cheltenham betting offers, read our complete guide to the types of bets.

Glossary Used for Straight Bets

These are the simplest bets you can make, taking into account only the podium finishes.

  • Win is used when the horse you bet on finishes first, and you win the bet.
  • Place is used when the horse you bet on finishes first or second, and you win the bet.
  • Show is used when the horse you bet on finishes first, second, on third, and you win the bet.
  • Across the Board is used when a punter places three bets: one that the horse will win, one that it will finish second, and one that it will finish third. This way, if the horse finishes 1st, you will win all three bets. If it finishes 2nd, you will win two bets, and if it finishes 3rd, you will get paid just for the last bet. It’s a great bet to place if you want to take a risk, but you do not want to lose all of your money.
  • On the Nose means that you are betting on the horse to win and any other result will not get you paid.
  • In the Money means that a horse has finished either first, second, or third.

horse betting terms

Horse Betting Terms for Combination Wagers and Exotic Bets

These bets are more complicated but can pay well once you understand how to place them.

  • Boxed Bet stands for the situation wherein you bet on all possible combinations for several horses. This is a great bet when you want to bet on two horses, but cannot decide which one will win and which one will place. Therefore, bet that Horse A will win and Horse B will place, and vice versa.
  • Exacta is used in horse racing terminology to signify a bet where you choose two horses in a race and bet which one will finish first and which one will come in second.
  • Quinella is similar to Exacta, but the difference is that the two horses can finish in any order for you to win.
  • Trifecta is the same as Exacta, but this time you are choosing three horses. They need to finish in the exact specified order for you to win.
  • Superfecta is the same as Trifecta, but you’re betting on four horses to finish in the exact order.
  • Daily Double is a horse betting term used when you’re placing a bet on two different horses in two consecutive races in a daily double that are typically the first two bets of the day. To win your bet, both of your horses must finish first.
  • Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 6 are horse racing terms in betting similar to the Daily Double Only this time, you need to bet on 3, 4, or 6 horses to finish first, respectively.

horse racing

Additional Horse Betting Terms You Should Remember

This horse racing terminology explains different situations on the race track and describes the punters more closely.

  • A Bridge Jumper is someone brave enough to bet a massive amount of money on one horse to win the race.
  • Dead Heat is a term used when two horses finish in an exact tie. Sometimes, not even the photo finish technology can determine the result.
  • Inquiry and Objection are horse betting terms in which something has happened on the track that requires inquiry, and a trainer, rider, or track official have cried foul.
  • Odds is a term used to describe how likely it is for a certain outcome to happen at the end of a race. In horse racing, the odds are calculated taking into consideration how many punters have placed a bet on a certain horse to win. As the number of bets goes up, the odds for that horse go down.
  • A Handicap or A Handicap Race are horse betting terms used when horses carry a certain amount of added weight. This is used to give very fast and very slow horses equal chances of winning.


If you have understood all of the horse betting terms listed above, it means that you are now ready to go to the race track and start placing bets. Try not to be a bridge jumper the first time you place a bet, at least until you gain more experience.

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