You’ve logged into your account at Ladbrokes or another reputable bookmaking firm. You’ve done your homework and have picked a good American greyhound track to bet on. Maybe Derby Lane or Wheeling in the state of West Virginia has an A grade race, the top grade in the US, where you see some dogs that you think have a shot at coming in ahead of the others. So, now, how do you bet them?
Well, you could pick one and bet it to Win. Or you could bet it to Win and Place. With the Win bet, of course, you cash in if it’s first. With the Win and Place bet, just like in your home country, you cash in if it runs first or second. But what if you want to get a little more exotic with your betting?
Can you bet a forecast bet? How about a reverse forecast? Well, yes and no. You can bet on which two dogs will come in first and second, but in the US they’re not called forecast bets. If you want to bet on two dogs to finish first and second in either order, you’ll have to place a quiniela bet.
At some tracks, you can also bet on two dogs to come in first and second in exact order, which is an exacta bet. Each of these usually has a base bet price of $2. So, you would say, “I’d like a $2 quiniela, 1-2.” Of course, if you said, “2-1” for the quniela bet, it wouldn’t matter, because it pays no matter which order they come in.
You can also bet a quiniela box, which is more than two dogs. A 3-dog quiniela box would cost $6 and a 4-dog quiniela box would cost $12. If any two of the dogs come in first and second in any order, you win. With exactas, you have to say your dogs in the order in which you’re betting that they’ll come in. If you think the 1 will win with the 2 second, say “I’d like a $2 exacta, 1-2.” If you want to hedge your bet, you can play an exacta box, but if it comes in, you only get half of the purse.
You can also bet a trifecta where you pick the first three dogs to cross the finish line. Straight trifectas cost $2 and trifecta boxes, like quiniela boxes, are based on a $1 bet and pay half of the trifecta purse.
There are other more exotic bets at US tracks that correspond to the “jackpot” bets at Non-US tracks. Picking 2 winners in a row is called the Daily Double and usually takes place in the first race and sometimes in two later races.
There are also Pick Threes and Pick Sixes, very difficult to handicap and they can get expensive fast. These are the types of bets that can break your bankroll if you’re not careful. Then there are the Superfecta bets. Basically, a superfecta is a trifecta with one more dog. You have to pick the first four dogs over the finish line.
The base bet is usually $2 for a straight superfecta, where you pick the dogs in the exact order of finish. For a box, it’s usually a $1 base bet, so a 4-dog superfecta box is $24. You can also wheel or key dogs in most of the exotic bets, which can get complicated and expensive and is beyond the scope of this article.
If you’d like further information on wheeling and keying or any of the bets common to US tracks, most track programs have a page where betting is explained. The most important part of betting, of course, is money management, but you won’t find that explained in any program. I’m afraid when it comes to deciding how much you should bet, you’re on your own with only your conscience and your checkbook balance as your guide.