Exacta Wager – Straight Forecast Bet – The Perfecta Bet is also known as an “exacta” or, in the United Kingdom, as a “straight forecast” bet.

In a perfecta bet, you pick two horses to finish in first and second place in that exact order.

It’s similar to the Quiniela bet that I’ve been discussing at some length recently, but has one major difference: you have to be perfect.

Perfecta Betting versus Quiniela Wagering

In the Quiniela bet, you wager on your ability to predict which two horses will end up 1st and 2nd in a particular race, picking two or more horses to back in your quiniela bet. You don’t have to pick which horse gets first or second, though. If you bet on two horses named “D’Artagnan” and “Where’s My Hossenfeffer?”, it’s doesn’t matter whether D’Artagnan wins the race or Hossenfeffer enters the victory circle.

In the Perfecta bet, you are once again wagering on your ability to hit on the 1st and 2nd place horses, except you have to guess which horse will finish 1st and which horse is going to finish 2nd. So if you pick Where’s My Hossenfeffer to win and D’Artagnan to place and, instead, D’Artagnan edges out Hossenfeffer, you lose the bet in a Perfecta proposition. The odds of winning are that much lower for the bettor, though the payouts are that much higher.

Straight Exacta Horse Racing Bets

What I’ve described so far is the straight perfecta bet, though you’ll often see this labelled exacta or exactor at the horse track. In the straight exacta, you pick two single horses–one to finish first and the other to finish second. But there are other, less exacting options.

Perfecta Box Horse Race Bets

In the perfecta box bet, you choose a handful of horses to fill out one side of your exacta. This is the most popular exacta wager, because it gives pretty good payouts and offers a great deal more flexibility. In this scenario, you might wager on a box with two horses–let’s say the D’Artagnan and Where’s My Hossenfeffer. In this scenario, you win, no matter which of the two horses fills out first and second place.

Three horse perfecta box bets are more common, because it gives you a few more winning options. You’ll choose three horses in the box for six different winning combination.