Quiniela Bets are those where you choose the 1st place and 2nd place horses in a race, but aren’t required to get the order right. So had you chosen Shackleton and Animal Kingdom as a quiniela bet in the recent Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, you would have won the bet. In fact, had Animal Kingdom finished 1st and Shackleton finished 2nd at the Preakness, you still would have won the proposition wager, since order doesn’t matter.

You might think that you’re just as well off betting making two Exacta bets on the same horses, but traditionally, the minimum Quiniela bet is $2 and the minimum Exacta bet is $2, so the Quiniela saved you the expense of making two $2 wagers, instead of the one. Today, many race tracks allow betters to make a $1 Exacta bet, but the Quiniela allows you to make the full $2 on a winning wager.

Besides the standard Quiniela wager, there are several variations that should be noted: the Quiniela Box, the Quiniela Double, and the Quiniela Wheel Bets.

Quiniela Box Racing Bets

Quiniela Box bets and wagers allow you to bet multiple horse combinations on one ticket, with no real upward limit (besides the size of the field). Since betting the entire field is likely to lose you money, most gamblers bet a combination of three or four horses they feel pretty confident about. The size of the wager is determined by the number of horses, and therefore the number of possible winning combinations.

To determine the size of the wager you’re going to make, multiply the number of horses in your box by the number of horses in your box minus one. So if you were to bet a 3-horse box, you would bet 3×2 or $6. For a 4-horse quiniela box bet, you would wager 4×3 or a $12 bet. A 5-horse box would cost you 5×4 or $20. As you can see, the size of the wager quickly gets out-of-hand, but you have a lot of possible winning combinations.

Quiniela Wheel Horse Bets

Quiniela Wheel bets let you pair one horse with a wheel of other horses, if you have one favored horse picked out, but can’t exactly figure out which other horse to wager. Imagine you like the #1 horse, but you can’t decide whether to bet the #2, #3, or #4 horse. You can make a quiniela wheel bet where you bet #1 along with 2,3,4 in a wheel. If you can pair the 1-horse with any combination of the 2, 3 or 4-horse in the Top 2, you’ll win your bet. You can even make a full wheel bet by pairing the #1 horse (or any other single horse) with every other horse in the field.

Quiniela Double Wheel Wagering

You can make wheel bets on both propositions, so you might combine the #1 and #2 in your first wheel and add the 3, 4, and 5 in a second wheel bet. I’ll discuss how you figure out the betting amount for each of these wager types in their own later article.