A quinella wheel bet allows bettors to select one horse they believe will finish first or second and pair it with multiple other horses to fill in the other winning position. The description may sound complicated to newer bettors, but the quinella wheel is a simple bet in practice.

How the Quinella Wheel Bet Works

To understand the quinella wheel bet, consider a straight quinella. In a straight quinella, the bettor picks exactly two horses, and the wager wins if those horses place first and second place in any order.

A quinella wheel takes the same concept one step further by letting the bettor select one key horse and pairing it with several other horses (a part wheel) or the entire field (full wheel).

Quinella wheels pay when the key horse finishes in first or second place, and any of the other selections finish alongside the key horse in the top two spots.

Quinella Wheel Betting Examples

The quinella wheel is a good play when the bettor is sure one particular horse is the best selection in a race or a good value bet but has little insight into which horse is likely to finish second.

For example, imagine a race in which Horse #8 seems to be the overwhelming favorite, but none of the other horses in the field stand out. In this case, the bettor could place a full quinella wheel on Horse #8 paired with every other horse in the field.

The wager in this example would win in every outcome in which Horse #8 finishes the race in first or second place – similar to a place bet but with different betting pools and potentially a higher payout. The full wheel is generally not a good idea if the race features several strong, low-odds runners. In that case, the cost of the bet may end up exceeding the payout, and the bettor should consider a part-wheel.

If the full quinella wheel is too expensive, or the bettor believes there is no point in backing some of the runners in the field, they can use a quinella part-wheel to narrow down the selections and reduce the cost of the wager.

With a part-wheel, the bettor chooses one main horse to place first or second and several others to finish in the top-two next to that selection. For example, if Horse #8 stands out as the strongest runner while horses #2, #3, #5, and #7 look like quality contenders, the bettor can place a $2 quinella part-wheel covering all five runners.

In this case, the bettor would place a $2 quinella wheel on 8 with 2, 3, 5, and 7. This bet would cost $8 and win with any of the following finishes:

  • 8-2, 2-8
  • 8-3, 3-8
  • 8-5, 5-8
  • 8-8, 7-8

Quinella Wheel vs. Quinella Box

The quinella wheel and quinella box function similarly, but the wheel is the better option for bettors with a particular horse in mind.

When bettors have identified one horse as the best candidate to finish first or second, the wheel is the better option because it is cheaper and still covers all or most outcomes involving that one horse.

Referring back to the example above, the quinella wheel on 8 with 2,3,5, and 7 involved five horses and cost a total of $8 because it was limited to outcomes involving horse #8. By comparison, a quinella box covering those same five horses would have cost $20 but covered more winning combinations.

A quinella box is the better choice for when bettors have identified multiple strong contenders but are unable to narrow it down much further than that. The quinella box covers more winning combinations, but it is also a more expensive wager.