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Win, Place, and Show Wagering

Looking to jump in the betting pool? A good place to start is with traditional wagering, or the simplest way to wager, and that is in the win, place, and show pools.

A Win bet is simple. You cash if your horse wins. If you wager $2.00 on a 5/1 shot and it wins, your ticket will be worth $12.00.

If you wager on a horse to Place, your horse must finish either first or second. Since the pool will be split between the winner and runner up, expect a shorter payoff.

If you wager on a horse to Show, your horse must finish either first, second, or third. Since the pool is split three ways, the payoff generally will be even smaller.

Traditional wagering is a lower risk proposition compared to more complicated bets like the Pick 6, which could pay into the millions. However, the wagers should not be overlooked, particularly among novice horseplayers.

It is better to cash many small tickets than being knocked out of the Pick 6 in the first leg.

In addition, tracks have a lower takeout rate on win place and show betting as compared to exotic wagers.

For instance at New York tracks, the takeout on a win wager is 16%, 18.5% on exactas, and 26% on trifectas and superfectas.

The term “Across the Board" wager means you are wagering on a horse to Win, Place and Show on one ticket. If your horse wins, you receive Win, Place and Show payoffs. If your horse finishes second, you receive Place and Show payoffs; and if your horse is third, you receive the Show payoff only.

For new players, do not jump in the deep end of the pool without at least trying to build your bankroll through more traditional bets.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey on Win, Place, and Show Wagering: “The win bet may be the forgotten bet. However, it is still a viable option and should not be overlooked. If you tune into to TVG, you would think the Pick 4 and the Pick 6 are the only bets available. Don’t be fooled, you can make money on lower risk bets. Betting to Win, Place, and Show are also better for your hairline and blood pressure.”