Many newcomers to the horse racing game may not know this, but the daily double was the first exotic wager offered at racetracks.
It was first offered at Connaught Park Racetrack in Ottawa in 1931, used as an incentive to get horseplayers to the track early.
For years it was the only exotic wager, and then some tracks went nutty by offering it on the last two races on the card, presumably to keep horseplayers from going home early.
Now most tracks offer “rolling doubles” with a new daily double starting on every race. With so many other exotic wagers now on the menu, the daily double has taken a back seat and is a forgotten wager among some horseplayers.
However, it is a good way to find value and often times it seems easier to hit than it is to knock down an exacta. Sometimes it is easier to figure out who is going to win a race as opposed to who is going to run second.
If you wanted to use two horses in each race of the daily double, a $2 ticket would cost $8.
If you played a 1,2 in the first race with 1,2 in the second race, one of your two contenders must win each leg of the daily double in order for you to cash the ticket.
The rolling doubles are a good option to horseplayers that like to play Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets, but have a limited bankroll.
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Michael Dempsey on daily double wagering:
“I love playing daily doubles, it is one of my favorite exotic wagers. I like the fact I can see probables on the toteboard, and if the first or last leg of a Pick 3 sequence involves a chalk that looks tough to beat, I stay away from the Pick 3, and look at the probables for the daily double. It is a much underrated wager, and a great learning tool for new players as they expand their horizontal wagering. And for your information, the track does not need to tempt me with the early daily double to get to the track on time, I’m never late.”