Wagering 101

Getting Started – Learning to play

Everyone has their own strategy for picking the race’s winning combination. Some do a detailed analysis on each greyhound in the race, some use a number system based on statistics, while others simply pick a greyhound based on their number or the dog’s name.

Regardless of strategy, anyone has the ability to bet. Just follow the steps below to get started.

What to do when you get to the track

  • Get a program – First things first, when you get to the track, buy a program for the track you want to bet on. Racing programs tell you the list of greyhounds for each race and give you important information on how each dog has done in past races. Programs are available at each entrance.
  • Pick up a tip sheet – If you are new to betting, our tip sheets will show you our handicappers’ top picks.
  • Ask for assistance if needed – Studying a program for the first time might be a little overwhelming. There are guides to help you within the program. Valley Race Park also has experienced betting guides who walk around the grandstand to assist with your betting questions. Just look for the red vest.
  • Check for race day changes – Before deciding which greyhound to bet on, check the television screen to see if any dogs have been scratched from the race or any other changes have been made.
  • Make a selection – Now for the fun part. You have your dog(s) picked. Time to make a bet! The various wagers are listed below. If you’re new to the game, you may want to start out with the simple win, place, and show bets. Then try your hand at some more complex wagers.

Some tips to remember

  • Always wager by the dog’s number in the program, not by the dog's name.
  • Always check your ticket before leaving the mutuel teller window or before pushing the “finish” button on a Self-Automated Teller machine.
  • State law prohibits any cancellation of a win ticket valued at $501 or more.
  • Tickets can only be cancelled if there is a late scratch involving one of the dogs on your ticket.
  • All patrons of Valley Race Park must be 21 years of age to wager or consume alcoholic beverages.

Types of Wagers

Every race, Valley Race Park offers a wide variety of wagers for you to choose from. Here are some of the key wagers available.

WIN – offered every race when you wager to win, your dog must finish first in order to collect. To wager to WIN, you say “I want $2 to WIN on number 3.” 
PLACE – offered every race when you wager to place, your dog must finish first or second. To wager to PLACE, you say, “I want $2 to PLACE on number 3.”
SHOW – offered every race

When you wager to show, your dog can finish first, second, or third. A show wager is the most conservative wager, but it typically yields the smallest payoff. To wager to SHOW, you say, “I want $2 to SHOW on number 3.”

ACROSS THE BOARD or COMBINATION – offered every race when you wager across the board or combination, your dog must win, place, or show. To wager ACROSS THE BOARD or COMBINATION, you say, “I want $2 ACROSS THE BOARD on number 1.” Your wager will be $6.

QUINELLA – This is a $2 wager in which you select two dogs to finish in first AND second. For example, you wager $2 and pick two numbers (for example, 1 and 2), and you win if the race finishes either 1-2 or 2-1. Your two numbers must cross the finish line first and second, but they can finish in either order.

To wager the QUINELLA, you say “$2 QUINELLA on 1-2.”

  • A QUINELLA WHEEL or PART WHEEL involves “keying” one dog with several others in your wager.
  • A QUINELLA BOX involves combining all possible combinations of a group of dogs in the QUINELLA. 
    EXACTA – This requires a $2 minimum for each wager. Your top two selections must finish in exact order for you to win. Exactas yield a higher return than quinellas.
    To wager an EXACTA, you say “$2 EXACTA on the 1-2.”
  • An EXACTA WHEEL involves “keying” one dog with several others in your wager.
  • An EXACTA BOX involves combining all possible combinations of a group of dogs in the EXACTA.
    TRIFECTA – This is a $2 wager like the exacta, but you must pick the first three dogs to cross the finish line in exact order. Because this is more difficult, it will return more than an exacta.
    To wager on a TRIFECTA, you say, “$2 TRIFECTA on the 1, 2 and 3.”
  • A TRIFECTA WHEEL involves “keying” one dog with several others in the wager.
  • A TRIFECTA BOX involves combining all possible combinations of a group of dogs in the TRIFECTA.
    SUPERFECTA – This is a $2 wager where you must select the first four greyhounds to cross the finish line in exact order. Once again, your return will be greater than the exacta and trifecta because it is a more complex wager.
    To Wager a SUPERFECTA, you say, “$2 SUPERFECTA on the 1, 2, 3 and 4.”
  • A SUPERFECTA WHEEL involves “keying” one dog with several others in the wager.
  • A SUPERFECTA BOX involves combining all possible combinations of a group of dogs in the SUPERFECTA.

Wagering Terms

The name of the game is wagering. Here are some of the wagering terms you might hear at Valley Race Park:

Three equal wagers placed on one greyhound to win, place and to show.

The odds displayed on the tote board after wagering closes.

A wager whereby the bettor must select the winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second races, prior to the first race.

Studying greyhounds' race histories to select the best wagering options.

The total amount wagered on a race or on a day's races.

The track handicappers' estimate of the probable payoffs for each greyhound at post time.

Odds that are less than even money ($1 to $1)

The wagering format which allows each player to compete against the other players ("among ourselves") rather than against the track.

A wagering technique whereby the bettor reinvests the proceeds from a wager in one race into another race or races.

The total amount of money wagered on any one type of wager (win, show, exacta pools, etc.)

The system of computers and electronic components tied to the pari-mutuel ticket issuing machines that calculates the odds to $1 and computes the various winning payoffs.

An electronic board displaying approximate odds, amount wagered, track condition, post time, time of day, results of race, running time and payoff prices.

To make an exotic wager (e.g. exacta or daily double) using a single "key" dog with the balance of the field (in the case of an exacta) or all the greyhounds in the other race (in the case of a daily double)