What are vertical bets in horse racing?

Making a vertical bet on a horse race means you are attempting to predict multiple placings – not just the horse who is going to win a race.

Examples of vertical bets include:

  • Exacta (picking the top two finishers)
  • Trifecta (picking the top three finishers)
  • Superfecta (picking the top four finishers)
  • Super-Hi (picking the top five finishers)

To successfully cash a vertical bet, you must predict the finish in the correct order.

Many bettors will use “box” bets that automatically cover all possible outcomes. In other words, a $1 trifecta using the 3, 7, and 9 horses costs $1, but they have to finish in that exact order. A $1 trifecta box using those same three horses costs $6, but as long as they finish in the top three, you will collect on your ticket no matter the order they finish. It's a higher buy-in, but your chances of cashing a major payday are greatly increased. 

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