Boxes & Wheels

BOXING A BET

This term is used when multiple horses are selected in wagers where the bettor is not sure of the order in which the horses will finish.  As an example, you wish to bet an exacta, but think that three or perhaps four horses have a real chance of finishing first or second.  You can box these selections, which allows you to play the horses you like and not worry about the order in which they finish.

EXACTA BOX

When you select two or more horses in a race and wish to cover every possible exacta combination with those selections, an exacta box simplifies  this bet.

Example:  You like the #4, #5 and #6 in the fifth race.  Since the exacta requires you to select the first and second horses in their exact order of finish, this three horse box example would involve  six combinations: 4-5, 4-6, 5-4, 5-6, 6-4 and 6-5.  Instead of making all six wagers separately, you can ask for a “$2 exacta box, 4-5-6” for a cost of $12.

The following table shows the cost of various exacta boxes:

# HORSES   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
COMBINATIONS   2   6   12   20   30   42   56   72
COST FOR $2   4   12   24   40   60   84   112   144

TRIFECTA BOX

When you select three or more horses in a race and wish to cover every possible trifecta combination with those selections, a trifecta box simplifies this bet.

Example: You like the #3, #4, #5 & #6 in the fourth race.  Since the trifecta requires you to select the first, second and third horses in their exact order of finish, this four horse box example would involve 24 combinations: 3-4-5, 3-4-6, 3-5-4, 3-5-6, 3-6-4, 3-6-5, 4-3-5, etc.  Instead of making all 24 wagers separately, you can ask for “$1 trifecta box, 3-4-5-6” for a cost of $24.

The following table shows the cost of various trifecta boxes:

# HORSES   3   4   5   6   7   8
COMBINATIONS   6   24   60   120   210   336
COST FOR $2   12   48   120   240   420   672

WHEEL/KEY

This type of wager can be used when you feel that one of your selections will finish in a certain position, either first, second or third.  The horse you select to finish in a certain position is your “key” horse.  The other horses you have selected may then finish in any order and you are a winner.  As an example, let’s say that you wish to bet a trifecta and you feel strongly that the #2 will win the race.  In this situation, you can “key” the #2 on top (to win) with your other selections.  If #2 wins and any of your other selections finish second and third, you would win.

EXACTA WHEEL

When you select a horse to finish either first or second and wheel it in the exacta, you cover every combination so that if your horse finishes in the selected position, you will have the winning combination.

Example:  You like the #5 horse to win the seventh race, which has a seven horse field.  Since the exacta requires you to select the first and second horses in their exact order of finish, this would involve six combinations: 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-6 and 5-7.  Instead of making all six combinations separately, you can ask for a “$2 exacta wheel, 5-ALL” for a cost of $12.

DAILY DOUBLE WHEEL

When you choose a horse to win the first half of the Daily Double and you wheel it, you cover every combination so that if your horse wins, you have every horse in the second half of the Daily Double.

Example:  You like the #4 horse to win the first race.  Since the Daily Double requires you to pick the winners of two races, the number of combinations is the same as the number of horses in the other Daily Double race.  So, if there are 11 horses in the second race, there would be 11 combinations: 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 4-7, 4-8, 4-9, 4-10 and 4-11.  Instead of making all 11 combinations separately, you can ask for a “$2 Daily Double Wheel, 3-All” for a cost of $22.

You may also “back wheel” a horse.  If you like a horse in the second half of the Daily Double, you can ask for a “$2 Daily Double wheel, ALL-7.”  In this case, you win if #7 wins the second half of the Daily Double.

EXACTA PART WHEEL

See explanation given under Daily Double Part Wheel.

DAILY DOUBLE PART WHEEL

If you do not want to cover every combination, a part wheel reduces the number of possible combinations while still simplifying the bet.  An example would be a “$2 Daily Double part wheel, 5 with 1,2,5 and 7.”  This would cover four possible combinations; 5-1,5-2,5-5 & 5-7.

TRIFECTA PART WHEEL

When    you select horses to finish in certain positions, a trifecta part wheel simplifies the number of individual bets necessary to cover all possible winning combinations.

Example:  You like the #2 and #3 to finish either first or second in the fourth race and the #4, #5 or #6 to finish third.  Since the trifecta requires you to select the first, second and third horses in their exact order of finish, this would involve six combinations: 2-3-4, 3-2-4, 2-3-5, 3-2-5, 2-3-6, and 3-2-6.  Instead of making all six combinations separately you can ask for a “$1 Trifecta Part-Wheel, 2-3 with 2-3 with 4-5-6” for a cost of $6.

The trifecta part wheel allows you to preference your selections.  In most cases, you will have one or two preferred choices to win, but since it is easier for less preferred horses to finish second and third, you would want to include more horses in these positions.

TRIFECTA WHEEL

When you select a horse to finish either first, second or third and wheel it in the trifecta, you cover every combination so that if your horse finishes in the selected position, you will have the winning combination.

Example:  You like the #3 horse to finish second in the fourth race, which has a ten horse field.  Since the trifecta requires you to select the first, second and third horses in their exact order of finish, this would involve 72 combinations:    1-(3)-2, 1-(3)-4,1-(3)-5… 2-(3)-1, 2-(3)-4…10-(3)-9.  Instead of making all 72 combinations separately, you can ask for a “$1 trifecta wheel, ALL-3-ALL” for a cost of $72.

The following table shows the costs of wheeling one horse in a specific position in the trifecta.  The cost is the same whether the position selected is first, second or third, but varies based on the size of the field:

# HORSES   7   8   9   10   11   12
COMBINATIONS   30   42   56   72   90   110
COST FOR $2   60   84   112   144   180   220