The quinella bet used to be a staple wager at most tracks, but with the advent of superfecta, Pick 3, and Pick 4 betting, the wager has become the forgotten bet among some horseplayers.
However, horse race quinella betting should not be overlooked, particularly for new bettors, because it is a low cost and low risk bet compared to most exotic wagers.
The wager itself is quite easy. A horseplayer selects two horses and a $2 quinella ticket would be a winner if the two horses finish in the top two spots, and the payoff is the same regardless of which of the two horses win the race.
That differs from exacta wagering, where there is a separate payoff for each combination. For instance, in exacta wagering if a 2/1 favorite wins and a 10/1 longshot runs second, the exacta might return $30. If however the longshot beats the favorite, the exacta might return $50 or $60.
In horse race quinellas, the payoff would be the same regardless of which of the two runners won the race. Below are a few more tips that hopefully will help you pad your bankroll.
Boxing the Quinella
The most popular way for betting quinellas is the good old fashioned quinella box. In a three way quinella box, you just need two of your three contenders to land first and second and you are cashing your ticket.
Below are the costs associated with $2 quinella boxes:
$2 quinella box of 3 horses = $6
$2 quinella box of 4 horses = $12
$2 quinella box of 5 horses = $20
$2 quinella box of 6 horses = $30
Using more than a three or four horse quinella box is not usually advised unless there is a large field and the race has the look of possibly including several longshots in the mix.
Investing in a five or six horse box would rarely show a long term profit, and should only be used when you think the top two betting favorites have little chance of finishing in the top two slots, and there are a handful of longshots in the race that look live.
If you have one horse you like to win the race, but cannot come up with the horse you think will run second, the quinella wheel might be the right wager for you, and it can be done affordably.
If you like the #1 to win, you could play a wheel with the 2,3,4,5,6 and the cost would be $10. If your key horse win and any of your five second choices run second, you cash.
In addition, if your key horse runs second to one of your contenders, you also cash your ticket. You do not have to worry about who finishes third and fourth like you do in trifecta and superfecta wagering, and you get plenty of coverage for a modest investment.
While you may not make many huge scores, you will consistently hit tickets, have good action, and not break the bank if you go on a short losing streak or have a run of bad luck.
Watching the Toteboard
For tracks that offer quinella wagering, you can usually see the probable payoffs on the toteboard or television screen, and the probable payoffs are available online.
With quinella pools generally smaller than the exacta pools, there are cases where an observant horseplayer can find value when comparing the pools.
In the exacta pool, you might see a probable payoff for a 1-2 exacta at $50 and the 2-1 exacta at $54.
Check the quinella pool. If the payoff for the 1-2 is $27 or more (for a $1), you are better off placing a quinella bet rather than an exacta wager.
These differences in the betting pools do show up, and if you shop around and watch the toteboard in the minutes leading up to post time you can use the information to make wagers that offer more value.
It is something that cannot be done with trifecta and superfecta wagering, where probable payoffs are not available before the race.
While there are sexier wagers like the Pick 4 or Pick 6 that can lead to a huge score, the above horse racing quinella betting tips can offer horseplayers plenty of action at a lower risk to the betting bankroll.