To a newcomer, betting terminology can seem intimidating. What the heck does the person ahead of you in line mean when they tell a ticket-seller "Please give me a trifecta key, 2 to win with 7-8 with 1-4-7-8"?
But even if it is a little more complicated than ordering a cheeseburger, there is no reason first-time Tampa Bay Downs visitors can't walk away with a profit, thanks to low takeout rates and the wealth of past-performance information provided in the program.
Tampa Bay Downs is considered one of the most bettor-friendly Thoroughbred tracks in the country, for a number of reasons. First, the takeout rates (the percentage deducted from each wager to cover taxes and administrative costs) are among the lowest in North America: 15 percent on the Pick-5; 17 percent on win, place and show; 18 percent on the daily double, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Super High-5; 20.5 percent on exactas; and 25.9 percent on the trifecta and all other wagers.
Next, with an average field size of more than eight horses per race, payoffs generally are higher than they are at tracks with fewer runners. And with safe, consistent dirt and turf tracks that attract many of the nation's leading stables, bettors can expect to wager on high-quality horses that run true to form.
Whether you prefer to back your selection with a straight win, place and show wager, or delve into the "exotic" world of exactas, trifectas, superfectas, the Super High-5, Pick-3s, Pick-4s and the 50-cent Pick-5, Tampa Bay Downs guarantees a full card of wagering opportunities.
Oh, and just for the record: The example cited at the beginning would require the No. 2 horse to win, either the 7 or 8 to finish second and either the 1, 4, 7 or 8 to finish third for the bettor to hear the "cha-ching" sound that requires no explanation!