How to Wager

State the number of the race that you would like to wager on.
State the DOLLAR AMOUNT of your wager. 
State the TYPE OF WAGER you wish to make (Win, Place, Show, Trifecta, etc. ).
State the NUMBER of the horse or horses from the program, on which you wish to bet.
Example: "I would like to make a wager at Tampa Bay Downs, Race 2." "I would like to bet $2 to win on number 3." "Please give me a $2 Exacta, 7 and 3."

Remember to check your tickets and count your money before leaving the window, and always keep your tickets until the race is declared OFFICIAL.

Then, if you are a winner, go to any pari-mutuel window and collect your winnings!

Types of Wagers

Win - When you bet a horse to win, you win if your horse finishes first.

Place - When you bet a horse to place, you win if your horse finishes first or second.

Show - When you bet a horse to show, you win if your horse finishes first, second or third.

Daily Double - To win the Daily Double, you must choose the winners of two races. Wagers must be placed prior to the first race of the Daily Double.

Exacta - To win an exacta bet, you must choose the two horses finishing first and second in exact order.

Trifecta - You must choose the first three finishers in their exact order.

Superfecta - You must choose the first four finishers in their exact order.

High-5 - You must pick the first five finishers in their exact order.  There will be two High-5 wagers daily with a carryover if it's not hit.

Pick-3 - You must choose the winner of three consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the three races.

Pick-4 - You must choose the winner of four consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the four races.

Pick-5 - You must choose the winner of five consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the five races.  If the Pick-5 is not hit, Tampa Bay Downs pays out for four correct picks! Because of the sheer difficulty of successfully choosing five straight winners, plus the large number of betting interests, it is common for there to be no winning wager on all five races. When that happens, the five-winner portion of the pool carries over to the following program, and continues to carry over until it is won. This allows the "carryover pool" to grow to large sums. The Pick-5 pool is also paid out in its entirety on a designated date, such as the last day of a race meet; if there are no five-winner tickets, then the pool is split among four-winner tickets.

Horse Racing Terms


Across the board
- a bet made on one horse to win, place or show

Age - all race horses in the northern hemisphere arbitrarily celebrate their birthday on January 1

Backstretch - the straightaway of the track away from the grandstand

Colors - color designations in horses:
Bay - brownish body coat with black points (legs, mane and tail, and ears)
Black - black with no brown or tan patches
Dark bay or brown - brown coat with areas of tan and black points
Chestnut - a reddish brown color varying from a dark liver color to coppery-gold
Gray or roan - a combination of white hairs with any one or several of the above-noted colors

Colt - a male horse (four years old or younger)

Dark day - day at a racetrack when there is no racing

Derby - stakes race for three-year-olds

Distaff - a race for female horses

Fast - the preferred rating for the racing surface; at its best, it is dry, firm and even

Filly - a female horse (four years-old or younger)

Furlong - a distance measuring one-eighth of a mile

Gelding - a male horse of any age that has had both testicles removed

Good - a track surface that is still drying out, but is almost "fast"

Handle - the sum of all wagers bet on a race or a card or during some period of time

Horse - in racing, a horse is narrowly defined as any male five years or older with genitalia intact

Inquiry - is a claim of foul lodged by a racing official

Juvenile - two-year-old horses

Length - measure of distance based on average length of a horse

Mare - a female horse (five years old or older)

Maiden - a horse which has not won a race

Muddy - a wet, sticky racing surface

Objection - is a claim of foul lodged by a jockey or trainer

Parimutuels - a betting system whereby bettors collect on the total money wagered after deduction of the house percentage

Route - in Thoroughbred racing, any distance greater than one mile

Scratch - a horse that has been withdrawn from a race

Sloppy - a track so saturated with rain that it has water lying on the surface

Slow - a slow track is a muddy surface which is beginning to dry out

Sprint - in Thoroughbred racing, any distance less than one mile