What is a Quinella Bet?

Ever heard of a Quinella bet and thought it was some exotic dessert? Think again! Forget sugary treats; Quinella is about predicting the winners with a twist. Want to know the secret to potentially cashing in on races without needing crystal ball accuracy? Let’s go!

Quinella Bet?

With Quinella, you only need to predict the top two horses in any order. Sounds easy. Well, hold your horses (pun intended!) because there’s more to this betting strategy than meets the eye.

What is a Quinella bet?

A quinella bet is a simple type of bet in horse racing where you pick two horses to finish first and second in any order. It’s a popular choice for both experienced bettors and beginners because it’s straightforward and offers an excellent chance to win.

Unlike more complicated bets, you don’t have to predict the exact order of finish, just the top two horses. It makes it less risky and easier to understand.

The quinella bet is attractive because it combines ease with the excitement of horse racing, giving you the thrill of predicting winners without the complexity of other bet types. It’s a great way to get into betting on horse races, offering a balance between challenge and reward. 

Here’s the key difference compared to other bets:

Quinella: Pick the top 2 horses in any order.

Exacta: Pick the top 2 horses in the exact order.

Trifecta: Pick the top 3 horses in the exact order.

How to Place a Quinella Wager

Select two horses from the race to place a Quinella wager and tell the teller how much you want to bet. The amount you win will depend on the odds of the horses you select and the amount you bet. For example, if you bet $2 on a Quinella with odds of 5-1, you would win $10 if your two horses finish first and second in any order.

Pros of Quinella Wagers

There are several advantages to placing Quinella wagers:

1. Higher chance of winning: Compared to bets like exactas, which require you to predict the exact finishing order, Quinella wagers give you a much higher chance of winning since you only need to pick the top two horses in any order.

2. More affordable: Quinella wagers are typically cheaper than other exotic bets, such as exactas and trifectas.

3. Quinella wagers can be more exciting to watch than win bets, as you have two horses to cheer for in the race.

Cons of Quinella Wagers

There are also a few disadvantages to keep in mind:

1. Lower payouts: Because Quinella wagers are more accessible to win than other exotic bets, the payouts are typically lower.

2. More competition: Quinella wagers are a popular choice for bettors, so there may be more competition for the pool, which can drive down the odds.

Tips for Winning Quinella Wagers

Here are a few tips to help you increase your chances of winning Quinella wagers:

1. Do your research: Before placing a bet, research the horses in the race and consider their past performances, recent form, and track conditions.

2. Consider value bets: Look for horses undervalued by the oddsmakers and could finish in the top two.

3. Don’t bet too much: Quinella wagers can be addictive, so it is essential to set a budget and stick to it.

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Types of Quinella Bets

It is the most basic type of quinella bet, where you pick 2 horses to finish first and second in any order. 

Boxed Quinella:

A boxed quinella allows you to select more than two horses, with a minimum of three horses required. Any combination of these horses finishing first and second will result in a winning bet. It improves your chances of winning but also increases the cost of the bet, as you are essentially placing multiple quinella bets in one.

Standout Quinella:

A standout quinella allows you to select one horse for first place and multiple horses for second place. If your first-place horse wins and any second-place horses finish second, you win the bet. It can be a good option if you strongly feel about one horse but are still deciding to spend a second.

Superfecta Quinella:

It is a more complex type of quinella bet available in some jurisdictions. It resembles a boxed quinella, but you must select four horses. Any combination of these horses finishing first and second will result in a winning bet.

How does a quinella bet work in horse racing?

A quinella bet in horse racing lets you predict the top two finishers, but the order doesn’t matter. Essentially, you pick two horses and say they’ll both be in first and second place, regardless of whether Horse A or B crosses the finish line.

Here’s how it works:

1. Choose Your Horses:

Select two from the race you believe will finish in the top two spots.

2. Place Your Bet:

Specify the amount you want to wager and inform the cashier or platform it’s a “quinella” bet for those two horses.

3. Wait for the Race:

Watch the horses compete and see if your predictions come true.

4. Collect Your Winnings:

If your chosen horses finish first and second, regardless of the order, you win! The payout will be considered based on the odds of your selected horses and the amount you bet.

How to Calculate Quinella Bets

Calculating payouts for quinella bets involves understanding the betting pool and how odds play into the final amounts paid to winners. Here’s a simplified overview of how quinella bets are calculated:

1. Total Betting Pool:

First, the money wagered on quinella bets for a specific race is gathered into a pool. This pool will be the source of the payouts for winning bets.

2. Takeout Rate:

The racetrack or betting platform will remove a certain percentage from the total pool as their fee for hosting the bet. It is known as the takeout rate and varies by track and jurisdiction, typically ranging from 15% to 25%.

3. Net Pool:

After the takeout, the remaining money forms the net pool and is distributed to the winners. The size of the net pool directly affects the payout.

4. Winning Tickets:

The money in the net pool is then divided by the number of winning quinella bets. If you and others have selected the winning quinella combination, the net pool is split among all winning tickets.

Example of Calculating a Quinella Payout:

Let’s assume a simple example to illustrate how a payout might be calculated:

  • Total quinella betting pool: $1,000
  • Takeout rate: 20%
  • Amount taken out: $1,000 * 20% = $200
  • Net pool: $1,000 – $200 = $800

Now, suppose there are 100 winning quinella tickets:

  • Net pool divided by winning tickets: $800 / 100 = $8 per winning ticket

Therefore, the payout for each $2 bet would be approximately $8, assuming each bettor only purchased one ticket.

Quinella vs. Exacta Box: 

Both Quinella and Exacta Box bets involve predicting the top two horses in a race, but they have key differences:


1. Concept: Pick two horses to finish first and second in any order. You win if your chosen horses finish in the top two, regardless of which one comes first.

2. Pros: Higher chance of winning than Exacta Box, lower cost per bet.

3. Cons: Lower payouts than Exacta Box, more competition for the pool.

Exacta Box:

1. Concept: Pick two or more horses and box them, meaning any combination of these horses finishing first and second makes you win.

2. Pros: Higher potential payout than Quinella, offers flexibility by covering multiple scenarios.

3. Cons: Lower chance of winning than Quinella, higher cost per bet (increases with more horses boxed).

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences:

FeatureQuinellaExacta Box
Number of horses chosen22 or more (boxed)
Winning conditionBoth chosen horses finish 1st and 2nd (any order)Any combination of boxed horses finish 1st and 2nd
Chance of winningHigherLower
Cost per betLowerHigher (increases with more horses)


Which bet is right for you?

1. If you are confident about two specific horses being in the top two but are still determining their exact order, a Quinella is a good choice.

2. If you want to hedge your bets and cover multiple scenarios with a higher potential payout, an Exacta Box is a better option, but be prepared for a higher cost per bet.


A quinella bet is a famous wager in horse racing that allows bettors to pick two horses to finish first and second in any order, simplifying the betting process and lowering the barrier for entry. This bet type is favored for its straightforward nature and strategic opportunities, balancing risk and reward.

Quinella bets are accessible to both beginners and experienced bettors, providing flexibility through variations like the boxed and banker quinella. It encapsulates the excitement of horse racing, offering participants a chance to engage with the sport through a potentially profitable betting option, emphasizing the excitement of competition and the analysis of horse performance.


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