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One of the most important parts of the Kentucky Derby is the betting. With the 144th edition of the race coming up this weekend, here’s a look at the different types of bets you can make.


Straight Bets for the Kentucky Derby 

The easiest bets to start with are the straight bets, which are for the top three finishers. They’re known as win, place and show. Win is for first predicting the first-place winner, place is for predicting first or second, and show is for predicting first, second or third. Betting on a straight up win offers a bigger payout than place and show, which offer better odds of winning.

Another basic horse racing bet is the head-to-head. Often reserved for the big races, like the Kentucky Derby, head-to-head bets create matchups between the horses. You can bet on which horse you think will do better. With head-to-head bets, your picks don’t have to win the race, but they do have to beat the horse they’re matched up with.


Exotic Bets for the Kentucky Derby 

Exotic bets are a bit more complicated, but offer bigger payouts. Let’s start with the exacta bet. That’s when you bet on two horses to finish first and second in the order you specified. Next is the quinella, which is when you bet on two horses to finish first or second in any order. That’s also known as an exacta box. Next is a trifecta, which involves betting on three horses to finish first, second and third, in the order you specified. The superfecta is same, but with four horses, finishing in the first four places in the order you selected. Exactas and quinellas are easier to hit than trifectas and superfectas, so they offer smaller payouts.

There’s also the Daily Double, which involves picking the winner in the two races marked as the Daily Double races. If your two horses win, you win, but you have to make your bets before the first race begins. You can include a third race in the bet by wagering on a Pick 3 instead of the Daily Double. With a Pick 3, you pick the winners for three consecutive races. You can also opt for a Pick 4 for four races and a Pick 6 for six races. Pick 6 is the largest bet you can make; you’ll get paid well if you win, but it’s difficult to do. But, as is the case with gambling, with greater risk comes greater reward.

The field of 20 horses and their post positions were drawn on Tuesday, and we have all your Kentucky Derby odds. Be sure to get in all of your action before the race post time, which is 6:34 PM ET on Saturday.


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