Playing the ponies brings a lot of excitement to Canadian bettors who can’t wait for events such as The Queen’s Plate to test their knowledge of the turf and hopefully win some money. Most players are familiar with the standard horse betting options, such as win, show, and the like, but there are plenty of other, more exotic bets you should consider and which can ramp up the excitement, as well as the expected payout.

One such bet is the quinella bet, often considered the simplest of all exotic bets you can play at a racetrack or any online horse-betting site. Here’s a breakdown of all the essential features and factors of the quinella bet.

How Does the Quinella Bet Work?

Quinella bet is a horse racing wager that involves selecting runners to finish first and second in a race, regardless of their order. As long as your chosen horses finish first and second, you’ll have a winning quinella bet. Let’s illustrate that with an example.

Say you placed a $10 quinella bet on horses #4 and #5 on the Breeders’ Stakes race of the Canadian Triple Crown series. You will be looking at a payout no matter which of the two horses finishes first or second. If either of the two horses doesn’t win or place, you lose the bet.

Many players confuse the quinella bet for the exacta bet, but there’s no blame to pass since these two bets are quite similar. Namely, the exacta bet also involves betting on two horses to finish in the top two places in a race but in the exact order, unlike the quinella bet where their order is irrelevant.

The typical value of a quinella bet is set at a minimum of $2, but it all depends on the type of quinella bet you place. Typically, quinella is a cheaper bet to place than exacta since you will need to bet at least $4 to cover all the possible outcomes from the quinella bet in its exacta counterpart. However, the payouts from a correct quinella bet won’t be as great as those from the exacta bet.

Quinella Types

Whether you just want to have a flutter on the horses or you are a big-time bettor, no one wants to squander their money on the turf, which is why you must learn more about the different types of bets you can place and what they imply. There are multiple kinds of quinella bets, so let’s see what they are and learn how to place them.

Straight Quinella

The straight quinella is the basic form of this bet and involves choosing any of the two horses from the race to finish first and second. If you have placed a wager on horses #6 and #8, you will win if the horses finish the race first and second, regardless of the order.

Straight quinella payouts depend on two factors: how much money you wagered and whether you placed a bet on the favourite. If you choose horses that belong to a group of “outsiders” in a race, and they take the podium, you will be looking at a hefty payout.

Quinella Box

A quinella box bet lets players bet on more than two horses, and any combination of the selected horses placing and winning will result in a payout. By adding more horses, your odds of winning increase, but so does the cost of the bet, while the winning amount decreases proportionally. The cost of adding a horse to the quinella bet is usually $2, plus the initial bet. Here’s how the math works.

Let’s say you place a quinella bet on horses #4, #7, and #8. Each win and place combination is considered a separate $2 bet, which means the total bet will be $6.

Quinella Wheel

A quinella wheel bet resembles the quinella box bet, but the horses are combined differently. Namely, a single horse is chosen to either win or place in all of the bets and combinations, while other horses can be paired differently.

For example, if you think horse #6 is the favourite to win and that horses #3, #2, and #5 have decent chances of success, you can then place a $2 quinella wheel #4 bet with 3-2-5, so the total bet will be at least $6 since horse number #4 will be paired with all the other horses.

How to Place a Quinella Bet

It is exceedingly easy to place a quinella bet in any of the online bookmakers. Once you have found a horse race you want to bet on, you need to click on the Quinella option under the Exotic Bets tab. Select the runners you want in your quinella, which will determine the type of quinella you wish to use. Then, input the amount you wish to bet, and your betting slip will be generated, containing all the necessary information.

How to Calculate Quinella Payouts

The winnings from quinella bets are calculated based on the pari-mutuel betting system, where all winning tickets share a portion of the joint prize pool. The more players place quinella bets, the bigger the prize pool. Remember that adding horses to your quinella bet might increase the odds of winning, but it will also reduce the payouts.


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