A Quinella Bet is picking horses to finish first and second. Final order does not matter. Place a straight quinella, quinella wheel or quinella box. Each quinella variant has its own mechanics and cost. This tutorial explains how to place each quinella. See example quinella bets and cost tables below.
A winning quinella bet can produce a modest payout. Winning quinellas with longshot horses pay more than those with heavy favorites.
$2 Quinellas operate like $1 exacta boxes. Handicappers may notice occasional differences between each bet’s payout. Always take the more profitable bet.
First, let’s define a quinella bet.
The following video clip explains how to place this bet. Watch the entire video for other horse bets.
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Straight Quinella Bet
Choose 2 horses to finish top 2. Final order does not matter.
Your quinella wins if the horses finish top 2 in any order.
How to Place a Quinella Bet
- Choose "Quinella Bet".
- Horses will be listed on the left. The next "ML" column contains the odds.
- Select two horses. Final order does not matter. In this diagram, the first horse has 5/2 odds and the second horse has 8/5 odds.
- Notes: Your 2 horses must finish in the top 2 in any order.
$2 Straight Quinella on horses 7-3 means you are betting $2 that horses 7 and 3 will finish top 2 in any order.
Quinella Box Bet
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A Quinella Box bet is picking any number of horses to finish top 2. Final order does not matter.
Your quinella box bet wins if any of your horses finish in the top 2 in any order.
The quinella box costs more than a straight quinella because you must pay for each possible finishing combination.
Note: Quinellas boxes operate like exacta boxes. There may be a slight difference in final payouts. Choose the most profitable option. This is an advanced horse betting strategy.
Cost: $2 per Combination
Quinella Box Cost
H = Total number of horses being boxed.
C = Cost per Combination, usually $2.
((H x (H – 1))/2) x C
A 4 horse quinella box costs $12 for 6 combinations: ((4 x 3)/2) x $2.
Racebooks will calculate quinella box cost for you. See also this calculator.
How to Place a Box Bet
- Choose "Quinella Bet".
- Horses will be listed on the left. The next “ML” column contains the odds.
- Select 3 or more horses to finish top 2. Final order does not matter.
- You must select “Box” wager. Alernatively, just select 3 or more horses. This indicates the bet is a Quinella Box.
- Notes: Sportsbook will calculate box cost automatically.
A 5 Horse Quinella Box on Horses 2-7-5-8-6 means you are betting $2 that any combination horses 2, 7, 5, 8 or 6 will finish top 2 in any order. This quinella box costs $20 for 10 possible finishing combinations.
Quinella vs 2 Horse Exacta Box
A quinella and exacta box payout after the same race result. Two horses must finish first and second in any order. The mechanics of each bet differ.
The quinella is one bet on 2 horses. Horses A and B can finish either A-B or B-A.
The 2 horse exacta box is 2 different bets on A and B.
- Horses finish A-B.
- Horses finish B-A.
Each horses’s odds will produce two different payouts. This happens when a favorite is paired with a longshot. A winning longshot followed by a heavy favorite would pay more than the reverse result.
Quinella vs. 2 Horse Exacta Box Equation
Use the following equation to determine whether a quinella or exacta box is better for 2 horses.
Q/E1 + Q/E2 <> 1
- Q = 2 horse quinella payout.
- E1 = 2 horse exacta payout finishing A-B.
- E2 = 2 horse exacta payout finishing B-A.
- Results greater than 1 indicate the quinella is a better choice than an exacta box.
Q = $15 Quinella Payout
E1 = $20 Exacta Payout A-B
E2 = $50 Exacta Payout B-A
$15/$20 + $15/$50 = 0.75 + 0.3 = 1.05
1.05 > 1. Therefore, the quinella is the better bet.
Quinella Wheel Bet
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A Quinella Wheel bet is picking sets of horses to finish top 2 in any order. Each set is called a key. Each key contains 1 or more horses.
Two Quinella Wheel Bets
Quinella Full Wheel – Put one horse in the 1st key with all other horses in the 2nd key. Alternatively, wheel 1 horse in the 2nd with all others in the 1st.
Quinella Part Wheel – Put one or more horses in the 1st key with your own set of horses in the 2nd key. The part wheel does not include all other horses.
Quinella Wheel Details
A horse can be included in multiple keys. This is common for heavy favorites. They are more likely to finish in the top 2 than a longshot.
A quinella wheel bet requires horses in the top 2 from 2 sets of horses. Note that a quinella box bet requires any order of 3 or more horses.
Your quinella wheel bet wins if a horse from the 1st key finishes top 2 and a horse from the 2nd key finishes top 2.
Cost: $2 per Combination
Quinella Wheel Cost
This calcuation is more complicated because the same horse can included in multiple keys. Racebooks will calculate your quinella wheel cost automatically.
Quinella Wheel Combination Calcuation
A = Number Horses Key 1
B = Number Horses Key 2
AB = Number same horses in both keys.
(A x B) – (AB) = Combinations
Multiply combinations times cost per combination.
Racebooks will calculate quinella wheel cost for you. See also this calculator.
4 Horse Quinella Part Wheel. 1 with 2-3-4 costs $6.
- 1st Key – Horse 1
- 2nd Key – Horses 2, 3 and 4
Example Cost Calculation:
(A x B) = 1 x 3 = 3
– (AB) = 0
3 – 0 = 3 Combinations x $2 = $6
Quinella Betting Reference
$2 Quinella Box
3 horses = $6
4 horses = $12
5 horses = $20
6 horses = $30
7 horses = $42
8 horses = $56
9 horses = $72
10 horses = $90
11 horses = $110
12 horses = $132
$2 Quinella Full Wheel with N Horses
Read as 1 with N Horses
2 horses = $4 (1 with 2 horses)
3 horses = $6 (1 with 3 horses)
4 horses = $8
5 horses = $10
6 horses = $12
7 horses = $14
8 horses = $16
9 horses = $18
10 horses = $20
11 horses = $22