There is no reason to feel intimidated about wagering on a horse race. Wagering on the races is fun, exciting and challenges your intellect. From the serious player to the casual bettor, all it takes is a bit of luck and some faith in your selection. We offer a FREE racing seminar every other Saturday from 11AM until Noon. Guests interact with the hosts, asking questions and getting the inside track on the races from Parx Racing. At Parx Racing, we want every guest to be a winner. Newcomer Guides are available at the Guest Service Center on the first level of the racetrack or read our newcomers guide below:

Newcomers Guide

Types of Wagers

Win You wager on a horse to finish first in a given race.
Place Your horse must come in either first or second in a given race.
Show Your horse must finish first, second or third in any given race.
Exacta Requires you to pick the first and second place horses in exact order in a given race.
Trifecta Pick the first, second and third place horses in exact order in a given race.
Superfecta Pick the first, second, third and fourth place finishers in exact order in a given race.
Daily Double Pick the winners of the first and second races from a selected track.
Boxing Allows your horses to come in any order in an Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta.
Example: Exacta Box 1,2 pays if the horses finish 1,2 or 2,1.

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR TICKETS BEFORE LEAVING THE MUTUEL WINDOW or before pushing the "finish" button on a Self-Automated Teller machine. Must be 18 years of age in the State of Pennsylvania to wager.

Wagering Terms

Across the board Three equal wagers placed on one horse to win, place and to show.
Closing Odds The odds displayed on the tote board after wagering closes.
Daily Double A wager whereby the bettor must select the winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second races, prior to the first race.
Handicapping The total amount wagered on a race or on a day's races.
Morning Line The track handicappers' estimate of the probable payoffs for each horse at post time.
Odds-On Odds that are less than even money ($1 to $1)
Pari-Mutuel The wagering format which allows each player to compete against the other players ("among ourselves") rather than against the track.
Parlay A wagering technique whereby the bettor reinvests the proceeds from a wager in one race into another race or races.
Pool The total amount of money wagered on any one type of wager (win, show, exacta pools, etc.)
Tote Board An electronic board displaying approximate odds, amount wagered, track condition, post time, time of day, results of race, running time and payoff prices.
Wheel To make an exotic wager (e.g. exacta or daily double) using a single "key" horse with the balance of the field (in the case of an exacta) or all the horses in the other race (in the case of a daily double)

Placing a Wager

When you go to the teller's window, remember these five easy steps for placing your wagers:

1. SAY THE TRACK. (Parx Racing simulcasts races from all over the country)

For example: "Parx Racing, race three, two dollars to win on the eight." Always wager by the program number, not by the horse's name.

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR TICKETS BEFORE LEAVING THE MUTUEL WINDOW or before pushing the "finish" button on a Self-Automated Teller machine. Must be 18 years of age in the State of Pennsylvania to wager.

Horse Racing Terms

Dirt Track Conditions
Fast A track that is completely dry and at optimal efficiency.
Sloppy A track that continues to accumulate moisture during or immediately after a heavy rain, which begins to seep into the base. The base is still solid, but the surface water is evident.
Muddy A track whose base has been permeated by moisture. Times are somewhat slower, and running tires the horses more.
Slow A track surface that has begun to dry out. The base is still soft, but surface drying is evident. Times are generally slower than normal.
Good The track's drying out process continues, and some flying dust is evident. Times improve and the track is approaching a Fast condition.
Turf Track Conditions
Firm A turf course that is completely dry and at optimal efficiency (equivalent to Fast on a dirt track.)
Hard A track surface on which horses do not have normal cushion. Turf courses frequently become hard after periods of drought and high temperatures.
Soft A turf course becomes yielding after prolonged rain. Horses' hooves sink in and dig up the course, and times are considerably slower.
Equipment & Medication
Bandages Wrappings used on a horse's legs to protect them from injury.
Bit Metal bar in horse's mouth to which reins are attached by which the horse is guided and controlled.
Blinkers Eye cups attached to a hood to limit a horse's side vision and prevent distraction.
Bridle Piece of equipment placed on the horse's head used by the jockey to steer and control the horse. The bit is part of this equipment.
Bute A horse medication allowed in many race jurisdictions that is used to control inflammation.
Color (Silks) Distinctively patterned and colored jacket and cap worn by the jockey to identify the horse's owner.
Halter A piece of equipment placed on a horse's head similar to a bridle but lacking a bit and reins. A long leather shank is attached to the halter for walking the horse.
Irons A term commonly used for the rider's stirrups.
Lasix A horse medication allowed in many race jurisdictions that is used to control bleeding, a condition which occurs when tiny blood vessels in a horse's respiratory system are damaged by exertion.
Tack The saddle and other equipment worn by a horse during racing or exercise.
Tongue Tie Strap or cloth bandage used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent him from swallowing it, or to place the tongue over the bit in a race or workout.


Odds Payout Odds Payout Odds Payout
1-9 $2.20 6-5 $4.40 3-1 $8.00
1-5 $2.40 7-5 $4.80 7-2 $9.00
2-5 $2.80 3-2 $5.00 4-1 $10.00
1-2 $3.00 8-5 $5.20 9-2 $11.00
3-5 $3.20 9-5 $5.60 5-1 $12.00
4-5 $3.60 2-1 $6.00 6-1 $14.00
1-1 $4.00 5-2 $7.00 7-1 $16.00

Takeout Rates

Win, Place, Show 17%
Exacta 20%
Doubles 20%
Trifecta 25%
Superfecta 25%
Pick 3 25%
Pick 4 25%
Philly Big 5 15% with 30% Carryover