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Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Take a Look at Some New Wagers

Here in North America, horseplayers are basically given the choice of WPS, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pentafecta, Daily Double, and Pick X wagers.  Some people feel quite comfortable with these wagers, feeling no need to add additional wagers to the wagering menu.  Others feel there are too many wagers in the mix already diluting pools.  But perhaps there are some other wagers out there in the rest of the world or even from the greyhound world which may be worth exploring.  My personal thought is some of these wagers can be winners provided they are just not added as another wager in a race to dilute pools further.  Over the next few days, depending on other news which may come up, I will discuss some of these additional wagers.  I'm not saying each of these wagers will be a winner; but they are worth discussing just the same.

I would like to hear your thoughts on some of these wagers.  Can they be winners or are they clunkers?

Today, let's look at some wagers offered in North America which are not traditionally offered at harness tracks.

DOUBLE QUINIELLA (a mainstay at greyhound tracks) - To win the double quiniella, a gambler must select the quiniella in two consecutive races. Both halves of the wager is wagered at the same time.  Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Not as easy as it sounds.  You try to pick the top two horses two races in a row in either order and see how you do.  The few times I have seen the Double Quiniella, it has tended to pay at least $200.00 and that was not with longshots.   No, not a large amount that may appeal to the heavy gambler, but for the novice or newcomer, the option to be able to play a wager for just $2 and have the possibility of winning a decent amount of money may be appealing.  For the experienced gambler who just does not have the financial resources to play the Pick-4+ wagers, it gives them a chance to participate in a wager that may pay well.

DOUBLE EXACTA - A variation of the Double Quiniella.  To win the double exacta, a gambler must select the exacta in two consecutive races. Both halves of the wager is wagered at the same time.  Much harder to hit than the Double Quiniella, which means it has the potential of even larger payoffs.  This wager typicall has a carryover feature (no consolation payoff) so the jackpot can build fast.  Once again, like the Double Quiniella, it gives those with less deep pockets a chance to play an exotic wager with a better than normal payoff with a reasonable chance of success.

TRI-SUPER WAGER (another greyhound racing wager) - To win the Tri-Super, a gambler must select the triple in one race and if they win that half, they get their share of 25% of the pool and exchange their ticket for a superfecta later in the program with the remaining 75% of the pool being added to the carryover (if there is one). To win the second half, the gambler must have the superfecta in exact order.  This is not a wager for the horseplayer lacking deep pockets.  For example, a gambler may box three horses in the first half of the Tri-Super and win it; that only entitles them to one 'straight' wager in the superfecta wager (though I imagine something can be done to allow someone who plays the trifecta half of the wager in greater multiples the option to play multiple combinations of the superfecta; for example if the base wager is $1, if someone plays a box in a $2 increment, they would have two chances at straight wagers in the superfecta).  Offer the start of the Tri-Super instead of the regular trifecta, but since the superfecta pool for this wager is completely separate from any other superfecta pool, you can offer a superfecta in the second leg as well.   

GRAND SLAM WAGER - The Grand Slam involves four consecutive races. To win the wager, the bettor's selection in the first three races must come in the money with the selection in the fourth race being the winning horse.  I have seen this wager offered primarily at NYRA tracks and maybe one harness track in New York, but it is not a widespread wager.  It basically is a watered down Pick-4.  The key to this wager is to be alive through the first three legs and hope for that bomb in the last leg.  A drawback is you can pick an 80-1 shot in the first leg and it can win, but if a 3-5 and 2-1 come in the money with your 80-1 shot, the 80-1 is not going to help you much.  However, get that 80-1 in the final leg and you can get a decent payoff.  Without a scratch, you will typically get nine winning combinations (i.e., 1,2,3/4,6,7/1,3,6/8).  The advantage of this wager is you get more people winning, and nothing helps keep people wagering on horses as winning does. 

PLACE-ALL WAGER - To win the Place-ALL, the bettor must select the horse that finishes first or second in each race on the card.  A wager usually seen on the Hollywood Park/Santa Anita circuit.  Obviously easier than a Pick-6, with respect to having your selections finish first or second in each leg of the wager, but you have to get through the entire card being able to pick a horse in the top two.  No you are not going to get mega payoffs with the Place-All and there are no carryovers, but depending on the number of races on the card you can get payoffs in the mid-$500 if favorites prevail.  Get one or two races where the favorites don't run first or second and you can get pay-offs in the thousands.

Next time we leave the friendly confines of North America to look at some other types.

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