Quinella Bet in Horse Racing – Understanding the Basics

quinella bet

7 minutes

Last Updated: February 11, 2023


In the horse betting industry, the quinella bet is considered an exotic type of bet. However, don’t let this fool you, since it is also the easiest exotic bet to understand and implement.

The quinella bet allows punters to pick two or more horses and, as long as you correctly predict the first two, no matter the order, your bet is a winning one.

If you want to learn more, keep reading this article as we break down everything there is to know about this bet type, including what is a quinella bet, how to place a quinella bet, what is the minimum stake for this bet and what is the maximum payout for the quinella bet

What Is a Quinella Bet in Horse Racing?

In horse racing, punters use the quinella to place a bet on two horses, which they think will end in the first and second place, in any order.

You might now be thinking that this bet is the same as an exacta box bet, and you would be close to the truth.

what is quinella bet

However, the main difference between the exacta box bet and a quinella bet is in the cost of the bet. A quinella bet with four selections costs $6, since there are six possible combinations. An exacta box bet with four selections will cost $12, since there are 12 possible combinations.

For example, if you place a quinella bet on horses 1, 3, 4, and 7, your bet will be a winning one in the following situations:

  1. 1st place 1, 2nd place 3 or 1st place 3, 2nd place 1
  2. 1st place 1, 2nd place 4, or 1st place 4, 2nd place 1
  3. 1st place 1, 2nd place 7, or 1st place 7, 2nd place 1
  4. 1st place 3, 2nd place 4, or 1st place 4, 2nd place 3
  5. 1st place 4, 2nd place 7, or 1st place 7, 2nd place 4
  6. 1st place 7, 2nd place 3, or 1st place 3, 2nd place 7

What Is the Minimum Stake on the Quinella Bet in Horse Racing?

The majority of online betting sites put the minimum limit for a quinella bet at $1 and the same goes for the bookies at the track.

It is also possible to stumble upon some betting sites that have a $2 limit for this bet.

Either way, thanks to the low limits, it is one of the best exotic bets to start with if you are new to exotic bets or to betting on horses in general.

What Is the Maximum Win on the Quinella Bet in Horse Racing?

The maximum bet for the quinella bet can’t be determined since it depends on different factors, such as the bookmaker and the system you are using.

If you are betting on an online betting site, the site might have some limits for the max win. You can find more about this in the site’s terms and conditions.

And if you are using a pari-mutuel system, your winnings will be based on the number of winning tickets, since all winning tickers share the same pool of money.

What Is a Boxed Quinella Bet?

quinella horse bet

Although the quinella bet is one of the more straightforward bet types in horse racing, it also has several variations that bookmakers offer. This includes the boxed quinella and the standout/banker quinella.

The boxed quinella bet is the simpler of the two and it gives bettors the opportunity to add as many horses as they want for the first and second place.

Just like with the basic bet, if any two of the selected horses finish in the two first places in any order, the bet is a winner.

However, be aware that the price for the boxed quinella increases with each horse you add to your ticket, since adding horses increases the number of combinations.

This means that if you want the possibility of a full return on a quinella box, you need to stake $1 for every runner. So, if you pick 6 horses, the boxed quinella will cost $6.

What Is a Banker Quinella Bet?

The banker quinella bet, also known as the standout quinella, allows bettors to place a bet on as many horses as they want. However, they have to pick one of the horses that needs to finish in the top two places for this bet to be a winning one.

One of the good things about the banker quinella bet is that you only need to pay money for the other runners, but not for the horse you choose to be the banker.

For example, if you pick horse 7 to be the banker and you add horses 6, 8, and 9 to the bet, the breakdown of the bet will be the following:

  • Banker: horse number 7
  • Runners: horses 6, 8 and 9
  • For $1 per selection stake, this bet costs $3.

How to Place a Quinella Bet in Horse Racing?

Placing a quinella bet or one of its variations has become pretty straightforward on most online betting sites. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Open the online betting site and log in
  2. In the menu select the option “Horse Racing”
  3. Select the race that you want to bet on
  4. In the bet slip select one of the options: quinella, boxed quinella, banker quinella
  5. Pick your horses
  6. Enter the amount that you want to stake
  7. Select the “Place bet” option

Before placing the bet, don’t forget to check your picks, odds, and the amount you staked.

Best Strategies for the Quinella Bet in Horse Racing?

When it comes to the quinella bet strategy, just like with all other bets, you will want to consider the RR (Risk Reward) scenario.

In other words, you need to compare how much money you need to risk to how likely the winning result is, and the amount you will receive if you pick correctly.

Now, if you are new to horse racing, it is important that you understand how slim the profit margins are in this industry.

You don’t want to overlook bets that are winning you money in the long run, just because at the moment it looks like a small amount of money.

If you are betting in large fields, the boxed quinella will probably be the best choice, although in some cases a staking series will also bring you profit. In general, quinellas are a better option for most races unless you see a clear favorite with value betting odds.

Now that you have a general idea of what quinella bets are, here is some general betting advice to go with it.

quinella horse racing

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is one of the pillars of a good betting strategy. Without it, your chances of becoming a winning punter are close to zero.

To start on the right foot, you need to separate a certain amount of money that you don’t need for living expenses and allocate it to your betting bankroll.

After you create your bankroll, the next step is to set a certain stake that you will use for your bets. Now, when it comes to staking, you have two options. You can use a flat stake or proportional stake.

With the flat staking method, you will use the same amount of money for each individual bet. The amount of money should not be higher than 3% of your overall bankroll.

On the other hand with the proportional staking method, you will change your stake in proportion to your betting bankroll. If your bankroll increases, then your stake will increase, and if your bankroll decreases, your stake will decrease.

Whichever of these methods you choose, it is important that you stick to it and that you don’t make adjustments to your staking system outside of the ones that are already set.

Odds Shopping

Another important part of every good horse betting strategy is odds shopping. Odds shopping is a term used to describe an action in which punters search across multiple betting sites to find the best odds for their selections.

This is one of the easiest adjustments that you can make with your betting strategy, but it is also one of the adjustments that can have the biggest impact on your overall success.

Constantly finding and placing bets on the best available odds will drastically increase your bottom line. The best part is that you won’t have to change anything else in your approach to betting.

Final Thoughts on the Quinella Bet in Horse Racing

As you can see, the quinella bet is one of the simplest and most straightforward exotic bets in horse racing.

Even after only reading this article once, you have probably memorized all the important things about this bet, its variations, and the way that you can place it on your online betting site.

Finally, if you are a newbie punter and you are looking to get into exotic bets, the quinella bet is probably the best place to start.

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