How to Wager

Here are the basics to playing the races at Golden Gate Fields.

The Odds

The odds are determined by the betting public, specifically the win pool. So, the lower the odds the more the betting public believes that horse will win. The horse with the lowest odd is known as the favorite. 

The odds also determine the payouts. The following chart shows the approximate amount a bettor will receive if his horse wins (win bet, $2 bet):

Approximate Payoffs for a $2 Win Bet
Odds Payouts Odds Payouts Odds Payouts
1-5 $2.40 6-5 $4.40 5-2 $7.00
2-5 2.80 7-5 4.80 3 8.00
1-2 3.00 3-2 5.00 7-2 9.00
3-5 3.20 8-5 5.20 4 10.00
4-5 3.60 9-5 5.60 9-2 11.00
1 4.00 2 6.00 5 12.00

Choosing a Horse

Choosing a horse is not has hard as it seems. Making an informed decision is as easy as going down to the paddock (located to the right of the Winner's Circle) and looking at the competition. 

Arched neck: shows confidence and pride

Ears pricked forward: shows happiness and confidence

Light on the hooves: shows energy and awareness

Slightly raised tail: shows energy and awareness

Shiny coat: shows good health

Remember, these attributes don't guarentee a winner. 

The jockeys can also help you pick a winner. A good jockey wins 13-15% of their mounts and are in the money (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) at least 40% of the time. This information can be found in the racing program. 

Exotic Bets
Exotic bets include more than one horse or more than one race. Though harder to win, the payouts are significantly higher than a simple win, place, and show bet. 

Vertical Bets
Bets that include two or more horses in one race. 

EXACTA: You must pick the two horses finishing first and second in EXACT order ($1minimum)

TRIFECTA: You must pick three horses finishing first, second, or third in EXACT order.

($1 minimum)

SUPERFECTA: You must pick four horses finishing first, second, third, and fourth in EXACT order.
(.10 cent minimum)

SUPER HIGH 5: You must pick five horses finishing first, second, third, fourth, and fifth in EXACT order. Offered on the last race of each day. ($1 minimum)

Horizontal Bets
Bets that include a series of races.

DAILY DOUBLE: You must pick the winners of two designated, consecutive races. Offered for Races 1 & 2, Races 4 & 5, and the last 2 remaining races of each day.  Takeout is 20%.
($2 minimum)

PICK THREE: You must pick the winners of three designated, consecutive races. Usually, rolls throughout the card.
($1 minimum)

PICK FOUR: You must pick the winners of four designated, consecutive races. Usually, one early pick 4 and one late pick 4.
(.50 cent minimum)

PICK FIVE: You must pick the winners of five designated, consecutive races. Usually, the first 5 races of the day.  Takeout is just 14%.
(.50 cent minimum)

THE GOLDEN PICK SIX: The Golden Pick 6 is a unique ticket wager. The wager has a .20¢ minimum bet with 70% of the net pool paying out daily to the tickets with the most winners when there are multiple tickets and with 30% of the net pool designated for the carryover on those days. On days when there is only one unique ticket selecting six winners the entire net pool and carryover is paid to the holder of the unique ticket. The unique ticket can have multiple winning combinations or be at a higher base amount than .20¢ and still win the jackpot carryover providing it is the only ticket with the winning combinations.
(.20 cent minimum)