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How to bet a quinella in horse racing

Need the quinella bet explained to you? There are key differences between quinella bets and other wagers you can place, such as an exacta you need to know about. How much do quinellas cost, and what is the potential profit you can achieve from each? Discover what to consider before placing such bets. What are all the different types of quinella bets and which is best suited to your needs. How do you bet a quinella? Read on to determine the answer to these questions and whether or not there’s any value in doing it.

Top quinella betting sites

Right from the start we are presenting you the best bookies to bet a quinella. In order to select them we compared payouts, odds and how many races you can bet it on. 

What is a quinella bet in horse racing

A horse betting quinella is an exotic bet type in horse racing that originated from pari-mutuel pool betting, where you select two horses for the same race to finish first and second in any order. Also called a reverse exacta, you place two bets in one here:

⏩ The first wager is for Horse A to win and Horse B to be second.

⏩ The second bet is for Horse B to win and Horse A to be second.

⏩ If either permutation is the finishing order of the race, your bet wins.

How are quinellas different

The main difference with a quinella bet is that more than one permutation is covered. That also means that your unit stake at least doubles. With an exacta, you must specify the finishing order and bet on Horse A or B to be first, not both. Quinellas involve more than one bet so that any order on the two places is covered.

How much do quinellas cost

Quinella bets in their most basic form cost you twice as much as straight exotic bets. The amount you stake can be even higher if you use other types of this wager. As at least two permutations are covered by all quinellas. A €5 unit stake means a minimum total spend of €10 on the bet. Costs could get much higher if you place a quinella box or wheel. You need to be careful as it is possible to end up with a quinella payout that is a smaller return than the amount you bet.

What factors should I consider before placing a quinella bet

The nature and type of horse race is an essential consideration with quinellas. You may have found two horses you like for a race after your research, but can’t decide between them. Generally, you are looking for events where there are two fancied runners. They may be co-favorites or just prominent contenders. Avoid big field events, especially if they are handicaps. These are notoriously difficult to find the first two horses.

Focus on horse races that attract fewer runners, making it easier to study the previous form of all horses involved. Ideally, you want to be betting on races with clear terms and penalty structures. These allow you to identify the best two horses entered easily. Consider weight-for-age, sex allowance, and penalties against racehorse ratings. This should enable you to see who is favored by race terms. Taking all that together, you can make better-informed choices.

The different types of quinella race bet

There are different sorts of quinellas that you can put on with bookmakers. For those who want to keep it simple, a straight quinella is the best option. You can also add more selections to quinellas by boxing them, while there is also the quinella wheel approach to consider too. 

Straight quinellas

The most straightforward of quinellas is a straight one. This is where you pick two horses to finish first and second in the same race in any order. It is just two bets in one, as per the above example. Such a bet only covers two outcomes. At least one is guaranteed to lose, so don’t forget to take the losing permutation away from any winnings you make.

Quinella box

What is a quinella box bet? It is where you make additional selections to the quinella when you aren’t sure or confident about the horses. The more horses in the box, the higher the unit cost. For instance, if three horses included in quinellas off a €1 unit stake is €6 bet in total. You have these permutations covered:  AB, AC, BA, BC, CA, CB. If you select four horses in the box, then the total cost is €12 and so on.

Quinella wheel and part-wheel

If you are confident about at least one horse finishing in the first two, wheeling quinellas is a good option. When you make multiple selections, though, the costs can quickly grow large. You always have to be wary of a quinella payout that is smaller than your total stake. Nobody wants that. Wheeling can help, especially if you are confident about one or two horses and only have concerns over a couple of dangers.

Using one horse as a wheel can reduce the overall cost of quinellas. Let's say that Horse A is one you fancy. You could reduce the 12 permutations on a four-horse quinella bet by eliminating any outcomes where Horse A doesn’t feature. Normally, the box would be AB AC AD BA BC BD CA CB CD DA DB DC. By only betting on permutations involving Horse A, the wheel bet is AB AC AD BA CA DA, and your unit stake halved.

A part-wheel involving Horses A and B is another approach to consider. Here we reduce the 12 outcomes on a quinella bet boxed with four runners to 10 permutations: AB AC AD BA BC BD CA CB DA DB. As with boxes, there are more considerable total costs involved, so you must budget and bet carefully. It is all too easy to end up making a loss on any winning return, even though some outcomes are eliminated.

Which quinella type is best and why

Now that you have seen all the various quinellas, it is better to keep things simple. In this case, the straight version of the bet comes out as best. The problem with boxes and wheels is that you must be gambling on races that are either very competitive or aren’t confident about finding the best two horses. The greater your unit stake, the bigger the return needed on such quinellas to turn an overall profit.

This is a challenge even through the use of wheeling to narrow down the permutations you have bet on. Straight quinellas, where you just pick two horses you think are best, only see half the total stake lost and deducted from your return if you get the bet right. With other quinellas, you are writing off all but one outcome before you start. For that reason, we advise extreme caution with wheels and boxes.

Is it worth betting quinellas

Value is hard to find with a quinella race bet, and, for that reason, the circumstances in which you would place one are minimal. Box and wheel quinellas make it all too easy for your unit costs to soar until you have large combined stakes where the return may come at a loss. Even with straight quinellas, you're placing at least one bet which is guaranteed to lose, so there are plenty of drawbacks.

The only time where quinellas could be worthwhile is when there are two fancied runners in a small but select field where it’s easy to read and see how the race terms favor both. You would be looking at a stakes, graded, or group race where a couple of horses have excellent course and distance form in their optimum conditions. Such instances will be rare, so there are wiser approaches to betting than quinellas.

Full list of quinella betting sites

Bookmakers Rating Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Bonus  
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Bet365 Bet365
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