Let's have some fun with those exotic bets ... quinellas, trifectas, doubles, exactas and so on. I think we often tend to take them too seriously when, in fact, it might be better all round if we relaxed and treated them with a touch of light-heartedness!

I don't want to lecture you about the exotics game. I know punters get fixed into habits that are hard to drop. If you began as a trifecta 'box' bettor years ago, then you're probably not all that keen now to drop the approach for something different.

But to have some fun, and at the same time win some serious money, we do need to think just a little bit about the best ways to go about the business.

Many years ago, I knew a chap who bet on trifectas and used a nice 'n' easy angle on the staking, and the selections. Firstly, he never bet in a race where he could not limit the main WIN chances to four and the PLACE chances to 10.

He was a pretty intense form student, picked out a handful of races per day, and then got stuck into them. I don't know what rules, or approach, he used in actually making his selections, though I suspect he was reasonably conservative and would have been mainly betting for the win on strongly-fancied runners.

Anyway, his approach was one that you've probably heard about, or even had a stab at yourself. It's a 4 x 4 x 10 linkup, which translates into the formula (for dollar purposes) of 4 x 3 x 8, equalling a bet, for $1 units, of $96, or $48 if you're a 50c punter.

From what my friend told me, he would bet on up to four races a day, but he always stopped betting as soon as he was making a profit. Thus, if he won on the first trifecta bet, he gave betting away for the day.

Let's say you wanted to bet along the same lines, but you were a bit doubtful about your ability to pick enough winners in 4 to kickstart the trifecta. You could draw up a set of system rules to pick out your selections. What about picking some from the following ideas:

  1. Put in the pre-race favourite.
  2. Put in the tipsters' poll favourite.
  3. Take the best bet, or the race selection, of your favourite newspaper tipster.
  4. Throw in any runner from, say, the stables of John Hawkes, Lee Freedman, David Hall, John Size or jack Denham (pick out your own best trainers in your own areas).
  5. Put in the most recent laststart winner.
  6. Put in the horse shortening the most in price from its last start.
  7. Toss in any horse tipped in PPM's various columns (Melbourne Monitor, Brisbane Banter, Horses to Follow, Profit Page, etc.).

These are just a few ideas. Remember, with the trifecta bet I've outlined you always take your top 4 horses to win and run 2nd and 3rd. That means you throw in another 6 horses for 3rd as well.

Be careful when you play this approach, because if your win selections are not up to scratch, you could take a bit of a beating.

Maybe you'd prefer another approach? One that doesn't risk as much cash-wise? Why not restrict your win selections to 3 and reduce your place chances to a total of 7.

This would mean a 3 x 3 x 7 linkup, which translates to the formula of 3 x 2 x 5, or $30 for $1 units, and $15 for 50c units. That's a pretty neat budget bet for tri fans. On three or four races a day, you can't do too much damage.

What if you like to mix up your bets on the day; enjoy yourself with a sort of 'grab bag of goodies'? It can be done and for around $75 you can have a good old time, in the TAB or at the track.

The following example is worked out to $75, but you can cut it back to $37.50 simply by halving the recommended bets.

I'll assume you've picked out three good things for the day. You have a hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, and you want to have some fun with the prospect of getting some big returns by playing an exotic form of staking.

Here's my suggestions:

  1. Three win bets at $15 each (that's A, B, C to win).
  2. Three all-up doubles for $5 each (A-B, A-C, B-C).
  3. One win treble at $5 (A-B-C).
  4. One place treble at $10 (A-BC).

I would suggest you place a win price minimum of 2/1 on at least one of your main three selections. After all, we need some value, don't we? Let's say you get a winner at 2/1 ($3 and $1.50 place) and also get the other two selections into the placings, paying, say, $1.70 and $1.90.

You have $15 a win, which will return you $45. You have a place treble at $10, which will return you $1.50 x $1.70 x $1.90 equalling odds of 4.845, multiplied by 10 equals $48.45 back.

Although your win doubles and win treble have failed (loss $20), you have still come out with a nice profit on the day, with returns of $45 and $48.45, a total of $93.50. That gives you a profit of $18.50, or 24.6% on turnover.

Now don't turn up your nose at that! What you can do now is to try to beef that profit into even bigger profits next meeting. You pocket, say, $8.50 of the profit and add the remaining $10 to your bank for the next day's betting.

Doing this means you can now bet $16 on the three win bet horses, $6 on each of the three win all-ups, and $6 on the win treble, plus $13 on your place all-up. Get the idea? Your outlay now is $48 on the win bets, $18 on the win all-ups, $6 on the win treble and $13 on the place treble, a total of $85.

If you make a profit on any day, the idea is to use around half of it to add to your next day's betting. In this way, you are trying to cash in on good winning runs.

Quinella betting is as popular as ever, if betting figures can be believed (and they can!). But how can we inject some excitement into what can be a pretty stagnant area of the exotics?


My idea is to stick with 2 good selections and operate a progressive betting plan. It's something that we've talked about before in the pages of PPM. To me, it's an exciting way to bet.

Pick out your 2 horses to run lst/2nd in a race and bet race to race using the following progression:

1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 4 - 4 - 5 - 5 - 6 - 7.

Here we have a total of 16 bets. Betting at $1 units this will require a bank of $50. If you strike a winning bet, don't end the series, just keep on to the end of the series.

Let's say your first 6 quinellas lost. That means you're down by 8 units. The next quinella comes up and pays $7.50. You have 2 units on it, which brings you a return of $15. Your outlay has been $10, your profit stands at $5.

Just keep betting. The next bet calls for a $3 bet. Go for it. Then there's a plan devised by the late Zack McCaughey, a bettor who operated in Perth many years back. He called it the Key of the Door Plan, probably because the bet totalled 21 units.

It calls for the use of a standout banker bet in the quinellas. You take this banker with a number of other runners in the following staking approach:

A-B, A-C, A-D ... all 4 units each, total bet $12.
A-D, A-E, A-F ... 2 units each, total bet $6.
A-G, A-H, A-1 ... 1 unit each, total bet $3.,

The total cost, then, is $21. You can see that one of the combinations (A-D) is bet twice, for 4 units and 2 units. This is the combination which should have your strongest PLACE horse in it with the banker.

If A wins, you have 8 other runners to fill the 2nd spot. Let's say your banker is a 3/1 chance. It wins and you get that next-best placer up for 2nd at 5/1. That means you have the quinella 6 times. It will pay about $12, which means a return of around $72, giving you a very good profit on your initial $21 outlay.

As you can see, you will need a minimum $21 payout to break even if you are down to the $1 unit bets.

These, then, are just a few fun ideas to help you inject some life into your betting on the exotics. If nothing else, the staking I've recommended will keep you on the edge of your chair, particularly if you have a BIG day with the winners and placers arriving.

Remember that betting, although it involves the use of your dollars, need not be a stressful, daunting experience. You can enjoy it and have lots of fun and excitement without risking all you own!

By Denton Jardine