What Does Perfecta Mean In Sports Betting and Horse Racing?
I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a Perfecta referred to at a race track. It’s an old-fashioned term these days. It will show up in some racing books or forums, though, so it is important to know what the heck it is that people are talking about. Simply, a perfecta is another word for an exacta - which in turn can be also known as an exactor, or even a forecast in some places. They are all different words for the same thing - betting on which horses in a race will finish first and second in the exact order. They are a more complex version of a quinella - a bet in which you have to pick the top two finishers, but in which order doesn’t matter.
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Perfecta betting offers you the chance to make a higher - often much higher - return than a win bet without adding as much additional risk as something more complex like a trifecta or superfecta.
As with any exotic bet, though, the bettors who are successful in the long term with perfecta betting are the ones who are able to strategically use the bet to their best advantage. That means maximizing your chances to win while minimizing the amount you spend on the bets. If you have a strong opinion about the race you could just bet one combination of horses. If you like those two horses but aren’t sure which way they will finish then you could use a perfecta box - a way of betting all combinations of the horses you box. You could also bet an exacta or perfecta box with more horses - a five horse perfecta box, for example, would cover all 20 different combination in which those five horse could finish first and second. You could also use a perfecta or exacta wheel, which allows you to bet different combinations. You could, for example bet a wheel in which you pick #5 to win, and #6 and #7 to finish second. With a wheel there is no reason that you have to bet the same amount on each combination. If you liked the #6 better than the #7 in the example, you could bet $20 on the 5-6 perfecta, and $10 on the 6-7. That way you would profit more if the more likely combination were to come through.
The biggest issue to avoid with perfecta betting is investing more than you are likely to win. It can be easy to cover too many combinations and lose money even when you cash a winning ticket. That’s not a positive feeling.
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