There is no right or wrong way to pick a horse. Here are some approaches that may work well for you:
Bets Within Each Race
“Boxing” your choices in exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets makes your wager more expensive but allows you to win if your selected horses finish in any order! In addition, adding additional horses to your wagers raises the price of your ticket, but gives you more chances to win.
Bets for Multiple Races
How to Place Your Bet
When you place a bet at any of the three NYRA racetracks - Aqueduct, Belmont Park or Saratoga Race, you are betting against everyone who is making the same type of wager in the same race, whether they are on-track patrons or participating in the wagering process from simulcast sites across the nation. The racetrack simply deducts a percentage from each dollar wagered for payment of purses, expenses and state taxes. Unlike casino gambling, where you are betting against the house, Thoroughbred racing is a "parimutuel venture."
Pierre Oller introduced "parier mutuel" in his native France in 1865 meaning "mutual stake" or "betting among ourselves." As this form of wagering was adopted in England it became known as "Paris mutuals," and soon thereafter "parimutuels." Pari-mutuel odds reflect how much is wagered on each horse or combination relative to the size of the mutuel pool.
You must be 18 or older to wager at NYRA racetracks.
Takeout (percentage of each dollar wagered retained by racetrack)
• 15 percent – Pick 5, Pick 6
• 16 percent – Win, Place, Show
• 18.5 percent – Exacta, Quinella, Daily Double
• 24 percent – Trifecta, Superfecta, Grand Slam, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 6 (carryover days)
The New York Racing Association, Inc. is not responsible for ticket sales not completed before mutuel machines are locked. No adjustments, including cancellations, will be made after the customer has left the window. IRS taxable tickets cannot be cashed for guests who do not provide evidence of a social security number and a picture ID.
To obtain rules for all the bets offered at NYRA racetracks visit the NYS Gaming Commission Rules page.
In the Pick Four there is a mandatory daily payout of the entire pool.
In the Pick Five, in the event there are no tickets with five winners, there is a carryover of 100% of the net pool into the next day of the meet. The Early Pick Five will carryover into the Early Pick 5 and the Late Pick 5 will carryover into the Late Pick 5.
In the Pick Six, 75 percent of the full pool, minus takeout, will be distributed to bettors who select the first-place finisher of all six races. A consolation payout of 25 percent of the net pool will be distributed to tickets selecting 5-of-6 winners.
All multi-leg wagers with a carryover provision will have a mandatory payout on the last race day of the meet. Saratoga – Monday, September 6, 2021.
Winning pari-mutuel tickets from all races conducted at Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga or any simulcast track NYRA offers wagering on must be presented for payment on or before March 31 of the following year and can be cashed during normal business hours. You cannot cash winning NYRA mutuel tickets at any OTB.
Aqueduct Business Hours: Monday - Sunday from 11 a.m. to end of Simulcasting Programming.
Winning NYRA mutuel tickets may also be sent by certified or registered mail to the address listed below and must be received by NYRA no later than March 31 of the following year. In accordance with NYSRWB rules, NYRA must be in possession of these tickets no later than March 31 of the following year in order to be eligible for payment. Therefore, tickets mailed with an earlier postmark but received by NYRA after March 31st will not be processed. Please allow sufficient time to make certain that NYRA is in receipt of your ticket(s) before this deadline. Please send ticket (make a copy of your tickets for your records) along with your name, address, and contact number.
Address via USPS (certified or registered mail)
New York Racing Association
Attn: Mutuel Department
PO Box 90
Jamaica NY 11417
Address via *courier (FedEx,UPS, etc.)
Attn: Mutuel Department
110-00 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica NY 11420
* This is the physical address for NYRA.
It is advised that you keep copies for your records.
For winnings that exceed 300-1 odds - more than $600 - the Internal Revenue Service requires that a W2-G Tax Form is completed. This form requires two proofs of identity: 1, Copy of Drivers License or State issued photo ID; and 2, Copy of Social Security Card or a card that establishes your identity and includes your social security number. All winnings subject to reporting and/or withholding as described in IRS form W2G will be administered in accordance with applicable IRS code.
Pari-mutuel tickets not cashed within 10 days of purchase that have a value of $300 or more must be redeemed at IRS-designated mutuel windows. The patron needs to provide a name, home address, date of birth and social security number. This requirement is part of a new rule that was opposed by The New York Racing Association, but still implemented by the New York State Racing & Wagering Board. Please note that unless the payout on the ticket is 300-1 or higher and in excess of $600, the patron’s information will not be reported to the IRS. The same requirements apply for tickets cashed by mail that meet these parameters.
Parlay betting is a convenient way for you to win big for a small investment!
When you make a Parlay, you are deciding in advance what will happen with your winnings if you correctly make a winning bet.
You must make all selections at once, before the first race in the Parlay has been run.
Parlay betting is available every race day at all NYRA tracks & select *simulcast tracks.
Play your Parlay at Self-Service Terminals or with a Mutuel Clerk.
• Minimum Parlay bet is $1
• There is no parlay maximum bet
• Bet 2 to 6 races on a single track
• Races do not need to be consecutive
• You may bet more than one horse per race
• Win, Place, Show bets allowed
• Combination of bets (e.g. Win & Place) is allowed
Check out this sample Parlay:
The ticket costs $10 and would have yielded a result of $172.50!
The results for Aqueduct 3/31/18 are available HERE.
Follow the details of the Parlay race by race:
#6 finished 3rd and paid $3.00 to Show.
The Parlay Bet was $10.00 to Show so the return (5 x $3.00) going into the next leg of the Parlay is $15.00.
#6 finished 3rd and paid $4.00 to Show.
The Parlay Bet splits the $15.00 carrying over into $7.50 to Place and $7.50 to Show. The Place bet lost but the $7.50 bet to Show returned $15.00 (3.75 x $4.00). The return going into the next leg of the Parlay is $15.00.
#4 finished 1st and paid $23.00 to Win.
The $15.00 carried over and bet on #4 was a winner. The bet returned $172.50 (7.5 x $23.00)!
The Parlay is complete and the ticket is worth $172.50.
Good luck with your Parlay Bets!
* NYRA offers Parlay betting on all simulcast tracks that offer it themselves on their own races.
Simulcast Tracks Currently Available for Parlay Betting (as of March 2018)
$2.10 to 9.99 payoff, break to 10 cents; $10 to 49.99 payoff, break to 20 cents; $50 to 499.99 payoff, break to 50 cents; $500 and up, break to $1.00.
For more information visit the Betting FAQ page.
Gambling Problems? The New York Racing Association encourages responsible wagering. If gambling is a problem for you or someone you care about, help is available 24 hours a day. Scan here to talk with someone now about your gambling. Or call toll-free 1-877-8-HOPE-NY.