Wagering Basics

Wagering Basics

Thoroughbred racing at Emerald Downs is a uniquely interactive experience. The action may be on the track, but YOU are the player. How you play is up to you. Only bet the grays? That’s your call. Love the 4 horse? Go for it. However, if you are looking for a little more insight, read on...

Parimutuel Wagering
Unlike casino gaming, horse racing is a parimutuel venture. That means that rather than betting against the house, you are betting against everyone else. All the money that is wagered goes in to a big pot. A small percentage of the pot is taken out, paying for things like purses, racetrack operation and regulation. The rest goes to winning wagers. Emerald Downs has no interest in the outcome of the race; the track profit is the same regardless of which horse wins.

The Race Program
The starting point for informed wagering is the race program. They are available for $2.50 at program stands and customer service locations. The program lists the day’s races and provides information on each horse, including post position, jockey, trainer and the results of the horse’s last four races.

Where to bet
Each floor at Emerald Downs has rows of betting windows to make your wagers. Some are self-serve and others have clerks to take your bets. You can use cash or winning tickets to make your wagers, however you may not use credit or debit cards.


What to say
First: The track and race number.
Second: The amount of your wager.
Third: The type of bet
Fourth: The number of the horse

Example: “Emerald Downs, 4th race, $5 to win on number 3.”

Always check your tickets for accuracy!

After the race
Wait until the race is declared official before collecting your winnings. If you would like to wager against the value of your winning ticket, you can insert it in a self-serve machine and make a new wager. Any unused amount will be returned in the form of a cash voucher. If you would like to cash in your winnings, just take your ticket to a clerk.

You can access our complete Wagering Guide here.

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