Wagering 101 Terminology

Wagering on thoroughbreds, harness racing and greyhounds involves parimutuel wagering, which means “betting among ourselves.” In this type of betting, you are competing against other bettors, not against the track. 

Simply follow these steps when asking for your mutuel ticket:

1. The track you want

2. The amount of your bet

3. The type of bet

4. Your selections in the race


please be sure to place all bets

according to the program numbers, not names


You may place bets at any mutuel window or use our self-serve touch screens located near the mutuel tellers.

How much can I bet?

You can bet as much as you like. Wheels and boxes can be played for a $1 per combination.


What if I notice a mistake on my ticket?

Always check your ticket for accuracy BEFORE you leave the mutuel window. Verify the track, performance date, the race, the type of bet and your selections. Once you leave the window, your tickets may not be canceled or exchanged.


Where do I cash my ticket?

Once the race is declared official, you can cash your tickets at any mutuel window. If you use a touch-tote betting machine, you must use a voucher or winning ticket and cash out with a teller.

When can I bet?

For horse wagering, you may bet on any race in the current program. For greyhound wagering, you can bet any race on the current program. Be sure to tell the clerk what program and race number you are wagering on.


Can I cash a ticket from a previous day?

Winning tickets from a previous performance can be cashed at any mutuel window at any time during the live racing season.

Across The Board

This bet combines the three individual bets to win, place, and show. If your selection wins, you collect on all three prices of win, place, and show. If your selection places, you collect on the place and show prices on your horse/dog. If your pick shows, you collect on the show price only. You can wager $2 or more on a ticket, but your total cost will be three times the minimum amount.


A wager can be “boxed” to create more opportunities for winning. Boxing a bet covers all the possible combinations in the bet, so the cost is more expensive than a straight wager.

This type of wager can be used with quinella, exacta, trifecta, or superfecta bets. You can purchase most boxes for a $1 per combination, which cuts the box cost in half from a $2 wager. Be aware though, that this also reduces the payoff to half of the posted payoff.


Example: To box a quinella, choose three or more selections. If two of your selections finish first and second in any combination, you win. In a trifecta, you need all three selections to finish first, second and third in any order.


If you have a selection that you think will win the race, you can wheel this selection with other combinations. Your selection must finish in the position you have designated for you to win. The advantage of wheeling, or “keying” as it is also called, is that you get multiple combinations at a lower cost than boxing.


Example: To wheel in trifecta, select a horse/dog to win and two or more others. You win if your “key” selection finishes first, and two of the other choices finish second and third in either order. You can also key your selection to finish second or third.


This ticket is a winner if the race finishes 3-4-5, 3-4-6, 3-5-4, 3-5-6, 3-6-4, or 3-6-5.

Win Wager

The first horse/dog across the finish line WINS. You collect if your selection finishes first.

Place Wager

The second horse/dog across the finish line PLACES. You collect if your selection finishes first or second.

Show Wager

The third dog/horse across the finish line SHOWS. You collect if your selection finishes first, second or third.

Quinella Wager

This wager involves picking the first two finishers of a race in either order.

Example: If you think the #2 and the #6 will finish first and second, purchase a 2-6 quinella ticket. You win if the race finishes either 2-6 or 6-2.

Exacta Wager

This bet is similar to a quinella, except you select the first two finishers in exact order.

Daily Double Wager

You must select the winners of two consecutive races to collect. Daily Double wagers must be made before the running of the first of the two races.

Trifecta Wager

To play a trifecta, you must select the first three finishers in exact order.

Superfecta Wager

This bet requires you to select the first four finishers in exact order.

Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6 Wager

Select the winner of 3, 4, 5 or 6 consecutive races. The wager must be placed prior to the first race of these consecutive races.

Twin Trifecta Wager

A twin trifecta is a two part bet. You bet a trifecta in the first half of the designated race to get exchanges for the second half, usually two races later. If you get any exchanges, the first half pays a percentage of the pool, and you bet your exchanges as trifectas in the second half.

The Iowa Greyhound Park will force out the Twin Trifecta every other Wednesday starting on May 12th and also on Closing Day - October 31st.

Twin Superfecta Wager

A twin superfecta is a two part bet. You bet a superfecta in the first half of the designated race to get exchanges for the second half, usually two races later. If you get any exchanges, the first half pays a percentage of the pool, and you bet your exchanges as a superfecta in the second half.

The Iowa Greyhound Park will force out the Twin Superfecta on July 25th and October 31st.


Odds are displayed on the tote board before each race. Each runner is listed by its number with the win pool odds posted next to that number. The odds change before each race, based upon the amount of money being wagered on each horse/dog to win. All odds listed on the board are odds of $1. For a $2 bet, simply double the amount. For example, if a runner is listed at 5-1 odds, the payoff on a $2 bet would be approximately $12. That’s five times the amount plus your original $2 back.

-- Important Notice --

Iowa State Law
requires all uncashed winning tickets to be purged out 60 days after the end of that tracks meet.
For a list of track meet dates and cash by dates, 
please click below.
Check your tickets carefully, you could have a winner!
Winning tickets can be mailed before the deadline to the Iowa Greyhound Park, 1899 Greyhound Park Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52001. Please include your name, address and phone number inside the envelope.