Kentucky Derby Bets Explained: Betting Terms and How To Bet

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Kentucky Derby Bets Explained

Ahead of the Kentucky Derby, there are a few important betting variations that you need to understand. If you are familiar with horse racing betting, many of the markets we are about to discuss may be easy for you to understand. But if not, the information we will be sharing here will hopefully clear up some of the most common betting variations for the Kentucky Derby. Once you have read through these details, just remember that you can always follow through on the different bets at the top sites.

We’ve actually covered the best Kentucky Derby picks 2022 too, and many of the picks involve these betting variations. Anyway, let’s get back to our guide to enhance your knowledge of these wagers.

Different Kentucky Derby bets explained

As promised, we will now run through key details on the common bets you can make for the Kentucky Derby today:

Win Bet

As the name indicates, if you place a win bet, you are wagering that this horse will win the race. For the bet to win, your horse has to cross the line in first position. The odds are usually the highest of the main markets for win bets.

Show Bet

In contrast to the win bet, a show bet is where your horse simply needs to finish inside the top three places. Then again, for major races like the Kentucky Derby, some sportsbooks actually increase the number of show bets they will pay out on. Keep an eye out for this at the top sites in the USA!


The exact bet is where things start to stray away from the main markets. When placing an exact bet, you have to predict which horses will finish in first and second, in the correct order! Of course, this can be extremely difficult to do, especially with a bigger field in races such as the Kentucky Derby.


If you want to push the boat out even further, you could always consider a trifecta wager. Here, you have to predict the finishing order of the first three horses. When doing so, you’ll often see incredibly high odds since it’s so tough to get correct.


Finally, we come to the superfecta – the toughest of all main bets to guess correctly. That’s because you need to predict the top four finishers with a superfecta, in the exact order.

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