How to place a bet at Suffolk Downs

Wagering is fun and easy to learn. And your horse doesn't have to come in first for you to win.

About Pari-Mutuel Wagering

When you make a wager at a racetrack you are NOT betting against the "house" as with most casino games. Pari-mutuel wagering means "betting among ourselves." The odds are dynamic and are solely dependent upon how you, the participants, place your wagers. When you're at the track or a simulcast wagering facility, the track extracts a commission from all wagers made, and re-distributes the remaining funds (or wagering pool) among winners.

In fact, the racetrack has absolutely no interest in the outcome of the race. The track receives its commission per wager, similar to a stockbroker's compensation, no matter whether a favorite or longshot wins. YOUR wagering determines the favorite and longshot odds, NOT racetrack management.

The infield tote board is the place to find up-to-the-minute information on odds, track conditions, post times and more. It's hard to miss. Just look out the window. You'll also find the information posted on TV screens throughout the building.

Types of Wagers

At Suffolk Downs (and off-track wagering locations) the minimum straight win, place or show wager is $2. The final winning prices are all based on a $2 wager. For example, if you bet $10 to Win on Cigar, and the Win price was $5.20, you would fill your pocket with a total of $26. (Your five bets of $2 each multiplied by $5.20 per winning ticket = $26.)

  • Win: You win if your horse comes in 1st.
  • Place: You win if your horse finishes 1st or 2nd.
  • Show: You win if your horse finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
    (Remember: A horse usually pays most to win, less to place and least to show.)
  • Daily Double: You must choose winners of the 1st and 2nd races. There is also a late Daily Double wager, usually on the last two races.
  • Perfecta/Exacta: You must choose the two horses finishing 1st and 2nd in their exact order.
  • Trifecta: You must choose the first three finishers in their exact order.
  • Superfecta: You must choose the first four finishers in their exact order.
  • Pick Three: You must choose winners of three races in a row, usually races 3, 4 and 5, and also the last three races of the day.
  • Pick Four: You must choose winners of four races in a row, usually the last four races of the day.

At the Window

Once you've chosen your horse and your wager, walk up to a betting window and place your bet. Tell the clerk how much you want to wager ($2 minimum), what kind of wager you're making, and your horse's number in the program.

"I'd like to bet $2 to win on number 4."

"Please give me a $2 perfecta. Numbers 7 and 3."

Always remember to check your ticket before you leave the window.

The clerks begin taking bets as soon as the results are posted for the previous race, about 15 minutes before post time (when the race begins). It's always a good idea to get your wager in early.

Any additional wagering questions can be answered at the Customer Service Center on the first floor Grandstand.

Live Simulcast Racing

Simulcast wagering brings another dimension to horse racing by allowing you to watch and wager on races from tracks around this country and beyond. At Suffolk Downs, you can wager on all major races, such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and all Breeders’ Cup races. Wagering works the same as with live racing. Once you place your bet, it's time to view the race. You'll find simulcast screens throughout the building.