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Q or not to Q?
Feeling is pari-mutuel

Jun 15, 2004 5:57 AM

I recently receive a letter from Bill Shakspere, who is a recent transplant to Vegas from back East.

Bill was playing the ponies in one of our local race books and noted that they posted quinella prices when there was no Q at the track and wanted to know if it was a good bet or a bad bet. Bill also noted that where he came from they took a perfecta and out here everyone called this bet an exacta. Bill wanted to know the difference.

I guess the first question is to Q or not to Q and I know Bill is not related to William Shakespeare.

There is a lot of value in house Q’s and some race books won’t even take these bets, since they are not pari-mutuel. The house can lose money on Q’s since they are booking them just like a sports bet. All the race books have set limits on house Q’s and most are very low.

It all depends on the amount of pari-mutuel play you give them as to how much you can bet on a house Q. The Q is figured by taking the price of the win horse and multiplying it to half the price of the place horse. I have been playing house Q’s since I got to Vegas way too many years ago and I can tell you that they do offer a lot of value.

If you make an exacta box for $2.00 on two horses it will cost you $4.00. For the same amount of money you can make a $4.00 Q bet and the majority of time it will pay more then the $2.00 exacta. In the Belmont Stakes, the winner paid $74 and the place horse paid $3.30.

If you bet a one-way exacta, you would have lost. If you bet a $2.00 Q you would have got back $122.10. If you bet a $1.00 exacta box you would have got back $69.50. The Q was definitely the way to go in this instance.

The main Q that has been a play for the wise guys for many years here in Vegas is what is called a candy Q. What they look for is a short field between six and eight horses. Two of those are the dead chalk, even money and 8-5 with the rest of the field 5-1 and higher. Thus the term candy Q.

These are big money bets and really don’t interest me, as my 10 spot won’t get me enough money to bet the next race. This has been a wise guy big money bet over the years. Most race books really don’t like to take these plays unless you are a big pari-mutuel bettor.

As for whether there a difference between a perfecta and exacta, the answer is no. They are the same wager. It’s a perfecta east of the Mississippi and an exacta out West. I really don’t know why but if someone does please let me know. No one has ever been able to tell me why.

So to Q or not to Q when playing Southern and No Cal tracks. If you watch the payoffs you will see that if the favorite wins the Q’s pay much better then the exacta box. Usually, if I like the chalk, I will key the exacta one way and back it up with a Q. That way I can cash both bets. Not often but sometimes.

Bill thanks for the interest in GT and on all our articles. If anyone has any questions please fill free to write or e-mail me. Don’t forget try and make a bet every day as you just may be walking around lucky and not even know it.