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Wagering FAQ

Where do I place a wager?

Live teller wagering windows and self-service terminals are located throughout the racetrack. The self-service touch screen terminals are easy to use. Just insert a betting voucher, winning mutuel ticket, cash (where available), or swipe your NYRA Cash Card or NYRA Bets Account Card and enjoy the convenience and privacy of do-it-yourself wagering. Always double check your tickets before leaving the window or self-service terminal.

Vouchers can be purchased at all windows; vouchers and NYRA Cash Cards can be purchased at voucher selling windows. Each individual race page has a listing of all wagers offered in that race.


How do I open a NYRA Bets account?

NYRA Bets offers four easy sign-up options for new members: Online Instant Sign-Up, by mail, fax, or stop by a NYRA Bets Information Booth at any live NYRA race meet or simulcast facility. Click here for more information.


How much do I have to bet?

Wagers have different bet minimums. You can make a wager for as little as ten cents ($0.10) playing the Superfecta or $1 for a Win bet. Although these are the minimums, many guests wager more and $5, and $10 Win bets are quite common.  NYRA also has designated windows for guests wagering a minimum of $50 per wager.

Wager – Bet Minimum

  • Win, Place Show - $1
  • Exacta - $1
  • Trifecta - $0.50
  • Superfecta - $0.10
  • Daily Double - $1
  • Quinella - $1
  • Pick 3 - $1
  • Pick 4 - $0.50
  • Pick 5 - $0.50
  • Pick 6 - $2
  • Grand Slam - $1


How do I place a wager at the window?

State the NAME of the track.

State the RACE NUMBER.

State the AMOUNT of the bet.

State the TYPE of bet.

State the NUMBER of the horse.

Example: "Belmont, 4th race, $10 to Win on 5."


How are the odds determined?

The track handicapper sets the morning line, which are the odds he believes the horses will be at post time. As money is wagered, the odds change continuously until post time, and are determined by the amount of money wagered on each horse.


Why do odds fluctuate after the race starts?

Wagering at all NYRA tracks closes when the starting gate opens. Final odds cannot be posted until the race is in progress. There is a slight delay due to the high volume of last-minute wagering at simulcast sites across the nation as final odds are calculated by the totalisator system. No wagering site has the capability to accept bets after the start of any NYRA race.


How do I find out if I won?

Check the tote board and television monitors after the race becomes official. The amount you win depends on how much you wager, the type of bet you make, and the horse's odds.


What happens if there is a late scratch?

This depends on what type of wager it is. If a horse is scratched after wagering is closed, refunds will be given on all Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Quinella, Trifecta, and Superfecta wagers.

Very Important: Hold all tickets until the race is official

Make sure that you hold all tickets until results are made official, as there could be changes in the order of finish due to a disqualification. For your convenience and ease in speedily cashing winning tickets and vouchers, it is requested that your tickets not be torn, folded or otherwise damaged. New York State pari-mutuel rules are posted in wagering areas throughout the track.


Daily Double and Pick Three scratches

If there is a scratch in the first leg of the Daily Double, the bettor receives a refund; a scratch in the second leg results in a consolation payoff combining the winner of the first leg. In the event of a late scratch before the first leg of the Pick Three, the bettor receives a refund. In the event of a late scratch after the running of the first leg, a consolation payoff is paid to bettors with winners in the other two legs.


Pick Four, Pick Five, Pick Six, and Grand Slam scratches

For Pick Four, Pick Five, Pick Six and Grand Slam wagers, in the event of a late scratch, the bettor receives the post time favorite. There are no refunds or alternate selections.


Pick Four, Pick Five, and Pick Six Payoff Calculation

In the Pick Four there is a mandatory daily payout of the entire pool.  In the Pick Five, in the event there are no tickets with five winners, there is a carryover of 100% of the net pool into the next day of the meet.  In the Pick Six, in the event there are no tickets with six winners, there is a carryover of 75% of the net pool into the next day of the meet.  The remaining 25% of the net pool is distributed as a consolation payout.


Pick Four, Pick Five, and Pick Six Cancelled Legs

Should there be three or more cancelled or “no contest” legs in either of the Pick Four, Pick Five, and/or Pick Six pools, all bets are refunded.


Pick Four, Pick Five, Pick Six Grand Slam-races off the turf

When the condition of the turf course(s) warrants a change of racing surface to a non-turf course in any of the Pick Four, Pick Five, Pick Six races, and such change has not been known to the public before the close of wagering in any of those wagers, the changed leg(s) will be deemed an “all win” for wagering purposes.  For the Grand Slam, the changed leg(s) will be deemed “no contest” for wagering purposes.  If there is only one surface transfer in the sequence of the Pick Five and/or Pick Six, previous days’ carryovers are to be paid out.  If more than one, then any previous carryover shall be carried over to the next day of the meet for the wager.  Advertised guaranteed amounts for the Pick Six are only paid out if there is a maximum of one surface transfer.


Grand Slam Payoff Calculation

In the first three legs of the wager, equal weight is awarded to winning selections. In the fourth and final leg, the selection must be the official race winner. The payoff is posted as one price based solely on whether the bettor has correctly selected at least one winning selection in each of the four legs of the Grand Slam.  Place or show wagering must be available in any of the first three legs of the wager for a horse to qualify as a winning selection finishing second or third.  For example, a horse that finishes third in a race with no show wagering is not a winning selection.


NYRA Bet Cancellation Policy

Please examine your mutuel tickets carefully. The New York Racing Association is not responsible for ticket sales not completed before the machines are locked. Additionally, no adjustments, including cancellations, can be made once the race begins. Non-account wagers can be cancelled at self-service terminals, but with a limit not to exceed $50. Wagers placed on NYRA Bets Account Cards or Cash Cards can be cancelled at self-service terminals, but with a limit not to exceed $500 on win, place, show wagers and/or $50 on any one single combination for all exotic wagers. Please note that wagers on NYRA Cash cards cannot be cancelled at teller windows.


Rule for Uncashed Tickets

Pari-mutuel tickets not cashed within 10 days of purchase that have a value of $300 or more must be redeemed at IRS-designated windows. The patron needs to provide a name, home address, date of birth and social security number. This requirement is part of a new rule that was opposed by the New York Racing Association, but still implemented by the New York State Racing & Wagering Board. Please note that unless the payout on the ticket is 300-1 or higher and in excess of $600, the patron’s information will not be reported to the IRS. The same requirements apply for tickets cashed by mail that meet these parameters.


Do I have to report my winnings to the IRS?

The Internal Revenue Service requires reporting of payouts on wagers or group of identical wagers that exceed odds of 300 to 1 and pay in excess of $600. IRS regulations also require automatic 25% withholding on payouts that exceed $5,000. Please note that for non-US residents, IRS regulations require automatic withholding of 30% on wagers that exceed odds of 300 to 1 and pay in excess of $600.  Windows designated for IRS winning tickets are located on all floors. Patrons must present a picture ID (driver’s license or non-driver’s state ID, federal, state, or city ID, passport, or NYRA ID). A second form of identification showing the patron’s social security number must also be presented.