What is a Quinella?
Some race tracks will offer a quinella bet. This two dollar minimum bet allows you to choose two horses and if they finish first and second, you will win the bet. It will usually pay cheaper than an exacta/perfecta of the same bet amount but is easier than an exacta to bet.
Just like any other exotic wager, you can box horses together in the hope of cashing. A three-horse quinella box will cost $6 for a $2 wager. Some tracks will allow for $1 quinellas, allowing for cheaper bets or for you to include more horses.
You may want to choose a quinella if you think the favorite of a race will win. Most people will bet exactas and will usually play the favorite in these wagers. This will drive down the price of your exacta payout if it comes in. This also will pay better with the favorite winning since most are spending their energy on the exacta. With the quinella, you have the insurance of the favorite finishing in 2nd and still winning.
Another strategy would be to play some quinella combinations where the favorite wouldn’t be in the top 2. Most people will single a price in exactas but may not play a longshot behind it. In quinellas, if you can find a combination with 2 medium-priced horses or longshots, the payout could be huge. Despite the simplicity of a quinella, most will only play it with a favorite. Hitting a bet without the favorite can lead to big payouts and without the worry of who wins the race.
Quinella is probably the least common type of horse racing bet, but one that the top gamblers seem to use to their advantage. Like any bet you make in horse racing, or sports betting, make sure you are betting a Quinella that will give you an advantage.