What Is A Daily Double Wager?

The daily double bet is one of the oldest and most popular exotic bets in the world of horse race betting. 

This immensely popular bet was first introduced in 1931. Typically, it is available to bettors during the first two or the last two racing events of the day.

When compared with other exotic bets, the daily double bet type is probably the easiest to understand. Also, it the most simplistic to use at the racetrack or while betting online.

So, read on for an in-depth look at the daily double bet in horse racing and find out how it works. 

Here, we will also include a list of daily double bet types along with examples. Furthermore, we share how you can calculate your potential payouts after making a daily double bet.

Then we also compare the daily double bet with pick 3 and pick 5 exotic bets, and share a brief history. Finally, we answer a couple of frequently asked questions surrounding the daily double wager.

Once you’ve read through our comprehensive article, you’ll have the confidence to place a daily double bet like a bona fide professional.

What is a daily double in horse racing?

In horse racing, a daily double is an exotic bet that requires you to select a winner from two consecutive racing events on the same day. 

Initially, the daily double bet was exclusively offered on the first two races of the day. Nowadays, most racetracks around the world provide a daily double bet on the last two races of the day to make it more exciting for bettors and ensure they remain at the track until the end.

Example of a Daily Double Bet

You will also come across several racetracks that provide rolling daily double bet opportunities that are available throughout the day.

However, the early daily double bet remains the most popular among horse racing enthusiasts. Most bettors enjoy the early one because it gives bettors an early profit margin and extends their betting opportunities for the rest of the day.

Another reason why the daily double bet is so popular is it comes with a variety of bet types to make it more appealing. In some cases, it is more challenging for bettors. 

Now that you understand the fundamentals of a daily double bet, let’s take a look at the wagering types.

Types of daily double bets

There are four daily double bet types that you can use on race day: 

  • Early daily double
  • Late daily double
  • Running daily double
  • Multiple daily double

Don’t panic, though. Here’s an explanation of each of these bet types, along with an example.

Early daily double

An early daily double bet is a wager on the first two races of the day.

It requires you to select the winners of two consecutive races. You will need to get both predictions correct to be a winner.

Example: Let’s say you select horse No. 3 for the first leg and horse No. 8 for the second leg. The cost of your early daily double ticket will be $2, and it will look like this: $2 Daily Double (3-8).

Late daily double

A late daily double bet is a wager on the final two races of the day. It requires you to select two winners from two successive races. You must correctly predict the winners in both races to receive a payout.

Example: Let’s say you select horse No. 7 to win the first leg and horse No. 1 to win the second leg of the last two races of the day. The cost of a late daily double ticket will be $2 and will look like this: $2 Daily Double (7-1).

Running daily double

A running daily double bet starts from the first race and includes all the races until the end. For instance, when you an event with 10 races, the running daily double will consist of races 1-2, races 2-3, races 3-4, races 4-5, races 5-6, races 6-7 and so on.

Example: Let’s say you pick races 4-5 and select horse No. 9 in the first leg (fourth race) and horse No. 2 in the second leg (fifth race). The cost of a running daily double bet is $2, and your ticket should look like this: $2 Running Daily Double (9-2).

Multiple daily double

A multiple daily double bet is the same as the above-mentioned daily double bet types; however, you can make more than one selection on both the first and second legs to increase your chances of winning. 

For instance, instead of only making one selection in the first leg and one pick in the second, you can make four selections on the first leg and five choices on the second leg.

Example: Let’s say you select horses Nos. 3 and 12 in the first leg and horses Nos. 1, 4, 6, 8 and 12 in the second leg. This daily double selection will cost you $20, and your ticket will look like this: $20 Multiple Daily Double Bet (3-12 First Leg, 1-4-6-8-12 Second Leg).

How to calculate daily double payouts

If you are interested in calculating the potential payouts of a daily double bet, there are several online bet calculators you can use for free. 

However, if you want to calculate your potential payouts manually, you will need the following info to determine your potential earnings:

  • The total number of bettors.
  • The total number of tickets sold in the betting pool.
  • The amount that the house will take from the betting pool to calculate your potential returns.

Let’s include a simplified example of how to calculate a daily double bet:

  • A 1,000 daily double tickets are sold at $2 each.
  • The betting pool has $2,000 in prize money ($2 x 1,000 tickets sold).
  • One hundred bettors have winning tickets from the two consecutive races.
  • Each winner will receive $20 as a payout. ($2,000/100 winners).

Keep in mind that we did not deduct the house percentage it takes from the betting pool before each winner receives their payout. The house percentage is usually between 10% and 15%, which you will need to include in your calculation.

Daily double vs. pick 3 and pick 5 bets

When you compare a daily double bet with the likes of a pick 3 exotic bet, or even a pick 5, you will find that a daily double is the most simplistic of the bunch. 

A daily double only requires that you select the winners from two consecutive horse racing events.

However, with a pick 3, you will need to predict the winners from three consecutive horse racing events.

And, with a pick 5, it will require that you select the winners from five consecutive horse racing events.

The more selections you need to make on a single ticket, the more you stand to win because the chance of getting each selection right becomes nearly impossible.

It’s for this reason that a daily double bet offers less attractive odds than a pick 3 or pick 5. The selection process is easier over two consecutive races as opposed to three or five successive races.

Origins of the daily double bet

The popular daily double bet is regarded as the first exotic wager ever to be made available at horse racetracks throughout North America

The daily double bet was first introduced at the Connaught Park Racetrack in Ottawa in 1931. It was initially only offered on the first two racing events of each day to ensure spectators arrived early for race day.

It was immensely popular in New York, drawing in more than $500,000 during the lunch hour compared with the late daily double that only managed to draw in $200,000. 

The daily double worked, hand in hand, with the pari-mutuel betting system. It produced higher payouts when compared to the show, place or win bets. The daily double was the only exotic bet that was available at horse racing events for many years before the exacta exotic bet made its way onto racecards.

Once computer technology burst onto the scene, we began to see more exotic bets, including the pick 6, superfecta and trifecta exotic bets

In fact, both the pick 4 and pick 3 bets derived from the popular daily double wager. Some racetracks in North America play a daily double song before playing the national anthem.


How much is a daily double bet?

A daily double wager comes with a variety of minimum bet amounts, depending on where you place your bets. The standard wager amount for a daily double bet is around $1

However, you will also come across several racetracks that require a minimum of $2 for each daily double bet, so do check first.

Can you box a daily double bet?

No, you cannot make a daily double box bet online or next to the racetrack. 

Box bets allow you to select multiple horses to finish in multiple positions. With a daily double wager, you are unable to select multiple horses to finish in different positions, as there’s only one position available in a daily double bet: the winner.

How much do you win on a daily double?

The bigger the betting pool, the more you stand to win.

However, since a daily double bet is part of the pari-mutuel betting system, it’s nearly impossible to predict how much you may win without knowing several aspects of your wager. 

For instance, you will need to know the value of all tickets sold in the betting pool and how many bettors made the daily double bet. 

What is the difference between a daily double and a pick 6 bet?

The biggest difference between a daily double and a pick 6 is the number of selections.

For instance, with a daily double bet, you only need to select the winner for two consecutive races, while a pick 6 bet requires you to choose six winners over six consecutive races. 

The odds of a pick 6 bet are more attractive; however, it’s also much more difficult to get right.

What did the daily double payout at the Belmont Stakes?

The biggest daily double payout during the 2019 Belmont Stakes occurred in race 10 when a $2 Daily Double ticket fetched a rewarding $41.50 payout.

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