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Exotic Betting: How to Make the Multihorse, Multirace Bets that Win Racing's Biggest Payoffs Hardcover – June 13, 2006


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Exotic Betting: How to Make the Multihorse, Multirace Bets that Win Racing's Biggest Payoffs + Money Secrets At The Racetrack + Picking Winners: A Horseplayer's Guide
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Daily Racing Form (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932910921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932910926
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"This is not a book about how to pick winners at the racetrack," writes Steven Crist in the opening lines of this unique and long-awaited book about playing the races.

Exotic Betting instead argues that how to bet is as important as who you like, especially in the 21st-century world of horse racing, where a new menu of wagers such as the superfecta and pick four have overtaken the familiar win, place, and show betting of yesteryear.

Both serious and casual horseplayers will benefit from understanding the strategy and mechanics of making these complex wagers, a topic generally ignored in the literature of handicapping but now more important than ever. Crist explores each of racing’s so-called exotic wagers, including exactas, trifectas, superfectas, doubles, pick threes, pick fours, and pick sixes. Drawing on his personal experiences as a bettor and as a racing journalist and executive, Crist outlines both the common mistakes made by the betting public and some alternative approaches that can lead to more profitable returns and to greater enjoyment of an endlessly intricate and fascinating game.

Crist, known as the King of the Pick Six for his exploits in that jackpot wager, also explores a wide range of practical issues, including the advantages and pitfalls of betting on the sport’s biggest events, such as the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup, and the unfairly onerous requirements imposed on exotic bettors by the Internal Revenue Service.

Whether you’re a two-dollar bettor considering his first exacta or a high roller regularly chasing seven-figure jackpots, Exotic Betting will forever change the way you look at and wager on horse racing.

Steven Crist has been playing the races and writing about them since a chance trip to Wonderland Greyhound Park in 1976 put a quick end to studying 18th-century English literature. He was the horse-racing columnist for The New York Times from 1981 through 1990; founding editor-in-chief of The Racing Times in 1991-92; a New York racetrack executive from 1994 to 1997; and in 1998 assembled an investment group that purchased Daily Racing Form, where he served as the chief executive until 2002 and remains as the chairman and publisher. Crist is the author of the books Offtrack, The Horse Traders, and Betting on Myself.

From the Back Cover

"Steve Crist became an extremely successful pick-six player by recognizing this truth: How you bet is at least as important as whom you bet. His book Exotic Betting will change teh way horseplayers think about the pick six, pick four, and other multiple wagers." Andrew Beyer Washington Post columnist

"With so many exotics on the wagering menu these days, players are stuck in teh quandary of exactly what pools to dive into to get the best bang for their buck. With his facile bent toward mathematics and teh understanding of odds, payots, takeouts, etc., Crist succeds in breaking down teh pluses and minuses of doubles, exactas, tris, supers, etc. in a logical way. This book is a plus for anyone who takes this difficult game seriously." Bob Neumeier NBN Sports

"In a sport known for ups and downs, Steve Crist is a beacon of consistency. Besides his intelligent horse-racing commentary, he simplifies teh complexities of exotic wagering better than anyone. Crist would be my first choice as professor in teh classroom of betting strategy." Randy Moss ABC/ESPN horse-racing analyst


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Customer Reviews

I think this book will help me reach that goal.
James Kuhn
My only complaint is that the book wasn't longer....I would love to be able to sit down with Steve Crist and talk betting strategies all day.
Scottie73
A very concise work which provides clear examples.
Carl A. Donato

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Seth Abrams on August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written on a narrow topic and advertised as dealing solely with bet structuring (as opposed to selection), I expected the book to emphasize and detail strategies for maximizing potential return at appropriate levels of risk through the use of exotic wagering - the key principles of a disciplined and winning approach to the races. Simply put, I wanted to know when to add that extra horse to a trifecta ticket or when it made financial sense to leave off a vulnerable favorite in a leg of the Pick 4. In contrast, however, Exotic Betting is styled more as an introduction to exotic bet structuring for the beginner, and could be described as simply an extended and more in-depth version of a pamphlet handed out a track explaining simple horizontal and vertical strategies. This is, by no means, intended as an insult to the book or to Crist, and is more a warning to the veteran/professional player looking for advanced treatment of the subject. Indeed, the book is geared more toward the reader of Handicapping 101(which, incidentally, is a great introductory book) who routinely boxes trifectas and three-horse exactas than the reader looking to apply the principles of Fooled by Randomness or a hearty statistics tome to their wagering.

At its core, Exotic Betting contains a discussion of the basic strategies for both vertical (exacta, trifecta, and superfecta) and horizontal (daily double, pick three, pick four, and pick six) wagers. For the most part, the strategies are sound and provide a good, launching pad for deeper thinking about the exotics. In particular, Crist mentions the single, most important piece of advice for the exotics bettor: Exotics can not be used as a means to profit from an overall lack of clarity.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ernie Munick on June 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever picked nearly 37% winners over three months, or picked nine in a row, including a 15-1 shot, and still have gone home stooping for tickets in your Hanes, this book is for you.

Wise, relentlessly tested,"Exotic Betting" has an almost Buddhistic approach to thoroughbred wagering: Lose the ego, the King-of-the-Handicappers mentality, allow yourself to be wrong in the right spots and then bam, you're on your way.

Not since Andrew Beyer's "Picking Winners" 30 years ago has a book given horseplayers more hope. An obvious must.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Next Professional Horseplayer on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for WPS bettors who are evolving into an exotic bettor. The book not only explains the different types of wagers, it also tells you the smart way on making these bets.

The book is a very easy read. I especially enjoyed the chapter on the pick-6. This is a bet that I only seriously tried to tackle once (I got 4 out of 6 on a $128 ticket). This is a bet that the average horseplayer should avoid, however if you must, read this book. Steve Crist normally spends between $400 and $1000 dollars (out of my league)on the pick 6, and has spent substantially more on the Ultra Pick 6.

The new exotic bettor (and smaller bank rolled) however should stick with the other exotics covered in the book. Crist does a great job on these wagers too. Although nothing ground breaking, the inexperienced horse player will find it very useful. The experienced horseplayer will enjoy it too, because it is put together very well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scottie73 on July 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a pretty solid book on the proper ways to construct exotic betting tickets. I found Crist's discussions of exacta and trifecta plays to be particularly interesting. Specifically, Crist tells the player to get away from the boxes (and other "chance plays") and go for big payouts by trusting your handicapping skills. Anyone can throw five longshots into a $1 exacta box and get lucky once and a while. Crist's philososphy, and that of many professional players, is to play less combinations at a greater price. Key your top horse over your second choice for $10. Then the top horse over a longshot play for $5. Crist encourages the player to structure bets in a manner that will reward them the most when their handicapping is spot on.....not just when they get lucky by throwing every longshot on the borad underneath and exoctic play. Why play four horses equally in a leg of the Pick 4 when you like two of them much more than the other two?

This book, along with Steve Davidowitz's classic, is an excellent read for the intermediate player who wants to learn to take his bet structuring to the next level. My only complaint is that the book wasn't longer....I would love to be able to sit down with Steve Crist and talk betting strategies all day. The only caution that I would give is that this book is not at all about how to pick winners. In fact, this book is not going to be valuable at all to a player who does not possess solid handicapping skills. If you have trouble picking winners to begin with then its probably not a good idea to try and get creative with exotic betting.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David E. Schwartz on July 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently read this book. Even though nobody is going to read it and say, "Eureka! I can finally quit my job!" it still qualifies as a must-read.

His explanation of exotics will help a lot of people understand how exotics really work. (You probably think you already know that. <G>) I think more than a few people will see where they are going wrong and, perhaps, how to correct their approach.

I buy just about every horse racing book that comes along. The $20-30 is not important. It is what I may learn from a book versus the time it takes me to read and digest it. Most books I read are a total loss but admittedly I often check out by the third chapter. This is one I was glad I read.

Simply put, there aren't enough high quality books out there from a source such as Crist. Just order it.

Dave Schwartz
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