A daily double is a type of wager offered by horse and dog racing tracks. It requires bettors to select the winners of two consecutive races. Because of the increased difficulty of picking two straight winners, wining daily double bets often pay off at relatively high odds.The daily double was the first so-called “exotic” wager to be offered by American racetracks. The wager was typically offered only for the first two races of each day’s program, as an enticement for spectators to arrive early for the entire program (and hopefully wager more). As with all other American racing wagers, the “double” is conducted in parimutuel fashion, with the number of betting interests in the daily double pool equal to the product of the number of runners in both races — in other words, if there are ten entries in the first race and eight in the second, there will be 80 separate betting interests, one for each combination. By sheer mathematics, this results in the higher payoffs than those found in straight betting for win, place or show.
For many years, the daily double was the only exotic wager offered. Later on, the exacta was also offered on select races during each program. The wagers were offered only a few times each day largely because of the limitations of electro-mechanical totalisator systems. When computer technology took over, many more exotic wagers were introduced, such as the trifecta, superfecta and pick 6. The higher payouts for these wagers tended to diminish interest in the “old fashioned” daily double, but it is still offered at all tracks, sometimes more than once during a program. (A “late double” is frequently offered on the last two races on a program.)
The “Pick 3” and “Pick 4” wagers are derived from the daily double; they require bettors to pick the winners of three or four consecutive races. These are often offered on a “rolling” basis — a rolling pick 3 on races one through three, another on races two through four, and so on throughout the day.
Occasional doubles are offered on important races contested on separate days. The most prominent example of the “Oaks-Derby Double” offered by Churchill Downs, where bettors pick the winners of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. The Oaks is run the day before the Derby.
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