What Is A Daily Double Horse Bet? Daily Double Horse Racing Bet Explained

A Daily Double horse racing bet is a betting strategy that involves selecting two horses to win (or be placed/each-way) in consecutive races each day. It is a strategy that has been around for almost a century and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Join us as we explain in more detail everything there is to know about a Daily Double. This includes examples of Daily Double horse racing bets for the biggest US racing cards, as well as extensive research, analysis, and investigation into the Daily Double betting strategy from our dedicated Sports Talk Philly betting expert.

Daily Double Horse Racing Bet Explained – What Is It?

The Daily Double is a type of bet or betting strategy in horse racing. Its magic lies in its simplicity. It is one of the most popular types of horse racing bet, and it involves picking two horses to win consecutive races at a meeting.

The Daily Double horse bet has existed since 1931, when it was first offered at Connaught Racetrack in Ottawa. It is an extremely straightforward wager but does come with a twist.

The meaning of the Daily Double horse bet is very different in the US compared to the UK and in Europe. In the USA, it is an outright wager placed on two consecutive races. However, in the UK and greater Europe, a Daily Double can be placed across any race on a given day.

Most US Sportsbooks Will Offer The Daily Double

Most of the best online sportsbooks and betting sites feature a ‘Daily Double’ tab on their racebook. Other racing betting options, such as the trifecta, exacta, superfecta, etc., are also available. But here, the focus is on the two races that qualify for any ‘Daily Double’ bet.

Bets are placed into a single pool and paid out based on the number of winners. This is a parimutuel betting style, with dividends equally distributed based on wagering amounts.

Betting on the first two races of any given meeting is the most common format of the Daily Double horse bet. However, this process can be altered.

You could pick a horse in Race 5 at Gulfstream Park, for example, and then in Race 6. As long as the races are one after each other at the same meeting, a Daily Double horse racing bet is possible.

Example Of A Daily Double Bet

As previously explained, placing a Daily Double horse bet is very easy. Simply locate the racebook on your chosen sportsbook and pick the meeting on which you wish to place your wager.

The screenshot below shows how your page will look. In this example, the daily double is on Race 1 and Race 2 at the meeting at Gulfstream Park.

daily double 1

Next, it’s time to pick your horses. As the screenshot below shows, horse number 5 (My Little Secret) in Race 1 and horse number 3 (Galileo’s Jewel) in Race 2 have been selected.

Once you have selected your two horses in consecutive races from the same meeting, in this case, Race 1 and Race 2 at Gulfstream Park, add the bet to your bet slip.

daily double 2

The screenshot below is how your Daily Double bet slip will look. Once you have decided on a stake, simply hit ‘Submit All Bets’ and then ‘Place Bet’ to action your wager. Now, it is just a waiting game.

horse racing bet slip 3

For your Daily Double horse bet to win, both horses must win their respective races. Using the same example from Gulfstream Park, if your selections from Race 1 and Race 2 both win, then your Daily Double horse bet is a winner.

Should one of your selected horses not win their respective race, the entire wager loses. In short, both horses from the two consecutive races must win for your Daily Double horse racing bet to come in.

The Daily Double Horse Racing Bet Can Sometimes Be Over Two Days

Although the Daily Double horse bet is almost always two consecutive races at any given race meeting, that isn’t always the case.

It is rare but the Daily Double horse bet has also been known on occasion to be over two days. The only time this could be the case is if the Daily Double features two monumental races, e.g., the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, which are run a day apart.

The process remains the same for these Daily Doubles, even if they are on two different days. Both horses must win for the Daily Double to be deemed a winner. If one horse fails to win, the Daily Double is a losing wager.

Remember that you usually have to place this wager on two consecutive races from the same meeting, usually Race 1 and 2. However, as detailed extensively in this guide, there can sometimes be exceptions to this rule.

How Much Does A Daily Double Horse Racing Bet Cost?

The beauty of a Daily Double horse racing bet is that you are in total control of the stake and, therefore, the potential winnings. There is no set cost; it depends entirely on your initial outlay and what you are willing to risk.

Like any bet, the bigger the stake, the higher the potential return. The more you are willing to stake, the more you could win if your wager comes out on top.

Whether this be a small $5 wager, a $100 wager, a $1,000 stake, or even $25,000+, your winnings will be determined by your initial outlay.

For example, if you place $10 on a Daily Double at betting odds of +800, you will pocket $90 (including your stake). A $15,000 stake on the same Daily Double at +800 odds would win $135,000.

Although the odds are the same, the winnings are completely different based on the initial outlay. This is because there is no set cost of a Daily Double horse bet; it will cost you more the bigger your stake. But only wager what you can afford.

The bigger the stake, the higher the reward, but the more you could lose!

What Are The Different Daily Double Bet Types?

The most common Daily Double horse bet is simply picking the winner of the first two races of a given meeting. However, there are four more variations of the bet that have expanded the market somewhat:

  • Early Daily Double
  • Late Daily Double
  • Running Daily Double
  • Multiple Daily Double

Early Daily Double

The term ‘Early Daily Double’ is the standard type of bet. For an Early Daily Double bet to win, you must find the winners from the first two races at your chosen meeting.

Late Daily Double

The ‘Late Daily Double’ requires you to pick the winning horses from the final two races of the meeting.

For example, if there are eight races at your chosen meeting, you pick a horse from Race 7 and Race 8.

Running Daily Double

‘Running Daily Double’ refers to picking horses from consecutive races. Some of the best online horse racing betting sites offer the ability to place Running Daily Doubles, but not all racebooks will offer this type of bet.

The Running Daily Double simply means picking horses from two consecutive races, but not the first two races or the last two of the meeting. For example, it could be Race 2 and Race 3, Race 4 and Race 5, Race 6 and Race 7, and so on and so forth.

The Running Daily Double is generally allowed, provided the bet is on consecutive races that are held at the same meeting and run concurrently.

Multiple Daily Double

The Multiple Daily Double is the least common of the four variations. This is where you can pick multiple horses to win from the same race.

Of course, only one horse can win a race (unless there is a dead heat), meaning the more picks you make, the higher the wager cost.

For example, you can pick two horses to win from Race 1 and two from Race 2. You will have to double up on your stake, though, as you are backing four horses rather than two.

How To Place A Daily Double Bet?

Once you have signed up to a sportsbook and deposited funds into your account, you are ready to place a Daily Double horse bet.

To do so, follow these three simple steps. Most of the best US sportsbooks and betting apps have a dedicated section on their racebook for the Daily Double bet that adjusts the racecard only to include the first two races.

Or, if betting with one of the above variations of the Daily Double market, the two applicable races.

Choose A Race From The Racebook

betonline daily double 4

At BetOnline, the leading offshore sportsbook, navigate to the racebook in the top menu or the left navigation menu. This will bring up a page similar to the screenshot above.

You must place your Daily Double horse bet before the start of the first race. If any meetings have already started, you may not find the Daily Double option, as the sportsbook can no longer offer this market.

Select The Daily Double Market

betonline exotic bets 5

At the top of the racecard will be a series of markets to choose from. As you can see, this will include markets such as Straight, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3 and Pick 5 most commonly.

Click ‘Daily Double’ to open the correct market and go from there.

Pick Your Horses & Place Your Daily Double Bet

pick your horses 6

The racebook will highlight the two races you can place your bet on. In the above example, this includes Race 1 and Race 2 at Oaklawn Park.

Use the boxes down the left-hand side of the race card to make your selections. In the above example, this is number 4 (Mackman) in Race 1 and number 3 (Easy Big Boy) in Race 2.

Then, all that’s left to do is enter your stake at the top of the card. Once you’ve done this, click “Add to Betslip” and confirm your stake within the bet slip.

daily double - horse racing bet slip 7

The bet slip will look something like this. Once you are happy with your selections and stake, simply click “Submit All Bets’ to place your wager.

Should your two selected horses win their races, your wins. Should one or both of the horses fail to win, you lose your stake.

How Are The Daily Double Winnings Worked Out?

A parimutuel betting system is used when it comes to working out the winnings of a Daily Double horse bet. This is where all wagers are entered into a pool and paid as dividends based on the stake and the number of winners.

In short, the more winning tickets will mean a smaller payout, while less will result in a bigger dividend.

Pool betting cannot determine payouts until the race has finished, as various factors contribute to the pool size. As mentioned, these include things like the stake size and number of winners.

This is the polar opposite of fixed odds betting, where you know the price of your selected bet there and then when you are placing it. All bets must be taken, counted, and paid, which takes time.

The best offshore sportsbooks will stake the Daily Double payouts once the result of the race has been confirmed and all bets have been counted. Several calculations are done, such as the total amount wagered and the amount wagered per ticket.

Then, all wagers go into a single pot, regardless of which horse is picked from each race. A dividend is then created that is paid out on the dollar once the winning combination is broken down into the exact number of tickets.

Example Of Working Out A Daily Double Horse Bet Winnings

Hypothetically, let’s assume $75,000 has been wagered on the Daily Double market. Of that $75,000, $5,500 has been wagered on the winning combination.

  • $75,000 / $5,500 = $13.64

This means that for every $1 wagered, it would return $13.64. So, if someone had placed a bet worth $200 on the Daily Double horse bet, it would return $2,728.

It’s important to note that the money is paid out per winning ticket to create a dividend on the dollar. This is because everyone bets different amounts and can, therefore, be paid based on that.

The dividend is essentially the odds for double, but unlike fixed-odds betting, you only find out what it is after the race.

This example is also in basic form, as there will be a Vig, juice, or commission for the sportsbook to deduct. The reason for this is that, otherwise, the Daily Double bet would be worthless to sports betting sites, paying out exactly the amount staked on the race.

What Is The Difference Between The Daily Double and Pick 3 & 5 Bets?

Another strategy employed by horse racing bettors alongside the likes of the Trifecta, Superfecta, and Daily Double is Pick 3 and Pick 5 horse bets.

The Pick 3 and Pick 5 bets are very similar to that of the Daily Double, with almost exactly the same markets and betting features. As previously explained, for a Daily Double horse racing bet to win, you must pick the winner of the first two races.

pick 3 horse bet 8

Similarly, for the Pick 3 and Pick 5 horse bets, you must choose the winner of the first three or five races, respectively. Of course, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule, where you could perhaps do a Pick 3 prop bet, for example, picking the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup.

Not only is the actual Pick 3/5 bet very similar to the Daily Double market, but the layout is the same, too. The only difference, of course, is there are three/five races to choose from rather than two.

Pick 3/5 Horse Bet Example

pick 3-5 horses 9

In the above example, you can see we have made three picks from Laurel Park: Cavalry Command in the first, Steele Money in the second, and Work Hard in the third. For this Pick 3 bet to win, we need all three horses to win their respective races. No other combination will suffice.

The same goes for a Pick 5 horse bet. A Pick 5 bet is exactly the same as a Pick 3 bet, only with five horses selected rather than three. As the Daily Double horse bet is over two races and the Pick3/5 bets are over three/five races, respectively, the payouts are much larger.

This is because you’ve added an extra result in Pick 3 and three extra results in Pick 5. However, the trade-off is that they’re obviously much trickier to win, hence why the odds will be astronomical on picking the winning horse from three/five consecutive races.

What Is The Daily Double Wheel?

The Daily Double Wheel is another part of this exotic horse racing market. There are two forms of wheels, which we will explain in more detail below.

The concept of a Daily Double Wheel is simply where you select multiple or all horses in a race if you are unsure which one to back.

Daily Double Full Wheel Bet Explained

The Daily Double full wheel is where you select one horse in one race and back the full field of horses in the second race. This may occur when you are confident in picking a winner in the first race but are unsure in the second, thus covering all possibilities by backing every runner in the race.

The biggest caveat to the Daily Double full-wheel bet is that you must wager on all the horses in a race. For example, a standard bet might be $2, but if you decide to wheel then your total stake will be far higher.

Say you select one winner from the first and wheel the second, choosing all horses, your initial stake will be far higher depending on the size of the field. For example, a race with eight horses means your initial stake would multiply by eight:

  • Total stake = $2 x 8 = $16

This bet then covers all possible combinations as you have bet on each horse. Assuming you back one horse in the first and wheel all eight in the second, your potential winning combinations would look like this:

  • Horse 1 + Horse 1
  • Horse 1 + Horse 2
  • Horse 1 + Horse 3
  • Horse 1 + Horse 4
  • Horse 1 + Horse 5
  • Horse 1 + Horse 6
  • Horse 1 + Horse 7
  • Horse 1 + Horse 8

Each individual bet (eight in total) costs $2 to stake, so a total of $16.

horse racing betting slip 10

Daily Double Part Wheel Bet Explained

The Daily Double Part Wheel bet differs slightly from the full-wheel bet. In the part wheel, you have more than two picks in one race but fewer than the field in the second race.

Regarding the stakes, the concept is the same, where you pay for the horses you’ve picked. For example, if you pick Horse 3 in the first race and three in the second race, you will pay $2 for each combination, totaling $6. This is how it would work:

  • Horse 3 + Horse 1
  • Horse 3 + Horse 4
  • Horse 3 + Horse 6

The beauty of the Daily Double Part Wheel is that you can be more selective about how many horses you select in your wheel without having to bet on the entire field. This also limits the amount you are required to outlay.

Out of the part wheel and full wheel, a part wheel will generally be a better long-term strategy, saving you from wagering on a horse that may have no chance of winning a race.

Essentially, with the Daily Double Wheel, you are perming up two, three, or more horses in both races.

daily double wheel 11

Best Daily Double Strategies & Tips

It is imperative to have a strategy when placing Daily Double horse racing bets. Even a basic strategy will help bettors select the right horses, giving them the best chance of winning.

Here are five of the best Daily Double tips to consider, per our betting expert:

  • Do your research on the runners, use tipsters
  • Don’t always back the fancied horses, explore underdogs for better value
  • Use the full & part wheel perms to increase your chances
  • Use Daily Double horse bets instead of standard parlays
  • Target the Late Daily Double

1. Do Your Research

It is imperative that you do your research when it comes to placing a Daily Double bet.

Like any betting strategy, it is nothing without research and analysis. This includes looking at the horses’ form, how the stable is currently performing, how each horse fares over the distance of the race, the number of runners, etc.

Following tipsters as a guide before making your own decision is another strong strategy for Daily Double horse racing betting.

2. Back Against Favorites For Better Value

Sometimes, taking on the favorites and seeking better value is one of the best strategies for selecting your Daily Double bets.

Most wagers are placed on the favorites in racing, regardless of price and value. Casual gamblers usually target the favorite as it’s an easy pick for a horse that the racebook states should win. However, favorites usually offer the least value in a horse race.

If you place a Daily Double bet on two favorites, when you multiply the -EV across two races, it becomes an even worse bet sometimes. The returns are likely to be very low on two market leaders, not to mention a losing strategy in the long term.

Yes, sometimes it is worth backing the favorite, and it can be a strong play, but it would need to be combined in a Daily Double with a horse at longer odds that offers value.

3. Apply The Daily Double Wheel To Increase Chances

Using a full or part-wheel Daily Double bet can increase the value of the short-priced favorite, making it much more enticing. This is why opting for a Daily Double Wheel can increase your chances of being a winner.

If you can’t decide on one horse in a race, then using a wheel bet can certainly enhance your chances. Whether that be a part wheel or full wheel, this could be a wise strategy to incorporate.

There’s a good chance that a short odds favorite in the first, paired with three or four horses from +300 to +800, would still pay more than your initial outlay.

Using the Daily Double Wheel offers much better value than betting on a short-priced single.

4. Use Daily Doubles Instead Of Parlays

Another strategy to incorporate is using the Daily Double bet instead of parlays. One reason is that this bet type has less commission and a lower juice/fee than a standard parlay bet.

When it comes to pool betting, such as the Daily Double, this money is taken from the pool and paid directly to them. Using a Daily Double over a multi-parlay means you only get commission once, rather than having more racebook charges.

A parlay bet will have a commission taken from both results in the bet, so you’re charged more at the point of consumption. This doesn’t happen with a Daily Double horse racing bet.

5. Target Late Daily Doubles

Another of the best Daily Double betting strategies and tips is to target the late Daily Double. As previously explained, this is when you attempt to pick the winning horses from the final two races of the meeting.

One of the reasons for this is that betting pools can become bigger as the day progresses, with bettors chasing losses. Form books are out the window here, with bettors throwing silly money to try and recoup what they may have lost in the previous races.

Shorter-priced horses can create much bigger winning combinations, and the inclusion of wheel and part-wheel bets come into their own. Another reason to target the Late Daily Double is that the fields are usually stronger, making handicapping easier.

You will be able to work out for yourself which horses have the strongest form, deciding which offers value to you and which horses to avoid. The art of finding value is a key to all betting strategies, and that is no different with Daily Double horse betting.

Daily Double Horse Racing Bet Pros and Cons 

No betting strategy is perfect. There are, of course, pros and cons to Daily Double horse racing betting:

  • Maximise profits
  • No limit to potential winnings
  • Can get better odds than normal 2-leg horse parlay
  • Very straightforward to place
  • Worse payout if horse shortens in price
  • Don’t know your potential winnings until after the race (plus commission taken)
  • Limited to wagering on consecutive races rather than any
  • Not all sportsbooks offer Daily Double bets

The Last Word

The Daily Double can be a highly profitable betting strategy for horse racing wagering. Of course, it is more risky as you need to select two horses to win two consecutive races, which is a tough ask.

The Daily Double horse racing bet is probably more suited to experienced gamblers who have extensive knowledge about racing and bettors who are familiar with the Daily Double as a betting strategy.

To conclude, placing a Daily Double horse bet can be very rewarding but is extremely difficult to pinpoint. For new or part-time bettors who are just wagering on racing for the fun of it, we recommend sticking to the standard single, each-way, or Lucky 15 bets.


What is the maximum Daily Double horse racing payout?

Are there stake limits for Daily Double bets?

Can I cash out my Daily Double bet?

What strategies will help me when placing Daily Double bets?

How does the Daily Double differ from other horse racing bets?

Can I choose any two races for my Daily Double bets?

What happens if one of my selected horses doesn’t run?

What is the best Daily Double horse racing calculator?

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