Because most race tracks have a $2 minimum bet, the handy chart shown above depicts the payouts for a $2 win bet at various odds. Be aware that your actual payoff may differ from this chart as the odds as they are last reported before the start of the race are rounded-off, so 2-1 odds on the toteboard may actually be 1.9-1 or 2.2-1. This rounding is called breakage. Payouts use the actual odds and are rounded down to the nearest nickle or dime depending on the rules at that particular track.
WIN – – You win if your horse finishes first. (On average over 30% of favorites win.)
PLACE – – You win if your horse finishes first or second. (On average over 45% of favorites win or place.)
SHOW – – You win if your horse finishes first, second or third. (On average over 60% of favorites win, place or show.)
WIN/PLACE/SHOW – – An equal amount bet “across the board” to win and place and show. For example, $2 across the board, or $2 win and place and show.