Once you have mastered the basics of pari-mutuel betting, you may want to increase your chances of winning by learning to use some of the more advanced betting strategies.
Because of the "round robin" nature of jai-alai, making bets is as easy as picking your birthday. Or you can select by player ability and performance record. Some people handicap based on the numerical advantages of certain post positions and the ability of the players. Whichever way you choose to make your selections, you will need to know some of the "lingo" and logic of combination betting strategies.
Around the fronton you will hear words like: "wheel, part-wheel, with, key, box and rundown". These are some of the more popular variations of the Trifecta, Superfecta, Exacta, Daily Double and Quiniela. Using these variations allows the bettor to expand the number of combinations "covered" while focusing on specific number combinations.
The fronton also allows bettors to reduce the minimum price on each part of the bet to $1 when betting combinations in the Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick3, TwinTri and Tri-Super betting pools. Most knowledgeable bettors feel this gives more "bang for the buck" on these higher odds bets. When you win, these bets pay a higher return for each dollar.
One of the most popular ways to increase your chances of winning a high paying Trifecta is by "boxing" your selections. Boxing allows you to cover more combinations.
For example, if you box 4-5-6 you would win if the order of finish was any combination of 4-5-6 finishing first, second, and third in any order. This box bet consists of six combinations (4-5-6, 4-6-5, 5-4-6, 5-6-4, 6-5-4 & 6-4-5) and costs $6 ($1 for each "covered" group of numbers).
Boxing four numbers covers 24 possible combinations and costs $24. If any three of your four selections finish first, second and third in any order, you win. Boxing five numbers covers 60 combinations and six numbers locks up 120.
If you feel strongly about one team finishing the game as the winner, you may want to concentrate your betting by using a "wheel" or "part wheel" bet.
If you think the "4" team has the best chance of winning the game you could bet a $1 Trifecta: 4 -"all"-"all" ("all" means every remaining number). If the "4" team wins the game you win! It’s that simple.
In a "part-wheel" you simply leave out teams that you don’t think will finish first, second or third. For instance, "1 with 2/3/4 with 5/6". In this bet the "1" team must win the game, then the "2", "3" or "4" must finish in second place and the "5" or "6" must finish third. This bet allows you to be more selective in the combinations you cover than the traditional "box" bet.
A "rundown" is another variation of a wheel but usually contains two numbers in specific positions with only one "all". Example: 5-2-"all" is a rundown covering (5-2-1, 5-2-3, 5-2-4, 5-2-6, 5-2-7 & 5-2-8) and costs $6.
The "key" is another popular bet variation.
This is used to put a particular team in a specific spot. For example, if you wanted to "key" the "5" to finish first with four other numbers it would look like this: "5/1-2-3-4". If the "5" wins, and any combination of "1-2-3-4" finish second and third, you win! You may also make this type of bet with your "key" team designated to finish second or third.
As a $1 bet the price is as follows: "Key" number with two numbers : $2 (5/1-2), three numbers: $6 (5/1-2-3), four numbers: $12 (5/1-2-3-4), five numbers: $20 (5/1-2-3-4-6) and six numbers: $30 (5/1-2-3-4-6-7).