Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

how to bet


You’ll need a few basic tools of the game:


Grab one when you get to Canterbury Park. The inside cover includes a detailed explanation of how to put the program to work for you.

Pen / Pencil

It’s handy to write down your picks. Pens are available in the gift shop, and free pencils can be found at our level 1 info center.

Cash / Voucher/phone

Remember, you can’t bet on credit. You’ll need cash, a voucher or a winning ticket! Or load onto your First Bet mobile account.

Choosing the type of wager that works for you comes down to risk versus reward.

The more complicated the wager, the bigger the payday, but the less frequently you’ll win. For first timers, we recommend sticking with more basic bets.

Basic Bets

Insider Tip
Betting a horse “Across the Board” means placing a Win, Place and Show wager on the same horse. If the horse finishes first, you win all three bets!


Minimum Bet

Multiple Horse Bets

Insider Tip
“Boxing” a bet, means that the horses can finish in any order. For instance, if you bet a 2-3 Exacta Box, the horses can finish 2-3 or 3-2 and you win. Boxing Bets cost more.


Minimum Bet

Multiple Horse Bets

Insider Tip
You can select more than one horse in any given leg of a Multiple Race bet. The more horses you pick, the more expensive the wager.


Minimum Bet

In Racing, We Don't Set The Odds - You Do (Well, to Some Extent).

Odds are determined by the total money wagered on each horse, and fluctuate until race time. The favorite horse isn’t necessarily the best – it just has the most money wagered on it. Historically, favorites win only one-third of the time.

How odds work

Odds are a reflection of what a ‘win bet’ will pay on any given horse. Unlike other sports where odds are fixed, racing odds fluctuate with every wager placed. Players receive the final odds on a given horse.

The morning line

The morning line, found in the program, is a projection of the final odds once all wagers have been placed. The morning line has no impact on the actual odds, but some use it to gauge if their horse is a “value”.

Where to find the odds

Current odds can be found many places in the racetrack, including the toteboard in the infield and on TV screens throughout the racetrack.

Odd & Payouts

Odds are displayed as whole numbers or fractions, and indicate the expected profit for every one dollar bet to win on a given horse. The total returned to a winner includes the profit plus original amount bet. Here’s a chart showing the expected payouts on a $2 Win bet.
Expected payouts
Win Bet

Canterbury Park offers three ways to place a wager:

However you place your wager, you’ll need the same five pieces of information:
Name of the Racetrack · Race Number · Dollar Amount · Type of Bet · Horse Number(s)

Mutuel Teller Window

You can place your bet in person with one of our friendly mutuel tellers.

Self Service Machine

Use a self-service window by inserting cash, a voucher or a winning ticket.

1/ST Bet

Avoid the lines and wager from your smartphone. Sign up at any information center.

Racing is more fun when you're
cashing tickets

While some people dedicate hours to handicapping, you can have just as much fun on your first day at the races. If and when you are ready to learn advanced skills of handicapping, we’re here to help.

Put our pros to work

Everyone at the racetrack has an opinion. Lucky for you, our experts are willing to share. Here are a few of the places you can find pro’s picks:
  • Paddock Preview:  Join Track Analyst Kevin Gorg before every race in the Paddock.
  • Pro’s Picks: Available on the website HERE or posted at 1st Floor Grandstand Information Center
  • Race Analysis: In the program adjacent to each race

Trust your gut

If you have a hunch about a horse, a quirky connection to its name or simply like it because it’s grey, bet it. Favorite numbers, colors, jockeys and names have produced many winners over the years.

Remember, you're at the races to have fun

Learning a new skill like handicapping can be intimidating. Don’t let it be – relax and enjoy. Here are a few last minute thoughts to help you do just that.

Start Simple

When you’re new to the races, keep the bets simple. Pick 4s and Superfectas might sound fun, but you won’t cash in as often. Stick to the Win, Place, Show wagers until you get the hang of it.

Group Bets

Throwing a few high fives with friends is what the racetrack is about. Try pooling money to place a group wager. Popular options include a rolling show parlay or a deep Pick 4 ticket.

Your Best Investment

Sometimes an ice cold beer is the best bet you’ll make all day… and that’s okay.