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what is a pick 3 in horse racing

How to Put Together a Pick 3

Hitting an exotic sequence wager such as a Pick 3 takes a strong mix of solid handicapping and wise betting strategy.

Simply picking the winners of three straight races isn’t enough to guarantee a healthy profit. It’s how you construct your ticket that will determine whether you actually walk away with some cash and how large of a profit you rake in.

In general, it’s best to play all of your combinations, but that can be costly.

Let’s say you like four horses in one race, five in another and four in the third and final race.

Buying $1 tickets under that scenario, the math becomes 4 x 5 x 4 which adds up to $80 and means you need an $81 payoff for a mere $1 profit. While that $80 could easily unlock a payoff of $1,000 or more if there are three competitive races with large fields, it can also amount to a big risk for a relatively small payoff if three odds-on favorites prevail.

In those instances where there’s a standout favorite or two, many handicappers might single that horse, which means that it is the only horse they will use in that race.

Using the above example, by singling one horse in the middle leg, the math becomes 4 x 1 x 4 which adds up to a very reasonable $16 investment and gives you ample coverage in the other two races. With such a small investment, there’s also room to add extra tickets on some of the combinations at a minimal cost. You could use the singled horse with your top two picks in the other two races and you would only be adding $4 to your wager (2 x 1 x 2) and you would now have $2 of coverage on four of the combinations.

As a backup plan, to cover the possibility of your singled horse losing, you could take two other horses in that race, use them with your top two picks in the first and third races and protect your investment for an extra $8 (2 x 2 x 2).

Under that plan, you would cover 11 horses instead of the 13 in the 4 x 5 x 4 ticket, but your investment would drop from $80 to $28 and you would have several $2 tickets, which would double your payoff.

The same type of strategy can come into play when deciding whether to cover all your bases or key on horses to increase your winnings.

In this scenario, let’s say you like three horses in each of three races. A comprehensive 3 x 3 x 3 $1 ticket would cost $27.

Yet for the same $27 you could also double or triple your winnings by placing more faith in your top picks.

Instead of covering all nine horses in the three races, you would need to focus on your top pick in each race. If your top three picks in terms of preference are horses A, B, C, then the first ticket would be A in the first race with A,B,C in the next race and A,B,C in the final race for $9 (1 x 3 x 3). The next would be A,B,C with A with A,B,C for another $9 and then A,B,C with A,B,C with A for $9 more.

That adds up to the same $27, but if two of your “A” horses win, you could have $2 in winning tickets, and if all three A’s win, you would have $3 in tickets to cash. Figuring the payoff at $100 for $1, that strategy could net you $200 or $300, depending on how sharp your handicapping skills are.

Of course, the flip side of that wager is that if three “B” horses win, you have nothing more than three losing $9 tickets as opposed to a winning $1 ticket with the 3 x 3 x 3 method.

And that’s where strategy comes in. In a wager such as the Pick 3, picking winners is fabulous, but using them correctly in your betting is what will make that wager memorable and more profitable.

Note: This article was originally published in April 2016.

Hitting an exotic sequence wager such as a Pick 3 takes a strong mix of solid handicapping and wise betting strategy. Simply picking the winners of three straight races isn’t enough to guarantee a healthy profit. It’s how you construct your ticket that will determine whether you actually walk away with some cash and how large of a profit you rake in.

Pick 3 Bet

Pick-3 bets in horse betting is a bet where the gambler must choose the winner of three horse races in a row. This significantly raises the difficulty level of winning and therefore provides for much higher payouts when you win a Pick-3 horse racing wager.

  • Early Pick 3 – Late Pick 3
  • Rolling Pick 3 Bets
  • Example Of A Pick 3 Horse Racing Bet
  • Pick 3 and Trifecta Bets
  • Exotic Horse Racing Pick Bets

Early Pick 3 – Late Pick 3

Many parimutuel tracks offer an “Early Pick 3” and a “Late Pick 3”. This means it highlights two 3-race stretches throughout the day when Pick-Three bets can be placed. If you miss out on the betting times for these horse races, though, you won’t be able to place Pick-3 wagers.

Rolling Pick 3 Bets

Some horse racing betting tracks offer “rolling pick 3” proposition, which only means you can pick the winner of any three consecutive races from the day’s racing card. This gives maximum flexibility for wagerers and let’s the track rake in more money throughout the day.

Example Of A Pick 3 Horse Racing Bet

Let me give an example, to illustrate how one of these wagers works. Assume you make a bet that a horse named “Starlight” is going to win Race #1, a horse named “Geronimo” is going to win Race #2, and a horse named “Mister Sugar” is going to win Race #3. Then imagine that Starlight and Geronimo happen to win the first two races. But assume Mister Sugar is beaten by a nose by his rival, “I Shot the Sheriff”, in the third race. Despite hitting on the first two races, you lose the bet outright.

That’s harsh, but it’s the reality in most exotic bets. Pick Three bets are hard to win, though you’ll have a major payoff if you happen to win. That’s why some parimutuel gamblers try exotic bets like the Pick-3, because of the rush they get on that rare occasion they claim victory (the money’s nice, too).

Pick 3 and Trifecta Bets

Beginning gamblers sometimes confuse the Pick-3 bet with the Trifectas. Remember that pick-threes involve three different races. A trifecta, on the other hand, involves one race and three different horses. When betting on the trifecta, you are pick three particular horses to win, place, and show, and you are picking the exact order these horses are going to finish.

Exotic Horse Racing Pick Bets

When you hear the term “exotic bet”, this may evoke a number of thoughts and memories. The most basic thought in your head should be that exotic bets tend to be long shots. The Pick 3 wager is a outside shot, though not nearly as much of a long shot as other wagers on the docket.

Pick-3 bets in horse betting is a bet where the gambler must choose the winner of three horse races in a row. This significantly raises the difficulty level ]]>