If you’re ready to try your hoof at a more advanced type of horse betting, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 6 racing wagers provide the perfect opportunity. Pick 3 and Pick 4 horse racing come with bigger stakes. However, the bigger the risk, the better the reward – especially for those who do their handicapping homework and find success with this type of race bet.
Between the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup and other Triple Crown events, you have ample opportunity to bet on the ponies.
Pick 3 Betting
The Pick 3 bet involves structuring your ticket to hit three consecutive races. But, you need to make your bet pick before the first race in the three-race sequence starts. To cash your ticket, you must have the winning horse of all three races. This is no small task considering horse racing, whether it’s the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, features the best equines in the business.
Horizontal wagers – any bet that’s made across multiple horse races – can be a bit more complicated to structure and hit. All the handicapping must be done in advance so you have an idea of which horses are favorites and which could burn out halfway through the race.
For instance, you don’t have the luxury of watching the post parade before deciding which horse to include in the third part of your Pick 3 bet. If you can narrow your win candidates to three horses per race, you could play your ticket like this: 1,2,3 / 1,2,3 / 1,2,3 = $27
If you think your handicapping efforts will pay off, you can find one race where you feel strong enough to single a horse, you can go deeper in the other races for nearly the same investment. For example: 1 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 = $28. If your single horse wins the opening leg, you have four shots in the second leg, and have spread out to seven runners in the last leg. A Pick 3 can be a solid bet if you can find two of the three races in the sequence where you feel the favorite is vulnerable.
50 Cent Pick 3 Horse Racing
Depending on the racebook or racing track, the minimum stake is $2. However, some will offer 50-cent Pick 3 horse racing betting options. The payout will be less for a winning ticket if you’re only laying down 50 cents, but for Pick 3 newbies, this could help you manage your money until you become a pro at picking the correct consecutive horse finishes in the Kentucky Derby, or whichever race you’re betting on.
Pick 4 Horse Racing Betting
If you’ve mastered Pick 3, you can try your luck with the next tier of equine wagering. Pick 4 horse racing betting increases the stakes since you have to correctly select four consecutive winning stallions. With more horses in the mix, the cost of your bet ticket can climb much higher, though cashing a Pick 4 ticket can lead to huge payoffs – sometimes in the thousands of dollars.
Using three horses in each of the four races in a Pick 4 would cost $81 (if you were using $1 increments). As with a Pick 3 bet, if you can find a single that you think is going to be a Kentucky Derby standout, you’ll be able to go deeper in the other legs of the wager, like this: 1x5x5x4 = $75. Using your single with five horses in the second part, five in the following leg and four in the final part, your ticket would only cost $75.
Making a Pick 6 Bet
The Pick 6 is the toughest version of these types of horse racing bets. Most tracks will have a minimum stake of $2. However, hitting a winning Pick 6 ticket can amount to a life-changing score in the high thousands or even millions (depending on the pool of bettors at the track or racebook you’re using).
The issue with Pick 6 horse racing betting is you need pockets so deep they rip. If you don’t have a large quantity of cash to play with, it’s better to join forces with friends who also want to bet the ponies. Instead of playing a $120 ticket that covers a small volume of possible combinations, find five or six friends, and play multiple tickets and cover more.
Odds Shark’s horse betting expert Michael Dempsey on Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 6 wagering:
“Horizontal bets are not for the faint of heart and generally require a nice bankroll and some guts. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will have 50-cent Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers, which will give the smaller players a fighting chance to make a nice score. Unless you have a big bankroll or feel very lucky, I would not go in the Ultra Pick 6 pool alone. Join forces in a syndicate, or convince some friends to invest. Or borrow money from a rich relative.”
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, Jun 10, 8:35amHorse Racing
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