Pick 4 Bet in Horse Racing – Understanding the Basics

pick 4 bet

6 minutes

Last Updated: December 9, 2022


If you are getting tired of having to place bets after each horse race, we have some good news: with pick 4 bet, you can bet on four different horse races at the same time.

Pick 4 bet is a type of bet that is used in horse racing when players want to combine multiple winners onto one ticket.

Today, we will be breaking down the pick 4 bet as well as some of the most interesting strategies players use to make money with this bet slip.

What Is a Pick 4 Bet?

So, what is a pick 4 in horse racing? Horse bettors use the pick 4 bet when they want to bet on winners of four consecutive horse races.

This bet is considered a winning bet only if the player successfully predicts winners in all four races. Failing to predict one or more winners will result in a losing bet.

what is pick 4 in horse racing

The 4 pick bet is a variation of the win bet, or to be more specific it is a combination of four win bets on one ticket. It allows punters to combine multiple winners to increase their odds and their potential payout.

Because of this, the pick 4 bet is most popular with occasional and amateur bettors who look to make a big score.

What Is the Minimum Stake on a Pick 4 Bet?

Most online betting platforms don’t accept pick 4 bets with stakes lower than 50 cents, which means that you can start creating your pick 4 bet if you have 50 cents or more in your betting account.

Additionally, based on the selection, the price of a pick a 4 bet can increase, so be careful not to create a bet that is too expensive for your budget.

What Is The Maximum Win on A Pick 4 Bet?

Most online bookmakers that accept bets on horse races do not have a limit on the maximum win for a pick 4 bet.

In theory, this means that you can create a pick a 4 bet with however big potential winnings you like, and it will be accepted.

However, we advise that you read the terms and conditions of the site you are betting on before you start to create betting tickets with massive potential payouts.

pick 4 horse racing payouts

Even if the bookmaker accepts your bet, they can void your winnings if they exceed the maximum payout which is something you can read on in their terms and conditions.

If you are betting in the pari-mutuel system, your maximum winnings will be determined by this system which means by the size of the betting pool.

What Are The Odds for the Pick 4 Bet?

If you have been around horse racing for some time, you probably already know that horse racing accumulators can create some pretty high odds, and pick 4 bet is no different.

It is impossible to determine the average odds for the pick 4 bet as they will depend on the races and the horses you are betting on. But you can be sure that if this bet comes in, you will be in line for a solid payday.

Just remember that the odds on horses often change depending on the public money. Horses that were favorites can become outsiders, and vice versa. For this reason, the timing of your bet will have a big impact on your bottom line.

How to Bet and Win Playing Pick 4 Wagers Horse Racing

One of the most popular strategies for creating winning pick 4 wagers in horse racing is the Tic Tac Toe Method.

This method requires bettors to pick four horses from four races and then draw a box similar to the one used in the Tic Tac Toe game.

After drawing the box, you need to enter the number of the selected horses diagonally from left to right. Now, fill the remaining fields by counting up from right to left in the outer fields. Start with the field that is above the last number you entered.

When you are done with all outer fields, fill in the remaining two inner fields the same way (start from right to left and count up).

The Tic Tac Toe Method Example

If you select horses number 5, 10, 4, and 1, your box will look like this:

Note: Number 10 is written down as 0.

5 6 5 4
7 0 2 3
8 3 4 2
9 0 1 1

Now that you have created the box, you can use the Tic Tac Toe method to select the winners for your pick a 4 wager. You can do this by selecting each of the ways in which a straight line can be drawn.

Some of the combinations that you can use from the table above are:

  • 5, 0, 4, 1
  • 5, 2, 4, 1
  • 6,0, 3, 0

In addition to the base box, some punters also use one or two additional boxes called:

  • The mirror box
  • And the flip box

To create a mirror box, you need to add 5 to each of your numbers from the base box.

The mirror box to the example above would look like this:

0 1 0 9
2 5 7 8
3 8 9 7
4 5 6 6

To create a mirror box, you need to add 3 to each of your numbers from the base box.

8 9 8 7
0 3 5 8
1 6 7 5
2 3 4 4

The process of choosing pick 4 combinations from the mirror box and the flip box is the same as from the base box.

While this method looks very interesting, we must say that we are not sure how much credit it should get as it looks pretty random.

Proven Horse Betting Strategies

Now that we have explained the pick 4 bet as well as one of the most interesting strategies for picking winners, not only in the horse racing sphere but in betting in general, we will focus on the more proven horse racing strategies.

These strategies come from proven winners in horse racing and punters who have made their living at the race track.

Focus on One Area

One of the main reasons why predicting winners of horse races is extremely difficult is because there are a lot of variables that come into play.

The outcome of each race does not only depend on the horse but also on other factors like weather, track, jockey, length of the field, surface, and obstacles.

pick 4 horse racing

Because of this, the best way to approach horse racing is to focus on one area and expand to others. By this, we mean that you should dedicate your attention to a select period of the race (the beginning, the end, etc.) based on the historical behavior of horses competing in the race.

Horses are animals of habit, and more often than not, they do the same things in the same way over and over again. If you manage to recognize these patterns, you will put yourself in a position to be a successful horse racing punter.

Researching How Much Time Horses Spent on the Road

It is no secret that on some occasions, horses are driven long distances to compete at a certain event. This way of transporting horses can be pretty costly and includes expenses such as travel fees and training fees.

So, if you think about it, why would a horse owner go through all this fuss if he thought that his horse does not have a good chance of making a good result?

Paying attention to these horses and the public money that is going their way is one of the best betting strategies for picking winners.

You first find out which horses have traveled a long distance then you wait to see if the public money will confirm your theory before placing a bet.

When it comes to the market signals, we would recommend that you use the exchanges and not the bookmakers and there is a pretty good reason for this.

This is because sometimes bookmakers will change prices without receiving a lot of money on a particular horse – the so-called ghost moves.

On the other hand, with exchanges you can see a significant volume of bets before the prices change – actual matched traded money on a horse that has traveled a long distance to compete in the race.

Final Thoughts

Horse racing is one of the most complex and popular sports to bet on because there are so many possible bets, markets as well as variables that come into play.

So, if you are new to betting on horses, we would recommend you start slow and only start betting seriously when you get familiar with all of the above.

Additionally, creating your betting style will take some time, but it is important to be comfortable with it before you start staking serious money at the track.

Read more

View all
A Beginner’s Guide to College Football Betting
Cheltenham Day 1 Betting Tips
Meet the 2024 March Madness Heroes Before They Rise
What Are The Most Popular Sports to Bet on in the US

Copyright © sportsfanbetting.com