Strategies For Pick 4 Betting

The Pick 4 is a horse racing bet that can pay healthy rewards. It is also a bet that can be affordable when you use these top 5 Pick 4 betting strategies. It is possible to play the Pick 4 at horse racing tracks throughout the world when you have an account with an online racebook.

About the Pick 4

Before we take a look at the individual strategies, let’s have a reminder about the basics of the Pick 4 bet. This exotic horse racing wager requires the handicapper to select the winner of four different horse races in a row. Most race tracks use the most competitive races on the card as part of the Pick 4. This is done by design to make the bet more difficult.


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There are a few race tracks that offer a rolling Pick 4 which includes every race on the card. Others have an early Pick 4 and a late Pick 4. The minimum wager for a Pick 4 bet in most cases is just $1. The payouts for the bet as shown on the tote board are usually computed with a base wager of $2.

Now, let’s look at the individual betting approaches for scoring a win with the Pick 4 bet.

1 – Use Spreading for a Better Chance

Spreading in a horse racing bet refers to using more than one horse as a selection. When more horses are used, you have a better chance to win. Using a single horse in each leg of the Pick 4 increases the difficulty of the bet exponentially. It can become a little like playing the lottery.

The thing about spreading is that it can increase the cost of the bet that you are making. When you use a single horse in each race, the cost would be $1. Adding more horses raises the cost of the bet according to how many horses you use in each leg. To get the total cost just multiply the total number of selections used in each leg:

Leg 1 – 3

Leg 2 – 1

Leg 3 – 2

Leg 4 – 1

3 X 1 X 2 X 1 = 6

In this example it would cost you $6 to make the bet.

2 – Use a Key Horse for Lower Cost

If you were to spread out in each leg of the Pick 4 the cost would rise to a large degree quickly. To avoid this, many handicappers use a key horse in one or more legs. A key horse, or a single, is a horse that you feel cannot be beaten in its race.

The downside of using a key horse is that you cannot be wrong where this horse is concerned. If any of your key horses are defeated, you will lose the entire bet. It can be frustrating to be right in all of the legs except the one where you have singled. This frustration is addressed by the next strategy for Pick 4 betting.

3 – Spread in First and Last Legs

Many handicappers prefer to spread out their Pick 4 selections in the first and last legs of the sequence. This is because getting through the first and last legs often leads to a win. If you manage to get the first leg right, you will feel better about your chances for the rest of the bet moving forward.

If you arrive at the last leg of the Pick 4 and have four horses in a spread, your chance to win the bet has took a huge step forward. This type of betting strategy really relates to the morale of making the bet, but morale can play into success or failure at the track.

4 – Include Some Long Shots in Pick 4 Betting

If you want to achieve some of the massive payouts that handicappers live for when betting a Pick 4, you will need to include some long shots in your selections. This is where the good handicappers are separated from the great. It takes courage to bet a horse at odds of 10-1 when you are playing a Pick 4, but that horse will skyrocket the payout when it wins.

A very big payout for a Pick 4 bet would be four figures. In most cases the Pick 4 pays $100 or a little over when a few favorites are mixed in. There are those race occasions when long shot horses win each leg and the payout becomes close to $10,000. Don’t be afraid to risk $20 when you have a chance to win thousands.

5 – Play the Pick 4 on Big Racing Days

Our final strategy for Pick 4 horse racing betting is to play the bet on the biggest days in horse racing. These are the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup, and Dubai World Cup to name just a few. Many tracks will promote a special Pick 4 play on these days.

The reason you will want to play the pools on these days is because they can grow to large amounts. More money in the pool means that you will win more money when you cash a Pick 4 ticket.

How can you play all those races at different tracks? Simple. Just use one of our recommended online horse bettigs sites such as AmWager, BOVADA, BETamerica, Twinspires in the United States and 5 Dimes abroad. You can play with a phone or tablet, and some racebooks even reward you with free bonus money and rebates.


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