The goal of betting on horse racing is to win money. The Pick-5 is a horse racing wager that offers extreme value for the betting dollar. This bet allows the punter to wager a little in order to win a lot. Sometimes the payoff can be thousands of dollars. Here is a brief guide to the Pick-5 horse racing bet and strategies for playing it. Have you ever asked what is Pick-5 in horse racing? Here is your answer.

What is the Pick-5 Horse Racing Bet?

The Pick-5 (also see Pick 4 bet, Pick 3 bet and Pick 6 bet) is known by a number of different names. At some race tracks it is known as the Super High Five. The bet is a multi-race wager that also involves multiple horses. That puts it in the category of most difficult horse racing bets to win.


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The race track schedules five consecutive races on a single day. The races are generally the most competitive and difficult to handicap on a single day. The Pick-5 requires the bettor to select a single horse to win in each of the five races. All selections must win their races in order for the bettor to win the bet.

The Pick-5 differs from the Pick-3 or Pick-4 wagers in one important regard. If no bettor correctly chooses all five winning horses, a consolation prize may be offered for choosing four horses correctly. A portion of the pool is devoted to the consolation prize while the majority of the pool is carried over to the next racing day.

Each day that the Pick-5 is not won, the pool grows. It can easily reach more than $100,000 during any given race meeting. The big players usually wait for the pool to grow before they jump in. Syndicates are groups of bettors that pool their money together in order to try and win the large pool.

Strategies for Betting the Pick-5 Horse Racing Bet

The Pick-5 is a difficult wager to win. There are certain strategies, however, that can improve the chances of the bettor. One of the most successful strategies involves what is known as spreading. This means that in certain legs of the Pick-5 bet the handicapper will use more than one horse. This means multiple tickets, and the cost of the bet can increase quickly as more horses are used.

Let’s look at an example. In this example the player has chosen one single horse and will build a Pick-5 ticket around that single choice. The races used in the Pick-5 sequence are races 4-8. Here are the number of horses used by the player in each of the legs:

  • Race 4: 3
  • Race 5: 2
  • Race 6: 1
  • Race 7: 2
  • Race 8: 4

The handicapper has chosen race 6 as his single. He will only make one selection in this race and build the rest of the ticket around the single. The cost of the ticket is determined by multiplying the number of horses used in each leg:

  • 3 X 2 X 1 X 2 X 4 = 48

The total, 48, is then multiplied by the base amount of the wager. At most race tracks, the minimum wager for a Pick-5 is $1. Therefore, the total amount for this Pick-5 ticket will be $48. Not a bad investment when you consider the Pick-5 regularly returns thousands of dollars to winning bettors.

It is possible for the bettor to choose one horse in each leg of the Pick-5 sequence. The problem is that being right on five consecutive races is similar to winning the lottery. It is almost impossible. The smart handicappers know that winning this bet will require them to take more chances.

Can You Play the Pick-5 Horse Racing Bet Online?

Not so long ago it was only possible to play the Pick-5 bet at a live race track or at an off-track betting parlor. Today, things have changed. It is now possible to play the Pick-5 on a computer, phone, or tablet with an online racebook.

When you play the Pick-5 at an online racebook, there are numerous advantages. First of all, you are betting into the same pool that is being used on the race track. That means a chance at a bigger payoff. You simply make the bet with your online racebook account instead of driving to the track or OTB.

Another advantage of playing the Pick-5 horse racing bet online is that you have access to more opportunities with each racing day. You are not limited to a specific racing circuit. You can play multiple Pick-5 bets in a single day if you are so inclined. You can also make horse racing bets on tracks in other countries when you use an online racebook.

Some online racebooks will even give you bonus money when you create an account and make a deposit. This is free money that you can add to your betting bankroll.

When is the Best Time to Play the Pick-5 Horse Racing Bet?

The smart handicappers know that there is a right time to play the Pick-5 horse racing bet. That time is when a large carryover exists in the Pick-5 pool. The big syndicates come out to play when the Pick-5 pool grows, and they can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the pool in the blink of an eye.

But, there is an even better time to play the Pick-5 horse racing bet. This is on the last day of the horse racing meet. On this day all carryovers must be paid out according to the rules of racing. Therefore, even if no one correctly picks all horses in the Pick-5, the pool will still be paid out.

What is Pick-5 in horse racing? We think that you can now see it is an excellent opportunity to win a large sum of money for a very small investment. Are you ready to give the bet a try? Sign up today with one of our recommended online horse betting site. You can be betting in just a few minutes right from the comfort of your own home. Check our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

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