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Exotic Betting - Multirace

I am currently working on this section.  In this section I'll be covering the Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 6 bets, plus bet hedging and bookend savers.

Multirace bets include the Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6.  Meaning you are required to pick the winner across a certain number of races.  So for instance, the Pick 4 requires you to pick the winner across 4 races.  For this reason multirace bets are referred to as vertical bets.  Also, different tracks have different minimum units for each bet.  For example, the Daily Double maybe bet in $1 units, while the Pick 3 and Pick 4 could be bet in $0.50 units.  Because they differ at each track it is important to know this before you go to the window to place your bet.  There's nothing worse than planning on a $0.50 Pick 3 bet of A,B,C/A,B,C/A,B,C costing you $13.50, but getting to the window and realizing the minimum unit is $1 and the bet is now going to cost $27! 

The most important difference in Intrarace bets and Multirace bets is that you are only trying to include the likely winners in multirace bets.  Who runs 2nd or 3rd in each race is of no interest to you.  So the way you are looking for value in a single race or the entire multirace sequence differs slightly.  In a Trifecta bet you have only one field of horses to pull from to find some value, but in a multirace Pick 3 you have three races to look for value.  Favorites can win in 2 of the races, but if you had a 10-1 shot in the other race of a Pick 3 it will bolster the payout. 

When planning to play Multirace bets it is very important to stay organized.  Write down each race number and beside it write the horse numbers you want to include from that race.  Then beside each horse write down the morning line odds along with the odds you expect if they differ from the morning line odds.  This can help you see value in your selections.  For example:

Race 5 - 4ML (6-1), 7ML (9/5) My Odds (6/5)
Race 6- 3ML (8/5), 2ML (6-1) My Odds (2-1), 10ML (15-1)
Race 7 - 8ML (9/5), 5ML (8/5)

As you can see your value in the above Pick 3 sequence could come in Race 5 with the #4 winning at a projected 6-1 odds.  Or, in Race 6 with the #10 winning at a projected 15-1 odds.  This planning helps you stay organized and it would be simple to create your ticket if it weren't for one thing...scratches.  Let's say the #3 and #2 horses both scratch out of Race 6.  Now you are faced with a decision, do you single in this race with a longshot or do you include another horse who may have moved up with the scratches.  This is why it is extremely important to rank your horses in each race, make notes on each horse as you handicap the race and understand where each horse fits in the pace/trip scenario for race.  This way when the scratches come out, you can remember what you thought of other horses without having to dig back through the PP's.  Using the outline above I write down each multirace sequence I plan to play, so when I arrive at the track the next day I can update the sequence for scratches and still easily see where I have value, if any, and create my tickets.

Types of Intrarace Exotic Bets

Daily Double
The Daily Double is the simplest of all the multirace bets and it is also the only multirace bet where you can know the payout before you place a bet.  Because most tracks require the Daily Double to be played in $1 or $2 units, I think it is best played when you can narrow down the selections to only one or two horses in each race.  And, I like for at least one of those selections to offer some real value.  If you spread much farther than 2 horses in each race you'll be costing yourself money, especially at a track where a Pick 3 can be played for $0.50 in the same sequence.  When playing the Daily Double try to get paid if you are right, so you could construct a ticket like this:

Let's say in Race 1 you like the A,B, with the B horse being a longshot that will cause the Daily Double to pay pretty well if it hits.  In Race 2 you like the A,B,C and feel like you need all three to cover the winner.

$2 - A / A = $2
$1 - A,B / A,B = $4
$1 - A,B / A,B,C = $6

If your top selections win in both races you hit the Daily Double 4 times.  If the winners go A / B or B / A or B / B then you hit it 2 times.  And if the C wins in the 2nd race you have it for $1 as a saver.

Pick 3
The Pick 3 requires you to pick the winner across three races in succession.  Some race tracks will have rolling Pick 3's, meaning a new one starts in each race.  Other tracks will have just a few on each card.  The Pick 3 is by far my personal favorite multirace bet to play.  They are much more hittable than the Pick 4, Pick 5 or Pick 6 bets.  And, if you find a longshot (even an 8-1 horse) in the sequence it's likely to have a pretty decent payout.  A lot of tracks offer the bet for $0.50, which makes it much more cost effective.  Though it doesn't pay as well as the Pick 4 or Pick 6, it is much more hittable which makes you feel like you are not throwing your money away.  To play a Pick 3 I want to have good clarity in all three races.  I want to see three races line up that are Play, Play, Play by my rating.  Occasionally, I'll play a Pick 3 that includes an Action bet, but only if I feel really confident in my top 5 horses in the Action race and confident in my top 2 selections in the Play races. 

Pick 3's can offer some real value for the cost if you bet your selections correctly.  As with any bet you make it is important to not spread too thin and to get paid when you are right.  I prefer to play the Pick 3 at tracks that offer it for $0.50 per unit, because you can weight your selections better.  My favorite ticket construction is listed below.  It uses 3 horses in each race:

$0.50 - A,B / A,B / A,B = $4
$0.50 - A / A,B,C / A,B,C = $4.50
$0.50 - A,B,C / A / A,B,C = $4.50
$0.50 - A,B,C / A,B,C / A = $4.50

At a cost of $17.50, if all my A horses hit then I hit it 4 times and cash all my tickets.  If two A horses and one B horse win then I hit it 3 times.  If two B horses win then I still have it 2 times, and if all B horses win or a C horse wins then I have it once.

You could play the ticket straight:  $0.50 - A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C for a cost $13.50.  Though it is cheaper than the above example, it is terribly inefficient because you are not making the most of your selections. If you use a race sequence where you feel you have a good chance of picking the winner in each of the 3 races or Play, Play, Play by my rating system, then there is a good chance you'll pick a winner in at least one of the races.  The straight ticket (A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C) weights your opinions the same.  So, even if your selections are right or almost right you still hit for only $0.50 versus the first example that allows you to hit up to 4 times.  And, it is unlikely that your C horse will win in all 3 races.

You don't have to use 3 horses in each race.  If you like 2 horses in race 1 then you could construct like the example below to save you some money.  In this case your total bet would be $14.50.

$0.50 - A,B / A,B / A,B = $4
$0.50 - A / A,B,C / A,B,C = $4.50
$0.50 - A,B / A / A,B,C = $3.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B,C / A = $3.00

Pick 4
The Pick 4 requires you to pick the winner across 4 races in succession.  On most cards there will be only one Pick 4 per day.  On bigger days some cards may contain two Pick 4's.  The Pick 4 is just like the Pick 3, but with one more leg added.  Which adds a lot more difficulty than one would think.  Most tracks allow you to play the Pick 4 in $0.50 units which allow to weight your selections better.  The one thing you need to consider before playing the Pick 4 is cost.  You really have to start weighing cost against value in the Pick 4.  It is really important to write out your win candidates in each race along with their odds.  This way you can see where you have value or trim down your bet if you need to save money.  When considering the Pick 4 I like to have at least two races where I am certain the winner will come out of only 1 or 2 horses (which would be a Play race by my rating).  This helps me cut down on cost and gives me a much better chance of hitting.

Using the example from the Pick 3, it's easy to see how much more that the Pick 4 can cost you.  Let's assume there are two horses I want to use in Races 1 & 3 and three horses in Races 3 & 4.

$0.50 - A,B / A,B / A,B / A,B = $8.00
$0.50 - A / A,B,C / A,B / A,B,C = $9.00
$0.50 - A,B / A / A,B / A,B,C = $6.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B,C / A / A,B,C = $9.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B,C / A,B / A = $6.00

If all your A horses win, you hit ht Pick 4 five times.  If two B's win and two A's win, then you still hit 3 times.  But, at $38 you've more than doubled your cost from the Pick 3!  And in a Pick 4 you are likely to need to use more than 3 horses in at least one race.  What if you need to cover 5 horses in the last race, now your bet is going to look like this:

$0.50 - A,B / A,B / A,B / A,B = $8.00
$0.50 - A / A,B,C / A,B / A,B,C,D,E = $15.00
$0.50 - A,B / A / A,B / A,B,C,D,E = $10.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B,C / A / A,B,C,D,E = $15.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B,C / A,B / A = $6.00

Adding 5 horses in the last race, would increase your cost to $54!  It offers good coverage, but for players with a limited bankroll this is getting a little pricey.  So let's see if we can cut this down a little, but still get coverage on the 5 horses in the last race.

$1.00 - A,B / A,B / A,B / A,B = $16.00
$0.50 - A,B / C / A,B / A,B,C,D,E = $10.00
$0.50 - A,B / A,B / A,B / C,D,E = $12.00

Now you've cut your cost down to $38 and still get good coverage.  If your top two selections win in each race you hit the Pick 4 twice.  If one of your other choices win in Races 2 or 4 then you hit one time.  And you have to think that if your C horse or lower hits in one or two races then the payout will more than cover your $38 cost, even for $0.50.

Keeping this in mind, the Pick 4 must be well thought out before considering whether to play.  With most tracks only offering one or two (at most) Pick 4's per day you have much less to choose from than the Pick 3 where you can have up to 6-7 per day if it is being rolled throughout the card.  One thing to consider when needing to cover a lot of horses is sharing the cost of the bet amongst your handicapping friends.  Now, with that you bring in new ideas on different horses to use, so you'll have to figure out how to deal with that.  But, this would cut down the cost considerably, but of course you only get a portion of the payout.

Pick 6
The Pick 6 is like the Pick 4 in that you are required to pick the winners in a succession of races, and as the name implies it it is 6 races.  But that is where the two bets part company as the Pick 6 is an entirely different monster.  First of all, most tracks that offer it require and $2 minimum, which means it is expensive to play.  This helps ensures a small jackpot like payout.  When putting together a Pick 6 ticket, it is important to find a race or two where you can single a horse.  This will help keep your cost down.  Consider the following: 

Let's say you like 3 horses in each of the 6 races.  A straight $2 ticket would look like this:

$2 - A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C = $1458

That's extremely expensive.  But, if you could single in just one race your ticket would be:

$2 - A,B,C / A,B,C / A / A,B,C / A,B,C / A,B,C = $486

That's a huge reduction in cost, by over half!  And, if you could single twice your ticket would look like this:

$2 - A,B,C / A,B,C / A / A,B,C / A / A,B,C = $162

Finding a single or a couple of singles is crucial, especially since you will more than likely need to use more than 3 horses in a couple of races.  Let's say you can single in 2 races, 3 horses in a race, 2 horses in a two races and 5 horses in a race.  Your ticket would look like this:

$2 - A / A / A,B,C / A,B / A,B / A,B,C,D,E = $120

By singling in a few races you have been able to keep your cost down and still use the 5 horses in the last race.  You could also play the above ticket like this to reduce your cost a little further:

$2 - A / A / A,B / A,B / A,B / A,B,C,D,E = $80
$2 - A / A / C / A,B / A,B / A,B,C = $24

The above ticket reduces your cost to $104 by using the C horse in the 3rd race with only your A,B,C selections in the 6th race.  When playing multirace bets and especially the Pick 6 you sometimes have to allow certain horses or combinations to beat you.  This is in an effort to keep your cost down.  So in the above ticket a C win in the 3rd race and a D or E winner in the 6th race would beat you.  But, by your handicapping you think this has a smaller percent chance of happening than the A,B winning in those races.  Thus, you take the risk to reduce your cost.

The $2 minimum Pick 6 will always bee too expensive for the small bettor, but if you can pool resources between a couple of people then it makes it a little more affordable. 

Bookend Savers
Bookend Savers can help you recoup some of your cost should you fail to hit your main multirace bet.  It is using a couple of smaller multirace wagers with the same races as your main multirace bet.  For instance, let's assume you want to play a Pick 3 bet using races 1,2 and 3.  In race 1 you like three horses, two horses in races 2 and 3.  So your straight Pick 3 ticket would look like this:

$0.50 - A,B,C / A,B / A,B = $6

But what happens if a D horse wins in race 1 or your C horse in race 3?  This is where using your selections in a bookend saver can help.  You could play a Daily Double in races 1 and 2, and a Daily Double in races 2 and 3. 

Race 1 & 2 Daily Double
$1 - A,B,C / A,B = $6

Race 2 & 3 Daily Double
$1 - A,B / A,B = $4

If your Pick 3 hits, then both your Daily Doubles hit.  But, if you miss a race one end and one of your Daily Double savers hits, then you have a chance to recoup all or a portion of your cost.  But what happens if a C horse wins in race 2?  Well, you could let that beat you or play one more Daily Double saver bet in races 2 and 3:
$1 - C / A,B = $2

This allows your C horse to win in race 2, with your top picks in race 3.  I chose races 2 and 3 for this saver because I only liked two horses in race 3, versus having to use the three horses I like in race 1.

Bookend Savers can be used in any multirace bet.  In a Pick 4 you could use Daily Doubles or Pick 3's.  Or, a combination of both.  In a Pick 6 you could use two Pick 3's or a few Daily Doubles.  Savers do add more cost to your bet, but if this is the main area where you are going to put your money, then using savers is a good idea.  At least it gives you the opportunity to get a portion of your money back should you miss your main multirace bet.

Hedging Your Bets
Bet hedging is not required in all situations.

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