# Primer: Win horse racing as pick lottery with the best winning systems; payouts for exactas, trifectas

## By Ion Saliu, Founder of Horse Betting Mathematics

Written on September 10, 2002.

• Consider this your start on the way to win consistently at the horse races. The strategies and systems presented here deal with horseracing from two perspectives:
1) a form of digit lottery (pick-3 and pick-4)
2) a form of sports betting.

On one hand, we hear strongly negative opinions on the probability of winning consistently at the horse tracks. Summarize: the player will lose no matter what gambling or betting system he/she uses. Nobody can predict the finisher, let alone the top three finishers, unless the race is fixed or rigged or mob-controlled! On the other hand, there are hilariously positive opinions and systems to win at any horse race! “100% guaranteed to win any horse race in the world!”

1) Horse-racing as a form of gambling is a very complex phenomenon ruled by theory of probability. This web site offers plenty of information on theory of probability, theory of games, and gambling mathematics. Nothing comes even close to this website. Mathematics of horse racing as digit lottery is extensively analyzed here. The cornerstone is the Fundamental Formula of Gambling (FFG). Let's consider the betting known as trifecta. It requires picking the top three finishers in a race. They use various names in various parts of the horseracing world. A player can bet trifecta straight (the top three finishers in exact order) or boxed trifecta (the top 3 finishers regardless of order). The names of the horses have no significance in this betting system.

The horses receive numbers, very much like in a pick-3 or pick-4 lottery. Usually the horse numbers represent the post positions. It is a mathematical fact that every pick-3, pick 4, digit lottery number has a repeat cycle based on FFG. For example, in 51% of the wins, an individual pick-3 digit repeats after 3 draws. This is also true for a horse race consisting of 10 horses. This represents one simple, the simplest winning system at horse racing in the manner of the pick-3 digit lottery. Look at this simple but undeniable pick3 idea. You only look at the last 3 races in your of the respective track. You choose at random any 3 unique numbers (representing horses). The winning probability increases almost 5 times. (0.51 / 3) ^ 3 = 0.0049 or '1 in 204'. The main lotto and lottery strategy page offers several winning systems, all free, all more powerful than this simple idea. There are also many, many messages that deal with winning at horse races in the manner of pick-3, pick 4, digit lottery.

Horse-racing can also be treated as a pick-4 lottery, if the top four finishers are considered. The bet is known as superfecta at the U.S. horseracing tracks. Superfecta is offered more rarely than other wagers, but it can pay huge amounts of money. I remember superfecta paid one day \$45,000 at Santa Anita, California. And trifecta paid \$11,000 at the same track (different days).

The software package that deals with horse-racing in the manner of pick-3 lottery is named LOTWONH. It is recommended to study the tutorial of this package in conjunction with the tutorial for the pick-3 lottery package (LOTWON3). You can read some of my messages on horse racing. They show how my horse-racing software fared at the Triple Crown races. LotWon was perfect at Belmont 2001: the win, exacta, and trifecta, all straight!

2) You can also deal with horse racing from the sports betting perspective. You can bet on the winner of a horse race, for example. I analyzed several horseracing tracks in the U.S. I think the bettors pick the winner correctly in around 45% of the races. Thus, if you go with the crowd, you may be successful almost like at the roulette table (even money) or blackjack. The payout is not constant, however. Sometimes, you may be disappointed when you win: the payout could be less than even money! You need to track (pun not intended) many consecutive races at the same facility. If the crowd missed the winner 5 or more races in a row, it is best to bet on the crowd favorite from that point on. If still failing to pick the winner, increase the bet in future races. In most cases, the betting crowd picks the winner in consecutive races, or skipping just one race, or skipping just two races. This betting method requires a lot of attention and patience. It makes more sense to play trifectas as generated by LotWonH (the combination generator is named HORSES). My favorite method is to generate long-shot trifectas. They can pay big amounts, albeit rarely.

The end of this page shows the links to follow. Please do check the web pages of this site dedicated to pick-3, pick 4, digit lottery winning strategies. You will see how mathematics can get “involved” in games such as pick-3, pick 4, digit lottery and horse races. I offer several free systems and tons of free software to play and win. The list of my gambling, lotto and lottery software is so long, that I can't afford to put it on this startup page.

• • The following real-life data deals with 'to win', exacta, and trifecta betting at U.S. horse racing tracks on Sunday, October 5, 2003. (Some tracks use the terms exactor for 'top 2 finishers' and triactor for 'top 3 finishers'.) A number of 236 races offered the trifecta wager. A number of 275 races offered the exacta wager. One track (El Comandante) was excluded, for always paying insignificant amounts (\$3.95 for a trifecta???).
All payouts are for a \$2 bet.

Total trifectas (triactors): 236
Total amount paid for trifectas (triactors): \$170,396.35
AVERAGE trifecta (triactor) payout: \$722
Standard deviation: 2349.25
Minimum trifecta (triactor) payoff: \$17.80
Median trifecta (triactor) payoff: \$221
Maximum trifecta (triactor) payoff: \$26,914 (Belmont Park).

Total exactas (exactors): 275
Total amount paid for exactas (exactors): \$24,706
AVERAGE exacta (exactor) payout: \$96.13
Standard deviation: 271.22
Minimum exacta (exactor) payoff: \$3.80
Median exacta (exactor) payoff: \$221
Maximum exacta (exactor) payoff: \$3,826 (Belmont Park)

Total 'to win' races: 272
Total amount paid for 'to win': \$3,076.3
AVERAGE 'to win' payout: \$11.31
Standard deviation: 10.23
Minimum 'to win' payoff: \$2.30
Median 'to win' payoff: \$8
Maximum 'to win' payoff: \$69.30

Interesting statistics for the favorite horses, as in the 'betting choice'. The favorites won 103 races out of 272 or 37.87% of the time. Most wins of the favorite horses come in small races (6 or fewer horses). The payouts were significantly lower.
Total 'to win' races with the favorites winning: 103
Total amount paid for 'to win' with the favorites winning: \$475.70
AVERAGE 'to win' payout with the favorites winning: \$4.62
Standard deviation with the favorites winning: 1.35
Minimum 'to win' payoff with the favorite winning: \$2.30
Median 'to win' payoff with the favorite winning: \$5
Maximum 'to win' payoff with the favorite winning: \$8.40

The non-favorites won 169 races out of 272 or 62.13% of the time. The payouts were significantly higher.
Total 'to win' races with the non-favorites winning: 169
Total amount paid for 'to win' with the non-favorites winning: \$2,600.60
AVERAGE 'to win' payout with the non-favorites winning: \$15.39
Standard deviation with the non-favorites winning: 11.11
Minimum 'to win' payoff with the non-favorite winning: \$4.20
Median 'to win' payoff with the non-favorite winning: \$11
Maximum 'to win' payoff with the non-favorite winning: \$69.30

The morale? Randomness is Almighty; handicapping is variety (show, that is)!

A web site with great horse racing information is Equibase: www.equibase.com.

Said Tabaki Paravicius, netizen extraordinaire:
You ain't heard nothing quite like it, Barban! The loser without a win is like the wagon without a horse: The clouds will shade, the sun will blade, the rain will degrade, the snow will fade—out.

## Resources in Horse Racing: Theory, Software, Systems, Trifectas

Lists the main pages on the subject of horse-racing, software (trifectas), and systems.