Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 50 cent Pick 4 and the 10 cent Superfecta

I have had a number of discussions with some of my friends that like to play the horses. Recently we have been discussing both the 10 cent superfecta as well as the 50 cent pick 4. They both are now available at many tracks across the country. (Churchill Downs, for example.) Why are we interested in these particular bets? For one thing, the payoffs for these bets is very attractive. The payoffs can range in the 100's, the 1000's, and sometimes even in the 10,000's. Secondly, the 10 cent superfecta can be bet with a much smaller bankroll. You get a much bigger bang for the buck with the lower cost.

In the past when $2 superfectas were only allowed you had to pay 20 times more for the same 10 cent superfecta bet you can make today. For example if you pay $6 for a 10 cent superfecta today that same $2 superfecta will cost you $120. This can be the difference between making the bet and not making the bet.

The other attractive bet is the 50 cent pick 4. Let's analyze the similarities and differences between the 10 cent superfecta and the 50 cent pick 4. The obvious similarity is that both bets involve four horses. However, this is where the similarity ends. The superfecta involves just one race where you have to get the order of finish correct; 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The pick 4 stretches over four races. In each race you have to select the winner.

Why choose one bet over the other?

The 50 cent pick 4 costs you one fourth of what the same $2 pick 4 would cost you. A $2 pick 4 that costs $120 you can now get with the same 50 cent pick 4 bet for $30. Usually, in any one day at one track you can only bet at most 2 pick 4's. At a track that offers 10 cent superfectas in each race you can bet 8, or 9, or 10 times depending on the number of races on the card for that track. An attractive feature of the superfecta is that after the race is over you know how you did. However, with the pick 4 you have to wait until all four races have finished (usually about 2 hours) to know how you did.

My fellow horseplayers and I differ on which bet we like the best. For those of us with the patience to wait a couple of hours, the pick 4 is very attractive. For those that like the action in each race the superfecta is very attractive. It really gets down to one's preference.

Some of us like to handicap and pick just winners and not venture any deeper into the race. The pick 4 is ideal for this approach. Some of us like to go deeper into a race and to speculate which horses will come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The superfecta is attractive for this kind of speculation.

No matter which bet you choose, both bets have very attractive potential payoffs. Both bets offer a real challenge to structure. Both bets are fun to play.

Good luck and keep it enjoyable.

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