I would love to know which bet on Pick 3 has the best chance of winning? Straight, Back Up, Boxed, Wheel, Front Pair, Back Pair, Split Pair?
The odds state that the front, back pair and split pair show 1 in 100 chance of winning, but the payout is so much lower than the wheel bets. I’m not sure what to do. Any advice would help. Thanks.



  • the best is the split pair

  • You already figured out the best “chance” of winning. That’s the pairs. As you also noticed, it’s the lowest payout.

    Let’s just figure out how bad the payout is.

    If you bet $1 on a “Front Pair”, your odds are 1 out of 100 that it comes in. You SHOULD get paid $100 for hitting this. However, you only get $50!!! That’s a 50% take that the lottery company has on that bet! That is HORRIBLE!

    Let’s go to another bet. Spend $1 on the number “888” straight. Now you have the lowest chance of winning. Only 1 out of 1,000. You SHOULD get $1,000 if you win this bet. How much do you get??? That’s right, $500! Only FIFTY PERCENT! That’s HORRIBLE!

    Do you see where this is going???

    It doesn’t matter what bet you place on the lottery. The lottery companies take 50% off the top of every wager. In other words, for every $100,000 they collect in ticket sales, they are only paying out around $50,000 to winning tickets!

    To put this into perspective, the worst casino games have around a 10 to 15% advantage over the player. Lottery = 50%!!!

    At 50%, this makes playing the lottery the WORST bet anyone can ever make.


    Side note: The first lottery ticket I ever bought was a $2 “Front Pair”. It came in that night, and I won $100! I thought that was incredible!!! $100 meant a lot to me back then!

    Little did I know that it would be the start of me wasting thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on lottery tickets. If I had a nickel for every dollar I wasted on lottery tickets, I’d be rich.

    Save your money. Buy a toaster.

  • There’s no worthy answer to your question except the one you give yourself. You might consider having a look at the forums on a site called ‘lotterypost dot com’. There’s constant discussion there by people who think they have every lottery imaginable figured out, but particularly Pick 3. There’s a ‘prediction’ page that allows the members who believe they have it figured out to post predictions and decide whether, based on their predictions, they really do.

    And there’s a ‘best predictors’ set of statistics keeping track and keeping them honest about how good at it they really are.

    So far, judging from the statistics, nobody is breaking even over the long haul, though it’s at least imaginary money they’re playing with.

  • That’s the thing isn’t it, they adjust the prize amount to counter the effects of increased probability and the differing popularity. If you work out the calculations, all of the straight pick 3 options have a 50 cent on the dollar return and all of the boxed options return 48 cents on the dollar so just going with straight will return slightly more in the long run. The situation is more varied if you take the sum it up option into consideration. The sum it up option also returns 50 cents on the dollar for the long shots like sums of 0 and 27 but the sums between 1 through 26 inclusive pay less ranging from 45 cents to 49.8 cents proportional to their probabilities but there are five exceptions the sums of, the sums of 3 or 24 pay 50 cents on the dollar, the sums of 7 or 20 pay 43.2 cents, the sums of 10 or 17 pays 37.8 cents, the sums of 11 or 16 pays 41.4 cents and the sums of 12 or 15 pays 43.8 cents on the dollar. So this means that your best return are straight combinations with sums of 3 or 24 and you should avoid sums of 7, 20, 10, 17, 11, 16, 12, and 15 as those have disproportionately lower returns to probability ratios.

    These calculations are based on the pay tables of the Texas Pick 3 game and each state will likely have different pay tables. Also, the probabilities are based on the actual probabilities calculated mathematically rather than the published odds which are rounded off. If you used the published odds, some of the sums show a return greater than 50 cents on the dollar.

    The back pair, middle pair and split pair options apply to pick 4 not pick as 3 is not evenly divisible by 2 and I’m not certain what you mean by a wheel bet.

Comments are closed.