As you should know, the Pick-3 return on investment is
expected to be half the amount wagered. The odds are 1,000 to
1 and the state expects you to wager $1,000.00 for every
$500.00 you win in prizes. Of course some people never seem
to win and others claim to play at a profit, so let's see what
There are 1,000 three digit combinations or "numbers" in the
Pick-3 Lottery game.
Unmatched combinations should be drawn in 72% of the drawings
or 7 times in 10 draws. Doubles should be drawn an average of
3 times in 10. Triples should appear 1 time in 100.
(If there can be said to be a Triples Strategy, it would be to
wait until 90 draws have gone by without a Triple and then
start playing them.)
Even though Doubles are drawn less often, they offer a certain
attraction because they pay off at twice the rate of boxed
Unmatched combinations. Double for a Double so to speak.
A 50 cent wager on Unmatched box returns $40.00. The same 50
cent wager on a Double returns $80.00 and of course $160.00
for a $1.00 wager on a Double box combination. As this is the
only "advantage" to be found in the game, it becomes the best
spot to drop our hook.
Consider this, there are only ten double numbers possible, ie:
0-0, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9.
We can split them into two groups, a Low and a High range:
Low = 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5.
High= 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9
Now we know there are only ten digits in the game, how hard
can it be to get one daily digit right in the next drawing?
You pick a single digit you believe will come up next, and
decide whether the double will come from the Low or High
Let's say you like #5 and High in the next draw, the numbers
formed would be 5-4-4, 5-6-6, 5-7-7, 5-8-8 and 5-9-9. Notice
we don't play 5-5-5 because we're not playing Triples (unless
Triples have been out for over 90 draws) if your game insists
50 cent tickets be played 2 for a dollar, I suggest 5-3-3 in
place of the Triple.
See what's happened here? We've gone from numbly picking
combinations from among 90, to a 1 in 10 choice to put in
front of a 50/50 choice, to play at 50 cents per number for a
total daily outlay of $3.00.
Remember, we expect to automatically lose 7 times out of 10
when Unmatched comes up, but every ten days we can expect 2, 3
or 4 shots at winning. At $3.00 a day we can afford to go up
to 26 draws before winning and we still break even. After 26
draws, if you haven't won, up the daily wager to a dollar per
number for the next 13 draws. If you haven't won by then, get
out of the game, you don't have the "feel" for Pick-3.
How do you get the "feel" for Pick-3? Generally you begin
with a history of the game. Highlight the Doubles, keep an
eye on "skips" between hits. You don't have to play every day
if you feel a Double isn't due, this can be used to fund a
$5.00 wager playing both Low and High ranges.
Another useful chart is simply the digits 0-9 down the side
and dates across the top. Mark a red X for each time a digit
hit for that date and a - on days it didn't. After a while
you should be able to narrow the field of likely candidates at
a glance. Again, you don't have to play if you feel a Double
isn't due and this can fund playing two or three front digits.
What to do if you win? Well it depends on where in the 39 day
cycle the hit comes in on. If it is toward the beginning,
take out 20% to reward yourself and use the rest to double the
size of the following wagers until it is gone, or you win
again. If it is toward the tail end of the 39 play days,
count yourself lucky you broke even and try again at $3.00 per
Tracking your game's drawing history day by day can be most
informative. How well does your game average the expected 3
Doubles in 10 draws? Has there ever been ten Unmatched draws
in a row without a Double and what happened next? Was it
followed by a cluster of Doubles? Do Doubles follow Doubles?
It is generally a good idea to go with what happens most often
instead of being contrary because something went the other way
once before. If something unusual does occur like Doubles
hitting 3 times in 5 draws, look to the immediate past history
for a clue such as a dry spell previous, could be valuable
hints for the next time this pattern occurs.
Some Pick-3 players who claim to have been winners in the past
move to another state like Florida and tell me they they have
big problems picking winners. Every state runs their Pick-3
game differently. Florida takes an active role in keeping the
numbers as random as possible. They use 21 ballsets and
rotate them among 21 ten number machines, three of which are
randomly chosen for Pick-3 and four for Pick-4. Even so you
can sometimes find yesterday's Pick-3 number in the following
day's Pick-4 so even the machines aren't as random as they'd
like us to believe, their machinations are the problem. Some
states don't have nearly as many ballsets and options, I would
guess Pick-3 players have a better chance of winning that way.