In order to win a Pick 3 bet you are required to select the winning horse in three consecutive races. Most tracks only offer one or two pick 3 opportunities per day. Some tracks offer a rolling pick 3 in which every race is part of a pick 3 bet, which means that some races are included in three pick 3 bets. The third race for example, would be the third race of the first pick 3, the second race of the second pick 3, and the first race of the third pick 3. I don't mean to make this seem complicated, it is really very simple. The simplest pick 3 bet is the $2 straight pick 3. If for example, you picked the #2 horse to win the first race, the #4 horse to win the second race, and the #6 horse to win the third race, you would tell the clerk: “In the first race give me a $2 pick 3 - 2, 4, 6".
Pick 3 Part Wheel
The pick 3 part wheel bet is one of my favorite plays at the track. It allows you to single your favorite horses in some races and combining them with several good paying horses in other races in an attempt to hit a good paying win ticket. There is generally good value in the pick 3 bet, and frequently they will pay considerably more than the comparable amount of money bet in a 3 race parlay.
To increase the probability of winning a pick 3 you may want to play multiple combinations by selecting more than one horse in one or more of the three races. The easiest way to communicate this bet to the clerk is to use the pick 3 part wheel bet. If you think the #3 horse will win the first race of the pick 3 and either the (#1, #5 or #7) horse will win the second race, and the (#2, #5, #8, #10, or #12) horse will win the third race, you would tell the clerk: “In the Nth race give me a $2 Pick 3 Part Wheel 3 with 1, 5, 7 with 2, 5, 8, 10, 12". The cost of this bet would be (1 x 3 x 5 x $2) = $30; for your $2 bet. You can bet any amount from $1 and up. Remember, that if you bet a $1 bet, you only collect 1/2 of the payoff amount since most bets are quoted for a $2 bet.