The popularity of the Pick-5 has risen dramatically in recent years for many reasons. The wagering menu at most major tracks now includes Pick-5s that offer low takeout (compared to most other wagers) along with the possibility of large payouts sometimes even exceeding five figures. That is the good news. The bad news is that the Pick-5 is a difficult bet to cash and is also a challenging one to bet efficiently. That is a dangerous combination because many players are likely to focus on only trying to cash the bet as often as possible given their limited bankroll without taking into consideration the actual value they are getting from their play. That approach will inevitably lead to disappointment over the long term. This article provides a basic way to begin to factor value into Pick-5 ticket construction (or any other horizontal wager) to help overcome that natural tendency to just focus on cashing. It is overly simplistic and far from ideal but can help some players improve their results because they can begin to bet more efficiently and, given the pari-mutuel nature of the game, can thus begin to profit from the folly of others.
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