I was going over the Kentucky Pick 3 odds and payouts and noticed something a little peculiar. Not all ways to bet pay the same “expected payout.” Typical on a pick 3 is that the payouts are arranged to average a pay out 60% of the the winnings. Your chances of winning on a 50¢ straight bet are 1 in 1,000, but the payout is $300, and for a 50¢ box bet, they are $50 or $100, depending on whether you have 3 different numbers or 2 of the same number.
However, if you play the 50¢ “Straight Box” bet, the payouts are $350 and $400 for hitting the straight and $50 and $100 for hitting the box bet. The 50¢ straight box costs $1 to play, and is effectively like playing a 50¢ straight ticket and a 50¢ box ticket. HOWEVER, if you played the straight bet separately, you’d only get $300, but the “straight” potion of the payout for a “Straight Box” bet is $350 or $400, depending on your numbers.
This makes the expected payout for the Pick 3 “STR BOX” option, $650 and $700, depending on your numbers, so always play the STR BOX for 50¢ (Which is $1 per set of numbers.)