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7 principles for being successful in Pick 3 lottery


These are my thoughts on how to become more successful in playing Pick 3 lotteries. Please take a look.

I would appreciate comments.

After analyzing Pick 3 lottery games I came to conclusion that there are 7

principles for improving chances in winning:

1. Identify short term trends.

2. Observe what's winning.

3, Analyze your numbers.

4. Target your wins.

5. Wheel for success.

6. Backtrack before you play.

7. Accept risks.

Below are more detailed comments for each of the principles.

1. Identify short term trends.

Pick 3 lottery is a game of chance. All its numbers, from 0 to 9, drawn at perfect

random, have an equal chance of being selected, regardless of what was drawn

before. Therefore, theoretically, all numbers should be drawn at similar frequency

- most of the time.

But when you look at weekly or monthly frequency stats almost always you

can see significant differences between these frequencies. Below is a table

of monthly (actually - first 30 days for each month) frequencies computed for

Ontario Pick 3 lotto:

Numbers          Oct 2011               Nov 2011              Dec 2011              Jan 2012

0                            8                          6                           11                         15

1                            9                          7                             9                           6

2                          10                          8                           15                           9

3                          11                          7                           13                         13

4                            9                        13                             6                           6

5                            7                        12                             8                           9

6                            6                        14                             6                         10

7                            6                          5                           10                           9

8                          11                          8                             7                           8

9                          13                        10                             5                           5


Variations are clearly visible. In fact, such variations are norm rather than exception for practically all Pick 3 lotteries. They constitute what I call SHORT TERM TRENDS.

The further back you look the less variation you can see - conflicting, opposite

trends tend to cancel each other out. In the long run, say 500 plus draws, frequencies may be very similar for all numbers.

Not only frequencies are subject to such short term trends, other statistics as well. The point is to identify such trends early enough and exploit them to one's advantage. With appropriate tools, I believe, this can be done.

What defines a "short term"? I believe up to 30 latest draws, definitely no more than 50.

Because of these constant frequency fluctuations I don't consider playing constant numbers a good strategy. Obviously they will come up at some time but in order to predict this with any degree of accuracy you need to know their current skipping patterns - how many draws, on average, they skip before being drawn again. And if you are using sets of numbers their current skipping patterns may be totally different and incompatible.

2. Observe what's winning.

In every Pick 3 lottery there are 3 levels (types) of wins - only single numbers (all 3

numbers unique), doubles (2 numbers the same) or triples (all 3 the same).

Statistically, there are 1000 unique combinations of 3 numbers out of 10. 720 of

these (72%) are singles, 270 (27%) are doubles and only 10 (1%) triples.

These are statistical averages. But when you look at draws at any given time

(again, in short term) you will see significant variations. Despite averages doubles

may be drawn several times in a row. The same may apply to singles. Not

unusually win types cluster into longer streaks. When it happens playing doubles

when singles are winning (or the other way around) is a pure waste of money.

Below are stats for Ontario Pick 3 lottery:

Month           Singles     Doubles      Triples

Oct 2011         64%          36%           0%

Nov 2011        60%          40%            0%

Dec 2011        74%           26%           0%

Jan 2012        71%           23%            6%


Like with number frequencies there may be significant variations in these

percentages. So, in order to be successful in Pick 3 lottery you have to observe

what is currently winning so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. It is

important because, before you play, you should explicitly target what you want

to win (refer to Principle 4 for more info on this).

Because triples are so statistically insignificant I ignore them in this analysis.

3. Analyze your numbers.

I believe that numbers should be analysed based only on logical statistics. Short

term frequencies are an example of such stats. But there may be many others. I

also analyze numbers that repeat themselves frequently at short intervals

(but excluding doubles) or numbers that show an increase in current popularity

(frequency) compared with the past.

Whatever other statistical method you use bear in mind that it should be helpful

in predicting future numbers. It should attempt to predict, based on some

statistical criteria, numbers that may more likely be drawn in the near future.

The criteria should be consistent to allow for comparison between different

prediction methods (eg. when comparing hot numbers versus cold ones both

should be computed for the same number of draws).

I believe that to some degree, such predictions are possible and at times may be

quite successful (for more info refer to Principle 6 - Backtrack you methods).

They may not win all the time but they should help in increasing your chances

of winning.

Keep your statistics as current as possible. Use only the latest numbers. Stats

that relate to distant past are not very relevant for the present time. And never

apply stats from other lotteries to your own. Their trends and patterns may be

completely different from yours.

4. Target your wins.

As Principle 2 (Observe what's winning) indicated there may be significant

fluctuations (in short term) in winners for singles and doubles. Not unusually

they come in clusters: several singles or doubles in a row. Below is an example

from Ontario Pick 3:

18 Nov 2011 543 singles

17 Nov 2011 468 singles

16 Nov 2011 384 singles

15 Nov 2011 299        double

14 Nov 2011 515        double

13 Nov 2011 772        double

12 Nov 2011 216 singles

11 Nov 2011 368 singles

10 Nov 2011 054 singles

9 Nov 2011 699          double

8 Nov 2011 474         double

7 Nov 2011 454         double

As you can see in this 12-day period singles and doubles are on par, far from

their average percentages (72 and 27 respectively). If you played only singles

for that period of time, no matter what prediction method you used, you would

not be very successful.

Therefore, every time you play you have to decide what you want to win: straight

or box, and within these - single or double. For each of these your strategies will


Once you decide what you want to win you can select numbers for playing and

apply an appropriate wheel (refer to Principle 5 - Wheel for success).

5. Wheel for success.

Once you've selected numbers for playing you need to arrange them into sets.

For straight play you have to do it even if you selected only 3 numbers; more

so if you want to use more than 3 numbers (which I strongly recommend).

This is where wheels come into action.

(For unfamiliar - wheels are methods of distributing numbers into sets that cover

all possible combinations for a win, so no matter which of your selected

numbers come up you will win something).

For example, if you play straight numbers (singles) where the sequence of

numbers matters, even for 3 numbers you have to use 6 bets to cover all

combinations. The more numbers you want to use the more bets you will need.

Generally, straight play for either singles or doubles requires more combinations

than box play.

For straight singles using 4 numbers you will need 24 combinations:

123 124 132 134 142 143 213 214 231 234

241 243 312 314 321 324 341 342 412 413

421 423 431 432

But for the same box play the number of combinations is only 4:

123 124 134 234

In both these wheels no matter which 3 out of your selected 4 numbers come up

you are guaranteed 1 straight single in the first wheel and one box single in the

second - provided that winning numbers are all singles.

Similar wheels exist for straight and box doubles.

Using wheels may be expensive but they significantly increase your chances of


6. Backtrack before playing.

I cannot imagine anybody playing a lottery like Pick 3 without ability to backtrack

what's winning currently. Backtracking must be an essential element of any playing

system for the following and simple reason:

No matter how good and successful your prediction system is it is NOT going to win all the time. Take it for the fact. It may keep winning for a while, then slow down or stall completely - or any combination of these.

If your system stops winning you have 3 courses of action:

- Keep playing your system (and usually loose money), or

- Stop playing altogether, wait for better times but monitor your system for signs of recovery, or

- Monitor other prediction systems and switch to one that still keeps winning.

This is where backtracking shows its valour.

Before you consider using any prediction method backtrack it first for at least 30

past and most recent draws. Compare its results with your favorite system. Try

several other methods and compare again. Select one that provides the best

results - now.

And even if you play your favorite method keep an eye on others - they may be

winning better than yours. In such a case consider switching.

7. Accept risks.

Many people have unrealistic expectations of winning in a lottery - all the time.

Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen.

There may be times when you will win frequently and there will be times when

you will loose just as often. The risk of loosing is always present and you have

to accept it as a factor if you want to achieve anything in Pick 3 lottery.

If you cannot accept this risk - DO NO PLAY the lottery. Spend your money for

some other, less stressful pastime.

Pick 3 lotteries appear deceptively easy to win but they are not. They are designed

in such a way that odds are always against you. You have to use appropriate

tools and strategies to beat these odds.

Playing Pick 3 resembles investing in stock - the more money you put into it the

more money you may win. Some strategies may require cash in amounts that

exceed one person's financial ability. If this is the case - POOL it! Create a pool

(syndicate) with your family, friends, co-workers or neighbors, or a combination

of any of these. Not only you create a greater financial resource for playing but

also spread the risk.

Finally, do not believe claims that someone invented a system that "cracks"

Pick 3 lottery. Always ask for supporting evidence (backtrack) before falling for

such a system. If you cannot verify the claim on your own do not waste your

time (and/or money) for it. Chances are high it's simply crap.

The best you can do realistically is to IMPROVE (to a degree) your chances of

winning - and even then you may not be successful all the time. But, then, after

all Pick 3 is a game of chance.


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