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Horse Racing Tips: The Ultimate Pick 6 Guide

Here you'll learn everything you need to know about how to take a Pick 6, one of the most exciting horse racing bets available in South Africa.

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First up, take a look at the below video to get started

What is a Pick 6?

Arguably the most exciting of all of the Horse Racing bets out there due its massive potential payouts – especially on big racing days like the Vodacom Durban July – the Pick 6 remains a favourite of South African punters!

This wager requires you to pick the winners of six consecutive races at any given meeting. In a pick 6, you bet into a pool. The pool reaches amounts exceeding R500 000 for every South African meeting at a minimum and can reach amounts exceeding R10 million on feature days such as the Vodacom Durban July or the Met.

Because of the difficulty that comes about with picking six straight winners, punters are afforded the opportunity to pick more than one horse in every race – this is called a permutation.

A permutation is when you choose a number of horses that could possibly win in each race for example:

Leg 1 – 2, 5, 6

Leg 2 – 1, 3

Leg 3  – 5, 7, 9

Leg 4 – 6, 8, 10

Leg 5 – 7 

Leg 6 – 4, 10, 13

Perm = R162

The above permutation is worked out by multiplying the number of horses in the various legs by each other. In this scenario the sum was calculated as follows: 3 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 1 x 3 which worked out to R162.

The bet can either be taken multiple times or as a percentage. We’ll explain these two concepts a bit further below:

Multiple Times

If the bet mentioned above was taken for R162 you would catch the bet 1 time. That means that if the dividend was R25 000 then you would win R25 000.

You can also take the bet for more than the full bet amount. For example, if you struck the bet for R324 it would mean that you catch the bet 2 times. This means that you would win the dividend multiplied by two, so in this case: R50 000.


If you take the bet for R16.20 it would mean you would receive 10% of the dividend should you win. In this case, 10% of the dividend would equate to R2 500.

This bet is known as the best value for money bet throughout punting circles as you have the opportunity to win big money for a small stake.


Once learning how to take the Pick 6, you have to take note that the Pick 6 consists of a few rules other than your horse having to cross the line first. 

First timer rule

If a first-time runner wins one of the legs of your bet, the first previously raced runner would count in all winning tickets. For example, if you had number 1 (a previously raced runner) and it finishes second to number 2 (a first-time runner), you would still qualify for the next leg as both numbers 1 and 2 will be regarded as winning tickets in the Pick 6.


If the horse that you have in your Pick 6 gets scratched, your selection will be replaced by the eventual tote favourite as declared by the TabGold website.

Pick 6 Carryover

In the event that the Pick 6 is not won by 1 full ticket holder, the pool then carries over to the biggest event of that particular week which normally is the weekend’s race meeting. For example, if the Pick 6 pool for Wednesday’s meeting is R500 000 and only 10% of the pool is won (R50 000), it means that R450 000 will be carried over to the next big meeting chosen by Tab. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

Maximum Payout

Hollywoodbets Open Bet

When taking the pick 6 with Hollywoodbets the maximum potential payout is R15 million. Max refers to the maximum amount you could win when taking the bet with Hollywoodbets.

Tote Bet

When switching over to the tote with the button provided on the Hollywoodbets website and mobisite, you now can take a bet where the payout is limited to the rules stipulated by the TabGold website.

Difference between Open Bet and Tote Bet

An Open Bet is a tote/TAB type bet taken with a bookmaker. The bookmaker – in this case, Hollywoodbets – lays the bet, and pays the dividend as declared by the tote on the winning combinations.

No fixed odds are agreed at the time the bet is placed. The winnings and therefore the payout is determined after the outcome of the event on which the open bet was struck becomes known, with reference to the dividends generated by the totalizator.

Tote betting works by a player betting into a cumulative pool that also includes other punters. The payout is then shared among all of the winning players – this is referred to as a dividend. Remember that the total amount that gets paid out is determined by the number of people who won the pot.

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