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Ultimate Pick 3 Strategy Guide

Pick 3, also referred to as Cash 3, Play 3, or Daily 3 in some states, is a popular lottery game for obvious reasons.

It’s easy to play, the odds of winning are much better and you get instant gratification (aka hard cash) when you win.

While the odds are better when compared to Powerball or Mega Millions, they are still 1 in 1000. So using a solid Pick 3 strategy will help you identify number patterns that are winning for your state can help better your odds of winning.

There are a number of proven Pick 3 strategies out there and we have curated a list of ones and ordered them from easy to hard. So, read on.

What is a Pick 3 Strategy?

Pick 3 strategy involves the application of simple math on the past winning numbers to help identify recurring patterns.

These patterns help reduce the pool of numbers you pick from thereby increasing your odds of winning.

Pick 3 Strategy Basic Concepts

It’s important to understand the common terms and concepts before you dig into the different strategies.

If this is all too much to grasp, you are not alone. That is why the easiest strategy is to leverage simple Pick 3 software to abstract some of the complicated and tedious calculations.

  • Hot Numbers are the numbers that were drawn the most times in the past several draws.
  • Cold Numbers are the numbers that have not been drawn in past several draws.
  • You can easily get current hot/cold numbers from LotteryCritic’s lottery results page for your state’s lottery. It’s free!
  • Backtracking is the process of using recent drawings to identify which particular strategy is working the best for your state at the time. So for example, you take drawings from a week back and apply the different strategies and check which strategy resulted in the most winning numbers for the entire week.
  • Mirror Numbers also known as sister numbers is the number you get by adding 5 to a number. So, the mirror number for 1 is 6, 3 is 8, etc. You can use the following chart for quick reference.

1 2 3 4 5
– – – – – ← Mirror
6 7 8 9 0

For draw date of 12/22/2019 :
12+22=34 ← 4 instead of 34 (lottery math).

For draw date of 5/18/2020 :
Date Sum = 5+18=3 ← 3 instead of 23 (lottery math).

Popular Pick 3 Strategies

Strategy #1: Use Technology to Your Advantage

We all know computers can crunch large numbers and identify patterns better than humans can. And as a result, computers and technology have penetrated all aspects of our daily lives.

Yet, a lot of people don’t leverage the power of computing to help them pick lottery numbers. They falsely believe that all software tools are either expensive or hard to use.

In some cases they are right. But we looked through various software options available for the Pick 3 game and found one we think is the best.

Pick3Sniper uses advanced statistical analysis on draw history and narrows the pool of numbers you pick from which makes picking numbers easier by about 600%!

It does not claim to predict the numbers for the next drawing (like some falsely do) but instead shrinks the pool of numbers to pick from 10 to just 6, and this as you can understand increases your chances of winning meaningfully.

The main reasons why we picked this software tool over others are –

  • Ease of Use – You don’t have to download any software, apply updates regularly. Nothing. It is entirely online. All you do is use your login credentials to access the tool.
  • Accessibility – Given Pick3Sniper is entirely online you can access it from anywhere and any device – laptop, mobile, or tablet. At 7/11 to pick up coffee and feel like buying Pick 3 tickets? No worries – you can use the software from your mobile right there.
  • Cost – There’s software in the market selling for hundreds of dollars and not necessarily any better than Pick3Sniper which is just $37 for full-year access. That comes to about $3 per month or that cup of coffee from 7/11.
  • Support – The software comes with a detailed, well-written user manual that outlines how to use the software and the steps you need to take. You also have access to a highly-responsive and friendly support team via email.

Visit Pick3Sniper to find out more.

If you want to evaluate other software options check out our guide on the best lottery prediction software.

Strategy #2: 111 or +1 Rundown

This is one of the simplest strategies and best for beginners to get their feet wet with Pick 3 strategies. Follow these steps for the 111 or +1 rundown.

  1. Write down your state’s winning numbers on a piece of paper
  2. Add 1’s to each number and add the result in a new row

Learn and use these proven strategies for Pick 3, Cash 3 and Play 3 games in your state.

Cash 3 lottery strategies

One of the oldest Pick 3 lottery systems that has a pretty good hit percentage is the 123 workout. You will start by using the previous number drawn in the Pick 3 lottery. For the purpose of this pick 3 system we will be using the Jan. 11, (914)

Use Pick 3 lottery math rule: When adding or subtracting numbers do not carry.
Example 4+8 = 2 NOT 12

The +1+2+3
First we will add 123 to each of the numbers
1+9 = 0 2+1 = 3 3+4 = 7
First Number = 037

The -1-1-1
Now we will subtract 111 from the number
9-1 = 8 1-1 = 0 4-1 = 3
Second number = 207

The +2+3+5
Now we will be adding 235 to the number
2+9 = 1 3+1 = 4 5+4 = 9
Third number = 149

Now stack each of the numbers to get:

Finally use the Tic Tac Toe (TTT) method to come up with your numbers. Called Tic Tac Toe because it looks like a TTT board.


Pulling your Patterns
The Tic Tac Toe numbers are:

Patterns Combinations Found
Across 037 – 803 – 149
Down 081 – 304 – 739
Diagonal 003 – 107
Diamond 384 – 334
Half Diamond 009 – 701
Corners 803 – 814 – 373 – 394
H Pattern 080 – 180 – 730 – 930
Cross 803 – 804 – 303 – 304

Take out doubles and repeats and you have the following 10 box combinations:
037, 803, 081, 304, 739, 107, 384, 814, 930, 804 .

You will also notice I highlighted the next hit as well. Using Pick 3 number 046 on 1/16/06 you get the following stack.
169 (You get from 046 + 123)
935 (You get from 046 – 111)
2 71 (You get from 046 + 235)

You should be able to just eyeball the stack and see the hits that followed.

1/18/06 – 923
1/19/06 – 395

Do you think this Pick 3 Lottery
system has Potential? Rate it!
(93 votes, average: 3.77 out of 5)

Please feel free to leave a Comment.
Together we can really sharpen these Pick 3 Systems!

16 Comments

hello Tom. In the beginning, I followed the the work out stacks, and the numbers would not come out for me to hit. Something said go back and try again. I realized that I wasn’t adding the 123, 111, 235, the correct way. I finally got my head together, and really concentrated on the 123 stacks method. when I went back and played my pick 3 numbers again, I couldn’t believe how the numbers were just popping out(lol) I’ts just like it is in your stack methods. I’m hitting every 2,3 no later than the 4th day. I hit the 980, 2 or 3 days later I hit the 981, 2 days after that, I hit the 810, I even hit 2 consecutives that came back to back. (765,769,910) which the 765 came right back the same day” WOW” if you don’t believe me, you can go to the archives in the lotto box, at NEW YORK LOTTERY.COM YOU WILL SEE THE NUMBERS THERE. Wasn’t sure to play the same numbers again, but since it repeated from the work out, I said hmmm, what the heck, it’s what came back in the stacks work out, so I played it back again. Thank you sooooo much(smile) now if only I can break them darn win 4 numbers. “HAAY” YOU NEVER KNOW”(smile) WAIT A SEC, DON’T YOU HAVE A METHOD FOR WIN 4 NUMBERS,let me go check(lol) catch you later. Thanks again LOVE YOU, DON’T KNOW YOU, BUT I LUUUUUVVYYYAA(smile)—(A BIGGER ONE). SANDRA WILLIAMS, BROOKLYN NEW YORK.

Hi Tom,
I don’t have a comment, but more like a question? In the 123 Workout do you suppose to have only 10 box combo or you can have more, once you weed out the doubles and repeats. And you mention that you should be able to eyeball the next hit from the stack…Meanng, just from the combo’s you create the hit is in that stack of numbers.

Please respond back by email.

In the example below second number as 207, this does not seem to be correct as the second number in the stack below is 803. Please clarify.

The -1-1-1
Now we will subtract 111 from the number
9-1 = 8 1-1 = 0 4-1 = 3
Second number = 207

Now stack each of the numbers to get:

Why does the 1/2 Diamond look axactly like the Diagonal and why is 003 one of the numbers in the numbers column for the Diagonal, shouldn’t it be 009?

If the number was 978 what would my 10 number be I am confused

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when using pick 3 stack do you use day number pulled or eveing no.please peply by emal , thankyou

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Cash 3 lottery strategies One of the oldest Pick 3 lottery systems that has a pretty good hit percentage is the 123 workout. You will start by using the previous number drawn in the Pick 3