” Did you buy 4D this week?” is officially the most commonly used pickup line at the coffee shop.
Having overheard coffeeshop uncles’ frequent shoutouts about their 4D winnings, 4D sounded like a great “investment product” to me as a kid.
It was until when I turned legal age to be shading 4D bet slips with the usual Zebra maker, that I realised that it was all a lie.
Of the many times that these coffeeshop uncles gambled on 4D, they only boast about the one time they won.
source: Awesome Singapore
TL; DR: Should 4D be part of your “investment” portfolio?
 Every number has a 23 in 10,000 odds of winning.
 For every $1 bet placed on 4D Ordinary (Big), you are reducing that net worth down to $0.659.
 For every $1 bet placed on 4D Ordinary (Small), you are reducing that net worth down to $0.697.
 This does not change even if you are betting on Systems and 4D Roll.
 You are on a lower net worth when you bet on iBet.
Singaporean’s Guide on how to 4D
In the game of 4D, Singaporeans will bet on a 4digit number (from 0000 to 9999).
The person wins money when there is a correct matching of the 4digit number.
Types of 4D bets and how to win: Ordinary, 4D Roll, System, iBet
There are 4 different types of bet entry that one can make:
Types of Bet  How to bet  How to win 

Ordinary  Select 4 digits in a particular sequence  Wins when bet is exactly the same as the prize winning number (same number in the same order) 
System  Wins when the 4 digits matches. Numbers do not need to be in exact sequence. 

iBet  Wins when the 4 digits matches. Numbers do not need to be in exact sequence. (But prize money is lower) 

4D Roll  Select 3 digits and 1 rolling number.  Rolling number can represent any number. Wins when number matches winning number in the same order. 
Should 4D be part of your “investment” portfolio?
Should Singaporeans add 4D into their “investment” portfolio? To help Singaporeans make a smarter financial decision, we will analyse:
 The odds of winning 4D
 How much does it cost to buy 4D
 Does it make sense mathematically to buy 4D?
What are the odds of winning 4D?
The probability of each set of 4 numbers in the right order winning is 1 in 10,000.
For every 4D draw, 23 sets of numbers will be drawn.
Of the 23 prizes given out each 4D draw, there are
 10 Consolation prizes
 10 Starter prizes
 1 third prize
 1 second prize
 1 first prize
This means that the probability of winning something is 23 in 10,000.
How much does it cost to buy 4D? Cost of Ordinary, 4D Roll, System and iBet
Before you place a bet, it is good to know the bet types and the cost of betting. Here is a breakdown of the minimum bet amount for various types of bet.
4D Bet Type  How many numbers to select?  4D Number of combinations  Minimum Bet Amount 

Ordinary  4  1  $1 
4D Roll  3  10  $10 
System Entry and iBet  4  24  $24 
12  $12  
6  $6  
4  $4 
How much can you win in 4D?
There are mainly 2 bet types in 4D:
Bet Type  What it means? 

Big  For Big bet, one wins a prize if his 4D number appears in any of the 5 categories (Top 3 prizes, starter and consolation) 
Small  For Small bet, one will only win if his 4D number appears in the top 3 prize categories. 
The prize of winning any of the categories is pegged to $1.
How much can you win in 4D if you buy an Ordinary ticket (prize for every $1)?
Prize Category  Big  Small 

1st Prize  $2,000  $3,000 
2nd Prize  $1,000  $2,000 
3rd Prize  $490  $800 
Starter  $250   
Consolation Prize  $60   
For systems, the prize money will be the same as the above.
How much can you win in 4D if you buy an iBet ticket (prize for every $1)?
Prize Category  24 Permutation  12 Permutation  6 Permutation  4 Permutation 

Bet Type: Big  
1st Prize  $83  $166  $335  $500 
2nd Prize  $41  $83  $168  $250 
3rd Prize  $20  $40  $85  $127 
Starter  $10  $20  $41  $62 
Consolation Prize  $3  $6  $10  $15 
Bet Type: Small  
1st Prize  $125  $250  $500  $750 
2nd Prize  $83  $167  $333  $500 
3rd Prize  $33  $66  $133  $200 
Is 4D worth investing in for the amount of return?
Ever wondered if you net worth increases or decreases with every $1 bet?
With all the odds laid out, we calculate the net worth for every $1 that you put into a 4D bet slip.
For every $1 placed on 4D Ordinary (Big)
Prize Category  Prize money (Big)  How many of such prize?  At Probability 23/10,000 How much is the winning worth?  Net worth x Number of Chances 

1st Prize  $2,000  1  $4.60  $4.60 
2nd Prize  $1,000  1  $2.30  $2.30 
3rd Prize  $490  1  $1.127  $1.127 
Starter  $250  10  $0.575  $5.75 
Consolation Prize  $60  10  $0.138  $1.38 
Total  $15.157  
Net Worth of Bet  $0.659 
From which, we found out that for every $1 that is placed on 4D Ordinary (Big), he is decreasing his net worth for that $1 to $0.659.
For every $1 placed on 4D Ordinary (Small)
Prize Category  Prize money (Big)  How many of such prize?  At Probability 23/10,000 How much is the winning worth?  Net worth x Number of Chances 

1st Prize  $3,000  1  $6.90  $6.90 
2nd Prize  $2,000  1  $4.60  $4.60 
3rd Prize  800  1  $1.84  $1.84 
Total  $16.04  
Net Worth of Bet  $0.697 
For every $1 that is placed on 4D Ordinary (Small), he is decreasing his net worth for that $1 to $0.697.
Is iBet worth it then?
One may think that by going for the option of iBet, he is making a smarter decision.
That depends.
While iBet increases one’s chance of winning at least something, with every $1 bet, one is actually on a lower net worth!
Here’s an example:
 Assuming 24 Permutation number
 Using 1st Prize as an example
Bet Type  Prize Money for 1st Prize  Chance of winning  Net worth 

Ordinary (Big)  $2,000  1  $2,000 
iBet (Big)  $83 (24 Permutation)  24  $1,992 
We can see that when one purchases an iBet ticket, he is actually worse off than buying an Ordinary ticket!
Is 4D Roll worth it then?
The impression that a 4D roll gives you a higher chance of winning.
What technically happens when one buys a 4D roll, is that he is buying 10 numbers straight.
The only good thing about buying 4D roll is the convenience of not having to shade 10 times.
An example will be buying the number 1,2,3, Roll. One is actually buying 10 numbers, from 1230 to 1239. Hence explains the minimum bet amount at $10. His odds did not change for the better.