First4 betting challenges you to pick the first four runners in the correct order in a race. You will need to pick at least four runners in order to make a valid First4 bet.
Once you have picked your runners, you then must decide which order they will finish in - to take the guesswork out of doing this many people choose to "Box" their runners "all ways", meaning that they buy all of the possible ways that their picks can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
These "Boxed First4s" start with 4 runners where it takes 24 bets to cover them all ways, then 120 bets to cover 5 runners and so on. Boxed First4s are very easy to place and can be done on a single ticket. Boxed First4s work very well with Percentage Betting so you may want to read up on that too.
Minimum field size for First4 betting: There needs to be at least four runners left in a race for a First4 bet to remain valid. If there are less than four runners all First4 bets will be refunded.
Minimum Bet: The minimum amount for a First4 bet is $1.
Scratchings: If one of the picks in your First4 bet is scratched (withdrawn) from a race, and First4 permutation that included the scratching will be refunded when the race is resulted.
Dead Heat: Similar to Trifecta, should there be a dead heat for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th place in a race, First4 dividends will be declared for each valid permuation of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th - these dividends will be half of what they would have been without the Dead Heat e.g. if there was a Dead heat for first between runners 1 and 2 with runner 3 third and runner 4 fourth, then First4 dividends would be paid for both 1-2-3-4 and 2-1-3-4.
Abandonment: Any First4 bet made on a race that is later Abandoned will be refunded.
Jackpots: A First4 bet can become very attractive if there is a Jackpot from the preceding First4. The Jackpot can mean that several thousand dollars from the previous race carry forward and can be won on the next First4.
Roving Baker First4: A Roving Banker "RB" First4 is a strategy for placing a First4 bet where you choose your runners for a First4 bet as normal and then single out one of them to be your RB. The RB First4 bet comes out on three separate tickets: one ticket with your RB for 1st and your other runners for 2nd, 3rd and 4th, one with your RB to come 2nd with your other runners for 1st, 3rd and 4th, and one with your RB to come 3rd with your other runners for 1st, 2nd and 4th. A RB First4 can cost much less than taking all of your runners in a Boxed First4.