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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pari-muteul Thrills

As a means of earning money, gambling is an all-around bad idea. The house always wins, especially if you are playing the lottery.

Once the Pick 3 prize was so high, I tried to calculate if the prize was more than the cost of the tickets, should you opt to pick every single number combination possible. Turns out, simply printing more than a million tickets would take a couple weeks. There goes that idea.

However, I have had some luck at the horseraces, which is called the pari-muteul system of betting. I figure, someone always wins on a horserace, and often there are only 10 horses. 1 in 10 chances ain't bad.

I tried to ascertain if one philosophy of betting was more lucky than others. For example, if I bet a dollar on every horse to win, would I often come out ahead?

I tried this for one race and won a total $2 after deducting my ticket costs, and figured the winning horse would always have to earn worse than 10 to 1 odds for me to make any money. So my father taught me about all these other styles of betting (exactas, WPS) and I decided to go with WPS, or win-place-show, or across the board. All these interchangeable terms mean you bet the horse will either come in first, second or third.

So far, I am up $120 in my three days of betting. I think this is called a winning streak.

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