There’s no one secret or key to making money as a gambler or by betting on horse races. Both are very risky even if you are a skillful gambler or great horse racing handicapper. There are, however, some things you can do to tip the scales in your favor. Before we talk about getting ahead, though, let’s set the record straight. Making a living as a gambler or horse player is extremely difficult and stressful for most people. In fact, it’s more work than work.
That won’t dissuade most people from putting a little flutter on a horse now and then or from buying a lottery ticket (the latter is probably the worse bet in gambling). It may keep one or two poor souls from wasting a lot of time trying to do something that is almost impossible, though.
What makes gambling so lucrative and keeps the casinos and bookies in business it called churn. Churn simply means that most gamblers just keep recycling the same money over and over again, except for a little that the race track or casino gets to hold onto. While we gamblers tend to think of our losses in terms of the whole amount we lose, the people who make a living separating you from that money think of it much differently.
To them, they don’t win 100% of your money. They only win a few percentage points, but they do it over and over again, whether you win or lose. At the races the vig, or take out is enormous, around 20% on straight bets and even higher on exotic bets. The best bets in casinos are usually only close to break even for the players. If you sit there and keep giving back a little on each hand, toss of the dice, spin of the wheel, you will eventually lose it all.
So then how do you win? At some time or other during their trip to the casino or race track almost everyone is ahead at some point. Setting a realistic goal, a stop limit, if you will, that you will use to know when to quit, will give you a much better chance of winning. On the other hand, the casinos are depending on you to be like most of their patrons and to just keep playing until you eventually lose.
I know one smart woman who plays the horses and sometimes the dogs. She plays trifectas. When she hits a big one, which she does occasionally, she puts most of the money in the bank and pays bills with it and uses it to buy things she needs or wants for her home and family. She might win $700 and put $650 in the bank and use the other $50 to continue gambling. If she loses it she quits for a while.
Eventually, usually a week or two later, when she’s rested and feels fresh, she’ll come up with another $50 and try her luck again. She has a little notebook and she writes her wins and losses in it and she is ahead, or so she tells me. I never asked how far ahead, but something tells me it is healthy margin. I’ve seen her go a month without hitting a big trifecta, but I’ve also seen her cash some very nice tickets. I know other people who go to casinos and play poker, blackjack, and slots, and do the same thing.
The point is, when you make a big score, put the money in the bank and just churn a little of it. Make it last and eventually you’ll hit something else big. Don’t be a sucker and just keep cycling that money through the gambling machine or you’ll wind up losing it all.