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Gambling Vs Investing On Horse Racing

So when it all comes down to it, are you "investing" on that horse or flat out gambling on it?

When Black Caviar went round last weekend at $1.12, could you have sat down and written a clear and concise case as to why that 12% profit on turnover was probably one of the best investments you were going to get this year? Just in a few sentences that anyone who's even been to high school, let alone graduated, could understand and "get" the rationale?

That's the litmus test for any horse racing "investment" you're going to make......just a few sentences, that's all. I'm sure you could have. Most people who take it seriously probably could have written a three page thesis on why it was going to win. But hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?

Or would you have been playing around at Ararat yesterday and backed Last Outlaw in Race 8 because The Undertaker (a.k.a. The Last Outlaw) headlined at Wrestlemania last week and what better hunch could you want than that? Investment or gambling?

You MUST be able to clearly and concisely explain to anyone why you think any horse is a good investment and those reasons should be able to stand up to reasonable scrutiny and you should be able to argue the case as to why you are right. No one to test that against? Then argue for and against yourself. Why it should win / why it can't.

At the end of the day (don't you just hate that - at the end of the day blah blah blah) the only way you can truly say you're investing and not gambling is if you are getting a better price about a horse than what your method of selection asses its chances to be. To do that, you must apply your principles of selection EXACTLY in the same manner race after race after boring race and not deviate in any way from those selection principles.

If, OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, those selection principles turn out to be flawed and are not returning you a rate of return for the TIME you are taking to invest, drop them. Find new ones that you can trust and believe in and experiment with them until you find what, for you, is the perfectly acceptable rate of return for your intelligence/time investment.

There is absolutely no point going on year after year doing the same losing things and what may have worked last year may not necessarily work this year for a whole host of reasons.

Conversely, take the time to look back at the methods you have dismissed from a couple of years ago and experiment to see if they would work now with maybe a minor tweak here or there. It is amazing how often you'll find that tweaking a bit here and there fixes errors you previously thought unfixable. Your brain may have been subconsciously working on the problem for ages without you even knowing it.

No - I'm not smoking generally unavailable cigarettes or taking chemicals - that IS how it works very often. The brain is an amazing instrument if only you let it be.

Let's face it. The majority of people simply don't understand the betting industry as most of them have only been exposed to the entertainment side of it. They see their occasional flutters on the Melbourne Cup or in to those @#@@! poker machines as an "investment" when nothing could be further from the truth.

Or, that same majority of people, form opinions listening to the rantings of the "nanny state" politicians who want to ban all gambling because it breaks down the family unit or whatever their latest "research" tells them to tell us to save us from ourselves.......and make sure we have enough money to pay more tax to keep them, as the "ruling class" in the comfort they have become accustomed to at the pointy end of the plane and on their fraudulent overseas study trips. Oh - and to put a whack away for their future politician superannuation. How do they ever get the time to save us from ourselves and justify their quarter million dollar salaries? Goodness me - poor little darlings.

Random bets are NEVER an investment and those bets are purely entertainment bets.

Make no mistake. Professional gambling is not for a large percentage of the population but it is within the reach of many IF, and it is a big IF, they take the time to study the mathematics and learn the ins and the outs of their chosen betting game to hopefully build the skills necessary to make consistent profits.

Gambling is like any other profession. You simply cannot become successful without truly applying yourself and spending the time (and the money), to learn and become proficient. More proficient than most of the other players. And it doesn't matter whether it's poker or racing or dogs or trots, that same margin of proficiency is identical in percentage size to every other gambling "sport" for the consistent winners.

The thing with racing is that punters expect unbelievable wealth and personal and financial success to come to them while they do nothing and spend nothing to improve their skills.

This I believe to be true: you only get out of racing what you are prepared to put in.

If you don't want to spend hours and hours understanding what you are doing and INVESTING on - and I mean really understanding it - if you only want to pick up the paper in the morning and take ten seconds to look at the daily double fields and miraculously come up with the winners - well good luck. And you are going to need a bucket of it. A VERY big bucket.

© 2011

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