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Making 25% Profit Gambling

Well that's got to be an easy task doesn't it? A miserable 25%?

Don't kid yourself. Making 25% out of nothing is a very big ask and a steep learning curve at the very least. Even full time share market traders, day traders if you like, who gamble big time buying and selling heaps of shares, many of which they never own (but that's another story for another day) are very pleased if the finish their year trading making half of that - more likely a quarter. So why would you, as a lowly punter on the horses, have any ambition to make 25%?

Here's the maths and reasoning behind behind the idea but firstly you have to know, (and be confident in that "knowing") that in every ten race series, you can pick the winner in two more than half the time. Let's make it even more restrictive (and easier) and say there can be no more than ten starters in any race you're interested in. Now, how do you feel about picking the winner at least five times out of ten in ten, ten horse races? Seeming more likely?

The odds are the next consideration. Any race where one of your picks is say, favourite, it CAN'T be less than $2.50. Feeling more confident?

The idea of course, by way of example, is you have 10 units on each of two horses to win (yes, one bet MUST be a losing bet - but let's not go down that circuitous route). If your favoured one is less than $2.50 you simply skip the race.

If the favoured one wins, your minimum return is $25.00 or 25% nett return on your $20 investment. If the longer priced one wins, say at $4.00, your return is $40 with a 100% profit for that race.

How easy is that?

Then on that ubiquitous "law of averages" - that doesn't exist by the way - over any ten race series if you have saluted five times at the minimum possible dividend, 5 x $2.50 winners, the most you can lose is $75. Two or three better priced winners from your chosen few, depending on price, would probably put you in front. Two winners from the five from the ten at say $6.00 would most likely have you just short of square at worst. Well, that is if you have another 3 winners from the remaining 8 in the series at the minimum dividend.

Ah, now the most observant reader would by now be yelling "but over the series of ten the profit isn't 25%, you goose!!"

EXACTLY. It can only be a minimum of 25% on any individual race and to get a 25% nett profit day in, day out, your race strike rate would have to be closer to 70% in two picks. Can you do that unswervingly 365 days a year?

No. Neither can I.

So the question then is why are people out there in the big wide wonderful world selling this strategy to the unwary and unskilled as a way to "profit from the wonderful world of horse racing"?

Good question, Narelle.

The moral to the story is that mathematically even flawed reasoning can stand up for a short period of time and sound reasonable. Only when you test something for 12 months or more, day in, day out, do you get a "reasonable expectation curve" as to what may happen in the future. Note the word is MAY and not WILL!

Years and years ago when we got serious about all this gambling stuff, we started on the basis that to make any relevant forecast that stood any chance over the space of time, you had to have it based on a set of data going back over at least 400 similar "random events" - preferably way more than that.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed.

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