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When gambling on nothing is good

One of the little sayings we shuffle around on the home page of this site reads: "Money you don't lose now, is money you don't have to win back later."

Now anyone that has been involved in punting for more than three minutes probably knows exactly what those few words are all about. And some times doing nothing is the smartest thing to do. If you have a memory that encompasses political events you will also know what I mean when I tell you that one of the keys to John Howard's success as Prime Minister for such a long time was his unbelievable ability to do absolutely nothing when everyone else was running around like chooks with their heads cut off. Don't read this as a criticism of the guy - I was in admiration of his ability to always be "last in to the market" but always with the correct information. He was great at doing nothing and looked very comfortable in the execution of that strategy.

Poor old Kim Beazley (the then Opposition Leader) must have got so exasperated by it all - there he'd be, all hysterical about the latest, mostly manufactured, government crisis, almost screaming with affected rage, and good old John would trot out a day or two later and hose it all down with facts delivered in a calm and measured manner.

Howard didn't give two hoots about the "24 hour news cycle" - he was intent on making sure that when he did come out with an opinion on a "hot topic" he was ALWAYS correct and never was guilty of being seen shooting from the lip.

Similarly, sometimes the best thing you can do with a race is to sit it out - do nothing - watch them go around. Every dollar you don't lose can be regarded as a win when the ledger gets totalled at the end of the year. They say! You know "they" - the experts?

Playing the devil's advocate, also let me remind you that, for me, I love losses on a race because with the betting methodology I have come to use and value, I cannot win unless I make losses and the amounts I lose are merely stepping stones to the eventual gain. No one can win on every bet - with a sensible progression plan - note I say sensible and not over the top stupid and suicidal - every losing bet does make up part of your eventual gain - note again, EVENTUAL. I have written about this a lot in other parts of this site.

Bottom line is if you have done the research and put in the time to find a method that you believe in the long term trends positive, a sensible progression plan will most likely work. But you need to have a progression that allows for a long run of outs or the bets get too big too quickly and you self destruct.

But getting back to the original point, sitting out races can be a valuable strategy if level stakes or "percentage of bank/non loss adjusting" is the way you choose to punt. You don't HAVE to bet in any race this afternoon. No one is holding a gun to your head and demanding you slip 50 or 100 on something in the first leg of the daily double. So one of your betting options and effective strategies can genuinely be NOT to bet.

This is particularly valuable if you have assessed a horse as a three to one chance ($4 for a $1 investment) and it turns up on the tote as $2.50. You don't have to bet on it and if you are betting to your own assessed prices that YOU believe to be accurate, I certainly wouldn't be putting my hard earned on it at what I clearly believe to be a non value price. Assessing your own racing markets? Click here.

If you aren't betting on hunches, and one hopes you're not, you are betting to a "system" of rules. Some methods have five or six rules, some have just one or two, others have 15 or 20. Logic tells you that by at least taking the time to assess the published form of a horse and eliminating it if it transgresses some of the no no's that most methods contain, your chances of success MUST be better than sticking a pin in a page while blindfolded.

You may have decided that certain factors decide the outcome of many races that are run around Australia every day and that, overall, by concentrating on those races where those particular factors come in to play, that you have a better chance of winning. Great. (Or Greta if you are in to typos). But that doesn't mean you have to bet on every occurrence if the value angle isn't correct. Sit it out. Do nothing. Wait till the moment is right. Perhaps this called patience? (Oh not they yelled - he's back to THAT again!)

Most punters make the wrong bets through greed - mesmerised by whispered tips, the latest and greatest "Betting Secrets Revealed" books, easy money to be made at the racetrack web sites. These are all lies. The only way to make modest dollars from betting on racing is through the rigid application of rules of investment that YOU have researched and believe in enough to make really disciplined bets on. There are three descriptives in that last sentence that all start with R. Rigid. Researched. Really disciplined.

If that potential wager does not measure up to those three Rs - sit out. Don't bet. Keep your money in your pocket or your account. If you are betting on the TAB remember this:- because of the Government's take you are already 15 - 17% behind the "real odds eight ball". Taking less than your assessed value puts you impossibly further behind.

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