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That There's a Horseplayer

I had a chuckle today regarding a post on a chat board. It was a comment regarding the "Innovation Summit" that was held in Ontario yesterday, alluding to what is a horseplayer:

"It's vital that the game identifies a certain demographic and aggressively markets the game to those.
IMO, racing appeals to those that:
a)  Really, really like being right
b) Like problem solving/mental challenges
c) Fancy themselves as some sort of clairvoyants that can predict the future.
Short of trolling through asylums looking for these people...... "

Sometimes you'd think we do belong in asylums of some sort. Jeff Platt looks at what the average player goes through in terms of juice each betting day, just in the win pools

"Q. How many 'zeroes' do you have to add to a roulette wheel to turn roulette into the equivalent of what a newbie horse bettor faces? (Where random WPS selections produce long term net losses bordering on minus 25 percent?)

A. Believe it or not you have to add TEN ADDITIONAL ZEROES - until the layout itself has TWELVE ZEROES ON IT! – in order to turn roulette into the equivalent gamble (net losses of minus 25 percent) faced by a horse bettor making random WPS selections at 16 percent takeout!

TWELVE zeroes! (Mull that over for a few minutes until it sinks in.)

No one in their right mind is going to spend any serious amount of time immersed in study trying to develop a system to beat a roulette wheel with TWELVE freaking zeroes on it. (Can we at least agree on that much?)


Like any good gambling game, or business, it needs several types of bets for several types of customers. When I play something in Vegas, I check the interweb out for a place that pays well on poker machines. Some pay almost 100% back with perfect play. Then I go there, read the form or whatever, and play some poker, while having an ale or two. They cater to me, who is price sensitive.

They also have Keno, or parlay cards, or whatever else in a higher takeout variety for those who want to hit a jackpot.

Racing? It has jackpot bets and high takeout super exotics and all the rest. But they don't have any bet for the price sensitive guy or gal. In fact, when they finally did get something that was exactly that - betting exchanges - they did their best to shut them out. To this day, horsemen groups and other who are looking at Exchanges continually say "it needs to return a higher takeout before we approve it".

Talk about missing the point completely.

10% takeout on a betting exchange kills its edge. The ability to get a low cost bet on, or green up totally where a sharp player has a positive expectation bet is the exchanges edge!

When you bring in new demo's with, say, an exchange, maybe, just maybe, a few people playing the exchange like the sport and take a pick 6 for $324 and give you 25% of it in juice. Maybe they play some supers in the Derby, or watch the Hambletonian card and bet a couple thousand on the races. Y'know what I mean?

Handicapping is a great game. But it's been messed up by people who don't have the foggiest idea how great a game it once was, or could be.

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