The Jackpot Obsession

Taking a little break here from wagering between races, I just read John Pricci's piece on a reader who suggests a new bet. It's called the "64" where a pick 6 ticket can be taken but it can have no more than 64 combo's for a dollar. The hope is that newbies can participate in jackpot bets, because (as we all know) syndicates and big players tend to shoot for large jackpot bets, and crowd out the little guy.

Noble I guess, but this fixation on jackpot bets, especially for newbies, really kind of irks me.

Newbies, or small players playing the markets can go to E*Trade and make a few plays, scalp, straddle, whatever, for a few dollars here and there, and they are charged $6 or $7 a trade. They can make a little scratch, get better, and try and learn the markets at the same time.

Betfair is very popular with new players, because you can trade (a version of scalping), dutch, and grind out a little scratch with (sometimes, if you are good) zero takeouts. 

In racing, newbies get their head handed to them betting these "jackpot" bets, and many don't come back.

Why the obsession in getting them to play low hit rate high takeout bets? Do we want to kill their bankrolls and get them to never come back?

For a primer on these bets, their fair odds, and strategy, you can read it here on the blog.

If a newbie or smaller player wants to have some fun, and have a chance at a 100-1 or more score, perhaps the pools will be large enough at Sam Houston with its 12% 50 cent pick 3. Or scan the list of HANA racetrack takeouts and pool size and search for a low takeout daily double. Jackpot bets, whether you play $64 or $640, usually have you up against it.

Good luck to everyone playing today.


Indulto said...

You may revise your opinion after reading his subsequent comment which explains the multiple payout distribution.

Pull the Pocket said...

The post is not a criticism of the bet itself, per se, but the industry's constant focus on bankroll killing bets.


Tinky said...

"Why the obsession in getting them to play low hit rate high takeout bets?"

Racetrack executives and marketers have no real grasp on the intrinsic advantages of gambling on racehorses (i.e. what separates it from most other forms of gambling), nor even the plainly obvious fact that it would benefit them to teach and encourage newcomers to stay solvent as long as possible.

In their narrow world, big jackpot pools simply mean big additional money bet into those pools. Never mind that the bulk of the money comes from big players and syndicates, or that newcomers and small players have pitifully small chances of winning.

It's just business as usual in a sadly self-destructive industry.

Cangamble said...

Low takeout jackpot and low takeout pick 4 and 5 bets is all about racetracks competing for the existing customers and has nothing to do with attracting or keeping new customers.

JLB said...

Want to congratulate you on a most insightful and enjoyable "report on the harness racing party" in HRU. Happy New Year !

Pull the Pocket said...

Thanks John. Happy Holidays to you and yours.


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