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What's the Fastest Game on Earth - And You Can Bet on It!

Jul 30, 2008
Today, I was reminded of a Gambling Sport that gets NO publicity, no respect, no articles, no forum posts, no EBooks, no videos... no mention anywhere... so, naturally, I'll do it!

It's not difficult for me either... because I LOVE this game... I love to watch it, I love to bet on it, I'd love to play it, but they won't let me because I'm left-handed.

Yep, that's true, only righties can play it! The owners will open up the facilities on Thursdays to the general public to try their hand at it (as long as it's the RIGHT hand).

Further problems with getting any press is the fact that it's played in so few places. You can bet on it in Florida, and... oh wait.. that's it! Florida! In fact, you can see it in six different cities in Florida. They've closed it in Connecticut. They've closed it in Rhode Island. They've closed it in Reno and in Las Vegas (actually it burned down in the MGM fire). You can bet on it in Mexico (I've done it Tijuana), and parts of Europe where it was invented by the Basques. It was brought to the United States through Cuba in the 1920's.

Have you guessed what the game is yet? You need more clues?

Ok - it's played in "round robin" eliminations of eight teams: singles - one against one... Or in doubles - two against two.

It's usually played until one side or the other gets a total score of 7 (or sometimes 9).

It's the fastest game in the World!

It involves a ball. (and the ball travels at over 160mph)

Give up?

It's Jai Alai! (pronounced High - Lye)

The ball (called a pelota) is a small (between a baseball and golf ball) hard, round ball covered in goat skin (?). The pelota is caught and thrown by player wearing a basket (called a cesta) that is attached to the players' right hand.

The game is played on a court (called a cancha) in a Jai Alai facility (called a Fronton).

Today, it's seen as an alternative to pari-mutuel betting at horse tracks and greyhound tracks.

You can bet to Win, Place and Show and exotics are offered too. Daily doubles, exactas, perfectas, quinellas, bet 3, 6, etc.

The game is similar to handball - in that one team "serves", and the pelota is in play. The other team must return the pelota by catching it and throwing it against the front wall, after which the first team must successfully catch and return it - this continues until one team misses it or returns it incorrectly - by holding the pelota too long, or throwing it in a manner that causes it to bounce incorrectly or out of bounds etc.

But, let me get to the fun part... betting on it! 'Cause I already told you that you aren't allowed to play it (unless it's Thursday afternoon and you're right handed)...

So, like the horses and the dogs, you must bet or at least study, every day to keep up with the players. Just like betting on horses that you know nothing about, it's dangerous (but oh what fun) to bet on these great athletes that you know nothing about!

So what's a one-timer or a newbie to do? Aha - here's my favorite play. I use this for every game - every time I step into a fronton! Because I don't know the players!

I call it the 6-5 down!

Basically, it's betting the Exactas in this order;

6 - 5, 6 - 4, 6 - 3, 6 - 2, 6 - 1

5 - 4, 5 - 3, 5 - 2, 5 - 1

4 - 3, 4 - 2, 4 - 1

3 - 2, 3 - 1

2 - 1

That's 15 bets on each game. If you bet $3 Exactas - that's $45 per game.

Whatever your bankroll dictates, make your bets, then, hold on to your hat... 'cause you're about to get onto a rollercoaster like you've never experienced in your life!

With the betting system I just outlined, you will be on the verge of winning throughout the game. I won't go into a long explanation here, but I sincerely hope that you get an opportunity to put this system into play at a Jai Alai Fronton at some point in your life! There truly is NOTHING like it! I don't say that lightly - I MEAN it - there is NOTHING like it anywhere in the gambling world!!

I say "rollercoaster" because, if one of your exactas doesn't win, another will come up right away - it may win, if not, still another comes up shortly until one of them does win. It's way too much fun!

I've never tried the system on horses (can't on dogs - because they don't ever run eight at a time) but the next time I'm at the horse track and there's an eight-horse field - maybe I will. But, it can't be the same because a horse race is over as soon as the field crosses the finish line. Not so in Jai Alai, because it's done in 'round robin' format. So, I might try it ONCE on the ponies (although it really makes NO sense to do so). Nah... I won't!

Next time you're within 300 miles of a Fronton - I whole-heartedly recommend that you make the trip, and feel the excitement that only Jai Alai can provide you!
About the Author
I love to gamble, to deal, to write about it, and to teach it! I've written books about it, and I'm writing more. Today I'm writing about what is easily my favorite spectator sport: Jai Alai! But you can get all my writings and my free newsletter at: http://www.buzzongambling.com
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