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Maintaining Control At the Tracks

Aug 17, 2007
There is an enormous amount of mental pressure generated by racetracks. The matter of self-control is extremely important to being successful at the tracks. A player may be cool and quite free from any such pressure and yet make so many foolish bets in the course of a season as to affect seriously the net profit he secures from logically worked-out wagers.

Take the case of a good better, meaning a good handicapper and a good locator of price-spots, who often buys several tickets in the daily double pool sold on the first two races. Sometimes, of course, the daily double pays a tremendous return on a successful $2 ticket, but that is the case only when the winner of each race was very lightly regarded.

Probably the holders of winning tickets are composed chiefly of persons who "bought the rack," i.e., covered every possible contingency by coupling each horse in the first race with all the horses in the second, at considerable outlay of money, gambling that the pay-off thus secured would be greater than the investment. But in the average case doubles do not pay much where each of the winners really figured to come in first, and to make a long story short if not sweet it is as impossible to beat the horses on doubles as it is on parlays.

A competent bettor who is at the track to wager $10, $50 or $100 on his selections in two or three playable races is throwing away part of his profits if he plays doubles even if only for the fun of it. He is making unsound wagers for no valid reason, and to that extent, lacks self-control.

Another player who lacks self-control bets a fairly substantial amount on races he regards as really playable but bets a smaller amount on other races merely to have something riding. Even if he is a $500 or $1,000 bettor on events that he likes, and rides only $2 on races he does not like, the only effect of the small sporting bets will be to whittle down profits from the larger ones.

Of course a player has a perfect right to bet his own money on his own choices whether he is doing so for fun or in expectation of profit. But a man who does not steel himself against temptation to wage on cheap or unpick-able races leaves a hole in his armor that may enlarge and ultimately render him too loose a player to be a successful one. The most valuable quality that a chronic visitor to the tracks can cultivate is ability to pass bad races and merely look on without betting.

A player of whole cards is doomed before he starts; and a serious player who bets smaller amounts on bad races just to get action, can only injure his profits from the sizable wagers. A few $2 or $5 bets on shaky horses that manage to win at extra-long prices may tempt him into betting heavily on a number of horses of the same type that will finish up the course to the destruction of all his net profits for months. To avoid this situation, maintain your sense of self-control. It will pay off in dividends.
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