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Question of the Week Archive (10+ years)

Re(1): Racebrook at Foxwoods

Does knowledge of the sport offer any advantage? It sometimes seems that betters with statistics regarding number combinations do best.

I think that at least 2 things are undeniable and inescapable:

1 - It's parimutuel betting, so you are betting your opinion vs the other aficionados. Due to a 25% takeout, to have any hope of winning, you have to be better than them in some important way.

2 - The 'Specatacular 7' (or 9) scoring system seriously warps the possible numbers outcome. Therefore it is mandatory to master its impact.

If we use a poker analogy, your question is almost like asking if some poker players do better when they know that a jack is better than a 7, or a straight beats a pair.

Well, of course. If you want to win, it's mandatory to nail all that stuff. The good news is that there really isn't all that much, and best of all, it NEVER changes.

There is a website, insanegambler dot com that 'maps out' which Q's and Ex's are playable and which aren't. 'Sensei' uses a similar approach in 'Ballet with Bullets' here in Tiger's 'Jai-Alai Heaven' section

Tiger also is providing the base figures for all the trifectas and superfectas. Anyone could take those figures and 'map out' (as playable or unplayable) their own tri numbers.

Hers'a random example: the 17 exacta played as a trifecta.

Using the table that Tiger provides, we see...

tri ratio
172 334
173 182
174 178
175 258
176 731
178 1775

'ratio' means 1 out of whatever, so 172 wins 1 out of 334 tries.

This is based on the assumption that each post in the game is about equal in strength. That means that post 1 is winning about 1 in every 6.1 games.

However, I have found that overall, 'A rising tide lifts all boats' applies, and if you as an ace handicapper can identify cases where post 1 has a win prob of 1 in 4, (for example) then all those 17X tri's improve by about the same percentage. So 172 is for you is now at about a 1 in 200 shot, and you might think it's worthwhile to include. But 176 and 178 are still horrible. So maybe you are playing 173, 174, 175, with 172 as an option. Some people here hate the 50 cent tri's, but they give you the possibilty to put a small chip on 172 and maybe even 176, while keeping $2 on your main numbers 17/345. That way if 17 is correct, you are 95% bulletproof, and can usually relax in the playoffs.

So you just look at the base tri probs for any key number, imagine what the win rate of your selections ought to be for that post, and adjust accordingly.

Anyway, you do have to reach a certain level of competence to be a contender.

But, getting back to the 'parimutuel' part, where you need an edge over the competition, I would think that as a former player, you might be in a position to develop great observational skills and use that as your edge. Any time that you observe that a player is in top form, but for whatever reason didn't get the W or P, then in theory your observation gives you a plus vs people who are relying on formulas.

The reverse of that - forming an opinion that an obvious pick is not that great right now - could be more important.

ID-ing 'False Favorites' alone could make you a big winner.

Anything you observe that isn't neon in the program could give you a winning edge.

But if your question is about winning as a casual player on the rare occasions you go to a casino, that seems unlikely, IMO.


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