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Money Management For Greyhound Players
Winning at the Dog Track
by Bill McBride

Heading for the dog track? Then ask yourself these two questions:
1. How MUCH money do you have to invest/gamble?
2. Is it possible, with the use/play/risk of this much money, to multiply it?

Whenever you set about to increase your holdings, some degree of risk is involved. In general it is axiomatic not put more at risk than we can "afford" to lose. The word afford, of course, is relative. The amount may be more flexible to a totally independent individual than to those of us who are responsible not only to ourselves, but to others. You must not risk so much that it will deprive or harm those you care for.

That, then, brings us to the limits of your "bankroll"; how much you want to put at risk. If you go to the track with, say, $100, you may well, in the course of the racing card, actually wager several times that much. That is, you'll make a bet, win, bet again, win, bet, lose, bet, etc., eventually shoving as much as $300 or more through the windows. How much did you risk? Of course, you risked $300. If you had a profit of $100 at the end of the evening, you'd have had an R.O.I., (Return On Investment), of 33%. Some might think you DOUBLED your money - arriving with $100, and leaving with $200. Not so! You have to think in terms of how much you profit, (or lose), on the amount you put at risk. This might seem academic at first. It's not! To come out ahead in this game you have to know the level of R.O.I. you can, or cannot, achieve on certain types of races with certain types of wagers. A confused gambler is a loser. You've gotta know where you are, where not to go, and how best to get to where you want to be!

How much money does it take to make a profit at the dog track? You are not going to learn that answer here. You will, I hope, learn HOW to work out the right answer. No one can do it for you. And if you can't work it out, you certainly aren't going to be successful. There are several questions that must be answered before you can arrive at the size of the bankroll you'll need. Some of these are:
1. How much R.O.I. do you hope to achieve? (30-40% overall is reasonable.)
2. What track(s) will you be playing?
3. What grades of races, and on which courses, are you best at handicapping?
4. How selective can you be, in terms of "passing" poor risk races?
5. What pools do you tend to do the best/worst in?
6. What level of intelligence are your fellow fans? (You're playing against them, not against the track or the dogs!)

There are certain levels of play that usually will not work out. Making SHOW wagers would be a losing proposition for the world's best handicapper. In fact, at most tracks, WIN and PLACE bets are tough to make a profit on. This makes it fairly difficult for the "$2 player" to show a profit. (And betting $100 to SHOW is 50 times dumber than betting $2). Most serious players tend toward TRIFECTAs and EXACTAs (Perfectas). Only a few can make a profit with QUINIELA or DAILY DOUBLE wagers. Fewer still can do well with the "exotic" wagers, such as Twin-TRIFECTAs, or TRI-SUPERS, etc. No one can tell you where, or how, to make the best wagers, or what pools to enter! It all depends on how well you can handicap, structure your wagers, and keep records from which you can learn and improve your approach.

Certainly, wagering into the TRIFECTA pools will require more bankroll than will QUINIELA wagering. You'll not develop a winning approach that involves straight or box wagers including only 2 or 3 selections. Most top handicappers find that their winning TRIFECTA systems must include multiple selections. One can never be exact at greyhound handicapping, but while one might do well with TRIFECTA wagers such as 12/123/12345, another handicapper may need to "stretch" to 123/12345/123456, which costs more. Yet, for the lesser handicapper, the "wider" wager may provide a better R.O.I. So, to a point, the less skilled one is at handicapping, the larger the bankroll needed to create a profit. However, there is a most certain point of diminishing returns here. An unlimited bankroll is not the key to profit at the dog track. You need to have enough capital, base your wagers on adequate handicapping skills, and bet into the right pools. It's the only way you can regularly take home money from the pockets of the "casual" fans!

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