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Monday, February 23, 2015

HOW TO BE LUCKY AT GAMBLING

Sorry, for I've taken all the fun out of predicting who will win Oscars, Emmys and Grammys.  My posting yesterday (scroll down to see it) was 100% accurate in its selection, using just one online gambling source, Sportsbet.  Funny thing, though, I can't seem to access that Academy Award site this morning.

However, you can go to any of more than a hundred betting portals.  My Grammy posting earlier this month showed you a table from Oddschecker.com, which my computer also, mysteriously, refuses to now connect.  Something to do with re-direction.  Anyway, the composite of this free site correctly picked all the major winners.

Keep in mind, though, that sports betting is a whole another kind of chance game.  If you purchase those parlay cards, the best minds in Vegas pick the point spread, so every bet you make has only a 50-50 chance of winning, if you know what you're doing.  Thus, if you play a parlay card of, say, six games, you have odds of one divided by two to the sixth power, or 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2, or only a 1 chance in 64 of winning.  You need to be very lucky, or learn about injuries and suspensions before the gambling houses can change the odds to consistently win.  Fortunately for me, a quarter century or more ago I bought 10 such cards, each $2 or $5, and up to 12 games on a couple.  One of them hit, and I won more than $5000, meaning I won't ever lose at gambling in my life because I hardly do this.

One thing I do spend time on is fantasy sports.  I'm not much good at football and basketball.  However, last year my three ESPN baseball teams came in first, second and third in my leagues.  I also picked three CDM post season teams, and one did well only because I was lucky enough to have Kansas City in the World Series, winning its league and ending up 13th overall, where hundreds participated.  My winnings, though, were only around a $100 when you subtract the cost of playing.

What are fantasy sports?  There are numerous variations, but, essentially, a week or two before any season begins, you sign up for a league, where, say, ten or so participants go to a web site and draft their players.  For baseball, typically this takes an hour and you pick 25 players.  As the season unfolds you can drop and add players from the free agent pool.   A central computer tracks all the major league games and doles out points depending on performance.  Thus, if your hitter gets a home run with one runner on base, you gain four points for the homer, two for runs batted in and an enhanced batting average.  Pitchers similarly gain points. This then makes every game you watch significant, for you are rooting for your players and hope all the others do poorly...or get injured.  It's a ruthless game.  You do tend to waste a lot of time watching TV for what you eventually win.  But it's all in the fun and excitement that makes fantasy sports addictive.  Plus I have a strategy that seems to "legally" work.  What is it?  Stay tuned to this site, for one day I might tell you.

There are people who think they can fool a slot machine, as my late wife felt.  Then there is my younger brother, Dan, who lives in Las Vegas and hasn't yet placed a coin in a machine.  What he does is play fantasy sports and is quite good at it, far better than me.  If you need to depend on luck, don't gamble.  Your money is helping pay for all the glitter you see in Vegas.  In gambling, like life in general, you make your luck.

Blackjack gives you the best odds, and can get up to 48% on each hand if you're good, but you'll still lose.  Slots?  You'll  give up 10% at each pull or press, and the $10 machines do have better odds for you than the one that accepts pennies. Keep in mind that, over time, the house always wins, or it wouldn't be there.  But the cheaper food/room and the service you're accorded, plus the high of now and then winning, keep casinos going, especially in tiny Macau, which a year ago earned SEVEN times more than Las Vegas.  Lot of whales in China.

There is poker group that plays at 15 Craigside every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.  There is a tendency for the winnings to even out, for no one is particularly good at this.  However, the laughs and camaraderie make it worthwhile.  Life has got to be more than only breathing, eating, sleeping and trying to survive.  Responsible gaming can be a worthwhile sin like alcohol and sex, which are getting too close to only becoming a memory.

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