Horse Race Betting for Dummies

If you have ever found yourself frustrated by the notion of putting a sports bet, I feel your pain. A lot of gaming choices in Las Vegas casinos intimidates me. Craps, blackjack—anything where I need to be aware of the principles and execute them in front of others who are more seasoned will intimidate me. (What will happen if I screw up? Can they shout at me? Will they snicker at me? How badly will I be humiliated?) This is why I’ve pretty much stuck to playing slots throughout my gambling sessions in Vegas: No witnesses.
But I’ve had a fascination for a long time with horse races. Part of it is rooting for the underdog (or»underhorse» as the case might be). Part of it’s that I adore horses; they’re such magnificent creatures. Part of it’s that horseracing is such a fascinating subculture and industry.
My June Vegas trip happened to coincide with the Belmont Stakes. For some reason, I took this as a indication it was time for me to learn how to wager on a horse race. I mean, if you’re planning to do it, it might also be a renowned race?
I did minimal research on the internet to learn about easy bets and about the horses who would be running in the Stakes. I knew I didn’t want to bet on California Chrome, the frontrunner, because the chances were too heavily in his favor. And as soon as I saw the name Wicked Strong (a New England horsey title if ever I heard one), I knew he was my horse.
That is right, I wager depending on the horse’s name. I am the worst kind of gambler there is. Do you see why I do not play anything aside from slots? But in my own defense, I’d at least review Wicked Strong’s background and he had won any races, so it’s not like he was always coming in tenth or anything.
On the afternoon of the race, I worked up my courage and walked into the girl working the desk at the Monte Carlo’s Race and Sports Book. «Hi,» I said. «I have never placed a sports wager in my life, but I want to wager on the Belmont Stakes. Would you walk me through it?»
Seriously, it was as easy as that.
«Sure,» she explained. I told her I wanted to bet a horse to show.
She said»It is actually win, place or show, and you’re betting your horse will come in first, second, or third.»
«Okay,» I said, and told her I needed to bet on Wicked Strong.
She said she wanted the horse’s number, not title, and gestured to the listing of horses to the Belmont Stakes which has been sitting on the counter in front of me. Wicked Powerful was #9, so I placed my bet on #9.
The minimum bet was $2, she told me; that’s $2 for every one of win, place and show, so the total would have been $6. I said I’d love to wager $10. Certainly, my giddiness over putting my first bet on a horse race had caused me to lose my thoughts. Betting the minimum could have been the wise play in this circumstance, because I know nothing about horse racing.
The woman at the sports book looked at me like I had been suggesting I wished to run contrary to the horses myself. She gently suggested»Why not simply bet $5? That would be 15 total.»
I saw the logic in this and consented.
So I placed my bet and she gave me my ticket. «If my horse wins—and I understand that is a long shot—when do I need to come pick up my winnings?» I inquired.
«We’re open until 11pm,» she informed me,»or you’ll be able to come in tomorrow.» I thanked her and walked away, gazing in my ticket and feeling very delighted with myself. The entire transaction took maybe five minutes (and might have taken less if I hadn’t had so many queries ).
I realised my encouragement to Wicked Strong (who, by the way, is a really talented horse, since he tweets, too). I was torn between staying and watching the race or going to the Atomic Testing Museum, but decided I need to go to the Museum so long as I was feeling up for this (because I was clearly coming down with a cold at the point).
In my way back from the Museum, I learned that Wicked Powerful connected California Chrome—to get fourth place. So I came very close to winning! But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not horse races.
I have no regrets, however. As far as gambling goes, it was an enjoyable way to reduce $15, and it was an interesting new adventure for me personally. I would certainly take action. (But I would probably bet the minimal next moment.)
It’s easy to see how folks become addicted to»playing the ponies». I likely would have been even crazier about it when I had actually sat in the sport book and watched the race unfold. (Or, you know, if I had really won.) I’ll have to try that next time.
At any rate, this must go to show you there is not any need to feel intimidated by sports betting at all. If you go into it permitting the experts understand that you are a newbie and need some guidance, they will help you.

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