You may have seen some betting schemes that promise to make money because you bet more when you win and less when you lose. Many of them are based on what has euphemistically been called, “the law of averages.” The problem with the law of averages it that to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been able to enforce it. Years ago I studied the results for thousands of races and tried different betting systems on paper to see if there was any way to win.
The results amazed me. I stumbled across a method of increasing bets incrementally and it almost always showed a profit by the end of the day. I worked at it for months and tried it at many tracks and to my great joy, the results were always the same. I had a sure winner. It wasn’t just a matter of increasing the amount I bet, it was also based on not playing certain races that were low probability and it also was based on exactly, not win bets.
I found that the well-known statistic that the favorite wins a third of the time and finishes in the exact about half the time could be used to hit many good paying exacta. I also found that it worked out that it averaged a certain number of hits per day. The trick was in the races I avoided and the horses I played with the favorite to make the exacta.
I had worked hard for a long time and saved a modest bankroll and knew that I could turn it into a small fortune with what I had discovered. I felt like the man who had found the goose that lays the golden eggs. I went to my local track and started playing it. Sure enough, for three weeks everything went well and even though I didn’t get rich, I made a good paycheck each week. I got so I depended upon it and also so I trusted it enough to increase the amounts of my bets.
The problem was that when I did increase my bets I also hit a rough patch at the same time so I lost a lot of money. When a progressive betting scheme is working it is fantastic, but when they fail, they are a bear that will devour your bankroll faster than you can say poor house. That is exactly what happened. The lesson I learned was that things might work on paper, but in real life, they seldom go as smoothly. Using historical data to predict future trends is risky as any economist or politician can tell you.
It wasn’t until years later that I managed to eek out a small living betting on horses and I did it with straight bets. If your system isn’t winning enough to show a profit with straight bets, increasing your wagers will only eventually make you lose more, trust me, I know that from experience. A good system will make a small profit if you tweak it a little to suit your track and style, but you have to be realistic and have realistic expectations. Never ever expect progressive betting to make a bad system work.