Nathan's column: Lessons in winning moneyIt would be an overstatement for me to describe myself as a gambling expert. Or to say I am knowledgeable in the ways of the gambling arts. Or, I guess, that I have any idea how to improve your chances of winning money while gambling.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
It would be an overstatement for me to describe myself as a gambling expert. Or to say I am knowledgeable in the ways of the gambling arts. Or, I guess, that I have any idea how to improve your chances of winning money while gambling.
Maybe the most accurate statement I could make is that I am aware gambling exists as an activity, and that I have participated myself from time to time, with varying levels of success. That would look terrible on a business card, though. So, for the time being, I’m just going to go with Gambling Guru.
All previous statements aside, I feel like this is something I can back up. I have played lottery scratch games on multiple occasions, and I have won at least once. Maybe twice. I have bought Powerball tickets, too. And while I have yet to win, I am pretty sure my numbers really wanted to come up.
I have played blackjack, too, and I think I almost understand the rules now. The idea is to get all the threes, right?
Maybe most convincing, though, is my experience at Canterbury Park, which, for those who are less sophisticated in the ways of money-betting, is a track in Minnesota where horses race with small men called jockeys on their backs. You can win money by wagering on which horse finishes first, second or third, among other wagering options. On rare occasions, a winning horse is revealed to be a unicorn, and all winning bets are doubled and paid in leprechaun gold and Dots candy.
You will find very few mentions of this in racing rule books. That is what I am here for.
Horse race betting might actually be the only form of gambling in which I have won more than I have lost. Primarily this is because of two bets I made several years ago that combined paid more than $500. Skill, in other words.
I have had many other impressive wagering performances. Last Sunday, for example, I went to the horse betting track for the first time in several years and left having lost only $5.
That might not sound impressive. Some of you might say, “Isn’t the idea to leave with more money than you came with?” And there is some truth to that. But when you’re a sophisticated gambler like I am, you understand you have to be in it for the long haul. And if I continue to lose just $5 every time I go to the track, I will be in a much better position than many other gamblers, who sometimes lose upwards of $15.
It’s also important to recognize that in many cases I got my bets half right. For example, in an exacta I picked the horse the horse that finished second but not the horse that finished first, which is apparently important. The people at the window pretended not to know I was supposed to get partial-credit winnings, but I knew the truth.
I actually would have finished ahead on the day, but one of the horses I picked to win was later disqualified. It appears I put my money on the Lance Armstrong of Canterbury Park.
Gambling is a fickle activity. I can’t guarantee my advice will give you the kind of results I get. But if you’re interested in knowing some of my secrets, let me know.