Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For many people, gambling is a guilty pleasure, and they think of losing as inevitable retribution. But here's a thought: You deserve to win!

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(For updated information about Target's ongoing sports betting experiment, please go to the Sethbets website, or click here for an introduction to progressive betting, and here [20] and here [5] for current picks)

Guilt-ridden gamblers who don't refer to Las Vegas as "Sin City" sometimes call it "Lost Wages" - a tortured pun which confirms the way a lot of people feel about betting.

Me, I've never understood why if gambling is a sin punishable by losses, building casinos and luring sinners in isn't an even bigger crime against all that's good and righteous.

But instead, the facilitators of bad behavior on the part of the weak and the greedy (their view of themselves, not mine!) bank billions and strut around like honest, upright citizens worthy of our respect and gratitude.

I don't count gambling as a sin except when a self-destructive urge hurts other people too, but I do think of losing as a shame because it's avoidable.

The latest BST screen capture above is not as impressive as the last, and the accompanying log shows why: a total of 12 $1,000 buy-ins, including the first, were needed and the final profit was hard won because of the tight table limit.

I can't over-stress how dangerous a narrow betting spread will always turn out to be in the end, or how foolish it is to risk money on a low-limit game.

Wiggle room is the key to exploiting the win-loss patterns that exist in every game of chance, because without it, long-term profit depends on luck, and luck is nobody's ally for long.

Even the house has to be ready for temporarily painful downturns, relying on the certainty that the lucky stiff who just took it for millions will lose it all back soon enough.

The big plus for the house, of course, is that most of the time, it's "playing" with our money.

We used our hard-earned cash to buy a pile of chips, and the house doesn't have to give it back until the dealing's done.

And while the house doesn't determine bet values round by round, it counts on us to mess up that all-important task, setting limits that are designed to make failure that much easier for us.

It makes no sense to complain that progressive betting is "too risky" and keep going back to the tables hoping that this time the story will have a happy ending.

Casino operators and bookies know full well that very often, money has to go out before it can come back in with more behind it, and the same truth applies to pretty much every commercial venture.

And that's what Target Betting is, when you get right down to it: a business venture as dedicated to sound money management and the pursuit of profit as any other.

Sometimes, making a buck can be hard work, but as my dad used to say before he took another swig of beer and went back to his nap, hard work never hurt anybody. Else.

As in the new BST example, it's best to expect that you will lose more bets than you win, and this time the house edge was -27/398 = 6.8%, or about seven times negative expectation for single-deck blackjack.

Total action was about $70,000 so the final win of $2,650 represented a decent but not spectacular "hold" of all the money in play back and forth.

That, of course, is impossible according to Prof. Expert, Ph.D., but that just reminds me of a sign I once saw in a design center: "The difficult, we do immediately - the impossible takes a little longer." Amen!

An important reminder: The only person likely to make money out of this blog is you, Dear Reader. There's nothing to buy, ever, and your soul is safe (from me, at least). Test my ideas and use them or don't. It's up to you. One more piece of friendly advice: If you are inclined to use target betting with real money against online "casinos" such as Bodog, spend a few minutes and save a lot of money by reading this._