If you have ever found yourself intimidated by the notion of placing a sports bet, I feel your pain. I am intimidated by a lot of gaming options in Las Vegas casinos. Craps, blackjack–anything where I have to know the rules and execute them in front of others who are more experienced will confound me. (What will happen if I screw up? Can they yell at me? Will they snicker at me? How badly will I be humiliated?) This is why I’ve pretty much stuck with playing slots throughout my gaming sessions in Vegas: No witnesses.
But I have had a fascination for a very long moment with horse races. Part of it’s rooting for the underdog (or”underhorse” as the case might be). Part of it’s I adore horses; they are such magnificent creatures. Part of it’s that horseracing is such a fun subculture as well as industry.
My June Vegas trip happened to coincide with the Belmont Stakes. For some reason, I took this as a indication that it was time for me to understand how to wager on a horse race. I mean, if you are planning to do it, then it might also be a famous race, right?
I did minimal research on the internet to learn about simple bets and on the horses who would be operating from the Stakes. I knew I did not want to bet on California Chrome, the frontrunner, since 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 that he was my horse.
That is correct, I wager depending on the horse’s title. I’m the worst form of gambler there is. Can you see why I don’t play anything other than slots? But in my own defense, I did review Wicked Strong’s history and he’d won some races, so it’s not like he was always coming in tenth or something.
On the afternoon of this race, I worked up my courage and walked up to the girl working the desk at the Monte Carlo’s Race and Sports Book. “Hi,” I said. “I’ve never placed a sports bet in my life, but I would like to bet on the Belmont Stakes. Can you walk me through it?”
Seriously, it had been as simple as that.
“Sure,” she said. I told her I wanted to wager on a horse to show.
She said”It’s actually win, place or show, and you’re gambling your horse will come in first, second, or third.”
“Alright,” I said, and told her I needed to wager on Wicked Strong.
She stated she wanted the horse’s number, not name, and gestured to the list of horses for the Belmont Stakes that has been sitting on the counter in front of me. Wicked Strong was #9, so I put 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 stated I’d love to bet $10. Certainly, my giddiness over putting my first bet on a horse race had caused me to lose my mind. Betting the minimal would have been the smart play in this case, because I know nothing about horse racing.
The girl in the sports publication looked at me like I had been suggesting I wished to run against the horses myself. She softly suggested”Why not just bet $5? That would be $15 total.”
I found the logic in this and consented.
So I put my bet and she gave me my ticket. “If my horse wins–and I understand that’s a very long shot–when do I want to come pick up my winnings?” I asked.
“We are open until 11pm,” she told me,”or you’ll be able to come in tomorrow.” I thanked her and walked off, gazing in my ticket and feeling quite pleased with myself. The entire transaction took perhaps five minutes (and might have taken less if I had not had so many queries ).
I realised my reinforcement to Wicked Strong (who, incidentally, is a really talented horse, because he tweets, too). I was torn between staying and viewing the race or going to the Atomic Testing Museum, but decided that I need to go to the Museum as long as I was feeling up for this (since I was clearly coming down with a cold at that point).
In my way back from the Museum, I learned that Wicked Strong tied California Chrome–for fourth place. So I came really close to winning! But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not horse races.
I don’t have any regrets, though. So far as gambling goes, it was a fun way to reduce $15, and it was an interesting new experience for me personally. I’d certainly do it again. (But I would probably bet the minimum next time.)
It’s easy to see how folks become addicted to”playing the ponies”. I likely would have been even crazier about it if I had actually sat at the sport book and watched the race unfold. (Or, you know, if I’d actually won.) I’ll have to try that next time.
At any rate, this should go to show you there is no need to feel intimidated by sports gambling at all. If you go to it permitting the pros understand that you are a newbie and need some advice, they will help you.
Read more: https://bcuknowledgenow.com/golf-tips/