Imagine being at a casino. You bet a stack of chips on the number 25 black. The ball is fired at speed to stop at one lucky number...
The games you play at the casino whether roulette, blackjack, three-card poker, craps or dice have one thing in common. Their odds are unquestionably fixed. Someone may tell you they have a system to win but long term you are guaranteed to lose.
So what's the difference with horse racing?
Surely, it's the same. The bookies have priced the odds and they don't add up to 100%. They take their cut. Doesn't that mean they are guaranteed to win?
You may lose if you bet on every horse in the race but even then you may get lucky. Take for example the betting odds of Mon Mome who won the Grand National at 100/1.
The difference with horse racing to betting at the casino is that horses odds are not fixed. The endeavour of picking a winner is skill based. If you know more than most you can win betting at the races. Your strength is that you don't have to bet on every horse. That option to pick and choose can be your angle to win.
I have always specialised with two-year-old horse racing. It pays to have a niche. Be domain specific rather than domain-general as they say in psychology. You don't take a pair of shoes which need to be re-heeled to the blacksmiths...although I'd quite like to see a pair of funky boots with full-metal soles.
I have never met any gambler who has the grand national as their specialised subject. However, there are plenty of well-respected websites like Grand National 2019 who detail the runners and riders plus all-important Grand National betting odds.
One of forty horses will win this year's Grand National. A sporting spectacle watched by millions of race fan across the world. Even a roulette wheel doesn't have so many numbers to choose.
Whether your selection is based on skill, pure luck or the roll of a die, there will be winners and losers.
Names such as Red Rum, Foinavon and Lottery all had their day if not days. When it's time to bet it's time to show your skill.
Who will win this year's Grand National?
Only time will tell.