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Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced participant is disadvantaged, or a less experienced or capable participant is advantaged, in order to make it possible for the less experienced participant to win whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, shogi, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. Handicap races are common in clubs which encourage all levels of participants, such as swimming or in cycling clubs and sailing clubs, or which allow participants with a variety of standards of equipment. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps.

Handicapping also refers to the various methods by which spectators can predict and quantify the results of a sporting match. The term is applied to the practice of predicting the result of a competition, such as for purposes of betting against the point spread. A favored team that wins by less than the point spread still wins the game, but bets on that team lose.

In either case the handicapper is the person who sets the handicaps for the activity.

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  • [STEM] Handicapping Horse Races
  • Racing Explained - Handicapping


If I can get started, just because I know Robert has a lot of really amazing information. I got a sneak peak at his PowerPoints. Perks of being the coordinator. >> [LAUGH] >> So I just want to make sure he has enough time, he does have a class after this so I don't want him to be too late to this next batch of students. So for those of you who don't know me, my name is Erin Harwood and I'm a staff coordinator and also the person who is coordinating all these staff seminar series. Before we get to Robert, I just want to give a little plug for our very last pod of the quarter, which will be on Friday December 4th, which is the last Friday of the quarter. And it will be from psychology, and she'll be talking about relationships between children and pets, and then how does that influence their development. And then how does that play into the cycle of abuse that you can see sometimes in some families and in some communities? So I'm excited about, everyone has so far has been so amazing. So I've learned something from every single one, and it's been really great. So I'm excited for this one, and I'm particularly excited too for Robert's. When he first made the proposal to me, I think it was before Fall quarter started, and he and I hadn't even met face to face, I immediately was like, Yes! [LAUGH] Jen, who shares office space with me, she probably even heard me say that. This is such a cool idea. And so I was really excited to have Robert come today, and be able to share some information with us. And a little bit about the math behind all of this as well. For horse racing and betting, and then how exactly does the system for handicapping horse races work as well. I will turn it over to Robert. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH]. All right. >> All right. So, before I begin, I have to kind of plug, two of my students got second and third place in [INAUDIBLE]. So I'm pretty bad with [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGH] Just to be clear about that. [INAUDIBLE]. So I'm just going to save you the trouble. So just a tiny little bit. We'll be talking about [INAUDIBLE] horse raes, with lessons in the stock market, we need a little bit of medicine with our sugar today. Make sure this is not that big for [INAUDIBLE]. That's [INAUDIBLE]. Okay, is that better for [INAUDIBLE]? So horse racing, right? I say the words, and I think we all feel a little skeeved out. We all kind of get a little ew. Why do we talk about this in the first place? And in general gambling as well. So gambling is actually kind of the genesis of almost all of the probability in statistics. It started with the 17th century mathematician Ardano. There's a lot of awesome cool stories Nafta rules or all these other great people. Now later on, I noticed this, Perdonis was the first to actually find what are called theoretical probabilities. Now empirical bonds. And he did it mainly by this annotated. From there, Pascale had some great back and forth, some letters that he sent to one-another to try and solve, basically, roulette, another kind of dice game as well. They really kind of tried to figure out what's the mathematical conflict >> Have here. Or however you want to say that name, also hits more as well. Really talked about the gambling itself, okay. From these period modest beginnings, kind of put that idea some probability from gambling kind of what else can we do with these? And from there it' went off, right? Snowballed into a Faust with Robert Gauss prints himself vessel in Oregon and after that they're trying to do this in Barkof. If you donate kind of you know probability this physics you've heard these names before. All of this was generated basically by swarthy French people trying to comp each other out of money. So from very humble kind of skeevy beginnings, we get whole range of [INAUDIBLE] right? I also have friends horse racing. And you might also think about this. Is the actual sport, cruelty to animals? There hasn't been [INAUDIBLE] past in the history of this happen I think if you were to get rid of the whole thing, unfortunately, that would put a lot of people out of work, out of business. This sport that we've had for centuries would go away, essentially. But lets just forget all of it. So this is from, The Ugly Truth About Horse Racing, Written by Fernando Cohen in The Atlantic, March 2014. This is a recent article and basically a response from PETA, listing a reform about horse racing. And it is an issue, not that I would say it's not or anything. However, this reform is on the way. Anyone point out when the racing form? Wednesday's edition, it's kind of about, not just past performances, as we what say, but also news as well. This guy from New York actually was found that he was his horses and he has got a lifetime ban You know, for what it's worth. So it's not that, you know, we're trying to avoid this issue. They do take it very seriously. And they're starting to do more. With devotion for horserace integrity. [COUGH] They've kind of, right now I just want you to fill this form racing. Paragraph at 115. Really trying to make sure that the sport is fair, also it would be the first kind of national body to regulate doping and testing the horses as well as making sure horse abuse doesn't happen. because quite frankly, these are beautiful mammals and they shouldn't be abused. So, if you want to know more about that, Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, I make no bones about the good and the bad here, honestly since it is such a large institution, so old right, and this goes back hundreds and hundreds of years, I feel like needs to happen I can't just let this whole thing go. So onto more kind of base concerns, right, am I going to tell you how to win? And like any good academic, I'm not going to answer that with a solid, definitive yes. I have to say no and qualify what I will be sharing with you a little bit, right. So One rule, only one rule. I'll be talking about trends. These are some things I've noticed over kind of my few years of doing this. I've also kind of picked up some leads from reading different books, listening to different columnists and as well. And then also some variables. Right it's been kind of said in the culture [INAUDIBLE] I think that each course in one race, even kind of taking into account 100 different variables, we'll have an accurate model to predict what happens in the end. So obviously [INAUDIBLE] right, what we'll talk about today are the ones that I think have So, you might say okay well, gotta win, but is gambling worse? Obviously yes, it is very risky that's why it's called gambling and not investing. [LAUGH] And quite frankly I don't know why we talk to people given college students or Administrators or college instructors, so none of us have any money. >> [LAUGH] >> So we gotta take that into >> [LAUGH] >> But from this idea that gambling is risky, I'm giving you the only rule when it comes to gambling, okay. That is you never bet with what's called scared money, right? You never bet with your rent money, you never bet with your insurance, you never bet with anything that you actually need for survival, right? When you go to actually place bets assume that money is gone, okay? There is no get rich thing, there is no definitive system that will always win 100% of the time. You may lose all the time and you have to be ready for that. There are services that will help you get out of gambling addiction as well, if that becomes a problem, I mean, you've got [INAUDIBLE] services. And unfortunately I didn't pull out the [INAUDIBLE] application, but it's out there. So, why am I talking about this? Right. How did I get into this whole thing? So I went to a graduate school at the city college of New York, online, in Manhattan in Harlem. And it was an awesomely great experience. I got there about July 2006. My then girlfriend, current wife was working in the city. We were living in Jersey City at the time and she would go into work and I would patiently go in with her. And as lo and behold, right across the street on 7th Avenue and 37th Street, 38th Street was this thing. This OTB. And so being a math private tutor [INAUDIBLE] I just was very curious about this. What were these people doing here? What was this whole thing about? Using numbers in this weird and funny way? I went in and you can imagine what I saw, right? Pretty bare bones, no real furnishings, migrants anywhere. And the population was probably not what it should have been using their money with that. People came from varied backgrounds, very different areas, it was not that great of a little place to be in. But over time as it kind of went to this and other locations as well. I came to realize that there's something kind of bigger going on, right? As with any committed endeavor, there's a culture associated with it. And over time I kind of realized the culture, right? The values and the rules that this culture has reflects the mathematics in a kind of funny and unique way. So I'll kind of take on that a lot for throughout the presentation. What was great about going to different off track betting locations in New York City was that you would go to a different location and the entire culture may change. The entire ethnic group of that neighborhood would be represented in these off track betting locations. This one was the one right across the street from Rockefeller Center. And for whatever reason, it was pretty much predominantly Irish. You would hear Gaelic, you would hear varieties of different accents. And that was kind of a funny thing. You would go down to the one in China Town. And that would be an entirely different portal right? As soon as the number eight appeared anywhere, he would bet on that based on Chinese numerology and all this other stuff. You would go to the one where later on up in Inwood, very top of Manhattan, and you would go to the George Washington Bridge terminal. And in that terminal would be a location that would be predominantly Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. And that was really just different, right. They had a whole different way of all of this. In all of these there was commonalities which I'll talk a lot more about. Unfortunately the off track betting location closed in 2010. This is the city that never sleeps right, it just kind of keeps on changing and moving. It mainly went out of business because of how the funding was structured for education they were kind of giving money to, they were taking the money out of operating expenses a non-profit which is crazy. Who knows. Anyway they actually closed down and in New York. Talk about and Belmont racetrack. This slide is a little hard to see I know, this is Leonardo, this art from the year EO Wilson, this is that location I was referring to before and I actually met this man. Earl Wilson, this is Leonardo is what's called his stupor. He would literally go around and as people would throw down tickets he would grab them and then check them to see if there was actually any money on that. This article describes that he makes about, or he made $48,000 a year and worked hours about $100 to $300 a day. So there's something funny going on here, right? Lots of money being changed hands. Money being thrown on the floor for whatever reason. What's happening here? So I really kind of took more interest in this. To help with the kind of culture aspect of this, I'm going to use one of my favorite actors from Law and Order, Dennis Farina. He is just the embodiment of [INAUDIBLE] masculinity [INAUDIBLE]. He pulls bravado, that has good fashion sense. [LAUGH] He has all of this stuff, he is really of what New York is. All these contrasts, the push and pull of the city, but also very high minded about a lot of things. [INAUDIBLE] in no way knows [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] >> So, the fundamental kind of aspect that we have to really realize is the gambling and how this works is very different than gambling against the house. In the traditional sense of gambling against the house, you are betting against the itself, right. And on average the casino sets up these games so that they always have a positive expected return, you always have a negative, right. This is expected value, this is a need for kind of principle investment, investment general. Let's compare that to what happens at the track, okay so, betting overall does happen at the track itself. A lot of places will do what's called telecasting. So they'll actually set up live feeds of the races in other locations and people at those locations can bet and make bets on those races as well. When after getting back from Portland, my wife and I went to Portland, that from Belmont Stakes setting and you bet it on that horse on the race from there. So you can do this pretty much at any of these locations across the nation. So here you are at the track- >> [LAUGH] >> And you are already betting against every one of us. Okay? This is a system called parimutuel betting. And so the psychology of this get's a little interesting because you're not just betting against the house or a fixed odds, you're betting against other people with odds that are constantly changing based on their bets. Okay? So there's kind of some fun dynamics going on here. This kind of comes into, what's involved in making the bet. There's kind of three estimates here, right? There's the actual making a bet itself, [INAUDIBLE], the horses, the information about the horses, and then also the betting public right, and the psychology of what's happened. Let's get to the easy stuff anyway, let's talk about how to make a bet, how does this whole thing work? So let's say for instance, we have these three horses, Early Speed, Fast Winner, and Last Chance. With these close positions, one, two, three, the traditional way of happening And this is the one horse, the two horse, and the three horse. And what I'm kind of pushing here is the win. So let's imagine all these people making bets on these horses to win. And this is cool, thinking the total amount of money bet on this horse to win. So you can see here which horses did they bet? >> Early Steve [INAUDIBLE] >> Early Steve, right? They have the most money on him. All right. And so, the fever kind of has some weird stuff going on with it. Let's say for instance, that fever does win. So, what happens to that pool, right? That thousand dollars is divided up. It's, what happens is they track each other, and they give about 15%. So we have now $803 left to distribute to everyone. One. The remaining pool is divided by how much was spent on that horse. So in this case $1.70 for each dollar wagered, all right. And so people can make different amount of bets on these horses, right. So if you made a dollar bet on early leading to win, you'd get back $1.70. All right, for reasons I'm not going to go into, most win bets are based on a $2 debt. And so in this case you have gotten back that $3.40. And you can scale this all right? if you bet $100 on this you'll come back at $70. So, let's hear an example really quick. Let's assume Now was Fastrunner the favorite? No, in fact Fastrunner was the least favorite, right? So, back each other only 50%, but now we're dividing between less amount of money, so in total, you're going to be back $4.25 for each dollar you wager. In this case. And again, you scale this thing up, right? For $2, it's. So, the question now comes, is, will you win much money with the favorite? No. It was just a few cents more, right? There's some terminology here we need to discuss. The favorite to win is called the chalk. It's called chalk because way back in the day you see here this gentleman, you know, erasing this big chalk board, with the odds but what happened is the favorite horse, his odds would be changed the most and so it'd really be the chalk with dust and that's the same and people would say I would just bet on the chalk, right. The favorite horse. [INAUDIBLE] So what does this mean for us? In general betting on the chalk is a relatively safe bet as we will win about a third of the time. There has been studies that show [INAUDIBLE] itself will pick the winner about a third of the time however that payout is not all that great. This leaves us to our first trend, betting with the crowd, produces your payoff, right. Betting with everyone else, because if you think about it, from the previous example. If The Favor wins, you only have basically, 500 minus the 50%, is split among everyone who won, Is that $500 pool. But there's a smaller one right? The [INAUDIBLE] where you are getting up $800 by [INAUDIBLE] time. >> So in general it's not a good idea to. [INAUDIBLE] says as a general rule look down on people who [INAUDIBLE] at the top right? The whole goal of the [INAUDIBLE] log is to bet a little, win a lot. The only way you can do that is by betting long shots, right? So this kind of the first instance, for me anyway, where it was clear that the culture was really pushing the mathematics, it was kind of embedded in there, right? They would look down on you if you were ever caught [INAUDIBLE]. I remember one day I was at the seventh avenue location and I was just trying stuff out, I can and this one race I battled the chalk and it won. And I kept on getting this weird feeling and I looked to my side, and there was older men. It was just very weird and they were very. >> [LAUGH] >> They did not like what I was doing in the least and it kind of showed that there was something else going on. Andreas, yes, there are many many upper cuts. We'll talk mainly about these. We'll get into the other ones a little bit. There has been an increase in okay. Linda will get beat out if that person Makes first place. A place that will pay up if a person wins first or second place. A show bet will pay up if the horse wins first, second, or third. So this is really important because people misinterpret these bets all of the time. We'll do this example real quick. When placing show bets for this we have furling speed, fast familiar last Can the slope though and we're looking at the pools here. Right? The wind pool, the place pool and the show pool. I'm not going to show the actual calculations but if you do this right the one force wind, it's the last chance for second. Capacitor is third place. This is what the pay on sulphur weight. Now in the parentheses indicates the actual value of what should happen, It's always rounded to the nearest five to zero cent, because that's kind of the. There's a technical term for it. I forgot it. But yeah, it'll always reduce down to the. So you see here, Win, Place, and Show. And in general this is how it looks. We'll see the example but early, if you had a dollar ticket, and obviously would be $1.85. Place, $1.60. 2.05 for show. What's funny there? >> Seems like Joe is >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Some of that math problem [INAUDIBLE] yes. >> [LAUGH] >> Yes there is something strange going on here right? With the $1 win method there's only one way to win with that. However, we only made $1.85 on our $1 win. $1 Show method there is actually three ways to win Right the horse came first second or third. This kind of leads to our first real misconception that a lot of people have. They think that these bets are for that specific race and not the ones above. Right? This happens quite often and this is actually an actual technical term in the stock market >> Called arbitrage. Arbitrage for investments are the simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from a difference in the price. So if exactly what we're doing, right? We're not buying and selling this thing immediately, what's actually happening is we have something from the same price, but different risk bluffs, right? Different risk of not winning or winning [INAUDIBLE] so whenever this thing happens, trend two. Win, place, and show pools should all be proportional to each other, right? If a horse is a favorite to win, you should see their, you know, show pool being kind of the favorite, as well, right? Because that's proportional. If it's not, then you get a situation like. Like this, right? Where that show pool was really under that. So that shouldn't more of that. So this leads us to our trend two with the show pool, under that as we saw on the show pool in Yeah? >> So the reason that the show pool was overvalued, or under bet, is the people doing the betting. >> Exactly. >> Some of the public did not realize what was going on, it's not [INAUDIBLE] >> No, no, no, no. We'll talk about the track's involvement a little later on, but yet, that's kind of the core issue here, we're betting against other people, and their misconceptions of what these bets may or may not [INAUDIBLE] So that's kind of the core idea, we're betting against everyone else and their information. For this, does that answer the question? >> Yes [INAUDIBLE]. >> This is kind of a you see a long shot being in the show pool, you may want to consider pushing that up, right? If everyone thinks it's going to win third place, well potentially awesome, getting excited for and third or first, that's [INAUDIBLE] it's possible. Are there more bets? Yes exotics. Exotics are getting a little bit more into the weed, so I'm not going to go too far into this. I'm going to focus on exacta and trifecta. Exacta is exactly that, you're the first and second course in that order. Okay, so you're getting a little bit more specific in what your bets are. There's the trifecta, first, second, and third place. There's also a super-fecta, first, second, third, and fourth place. These dollar bets and $0.10 bets are basically kind of the average amount that you spend on those, and how much they cost for each one of those. However, just taking one of these bets isn't really a good idea. So let's say we have a dollar exactly on 1 and 3, 1 has to win first place and 3 has to win second place, and you only have a single dollar to bet. However, it's this idea of boxing these things in. Boxing these things thinks as I don't use any of these horses in any order, right. So I'm betting not just on one three, but also thee and four, right. So here we have two dollar bets for your dollar. And you vouch trying to get some more and more involve right? What are the exact amounts on one two and three? Would be six dollar amounts. Right? So six dollar increments. And dollar trifecta on one, three, two would be just that order right? Not lost [INAUDIBLE] status one, three- Two, however, if we do decide to do that, trifecta box and 132 is $6 right? [INAUDIBLE] $6 [INAUDIBLE] Does that make sense, a little bit? Okay, good. Can you guys do an exact dollars box on 1, 2, 3, and 4? You thought you could. I was talking to my math instructor, you're not respecting math questions in all this? [LAUGH] Come on. >> It's full math. >> Okay. [LAUGH] Why is it? >> 4 times the percentage. >> She did it so quickly and so efficiently, mainly because there's a whole branch of math called combinatorics Okay, peep this actual counting market and stuff is a huge part of Palbaline statistics, all right? If you're interested in that please, please, please take statistics for any of those classes that we have on offer because they're great. Okay, if you can imagine this gets harrier when you add more four horses, right? Dollar on five horses would be 60 bucks. On seven horses would be $210.00. At 10 cents per however, would only be $2.40. Is this likely to happen, do you think? I don't think so, right? I mean you're looking for the one, two, three, and four horses to get first, second, third, and fourth, right? You're getting very specific in your prediction there. Overall though, this is one more typical, [INAUDIBLE] kind of that in general, what we do is we say. One, three, zero [INAUDIBLE] for the one, three [INAUDIBLE] win first. And then one, three, five versus the third, second to [INAUDIBLE] one, three, five, six to win third. And then we say b of all. So all address in that last one. So we don't know, right? That's. [INAUDIBLE] I would really recommend, this is for future, when you kind of feel more confident and comfortable with this stuff. This is not right away, all right? >> [LAUGH] >> Don't try to do this. Actually, please do because then [INAUDIBLE]. >> [LAUGH] >> So what do these things look like? This is from the recent an American of one with the whole thing. This is a typical, kind of a tilt screen. On the screen because, A is a nice colic. You can see here, in barrow 1, on a $2 bet, $7.80, right? Place bet, show bet. And, this is probably what it should look like, right? This proportional going down. On average, winning bets on a $2 bet, we're going to give this $2.10, and come back $20. On average earned, two dollars and ten cents is the minimum that must be paid out on almost all cracks. Sometimes what happens is that the amount spent on one course is more than all the other courses combined. So they have to instill this minimum so that we're actually now losing money [INAUDIBLE]. Place bets, obviously going to go down a little bit. Averaging, kind of level out to dollars, so that's [INAUDIBLE] $10. You can see here down below, $2 is that one, $2 price jacked up super there. A lot more money right? And on average, and when you start to win maybe considerably more on these other apps. These numbers that I regretfully came up with what I kind of assume then in the past this averages each tract of these piece of information when you buy their initial programs. This is from the fourth meadows [INAUDIBLE] Okay. [INAUDIBLE] The more specific your bet, the lower the odds. But hopefully, the higher the payoff, right? But it all depends. It all depends on are you betting with the chalk, or are you betting against the chalk? If you agree with that chalk. Rich, okay. If you kind of looked at all the variables and things, yeah, this horse is going to win. You'd use that with a few launch apps, right, that will help kind of increase your payout hopefully. If you use don't use it in a right, because hopefully you'll be able to get everyone else. Make sense? [NOISE] Okay kind of right. This relates to a it natural investing rate. Risk and reward right? Do we want to be more risky or do we want to be less risky with your money? Well you're less risky with your money your reward vein is lower right? And that happens as well, right? The more specific you are with your bets, the riskier they are and potentially [INAUDIBLE]. This is from my friend Warren Buffett, risk comes from not knowing what you are doing. Right now, you are at your riskiest, all right. So be very careful when you in a situation. >> [INAUDIBLE] again. >> Are there even more bets? Yes. It just kind of gets crazier from here on out. These Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5/6/7. These are not within one race, these are now across multiple races. So this gets pretty complicated after a while. Daily Double is essentially, you're are picking the winners of one race and then, the race right out, right? So two races, you're trying to pick the winner. Pick three, you're trying to get the winner in three sequential races. Pick four, four, and five, six, and seven, those are our kind of promotional type things that we do and it's very, very difficult. Either that or people kind of do their own things sometimes right. They might [INAUDIBLE] And then three horses win the second race, right so they're in the best [INAUDIBLE] as well. Okay. So we talked about what all these bets are, well how do you decide? How do you decide what bet to make in general? Well, you can do that with information. You can do that with information from a variety of sources and we'll talk about two of these as we go through. First up, morning line odds. So, morning line odds. At each race track, there's what's called an oddsmaker. All right. Let's remember. [INAUDIBLE] trying to get your people [INAUDIBLE]. So they make this, they have this odds maker, basic [INAUDIBLE] to view stuff, trying to estimate odds and things [INAUDIBLE] near the race itself. A lot of people think odds makers are trying to predict the race itself. That is not the case. Odds makers are trying to predict what the betting public will be doing, okay. They try to predict what at the very end are those actually going to be? So, they're trying to follow along what each are going to do, all right. >> That almost seems harder. [INAUDIBLE] >> Yes. It's exactly that. >> [LAUGH] >> Right? Because they couldn't probably better than anyone else, right? But that's not their task, their task is trying to figure out what are the actual at the end of the race based on people betting. That is my by the way. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Yeah, all right. So how bout Oz, right? So that's the track kind of provided information, there's also past performances of the horses themselves. When you go to a track you can buy an official program, you can also buy this the daily recent form, this has past performances on a lot of different horses. You can see here, there's a lot of information. Basically, up here at the very top this is the misinformation itself and that for each course it will have the same kind of block of text and we'll talk about what all of these are. But one thing I want to look at right now is each of these rows down below, right, this first one says 15 Feb 10th. 15th of February 2010, they ran this race. Okay? And it tells you all the information about the times of the race, the race type, fractional positions, the weights of the jockey, the actual odds, a one off. And also what I think is kind of interesting, over here it actually tells you of the other horses that rant hat race. So a lot of people take stock into the fact that hey if this horse already beat this horse that it beat now, there might be like some horse psychology going on. >> [LAUGH] >> I don't know much about that quite honestly, but there is lots of start thinking about here. I'll share the link of where this presentation is at. The internet before, they actually have a little animation that will go through and tell you all of that focus information are as well. From our investment friends, past performance is not [INAUDIBLE] turns, this is common in exam prospectus for good investments, right. SCC then says hey, you can get other things as well, so especially the age and size of the fund, the funds distant volatility and recent changes in the funds operation. So yeah, you're worried about the company itself and how it's structured. We're all worried about the horse, and it's fast right? So you're also concerned about the people around this, right? Who is the CEO of this company now, right? Who is the trainer of this horse? One thing I look at to push a little bit. Horses, I have seen anyway, something that's called performances. So I do need to get a little technical. This little column of numbers here starts off with 62, and then 84, 86, 93, 91, 89, 91, 101, 88, 80, and 94. These are with all the buyer's race leaders in this race this horse. I guess in the 70's they established some way to kind of average speeds irrespective of horse, race, cut type, a lot of other variables as well. So they had a weighted average of all these things is this P number. You can see here, discover kind of goes up and it kind of goes down. Right? After the 101 bar, the next race was considerably lower, right? It was lower than almost any of the other races, or lower than what? One, two, three, four previous races that he ran. So that's going to you see is that cycle during the performances just like any performance, right? Race a really fast race one day, the next day you might not be as fast, right? So this is a personal trend, there are some analytics about all this stuff, you can find it online. But this is something I kind of look at for myself. Ok, owner information, you want to know who this owner is, right? because they actually I own a lot of great horses on, here for the DRF anyway, this paper, they don't have a whole lot of information about it but the actual program from the race track itself they have more information. There's also the trainer themselves, that information can be found up here in this little area. What's kind of interesting is that in the parentheses here they're telling you how many races has the horses for this trainer started this, one, and then got second place and third place and their overall percentage. The way this works is tracks will have different Right equal. [INAUDIBLE] And over the speed you'll kind of calculate the actual [INAUDIBLE] of the jockey as well. And over time okay you know the ratio is stable, right? [INAUDIBLE] Jockey's performance is important as well, you can see that over here. Was the horse can carry a jockey, but a jockey can't carry a horse. So even if the donkey is great, if the horse is really about that [INAUDIBLE]. the track and the race itself. So, this is Richmond found in this little area here. For the passable. For the current rates this actually tells us all the information about the current race. The length of it, right, what type of race, ignitions for entering the race itself. A little out of the comfort zone, I don't want to get into it too much But also you know this is information about the race. What about the track condition itself, right? Track conditions vary from what they call fast. These are the actual stuff really you know is the ground really kind of packed in right? Is it looking like running on it pretty quickly. Is it wet right? Is the course mud or Is it a turf race? Turf races in general have different types of consideration. This also is called synthetic turf. There's been problems with that with some slipping on that terrain. Trying to figure out ways to figure out ways to solve that issue. I don't [INAUDIBLE] There's also this. This is [INAUDIBLE] Basically chariots. [INAUDIBLE] This is a whole different world [INAUDIBLE] Two, two and a half miles or so, and a little bit slower obviously, right? Because they're pulling all of this [INAUDIBLE]. In general, legs range depends on what kind of horses you're racing. The problem is, is a lot of whats called fourth horse racing, for three hundred to four hundred yards. Standard are between four furlongs. There's eight furlongs to a mile. And then theres also high stakes. So the triple crown goes Kentucky Derby, Preakness, then Belmont City. Belmont City is the longest of these, almost three to four weeks to beat each other. That's really pushing it for a lot of these horses. And so the wind for it will count it as it was done recently. That's a pretty basic. I myself when I lived with New York every year we would go and it was a really crazy experience. Going to the Belmont stakes. You would have people who would be stooping looking for tickets and everything but then we would have form It's past [INAUDIBLE] right. So it really does appear to have select really very cultural. There's also professional, so when I went to Portland on the 31st I got this little pen cap from Bob. And Bob is one of the craps stewards there and he releases his own little picks and what you should [INAUDIBLE] for each race. This kind of leads to some weird stuff, right? Because everyone else also has this information. So do you go with this expert,right? You go with everyone else and what they may be following? Or do you kind of go the other way? There are also reading horses themselves, if you are around horses and you have a lot about there behavior what they look like, or should look like, you can also kind of read them, there's two places you can do that there is the paddock area. So before a race they'll actually On the path, and all of the saddles, and get the jockey on. And that's usually right around that area. There's also called the post-breed. So as they go out onto the track, we're going to move around and kind of get ready. If the horses are looking really slow and jumpy, you'll want to bet on those. If they're looking over-anxious, you know, sweating a lot. There's a lot to it. Also how does the horse interact with jockies as well right? I myself, I don't do this a lot. My wife on the other hand this is the way she really does this since her family has had horses in the past, and so she's really good about looking at and what horse. As of information, there is also this information. Touting is kind of the general idea you are sharing this information to increase your payouts, right? This happens a lot between people whispering things on the track to a little bit more involved scams. Unfortunately I'm running a little low on time so I'm not going to go through this whole scam. I love scams like all that stuff like how that happens, how that works. But basically I wanted to say that someone sends a random selection of people these different picks. They said each can Right? Before a race. After the race, one of these groups have to be right, right? One of these groups has to have the winner, so then they kind of disregard these other people and start anew, with the new race, right? They say hey look person we sent you two picks in a row that were correct never mind all the other people, [INAUDIBLE]. He owed money for that system. He worked really big techniques that are in square. This happened a lot during the 1920s, during the stock market, but it happens now, even more efficiently, because we don't have to worry about stamps and letters and more, just send an email, right? [INAUDIBLE] through DRF or anywhere else. [INAUDIBLE] So because of this [INAUDIBLE] environment, and don't want to share this you have to get this for me, I want you to picture your favorite spot. Kayak and stuff. He's not telling you anything. Whatever, like any of your people. If you kind of, you're around long enough you show up you may find his nelson. I myself I went to New York I just like the environment. I just kind of moved around too much different homes close to anyone but it does how. So even if I pick a winner I'm still not guaranteed to be returned, right? Because I'm betting with the chomp I'm not going to be getting a whole lot of money back out. That's the point. That's the whole thing. Cash to the bets, can't use them with horses, with psychology of people around us, we have to take all three of these things into consideration. This is really what this is about. This leads to a very good, I don't know. Personally, I kind of always just invested in contrarian investing, forgot there's one so I'll. >> [LAUGH] >> In fact [INAUDIBLE] psychologist plus, but I feel like as stated, a contrarian believes that certain behavior among investors can lead into [INAUDIBLE]. For example, a lot of pessimism about a stock can drive the prices so low that it overstates the company's risks. It understates its prospects for returning to it's profitablities, all right? I feel like that's what we're looking at here. We're trying to figure out what this [INAUDIBLE]. Two things that I really follow. If a horses most recent race was its fastest in general, I'm not going to bet on him, right? Everyone else might believe, hey, that's a really fast horse, I'm going to. We saw before this trending fair, also if a horse didn't finish its last race for whatever reason, sometimes horses will literally go off the track and do whatever wants to do, you know, who knows. Right? You don't really have a lot of information about that so you pay Okay, one who moderates. Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] Okay, so this was [INAUDIBLE]. So, that was a little dark. Sorry. So this is what the screen looks like when you're at a track or doing telecasting this weekend. You'll see here natural course numbers, numbers one through 13. Usually this color is [INAUDIBLE] setting. This column are the odds for the all right. They're not an average even, it's through itself where people kind of take it as that. There is scratches horse a scratch. The main other thing I want to share is the MTR is zero right now because the race is about to start. This is the Mitsfer race and this particularly tells us how much time we have left. There have been some studies done that say about 50% of all the bets in a race will happen in the last 15 minutes up until the race. So we have a weird situation here. So as time goes on closer to the race, we get more and more information about the player and what those look like. So, yeah, there's actual real incentive to wait to the last minute to make you bet. >> Look Who's Talking is the product of two >> Yeah. >> And we're off. He's coming from the outside, Paraol'es there between horses and rock solid golfer in the fourth spot. [INAUDIBLE] closely racing in fifth along the holidays, also on the hunt in phase two and now the green horn holidays going, so we'll try to sort out. It's only five blocks and side by side, Alex is the. Ten lines will cover that there's Rock Solid in front, Rock Solid ahead. >> When he refers to lengths, it's of a horse length that's [INAUDIBLE] you know [INAUDIBLE] Blake will be using. [INAUDIBLE] How far someone is from the lead. What's going to happen here is that they're going to turn the track. And you can imagine if you have two circles of different radius. One in the outside circle is going to need more distance than the one on the inside. So there's a real kind of push to get everyone closer to the rail. Are going the least amount of distance around. >> Has moved to second outside. [INAUDIBLE] And that's the Mojo Ragging Networking from last. 23 and 4's open four. 47 and 1 with the half mile. Coming to the top of the stretch Home Before the Holidays, just narrowly on the outside is Look Who's Talking. At the rail, Rock Solid Golfer, ring along the same base. Ringo Just Patience just on. >> So now that they're swung out past the turn and the white house outside and now it's charged, kind of charged. >> And switching the day light to outside, someone out in the clear and now comes Miranda road and victor corsco and Ringaro takes off, [INAUDIBLE] Ringaro suddenly bursts away. But look whose talking, but Nalia is heading up to second and running hat trick, to win by 6 going away and its >> So, there is even more of an analysis you can do. This is an example of what's called a stalker horse right? It's the wait around, kind of waited and waited, bided its time a little bit an then at the very end kind of pushed forward. There's also a horse called Fast Steve which is where you try to get really far ahead of everyone and just keep that up ahead of everyone obviously. So yeah, there's a lot more different types of analysis you can do with a lot of this stuff. You might want to ask the question well where can do this at? Right down south, Horton Meadows is great. It's available to us. Unfortunately there's only four libraries can say this during the weekends of this session. The Mondays and Tuesdays because they think a lot of tell. The big class so smaller classes that way. There's also we'll talk about it more. If you are of age and don't mind a seedier location, there's Rialto's in Downtown Portland, and I noticed there's also Irish Town Public House here in Vancouver, they have a terminal you can go to. If Internet things are more your thing, there's also lots of [INAUDIBLE] as well. Okay, I'm almost out of time, two more things from me, one more thing from. First off, just remember the only rule you need when it comes to gambling you never bet on scared money, all right. I want no one coming out here thinking I'll make lots of money and it'll be great. You will only get yourself in trouble. All right, so keep your red money where it is don't pull it it out, you know follow me [INAUDIBLE]. I would also recommend the first time you go don't make a bet, don't actually do any gambling, you have plenty of time to lose your money people. Keep it to yourself for a little bit. And just enjoy the experience, right? I really recommend going to the practice cell because that can be a lot of fun. It can also feel a little weird, right? You leave with people you might not normally leave with. And so that's where Jenna Spring says when you go into a new situation, watch what everyone else is doing, right? That's true for [INAUDIBLE] we go to a new place, we watch what everyone else is doing, all of their right? We might [INAUDIBLE] All right, that's it for me. >> [COUGH] >> Yeah? >> Okay, so [INAUDIBLE] everybody has their own number >> For what is this? What does that tell us? Is that a break from the past? >> Yeah, so there's actually, my understanding is that those are actually the post debates, right? Whatever. So one is on the inside of your house. I think it's basically a water system of a submergence system as well. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> It's yeah, there's some evidence to that. But yeah, you're right. You change every singe race. Jockeys will finish with their race, each race during the day. Different races as well. Yes. >> Two things, one shout out to Portland Meadows, it was fun library seeing day. And not that sketchy. >> No. >> But it used to be sketchier. They've worked hard. They have a nice garden now. You'll find people that you normally see in. >> Books. >> But my question is, you talked about this, like somehow the public is under betting the show. >> Yeah. >> I wonder where you find those odds? I've only ever seen the odds right now that are the [INAUDIBLE] odds. >> Right. So yeah this is definitely not really public information. This is for real, right? They will cycle through the rules and stuff. Try to show those as they go on. If you really want that information, what you actually have to do, and there's two ways of doing that. One, there's usually a terminal station you can rent at every tribe location- >> [CROSSTALK] what those guys were doing. >> Exactly, yeah. Those guys were sitting there with the little screens, right? They are [INAUDIBLE] that little spot. >> [INAUDIBLE] And they're getting a lot of other information that you may not. Also, some places may have like an [INAUDIBLE] something. [INAUDIBLE] Actually pull the data from, as well. And see what the actual are. Yeah, so. [INAUDIBLE], right? [INAUDIBLE] All right, yeah? >> What is the difference between [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] >> Yeah. What is there to say? He's great, he's awesome. I said to you the perfect combination of right, like kind of push people around and smack them around, but like he knows enough to be cultured and how to behave around certain. >> [LAUGH] >> All right everybody, thank you all for coming. I appreciate it. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you everyone. Cover your weekends. I look forward to seeing you on December 4th for the summer series. And then look for, in winter quarter, [INAUDIBLE]. The winter quarter, and I think that it will be kind of [INAUDIBLE] some more ideas for the [INAUDIBLE] as well. And I'll be looking for other people as well. Thank you again.



The term handicap derives from hand-in-cap, referring to a system wherein players placed bets or money into the cap of a neutral arbiter to reach an agreement as to the relative values of items sought to be traded.[1]

Competition handicapping

In a 'result adjustment' style handicap event, the outcome may be adjusted by some factor determined by the handicap. Some forms of car or yacht racing.[2] In this case, the winner, on elapsed time, may differ from the fastest competitor when the times have been adjusted for the different competitors' handicaps.

In a 'pursuit' style handicap race, all participants are clocked in a time trial before the race. When this takes place at the same event as the main race, it is known as the handicap. In the race itself, the participants do not all start at the same "Go"; the starts are staggered, based on the handicaps. The slowest swimmer, or cyclist, for example, starts first and the fastest starts last, making the end of the race (hopefully) close. An ideal handicap race is one in which all participants finish at the same time.[3] The winner is the person who beats his or her own time.

Similarly, physically staggered starting positions can be used, for example, in greyhound racing a handicap race is where greyhounds (based on their ability) start from different starting traps set at different measurements from the finish line, and in human foot racing, for example, the Stawell Gift.

Some motorsport events, especially in sports car racing, demand teams to stop the vehicle in the pitbox a fixed period of time depending on the drivers' classification, thus giving advantage to less skilled drivers. An example of a championship using this system is the International GT Open. The advantage of this system over ballast weight systems is that vehicles have the normal performance on track, so better drivers will be able to recover time and overtake slower drivers.

Contrarily, horse race handicaping is implemented using extra weight.

Horse racing

A handicap race in horse racing is a race in which horses carry different weights, allocated by the handicapper. A better horse will carry a heavier weight, to give him or her a disadvantage when racing against slower horses. The handicapper's goal in assigning handicap weights is to enable all the horses to finish together (in a dead heat).

The skill in betting on a handicap horse race is in determining which horse can overcome its handicap.[4]


Handicapping in the game of golf is by manipulating the golfer's score (number of strokes).


Types of chess handicaps include:

  • the stronger player surrenders a certain piece or pieces
  • the weaker player has extra moves at the beginning of the game
  • the weaker player has extra time on the chess clock
  • the odds-giver to deliver checkmate with a specified piece


Handicapping in go includes the weaker player being given an advantage by placing a number of stones before the stronger player commences, and by final points adjustment.


Handicapping in shogi is achieved by removing one or more pieces from the stronger player's side. Shogi (Japanese chess) and many of its variants have handicaps.



The polo handicap is an estimation of the player's worth to his or her team. It is an overall rating of a player's horsemanship, team play, knowledge of the game, strategy and horses. The difference between the total of the polo handicaps for the players on each team is then used to determine the minimum score difference for the better team to score to enable them to win.


Handicaps for sailing vessels in sailing races have varied throughout history, and they also vary by country, and by sailing organisation. Sailing handicap standards exist internationally, nationally, and within individual sailing clubs.

Sailing race handicaps may be based on vessel capability and-or crew experience, and today typically adjust the time a vessel takes to reach the finish point of the race.


Motor cycle speedway

Calculated Match Average is a handicap calculated for every motorcycle speedway rider.

Outcome prediction

Middle and arbitrage bets

There are strategies that involve differences in the lines on the same event at different books. One bet is called a "middle", which when a player finds two books that offer different point spreads for the same event. They will bet the more favorable spread at both books, and if the final score falls between the two, the bettor will win both bets. On the other hand, if the total falls outside the range of the "middle" the bettor only loses a small percentage of a bet (the "juice" or "vig" taken by the house).

For example, Book 1 has Team A as a 3-point favorite, and Book 2 has team B as a 3-point favorite. If a player bets Team B at Book 1, and Team A at Book 2, he will win both bets if either side wins by 2 or less points, and will win one bet and lose the other (known as a "side") if either team wins by 3 points.

Another strategy, known as arbitrage, or an "arb" or "scalp", involves finding different moneylines for the same event. In this case, the bettor will bet the more favorable line at both books, and have a guaranteed profit. For example, if Book 1 considers Team A to be worth +200 (2 to 1 underdog), and Book 2 considers Team B to be worth +200, a bettor can bet Team A at Book 1, and Team B at Book 2, and guarantee a 100% profit. This is a no-risk bet, as the player is guaranteed a profit no matter the result of the game.[citation needed]

Famous handicappers

The first very well known sports handicapper in American culture was Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder.[5] During his career he worked for CBS on their Sunday morning show, The NFL Today. Because sports betting had a social taboo at the time, Snyder was not allowed to mention betting on games specifically. Instead, he would predict the score. Over the years the attitude towards sports betting, and handicapping in general, has changed. Billy Walters was profiled by 60 Minutes because of his handicapping abilities.[6] Billy Walters, and other unknown members of the Computer Group, developed a system for handicapping games and beating Las Vegas sportsbooks. The Huffington Post covered Jon Price a reclusive sports bettor that hires Ph.D's and works off of algorithmic information for his predictions.[7] ESPN wrote an article on Haralabos Voulgaris naming him as the one of the premier NBA handicappers in the world.[8] He claims to have developed a system that uses advanced statistical analysis to predict the outcomes of games. In the past, very few people did any mathematical calculations when handicapping sporting events. Predictions were usually made from hunches or information not readily available to the public. However, with the advancement of technology computers powerful enough to run advanced simulation models now frequent homes and offices. Advanced statistics such as DVOA, Win Shares and Points per Possession are talked about in mainstream media. Brian Burke, author of The Fifth Down blog featured in the New York Times, wrote a formula using advanced statistical techniques that has shown consistency correctly predicting NFL winners.[9] Handicapping, as a profession, is very similar to being a stock analyst. Like Wall Street did in the 1970s, the sports handicapping industry is undergoing a quantitative revolution. Many successful handicappers also use money management systems similar to financial investment professionals. The most popular, and mathematically superior, system is the Kelly criterion. It is a formula for maximizing profits and minimizing losses based on payout odds and win probability of the underlying asset.

See also


  1. ^ "handicap, n." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 8 Oct. 2008 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved 2008-10-08..
  2. ^ "History of the PY" (PDF). Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  3. ^ [1] UK Horse Racing. Accessed 5 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2011-02-05. British Horseracing Authority. Accessed 5 February 2011.
  5. ^ Pace, Eric. "Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder; A Sports Oddsmaker". New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 1996. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Logan, Lara. "Sports Betting: Billy Walters". CBSNewsOnline. Retrieved 16 Janueary 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ Jensen, David. "Seeking PHD's Who Minor in Sports". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  8. ^ Eden, Scott. "Meet The World's Top NBA Gambler". ESPN The Magazine. ESPN. Retrieved 21 Feb 2013.
  9. ^ Burke, Brian. "Game Probabilities Are Back". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  • Beyer, Andrew (May 6, 1994). Picking Winners : A Horseplayer's Guide (Reissue ed.). Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-70132-5.

External links

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