Betting on the Dogs

My understanding is that there are some questionable aspects of this sport, so I’m very sorry if my attendance is offensive.

If you’ve never been to a dog track, it is a fun experience. It is really cheap to get in. You sit and watch the dogs walk out to the track. A lot of times they poop and/or pee. They then sprint around the track with amazing speed and you can win some money.

To make it easier to bet, they give common bets names. There is a list with descriptions here.

The bets I find most interesting is the Quiniela and the Perfecta. Both are betting on the order of first and second. The Quiniela bet is for any order where as the Perfecta is for the specific order. What is interesting is the payouts for these bets. A win with the Quiniela was between $20-30 for a $2 bet. The Perfecta was $3 or $4 per bet, but the winnings were a couple hundred dollars. Seeing it was a long time ago that I went my numbers could be off.

I had won the Quiniela one time and realized that order I initially chose was correct. I based it off the dogs past history and probably accounted for someone pooping on the way to the gates. When I saw the payout of the Perfecta, it was clear I could have been smarter betting.

The reason being was that I would bet the Quiniela along with a bet or two on some other dogs. In all I would spend around $5 on a race. It would have been better had I just bet on the Perfecta in both orders and spent $6. I think I ended up winning on the Quiniela 3 times that day.

Had I been throwing away my random bets and just stuck with the two Perfectas, I would have walked away with a pretty huge profit.

I read this article on making sure you get a Fair Coin, which made me think of my experience at the dog tracks. I don’t think the two scenarios are mathematically related, but one made me think of the other.