• CARRYOVER! Why racing leads the way in jackpot wagering

    POSTED Aug 10, 2011
    Unless you're alive in the last leg of the wager, there is no sweeter word at the conclusion of a sequence than "carryover."

    Depending on whether you played the bet, a carryover means either a chance to win your money back (and then some!) or a chance to win other people's money at a reduced takeout.

    I say "reduced takeout" because carryovers often attract so much action that the takeout exceeds the carryover, but still, a 5% takeout is a tremendous bargain to chase a potentially life-changing score.

    In this way, racing actually has an edge on casino gambling because at the casino, the games offering the biggest payouts typically have takeouts to match. Roulette, for instance, at 35-to-1 for selecting a single number has a house edge of 5.26% while even money bets in craps have a house edge below 1%. In racing, the "easier" bets such as win, place, and show have the lowest take outs while the takeout on super exotic wagers top 30% in some jurisdictions.

    But no matter what anyone tells you about his or her system for roulette or the mechanics of dice rolling, winning those games relies on luck.

    The beauty of horse racing is that its biggest scores come at a reduced price while still involving skill. If you picked one horse each race that you thought had a 25% chance of winning, it would be about 4,000-to-1 that all six of those 3-to-1 shots won. At a $2 wager, the parlay would return $8,192, and it's safe to assume that the pick six on a double carryover day would return at least 25% more.

    With $232,356 already in the today's pick six pool at Saratoga and a 26% takeout on new money, the break even point in terms of effective takeout with 25% of new money (after takeout) going to consolations and the remaining 75% going to the jackpot is $893,675. If the wager today handles any less, then winning players paid no takeout. If the wager handles more, then there was some takeout. The meeting's only double carryover to date occurred on Saturday, August 6 (Whitney day), and the $215,399 double carryover generated $1,017,811 in new money for an effective takeout of 4.84%--still better than roulette, and nine winners received $86,700 each plus $318 for each consolation.

    Some might mention Powerball as a positive expectation game when it's jackpot carries over, and yeah, with the current jackpot at $220-million, you're coming out ahead since the chances of winning are 195,249,054-to-1, but to put that in horse racing perspective, it is 2.1% more likely that six consecutive 23-to-1 shots will win than for each of your Powerball numbers to be drawn.

    Racing is fertile ground for people who enjoy marauding the establishment, but carryovers on jackpot wagers do provide one of the absolute best bets in all of gambling.

    Mike D said...

    Another reason why racing > lottery is that, in Powerball, the quoted jackpot is actually paid out over a long time, 30 years I think. The lump sum value is usually 40-50% of the quoted jackpot. With a pick 6, you know exactly the upfront value.

    Also, a much higher % of new money goes into a P6 then the lottery. 75-80% of new money chasing a P6 goes into pot, versus <60% in the lottery. This means better payouts, even if you split the cash.

    Eddie D. said...

    Preach on, brother Mike!

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