Last week we saw two pretty good reasons to keep playing this game. I’ll be the first to say the sport has changed, beating it is tougher than ever, and we all know we have many issues to fix, but difference-making scores remain a reality. For me, this makes the Sport of Kings worth playing.

We saw a pick 6 get taken down for a cool mil, and we saw a pick 5 go for around 500k. The pick 6 wager was around $50 and the pick 5 around $1000. Both tickets required some luck, but even in skill gambling games luck always helps.

As someone who has played professionally for years, I am of the opinion the only way to have a chance to beat the game today is to go for these types of scores. My philosophy is to make every bet you make a potential big score. If you don’t have the chance at a score, I’d wait for one. You get so many bullets in a gun, why not make each and every one count?

The $50 pick 6 ticket reminds us you do not always have to invest a lot of money to hit big. You do have to structure a ticket that affords that possibility if you are indeed right. I always look at the possible scenarios before I actually pull the trigger on a bet. I like to envision all the possible outcomes to see if the bet is worth the risk and reward. If it is not, I’ll often pass.

The $1000 pick 5 reminded us how bigger bankrolls have an edge. That ticket used all in three legs. I am not a fan of the all button despite it working out quite well for this player on this bet. Here is where you get to prove you are better. If you don’t have the bankroll to use all in three legs of a pick 5, you have to do one of two things. Come up with more than one single, or eliminate horses. You are playing against those big bankrolls, so you have to give yourself an edge and opportunity. By investing less, and doing it in a way to afford yourself the chance at a score, like not singling favorites and eliminating some in the races you spread, you put yourself in a position to compete with the larger bettors. You actually can argue you have a long term edge on them, you are investing less thus need to win less to come out in the black.

As the game evolves and changes with the times, I think bettors must as well. It’s all about coming out ahead and making scores for me. In years past I went the bet big route. In today’s game, I favor betting a little to win a lot or at least putting myself in that position.

When you are going to make a wager I suggest looking at best, worst, and all the scenarios in between. The best scenario should be a nice score. If that isn’t your best scenario shouldn’t you be looking at another wager? It all ties back to my kill shot and cash less but win more philosophies. You can read about both if you haven’t already in past AmWager columns.