Best Tracks For When You Want To Play Cheap and Just Have Some Fun

I’m a cheapskate. I admit it. My favorite price is free, but if I can’t get it for free, I’ll take cheap over expensive every time. That’s why, when I just want to have a good time without doing a lot of handicapping, or play all day on a twenty dollar bill, I have favorite tracks both online and at my local OTB.

Sad to say, greyhound tracks aren’t really a good place for cheapskates, unless you’re into 10-cent superfectas. The only track that has anything besides 10-cent supers is Southland with their $1 quinielas. I’m all over them, because I can play all day for chump change and have a pretty good chance of hitting at least a few. They also have 10-cent supers, so if you’re into them, you can play both.

I wish greyhound tracks would follow the lead of some of the thoroughbred tracks and have $1 win, place and show bets, but as far as I know, none of them do. And speaking of thoroughbred tracks that have $1 WPS bets, my favorite is Gulfstream. It has a long season, good horses especially in the winter, and some of the top trainers and jockeys in the cooler months too.

Not only does GP have $1 WPS bets, it also has other cheap exotics like 50-cent trifectas, pick 4’s and pick 5’s and the ever popular 10-cent superfectas. Stick with the best jockeys and trainers and play every race – something I don’t recommend when you’re serious about making money at the track – but why not if you’re just there to have fun and don’t want to handicap too much?

When I’m in the mood for playing the harness races, my first thought is Mohawk when it’s running. My OTB carries it and so do the major ADW’s online. Not only does it have $1 WPS bets, it’s the only track I’ve ever seen that has 20-cent trifectas. Yup, if you like 50-cent tri’s, you’ll love the 20-cent version. Its supers have a 20-cent minimum so I usually just play win, place, show and trifectas there.

One nice thing about tracks that have cheap bets is that you can take your friends out for a meal and a night out and they can play all night and not lose their shirts. There’s nothing worse than taking people to the track for the first time and having them lose a lot of money. One, they probably won’t want to go back to the track; and two, they probably won’t be too happy with you for taking them there.

If they win a little bit and have fun rooting for their $1 win, place or show bet in every race, they’ll want to go back and repeat the experience and they’ll be happy that you introduced them to playing for peanuts at the dog, harness or thoroughbred tracks.

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2 Responses to Best Tracks For When You Want To Play Cheap and Just Have Some Fun

  1. Mister K says:

    Great article on track takeout, but never could understand all the hoopla about it. If you win consistently, you win, period. R.O.I. is based upon the formula: (Win%) x (Avg. ticket) – $2.00 divided by 2. So 35% winners at $10.00 avg. mutuel = 75% return on investment. Same if you win 50% at an average of $7.00. Those are only averages, but the point is, who cares about breakage when the player is winning? IMO, playing for a .20 return on a mutuel platform just doesn’t make sense. Who really wants to have to put $1,000 through the machines just to get back $1,200, when with some intelligent wagering, that same $1,000 could bring back $1,750?

  2. Mister K says:

    Back in the 30s (yes, 1930s!), two dollars was a lot of money to be tossing around. Rent was $30-60/month. People worked for $8.00/week. Get the idea? Yet, the minimum bet was $2.00. I agree that to have some “cheap” fun, the minimum betting unit needs to be low enough to crack the pain point of scared money. But scared bettors won’t actually put more money through the machines as the betting unit drops. So, the tracks will, in turn, make less on that portion of the handle. Want a better idea? $1.00 beers. Like casinos, the more the bettors drink, the more they bet.

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