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REVIEW of Money 34
The House rarely loses - Punters often do

In many countries gambling is a national pastime. The Chinese, it is said, will bet on anything; Westerners are very likely to follow suit. On a casual basis it is exciting and entertaining; but when they try to make a living out of it, ordinary folk are heading for certain disaster. There is no doubt that professional gamblers can win big, and that may be much of the time for some. They don't, however, bet on every race or sport; just those that they believe to be favourable. Needless to say, they are knowledgeable about the arena they choose to wager in, and are canny enough only to bet when they are fairly certain of a worthwhile return.

Ordinary punters don't have this kind of advantage, nor do they seem able to exercise restraint where it is necessary. Even occasional punters can come unstuck at times and will hopefully be able to walk away just a little lighter in the wallet having learned a costly lesson. Those who have become addicted to gambling, however, never learn and are convinced that if they keep at it for long enough they will eventually turn a profit. It rarely works; it can't, because the odds are stacked against them by the House which inevitably wins in the end.

There is no such thing as a sure-fire bet; no system that can guarantee beating the odds. No matter how much skill can be acquired along the way with regard to wining, at some point Lady Luck will turn her back even on the most deserving. The only safe way to gamble is not to gamble at all.

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