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In a nutshell:

"If you use a 'Star' betting system you'd better like stars, alright. You're going to be sleeping under them."
- Jack Painter


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A Crash Course In Vigorish

Winning Percentages

The Best Way to Gamble

The Social Impact of Gambling


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How Professional Gamblers Beat the Pro Football Pointspread!
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Parlays & Profit

Pro Gamblers


How To Spot NFL 'Positive Universes' 
R. J. Miller tells how to find winning NFL situations!


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By J.V. Miller

There's more to sports betting than calling winners


I always wanted to be a pro sports bettor.

I got lucky. J.R. Miller turned out to be my dad.  The handicapping education I got from my dad is invaluable and the best one could possibly get. I lived it.  Every day I use the philosophies that my dad taught me decades ago. There's never been a doubt in anyone’s mind that my dad knew his stuff when it came to picking winners.

However, some people doubted my dad’s advice pertaining to money management.  Money management is absolutely critical. My dad taught that a ‘flat’ betting system – risking the same on all bets – is the only successful way to make a living betting sports. 

This flies in the face of some touts who make a living bolstering progressive betting systems (schemes), such as a “one-star, two-star, three star, etc.”, system.  My dad did not mince words. He exclaimed these systems and the people who supported them are “bullshit.”

This competing school of thought regarding money management turned into a rivalry.  The competing advice between my dad and others became so contentious at one point, my dad sent my mother, my sister and me to our home in Tennessee. Good ol’ Las Vegas egomaniacs. There was one man in particular who hated my dad – and vice versa.

One of the things this fellow advised was, if you begin the NFL season risking $50 per bet, and if you can call 60% winners, you can be risking $500 per bet by the time the playoffs come around. 

My dad wrote in a news column that this man (we will not use his name) must have spent 100% of his time learning to handicap, but no time at all understanding money management. 

Anyway, a decade later dad and I were at the Gambler’s Book Shop in Las Vegas signing his latest edition of How Professional Gamblers Beat the Pro Football Pointspread.  And in walked that man.  As it turned out, he still lived in Las Vegas, alright. He lived in a poor section of town and worked in a downtown hotel/restaurant, waiting tables.

The man’s ignorance of proper money management had obviously ruined his sports betting career and, apparently, his life. His ignorance of the dynamics of binomial distribution had wrecked him.

I can guarantee you that acceptable money management is essential to success. It is every bit as important as being able to predict winners. One of the most important things a beginning gambler can learn from me is this: The size of your bets cannot be used as a pry-bar to make more profit than you deserve, nor to catch up when you’re behind.

I don’t expect most beginners to believe that last sentence. Just remember where you found this article.....You’ll be back. Think about this: A gambler always loses his biggest bets.

Think about that again:  A gambler always loses his biggest bets.

To win at sports betting over the long haul, you must keep your bets ‘flat’. Successful sports bettors rarely “jiggle” the size of their bets. You can’t go wrong with this advice: If you’ve got $1,000 tucked in your sock drawer to risk on sports betting, risk no more than $20 (2 percent) per bet, and don’t keep moving the size of your bets. Keep risking $20 until your stash grows to $1500 or shrinks to $500, then readjust your bet to 2% again. Another way to handle it is to readjust your bet size to 2% at the end of every quarter, then keep it 'flat' for the next 3 months. It's the 'jiggling' that will kill you.

Forget such silliness as a "1-star, 2-star, 3-star" system, or the deadly "Kelly criterion," or any other progressive betting system. My friend, Jack Painter, used to say, "If you like star-betting, you'd better like stars because you're going to be sleeping under them."

'Star betting' is a tell-tale sign of an amateur...And a loser. Any sports tout that claims to be successful using a 'One-Star, Two-Star, Three-Star' betting system is a phony. He's no 'pro' at all.

 Progressive betting systems – all progressive betting systems – are nothing but relatives of the old Martingale system, which is the granddaddy of them all.

On paper, the Martingale system absolutely guarantees you must be a winner. It's true. No doubt about it. Mathematically, so long as you win one more bet before you die, you cannot possibly lose. In the Martingale betting system, after you lose a bet you’re supposed to double the size of the next bet, and keep doubling until you finally win a bet. When you do finally win, of course, you’ll end up with a profit of one unit. Then, the plan is to start over with your basic single bet size. So long as you finally do win a bet, you simply cannot lose….What can possibly go wronnnkkkkkk...?

...What goes wrong is, you will sooner or later lose 8, 10, 12 or more bets in a row...Check it out for yourself. (And you definitely will sooner or later lose 8, 10 or more bets in a row. I regretfully can guarantee it.)

There are several articles on this web site concerning money management, written by successful sports bettors. You can find them on our Index page. Be sure to read them.

- J.V. Miller