What do casino gambling, horse racing handicapping, lotteries, blackjack, poker, sports wagering and all games of chance have in common? If you guessed betting, then you are right. Being able to risk money on those games, sports, activities is what they all have in common. It is the risk that makes them more fun to watch and participate in. Let’s face it, sitting at a table and playing cards can be fun, but winning money makes it a lot more fun. Watching horses race down the stretch is exciting, but much more so if you have some cash riding on one of them.There is something called, “beginner’s luck,” that many people have experienced. It happens when you first try a game or on your first trip to the race track. It seems that though you don’t really know what you are doing, you win money. That can be an intoxicating experience that leaves you wanting to come back and experience it again and again. In fact, you may decide that if you could just learn more about the game or sport, you could win even more. That is when the trouble really begins, because as they say, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”It is certainly wise to understand any game or sport that you are betting on, but understanding the game or sport isn’t really how you make money. What you really need to understand is odds, percentages, and to have a money management strategy. That means planning and knowing what you will risk and what the expected return is going to be. It all comes down to what gamblers call r.o.i. or return on investment. It actually has two parts, the “return of your investment,” for instance, the twenty dollars to win you placed on a horse, and also a “return on your investment,” meaning a percentage of what you risked, just like a bank gives interest on what you put in the bank.For professional gamblers, an expected return “of” and “on,” is critical. They need to get their original investment back so they can keep their bankroll healthy and also make a profit from it to live on. For some horse players and sports bettors, 10% is considered a good return on their investment. So if a horse player or sports gambler makes $500,000 worth of wagers in a year, he or she would expect to win back $550,000. In many instancves the profit comes from one or two big hits and there are a lot of ups and downs (gambling for a living is not for the weak hearted).If you are trying to make money from gambling, my advice is to go ahead and learn the game, but make sure you understand the odds and betting because that is how you will actually show a profit. Even a beginning poker player should understand Poker Odds and Percentages and can quickly become a money player by studying a simple strategy like Power Point Poker. Whether it is understanding pot odds, card counting strategy in blackjack, or watching the toteboard and understanding how to use the pools to your advantage, it’s all about the odds and finding good bets.There are people who are very good at horse racing handicapping and picking winners and yet they go home from the track as a loser because they didn’t know how to make their wagers in the most advantageous way. Picking a winning horse or drawing a good hand in poker is not enough. You must understand how to find a good bet. Good bets with a positive expectation are how some people stay ahead at casino gambling, poker, blackjack, horse racing handicapping, sportsbetting and lotteries. While you may love the game, learning to love good bets and being able to walk away from unprofitable wagers will make you a winner.