Betting The Odds — By John Reed

Betting The Odds
Professional gamblers make a science of betting. Whether it’s cards, horses, or whatever, the most successful gamblers know their odds of success before they ever lay down their money. People who bet with their hearts instead of their brains usually lose.
My weekly poker game has a wide variety of players, and they bet generally based on their personalities. The studious type studies his cards carefully, folding more often than raising. The more flamboyant types tend to bluff more often, but since this bunch has been playing together for nearly 20 years, we all know each other’s “tells.”
Farming is a betting enterprise, too. Planters study the futures markets and long term weather forecasts before they ever break ground. But unlike the pre-set odds in a deck of cards, rain and pests don’t always follow the rules.
As an aside, as I watch the big pivot irrigation systems at work in our fields, I remember how the Roman Empire understood the need for access to water. Their aqueducts allowed their cities to flourish for centuries, with a higher quality of life than the next thousand years after. Maybe we should consider a modern continent-wide system to balance flooding rains and arid plains.
Some things are a sure bet, up or down. I’d put a month’s salary down on the odds of more fireworks at City Hall. And I wouldn’t risk a penny if someone told me the Democrats will accept the results of the 2020 election, even if they win.

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