Intraset - CoursemasterIntraset - Perm - MasterIntraset - Poolsmaster

Bookmakers rarely go out of business. One reason is that so many of us make 'punts'- bets based on arbitrary, subjective reasons. Any program that aims to assist you to gamble profitably must do so in a logical, objective manner. This is what Couisemaster, a predictor for horse races, trios to do.

Coursemaster comprises two programs, bank and racing. The first is generally called from the second, main program. Because of the size of this controller program - 36K of Basic, or seven Type-Ins pages only one race can be handled at a time, although the size of the field, together with the num her of odds, can be considerable.

Sport of kings

Gambling on horses is thought by some to be socially obnoxious, expensive, boring, time consuming and pointless - a bit like home computing, really.

The probable performance of each runner is worked out by the bookmakers as odds against winning. This figure also contains the bookies profit For instance, a horse might be a good runner, but people don't like betting on it; in this situation, the bookmaker makes the horse a more attractive proposition by making the odds longer. A stake of money is placed on a given runner. If it wins, then a sum of money is given back according to the odds. For instance, odds of 2 to 1 would return two pounds for every pound wagered, plus the stake money back.

The above is an example of a 'win-single' bet, where you are betting on a horse winning. 'Each-way' bets win money if a horse is placed in first, second or third positions (fourth in a big race). 'Forecasts'place multiple horses in the same race to be placed, and the list gets more and more complex, down to the 57-combinatiou 'Heinz' (geddit).

The main benefits of betting on multiple horses aie that the odds are multiplied together. So, betting on three horses to win at 10 to 1 odds apiece results in combined odds of 1000 to 1 (10 X 10 X 10 to 1). Winning at these odds makes a lot of money. The problem, as anyone who's ever attempted such a bet knows, is that it doesn't happen very often.

Computing the odds

The program is entirely menu driven, with single key presses used in the mam. So it should be easy enough for beginners to use. The manual helps a lot in explaining the two sides of the subjcct computers and horseracing.

You start off by inputting race details. Pick up a newspaper with racing pages. See all those statistics? Coursemaster doesn't use all of them, but you still have to plough through tables of figures in order to extract the information the program requires.

'The man the bookies loathe'

Just for a comparison, here's a few words on some of the prospects of the 21st October from Robin ('The Man the Bookies Loathe') Lloyd, a regular race follower:

'Most of the racing at Newbury today isn't worth a bet. Too few of the horses haven't raced this season, and some of the races will be a close thing... The likeliest ioolang prospect for a decent bet is Calapaez in the 2.40. Kribensis the favourite has an impressive record, but that was last season. As opposed to Calapaez, who won a race just three days ago.

The only other possibility is the 4.30 at Doncaster. This is a new race, which makes things tricky to start with. Field is unspectacular - no one horse is really outstanding Path's Sister is down at 12 to 1 odds though, which is really a bit generous. I think perhaps a long shot at that, plus a forecast bet with Green Steps at 10 to 1. If 1 win, I'll get perhaps £120.'

Interestingly enough. Courseoiasier also suggested Calapaez for the Newbury race, the actual result being that Robin lost money. At Doncaser things were a little more fluid, with seven different bets being suggested, Including long shot or each way bets on Path's Sister. Bold Illusion was a similar tip, and each way bets on these would have brought in money. (Robin lost money, but he didn't use Coursemaster.)

Many people devise systems for horse racing or roulette. The reasoning upon which such systems are based is generally sound. That is, sometimes, situations are predictable enough on which to win. Possibly you don't believe that - but professional gamblers do exist.

Bookmakers still make money because the majority of the gambling fraternity use luck rather than statistics. Even the most hardened bettmg man can have a 'feeling' for a horse, but the people who make money follow their head, not their hear:.

This program places some'order on your bets. It forces you to think about your bets. It also has a bank feature, which is a useful means of seeing who's ahead - you or the bookmaker.

Better not

Most people don't bet regularly, and this is a good thing. Gambling is the slippery slope to poverty, and YOU SHOULD NEVER BET WHAT YOU CANT AFFORD TO LOSE. The manual points this out plain and simple, ana I totally agree. Gambling should be regarded as a pastime, a bit of fun. Like alcohol it's a good servant but a bad master (that's enough platitudes - (id),

The drawbacks to the program are that it takes a long time to input all the statistics from all the races. Coursemaster can probably gain you at least some money if you are prepared to continue a long term betting campaign. The question is, does anyone have the patience to try their hand in s.ich a longwinded manner? Not many, I suspect.


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.