Can you hypnotise yourself into becoming a winner? Probably not, though a French gambler hit the headlines when he claimed some years ago that he won millions of francs in a casino after he'd been hypnotised.

If hypnosis is out of the question, unless you're really desperate to try something new(!), mind control isn't. What I mean is the power over your own mind.

Dr Robert Anthony, in his book Betting On Yourself, says he can help turn anyone into a winner, provided they are willing to rid themselves of negative thoughts. Gambling, he says, is mostly all about betting on yourself. This is the risk you take - must take - to see if your beliefs about winning and losing are correct.

Dr Anthony claims anyone can become a millionaire, even betting on racehorses. His approach is that if your mind is programmed to think 'rich and positive', then everything required will follow.

The master formula he advises comprises the following:

  1. definite ideas about how much money you want;
  2. persistent desire to be rich;
  3. confident expectation of financial reward (profit);
  4. unwavering determination to be rich;
  5. willingness to pay the price to be rich.

Let's take a look at just one of the Dr's ideas: unwavering determination to be rich. Most punters find this a tough problem to solve. Constantly confronted by losing streaks and bad luck, many punters become disillusioned. They don't give up altogether but they do lose the power of mind to enable them to win.

Dr Anthony writes: "Winners are determined to continue to advance in the face of every obstacle. They are not easily discouraged by occasional roadblocks. They do not allow themselves to be defeated by obstacles.

"To them, an obstacle is merely an opportunity in disguise. Some of their most successful moneymaking opportunities started out as obstacles."

Perhaps the most important link in Dr Anthony's list is No. 5, on the willingness to 'pay the price' of becoming wealthy. Read what he has to say and then apply the thinking to your own betting activities.

"Winners are willing to pay their dues," writes Dr Anthony. "They don't expect something for nothing." In other words, hard work is required, just as in business or any sporting endeavour.

Dr Anthony is a dedicated follower of the American racing expert Howard Sartin, developer of the Sartin method of betting. Dr Sartin also counsels problem gamblers.

Part of his treatment includes both psychological reprogramming and education retraining. He has studied all aspects of gambling in a bid to develop a winning methodology and has come to the conclusion that thoroughbred horse racing, combined with tote betting, was the best and only form of gambling that could be expected to produce a positive expectancy outcome.

From his research, Dr Sartin developed his Win Therapy treatment. His first group of problem gamblers entered into a clinical contract requiring that no wagers would be placed until Dr Sartin and his group could consistently produce a minimum win factor of 45 per cent, at an average tote payoff of $8 on a $2 wager (3/1).

This included a money management process that assured them of a profit. They also were required to attend group therapy sessions.

In 20 years, more than 1800 problem gamblers underwent the therapy. A total of 17 per cent proved to be non-curable. Another 25 per cent stopped gambling on their own after Dr Sartin had demonstrated to them that tote betting could be successful on a consistent basis.

They stopped because they no longer needed the emotional release of losing, or the pathological thrill that came from anticipating a big score.

Some 850 patients gave up all gambling except on racing, which they now saw as investment and not gambling. Once they were taught how to become investors on horse racing they no longer lost money on other gambling-related activities (poker machines, casinos, lotteries, etc.).

At last count, 60 per cent were making a substantial living at professional handicapping, 40 per cent were making a part-time income.

Dr Anthony also stresses that you have to learn to cash in on your own mistakes. First, he explains, you have to acknowledge the error, then track it down and pinpoint its cause (i.e. look at your losing bets, understand where the error was made, and try to ensure you don't make it again).

NEXT MONTH: More on the psychological aspects of punting. What not to do, what to avoid, and how to make all the right decisions. Some of the world's leading authorities are quoted in this article.

Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 1.

By Jon Hudson