Nyranzaru is a Amnian Trade Colony of about 12,000. Amn owns and controls all activity in Port Nyranzaru. Taxes are high, but those lucky enough to be employed by one of the major trading companies live in relative safety inside the walls of this ultimate frontier city. One of the most interesting things about Nyranzaru is its use of dinosaurs as beasts of burden. Medium and Large dinosaurs are used as beasts of burden to haul two-wheeled carts, to hoist heavy loads on cranes, and to tow boats along the canals. Dinosaurs compete in weekly races through the streets. These brightly painted racing dinosaurs are fast, vicious, and barely under their riders’ control.
Dinosaurs are painted in bright colors, and their jockies try to steer them along a course that winds around the harbor and the city’s four hills. Spectators are seldom injured, but it’s a dangerous sport. A typical race day has three races: one for four-legged beasts, one for two-legged beasts, and one no holds- barred “unchained” race. Many of the dinosaurs involved are juveniles, since fully grown versions can be too large and too difficult for riders to manage. The dinosaurs are stoutly muzzled and have their claws and horns blunted in ail but the unchained race.
The four-legged race is dominated by young ankylosauruses and triceratopses, but dimetrodons have also done well when paired with Small riders. Most competitors in the two-legged race are hadrosauruses and deinonychuses. The unchained race sees racers on anything, including young allosauruses and very young tyrannosauruses.
During the weekly races, there is a gambling station, where gamblers can stake money on a dinosaur. The three most common ways to bet money are to win, to place, and to show. A bet to win, sometimes called a “straight” bet, means staking money on the dinosaur, and if it comes in first place, the bet is a winner. In a bet to place, you are betting on your dino to finish either first, second, or, depending on how many dinosaurs are in the race, third; for example, in a race with 5 dinos, a place bet would only be for first and second place, but in a race with 10 dinos, the bet is on a dinosaur to finish first, second, or third. A bet to show wins if the dinosaur finishes first, second or third. Since it is much easier to select a dino to finish first, second, or third than it is to select a dino just for first, the show payoffs will be much lower on average than win payoffs.
If you are heading to the races for the first time you will need a program and a racing form. These are available for purchase at the betting stations. The Official Daily Program contains important information about the day’s races including the dinosaurs, their morning line odds, the jockey that will ride, race distances and much, much more. Programs are usually available at the Harbormaster’s office.
Once you have arrived at the races, you will need to find a good place to watch. Spectators may gather along the race path to watch for no charge and at their own risk. At most, if not all, race days you will have to pay extra for entry into the clubhouse or for reserved seating. After you have settled on your place, and have taken the time to review the track program and/or racing form, you will want to check out the dinosaurs.
The best place to look at dinosaurs is the Paddock. The paddock is where the dinosaurs get saddled prior to the race. After the dinos are saddled, they are walked around a ring. This is where you can observe how “your” dinosaur looks. Examine the dino to verify that it is alert yet relaxed, loose and light on its feet, not acting out excessively, has good looking (not sunken) eyes and generally looks ready to run. If you can manage it, check out the dinosaur’s droppings to ensure it has been eating well.
If you have studied the racing form and looked at the dinosaurs, it is time to place a bet. One note about betting: Unlike other forms of gambling, you are not playing against the house when you bet on the races. Betting is actually a competition with the people around you. This is why it is possible to win at the races! When you are competing against other people – the public – it is wise to invest the time necessary to beat them.
Win – You win if your dino finishes 1st.
Place – You win if your dino finishes 1st or 2nd.
Show – You win if your dino finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Exacta – You win if you select the 1st and 2nd place dinos in a race in the “exact” order.
Trifecta – You win if you select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place dinos in a race in the correct order of finish.
Superfecta – You win if you select the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place dinos in a race in the correct order of finish.
Daily Double – Daily Doubles require that you pick the winner of two consecutive races before the running of the first race in the sequence of races. Daily Doubles are usually offered on the first and last two races of each racing card.
Pick 3 – You win if you select the winner of three consecutive races. The bet must be placed prior to the running of the first race in the sequence.
Pick 4 – You win if you select the winner of four consecutive races. The bets must be placed prior to the running of the first race of the Pick 4 sequence.
Head-to-Head – Some tracks offer a head-to-head (H2H) wager. The H2H wager is a race within a race. You pick one of the two designated dinos in the race. If your dinosaur finishes in front of the other horse, you win. Please note that your dino does not have to win, place, or show. It just needs to beat the other dinosaur.
PLACING A BET
There is a basic protocol to follow when you go to the betting station to place a bet. Here is what to say to the clerk:
Track: Tell the clerk what race you are betting on. “Old City, race 3.”
Amount: Tell the clerk the amount that you are betting. “Five Gold.”
Type: Tell the clerk the type of bet you are making. “Win.”
Number: Tell the clerk the number(s) of the dinosaur you are betting. “Number 5.”
Now put it all together. “Old City, race 3, five gold to win on number 5.”
That’s all there is to it!
You can bet on any race being run at the track at any time before it is run.
Across the Board – A win, place and show bet on the same dinosaur.
Box – An exotic bet where all possible combinations are covered for a group of two or more dinosaurs.
Exotic Wagers – Any wager other than straight win, place and show bets.
Key Dinosaur – The primary dinosaur used in exotic bets. Dinosaurs may be keyed to win, place, or show.
Pool – The total of all money bet on a specific wager type.
Probable Payoffs – The current exotic wager payoffs, from all possible winning dinosaur combinations, from active betting pools.
Wheel – The selection of one dinosaur in conjunction with betting every possible combination with that horse in an exotic wager.
Will Pays – The actual payoffs of exotic multiple race wagers (Daily Double, Pick 3, and Pick 4), shown before the final race, of all possible winning dinosaur number combinations.