play the percentages


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play the percentages

To take a tactical approach to something that follows or ensures the likeliest course of success. I decided to play the percentages and put in a right-handed pinch-hitter against the left-handed pitcher. It just seems like their business plan is simply playing the percentages, lacking any real passion or intuition behind what they're selling.
See also: percentage, play

play the percentages (or the percentage game)

choose a safe and methodical course of action when calculating the odds in favour of success. informal
See also: percentage, play
References in periodicals archive ?
Every shot you do have to think about - you can miss it in some spots that are just impossible to get up and down from, you have just got to play the percentages and know that on some holes, par is going to be a good score for the week," he added.
At times you have to play the percentages and I'd defend Hedman to the hilt.
We tried to play the percentages and that doesn't make for a good spectacle," he said.
His high-risk style of play and refusal to play the percentages can be infuriating at times, but there is no doubt that he is a highly talented performer at his best - he made the semi-finals of the US Open in 2005.
I don't know if it's because there's now more pressure on coaches to win at all costs, but a lot of teams are preferring to kick and play the percentages.
Granted, a back-to-form Sander Camillo will make them all go, but I find it's always best to play the percentages in these match bets and Indian Ink is definitely the percentage call.
But it seems it is, and I can only think Brian has come to the conclusion that as this group can't play the way he wants them to, it's better to play the percentages.
Play the percentages and look for a front-running wide runner - Cobra Striking, advised as a two-star nap this week - to win this prestigious competition.
Having said that, John Gosden has a fine record with three-year-old maidens at this time of year and the stable is going well, but I'd much rather play the percentages and side with the solid recent form offered by Breathing Fire.
New Munster signing Paul Burke tried to play the percentages with some fine kicking in behind the Irish defence but Munster's lineout couldn't force any turnover ball.
The likes of Michael Smith and Andy Lynch play the percentages, gaining yardage, albeit in less spectacular fashion than Saints, and that allows Danny Orr time and space to kick good field position.