play the percentages


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play the percentages

To make a decision or choose an action thought to have the likeliest chance of success based on data or past experience. 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 ?
Nacarat 3.05 Kempton Sell in a match bet with Fistral Beach at 0 You have got to play the percentages with these spread match-bets and the angle in with the improving Fistral Beach against Nacarat is his reliability and current form.
"We had to play the percentages, we wanted to challenge them in the air.
IAN Smith has told his flyhalves to forget the need to appear flashy and to play the percentages more.
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.
``At times you have to play the percentages and I'd defend Hedman to the hilt.
When you're not playing as well, you need to know your limitations, reel it back in a little bit and play the percentages a bit more."
"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.
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.
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.
"We tried to play the percentages and that doesn't make for a good spectacle," he said.
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.