W C Fields famous utterance, ‘Never give a sucker an even break’ has its origins at the dog race track.

Dog owners, betting on the speed of their hounds when chasing the hare, had to make sure they started at exactly the same time, that they had an even break.

Even break came to refer to all dog and horse races, meaning a clean start that was fair to all competitors.

W C Fields was not referring to racing animals, but was rather eluding to giving oneself a head start. Look after number one!

To give someone an even break is to make sure that all is fair.