This month we again feature a reader's plan. Brian Hipper is no stranger to these pages, and he has cooked up a couple of staking plans that readers will no doubt be very happy to investigate and modify.

Thanks, Brian, and for the rest of you out there, keep 'em coming in, please.

Brian writes: "I've just conjured up an eachway staking plan that I like the look of. But then I guess most parents think their kids are goodlooking. As my systems are designed to find place chances, I tend to steer clear of win bets, but I sometimes feel tempted to have an eachway punt. Most progressive schemes I've seen have revolved around win bets, or can be adapted for place bets. I've decided to cover eachway bets, hence this effort."

THE NUTS AND BOLTS
The total outlay per race is 5 per cent of the highest point of the bank (rounded to next dollar). The win bet is a rounded dollar rate, 1 per cent of the highest point of the bank, while place bet is the remainder of outlay. The amounts go like this:

BankOutlayWin betPlace bet
$100$5$1$4
$120$6$1$5
$140$7$1$6
$160$8$2$6
$180$9$2$7
$200$10$2$8
$220$11$2$9
$240$12$2$10
$260$13$3$10
$280$14$3$11
$300$15$3$12
$320$16$3$13
$340$17$3$14
$360$18$4$14

Place bets are incremented gradually as the kitty grows, with win bets increasing rather more sedately. This is a sort of escalating procedure that Brian feels doesn't get too madly out of hand, as with only a 5 per cent stake you would have to have 20 losses (that's 20 unplaced selections) in a row to wipe out your bank.

"Frankly," says Brian, "I would be inclined to pull the plug long before I'd experienced that many on the trot (or the gallop for that matter).

"In fact, I'm actually working on a crazy scheme at the moment to cover a scenario of sequential losses, but it needs a bit of a polish on it yet before I let it out of its straitjacket. They do say that madness is only a hair's breadth away from genius, don't they?"

Not one to rest on his laurels, Brian's second staking method is a dutch book plan. It cannot suit everyone with its late bet requirement, but I know that many of our regular readers are very, very ingenious.

THE DUTCH BOOK STAKING PLAN

  1. Make a note of prices on offer two minutes before race start, ignoring the cents.
  2. Choose a target figure. (1 chose 25 ... 1 don't know why ... it just happened.)
  3. Divide this target by the price on offer minus one dollar (to cover any possible negative fluctuation) for each of the first four horses and round to the nearest dollar.
  4. Ignore the 1st line every time. The low dividend on offer usually means the outlay can be high and not worth the risk in view of the number of times the favourite doesn't win.
  5. Only bet on the 2nd line if price on offer is $4 or over.
  6. Only bet on the 3rd and 4th lines if they are $5 or over.

"As I'm a cautious punter," writes Brian, "I further reduce the outlay by only betting half the amount (rounded up if an odd amount) on each horse. To date, the maximum outlay for any race has only been $9.11

Note that Brian is talking price so the TAB figures (which show return, not price) must not be confused with the price. For example, $5 is 4/1. If you use some newspapers, and bet early, the same caveat applies.

Brian says he has been playing around with this approach for some weeks now and, on a Saturday in June, he put it into practice. It did splendidly. The figures that he provided for me show that the returns are very, very satisfactory and that there is no real reason to anticipate any real crashes. All you need are a few decent winners at second, third or fourth favourite on the card, and things are swinging. One fourth favourite up at $10 or so, and things are swinging higher still. And don't forget you can theoretically manage two places per race, all afternoon, with no winners at all, and still look very good.

To increase profitability, the amount deducted from the price on offer can be increased from $1 to $2. The target figure of $25 can be higher or lower as seems fit. As Brian has pointed out to me, and this is something we have stressed for all 16 years of PPM's existence, the amount calculated as a bet can be taken either as dollars, or units of whatever size you feel comfortable with.

Not bad at all, this one, is it?

By The Optimist

PRACTICAL PUNTING - AUGUST 2001

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