We hear a lot about various forms of multiple betting, and invariably when this is discussed the topic of ‘Dutching’ comes up.

It was devised by a man named Dutchy Schwarz back in 1902. He was, at one time, a book-keeper for the gangster Al Capone.

On the surface, Dutching is a pretty good way to bet. You are on maybe three horses in a race (sometimes more) and no matter which of them wins, you’re a winner. It’s comforting to think of such an approach but, like every piece of paradise, a serpent lurks, and so it is with Dutching.

You need to be a very good selector to stay in the game, even with multiple picks. Dutching can’t work unless your selections make it work.Let’s look at Dutching calculations.Let’s say we are going to Dutch three horses in a race.

Horse A = 3.5 (5/2)
Horse B = 4.00 (3/1)
Horse C = 5.00 (4/1)

Next, you convert the odds to their percentage chance by dividing into 100:

Horse A = 28.57 per cent (100 divided by 3.5 equals 28.57)
Horse B = 25 per cent (100 divided by 4 equals 25)
Horse C = 20 per cent (100 divided by 5.00 equals 20)

The next step is to add the percentages together:

28.57 + 25 + 20 = 73.57 per cent

So there should be (all things being equal) that we have a 73.57 per cent chance of one of our runners winning the race.

Now to find out what to bet on each runner: You divide each horse’s individual percentage by the overall percentage figure – then multiply by the total amount you want to stake on the event (\$20 in this example).

Horse A 28.57 / 73.57 x 20 = 7.76
Horse B = 25 / 73.57 x 20 = 6.80
Horse C = 20 / 73.57 x 20 = 5.44
Total stake 7.76 + 6.80 + 5.44 = 20

And it is as easy as that. Here are eight rules that you may want to consider when Dutching:

1. Know how to select your race. Many races are totally unsuitable for Dutching and it is difficult to know for sure until just before the off. Don’t pick races with over 16 runners or with short price or equal favourites.
2. Usually typical races are handicaps with between 10 and 16 runners with a favourite at 5/2 or greater. The required skill is to delete the horses that can’t win and identify the value bets from the remaining horses.
3. If the favourite is a reasonable price it can be included in the Dutch but usually only as a break even/saver bet.
4. It’s tempting to take the easy option and use the first three or four in the betting but greater returns can be achieved by selecting horses that have good ‘trainer and jockey form’ at the meeting or at all meetings. Be flexible and willing to Dutch between two and five horses but always ensure that each gives a break even or profit situation. Don’t chase your losses but look for a long term result.
5. Using Betfair, you can improve your chances of profits by obtaining the best prices or even backing place only.
6. When Dutching you must adjust your stake according to the price of the horses involved. You can make my selections based on morning pre-post market in your newspaper or formguide or, better still, wait until a few minutes before the jump.
7. Your aim is to get the most benefit from the horse you fancy but giving yourself ‘insurance’ with the other runners you bet.
8. Returns are consistent but moderate, so leaving out the favourite in every race will give you a regular one in five guaranteed loss (at least). So try to include the favourite – provided that the price is not too short.

That’s a brief rundown of Dutch betting. Will it suit your style of punting? Can you maintain the discipline that’s needed to find the right races and to make the correct selections?

Let’s be honest: Dutch betting is not for everyone. Betting several horses to return \$25 profit on an outlay of \$75 might not appeal to too many punters.

It might appeal to some, not the majority. But it’s a fact that many professionals around the world are successfully using Dutch betting, and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Like anything else in racing and betting, TEST the approach out on paper before you commit funds to it. See how it goes. See how YOU go. Only when you are fully satisfied that you can WIN do you invest your cash.

By P.B. King

PRACTICAL PUNTING – AUGUST 2009