When it comes to multiple punting, the small bettor often feels cheated. The general belief seems to be that only big-betting punters can benefit from backing more than one horse in a race.

As we've stated before in PPM, this is not true, because no matter how much, you bet you can still win just as much, in percentage terms, as the big punters. Your betting stake is merely cut back; where the big punter bets to take out $100 or $1,000 you bet only to take out, say, $20.

So how is it done? How does a small punter arrange his multiple bets? And can the multiples be operated in more ways than just betting two or more horses in the one race?

The usual course is to seek a percentage gain by backing as many horses as you can, depending on their prices, so that you can make at least, say, 25c to 30c on the invested dollar. What this means is that you can back horses whose price percentages add up to 70 or 75 per cent. If one of them wins you are guaranteed a profit.

It's probably a bit safer to seek at least a 40 per cent profit (that means your horses' prices must add up only to 60 per cent maximum). This still gives you plenty of leeway to back well-fancied horses along with a roughie or two.

Let's suppose you are a "small' punter, who seeks only to take out $20 a race. Despite your lack of funds, you want to bet in a professional manner by backing two, sometimes three or four, horses in. the same race. Okay, your staking scale would be as follows:

(Bets are rounded off to highest $)

6/4, 7/4 8
15/8, 2/1 7
9/4, 5/2 6
11/4 6
13/4, 7/2 5
4/1, 9/2 4
5/1,11/2 4
6/1 3
7/1, 8/1 3
9/1,10/1 2
12/1 2
14/1 upwards 1 

Don't be too confused by this staking chart, because it's very simply a 100 per cent chart scaled down to one-fifth, to accommodate the needs of the small-bet punter.

Now we can get around to deciding your bets. Let's say you have chosen three horses as the best prospects in a race and you want to back all three. Using the staking chart, you can easily work out how much you have to bet. Your horses are A at 2/1, B at 3/1 and C at 8/1. That means bets of 7, 5 and 3 units, a total of 15 units. Your potential profit is 5 units on that bet (33 per cent).

This is what I call a borderline bet. You may or may not decide to risk. the bet for the 5 units return. In another race, you choose four horses at value odds, ignoring the favourite. The horses are A at 4/1, B at 10/1 'C at 12/1 and D at 8/1. These call for bets of 4, 2, 2 and 3 units, a total of 11 units. This gives you a potential profit for a winner of 9 units. Not bad.

Taking this idea a step further, it's easy to arrange your bets in this sophisticated manner by using them race to race. That is, you pick out, say, four specials for the day in races 1, 3, 5 and 7. Each is at a different quote in the betting-A at 3/1, B at 5/1, C at 6/4 and D at 2/1.

Instead of betting them all at level stakes, you can "proportion" each bet according to price. That is, you would bet them as follows:

A (3/1)5 units
B (5/1)4 units
C (6/4)8 units
D (2/1)7 units
Total bets for the day:24 units ($)

Your potential return should all four win is as follows:

A20 units
B24 units
C20 units
D21 units
Total possible return:85 units
Total possible profit:61 units

A win by Horse B only would leave you level on the day. A win by only A, C or D would leave you with a loss of 3 or 4 units. However, should you secure two winners, you are looking at excellent profits.

For instance, if A and B won you would get back 44 units, for a profit of 20 units. If C and D won, you would get back 41 units for a profit of 17 units. With three winners you get into even more of a profit level Example: A, B and D wins total return is 65 units, for a profit of 41 units!

You can see from these examples that even a $10 or $20 punter has a great chance of making significant profits with small bets. You cannot hope to fly to the moon in a Tiger Moth, and nor can you expect to reap enormous rewards with small outlays, unless you are extremely lucky or extremely clever!

So, think about this sane, ordered approach to multiple betting. The rewards will flow in, you will not suffer long losing runs and, in the long term, you'll probably find you are succeeding beyond your wildest dreams.

By Rick Roberts