Mention multiple betting in M the one race to some punters and they'll shudder and turn off. They're just not interested. As one chap told me recently: "I can't be bothered trying to work out what to put on each horse. Far too much trouble. I'll stick to one horse a race."

Small-bet punters seem to be the ones who avoid multiple betting the most. They apparently see little profit potential in skimming a small percentage gain off a race by backing two or more selections.

Professional punters tend to think differently. They select their races carefully, ensure the prices are right, and will back as many as four horses in a race provided there is a 20 or 30 per cent profit margin.

If you're a bit wary of betting on too grand a scale, then the 42-Unit Blitz could be just what you need to allow you to bet on a multiple basis.

The key thing is to gear yourself up mentally for such a betting approach. Decide that you will only bet on carefully selected races. Decide that you will restrict yourself to good-class races.

If you use the following table, and never go beyond 42 units, you will do okay, provided you are clever with your selections and can ensure yourself a healthy strike rate for the winners.

THE 42-UNIT BLITZ TABLE

ODDS
BET
6/4 20
7/4 18
2/1 16
9/4 15
5/2 14
3/1 12
7/2 11
4/1 10
9/2 9
5/1 8
6/1 7
7/1 6
8/1 6
9/1 5
10/1 5
11/1 plus 4

As you can see, it's easy to work out what you need to bet. If you fancy three horses in a race at, say, 2/1, 9/2 and 10/1, your stakes would be 16, 9 and 5, a total of 30 units. No matter which one wins, you are going to make a profit. A nice profit.

If the 2/1 chance wins, you have 16 units on it and the return is 48 units, giving you an 18 units profit. If the 9/2 chance wins, your return is 49.5 units, a profit of 19.5 units. If the 10/1 chance wins, the return is 55 units for a profit of 25 units.

The key is this: Never bet more than 42 units. Most times your selections will never reach this level. If they do, you are entering the 'not worth it' zone.

The table of prices and stakes can also be used for betting horses in different races. Let's say the three horses mentioned above are in different races. You still bet them the same, with 16 units on the 2/1 chance, 9 on the 9/2 chance and 5 on the 10's chance.

If one of them wins, your profit is assured. If two of them win, you are looking extra-good. If all three get up, you're in hog heaven! You would have bet 30 units for returns of 48, 49.5 and 55 units, a total of 152.50, a profit of 122.5 units.

The lowest price listed on the table is 6/4. If you have a selection which is at a shorter quote, I suggest you still bet it as if it were a 6/4 chance; that is, with a bet of 20 units.

For those of you keen to tackle multiple betting, or who want a refinement of the usual Dutch approach, this is a method well worth considering.

I know quite a few punters who operate it with selections in different races. They are pretty sharp selectors and they land a lot of sizeable returns. One chap I know is a punter who bets in \$20 units. He uses the table very selectively and wins plenty. If he backs a 2/1 chance, his bet is 16 x \$20, so you can see that he can be termed a serious bettor!

By P.B. King

PRACTICAL PUNTING - JULY 1998