Last issue, I wrote about the idea of 'converging factors' in planning your betting. In this second article, I am taking the idea a stage further, stressing again the importance of dealing in groups.

The basic idea behind this series utilises the capacity of different factors to indicate winners, even if they do so only now and then. But the application depends on keeping things in groups.

By 'factors', I mean anything that tends to give reasonable winner indications. They can be newspaper experts, systems arising from form, time tests, or what-have-you! They must all be capable of reasonable percentages of winners.

They must then be synchronised so that we can profit from their inherent capacities for winner-finding.

Suppose for a moment there are 2 races with only 2 runners in each race. Call them 1 and 2. The winning double, then, must be one of these:

1-1, 2-1, 1-2 or 2-2.

You may query what is new about that? Wait a moment. Given the first double (1-1) winning, there are three columns with at least one winner in the four doubles. One will have two winners, and the other two will have a winner each (1-1, 2-1, 1-2) and the fourth double will not have a winner (2-2).

We see that three of the four doubles must have at least one winner. If the second double (2-1) wins, then the position is the same. There are still three doubles that will give at least one winner. They are (1-1, 2-1, 2-2) and only one (1-2) is a complete failure.

If the third double (1-2) wins, there are also three columns with at least one winner (1-1, 1-2, 2-2) and the other one (2-1) would fail. Finally, if the fourth double (2-2) won, then three doubles would give a winner at least (2-1,1-2, 2-2) and the failure would be 1-1.

If the winners of the two races are in the columns given (there are four in number) then there are three chances from the four that we shall get one or two winners with the doubles specified.

In other words, the odds are 3/1 that we shall find at least one winner. Whatever the number of possible combinations we employ, the odds are WITH us that we shall get a winner, or part of the column correct.

If we had two horses per race for three consecutive races, the full cover would be: 1-1-1, 2-1-1, 1-2-1, 2-2-1, 1-1-2, 2-1-2, 1-2-2, 2-2-2. So whatever the winners of the three races, there must be seven trebles that would contain at least one winner.

For example: If the winners were 1-1-1, then the following trebles (1-1-1, 2-1-1, 1-2-1, 2-2-1, 1-1-2, 2-1-2 and 1-2-2) all have one or more winners.

The chances are 7/1 that for any winning treble among them that there will be a winner or winners in any one column. The only one to fail altogether would be 2-2-2.

In other words, for any one given result to the three races, there will be only one in eight that will fail to give a single winner. There will be only one to give three winners, but there will be seven that will give one or more winners.

So we must obviously find a method that can turn this factor to profit. It is so much easier to get a percentage of winners that we must do something about it!

And synchronisation does just that. I have given in the example here a constant factor: We do know that there will be seven trebles with at least one winner, given the conditions arranged.

Don't be worried by the fact that I have two horses a race. I am merely giving an example and, in any case, you can group horses together as you want to.

You would be interested if I told you that it is possible to get the winner of a race provided a couple of experts gave a winner each in four races! Well, it can be done. Everything in betting can be pinned on a reasonable percentage of winners being obtained.

That is all it really amounts to. And by reasonable I mean the usual quotas that have regularly been turned up over the years by well-known factors. It is simply a matter of using them in the right way.

The normal punter follows one idea for a while, gets no winners and then deserts the idea, and goes in for another one. By this time, the old idea is starting to provide winners again!

That is always happening. What we must do is to get the best from a lot of ideas at the same time. That is what synchronisation means. It is more reasonable to expect three experts to give a winner each in a day than it is to expect one expert to give three winners.

But it is still possible to get the three winners if the experts just give one each. It's easier, that's the point. I will develop this idea further in next month's January 1997 issue of the magazine. I am confident the ideas will give you plenty to think about.

This series is based on booklets by 'Promath', published in Britain in the early 1950s.