The all-up bet has won over a lot of fans since its introduction to the TAB in most States. No wonder. It offers everyone a chance to make heaps from almost nothing. This is the real value of all-up betting.

The aim of this article is to encourage the small punters among you to 'have a go' at landing the all-up by linking horses in doubles, trebles and accumulators. If you approach this method of betting in a sensible way, you should have a fighting chance of landing some very sweet fish.

If you're the type who believes in 'safety first' then you'll be looking only at place all-ups. Tie up three or four choice selections into parlays every raceday and you'll end up with some very nice wins assuming you select sanely and not like a madman.

The beauty of investing on the all-up machine is that you can link all your selections together at the one meeting. It means you can place your bets for the entire day in one go-and then relax.

The point I want to stress in this article is that if you decide to go for all-up parlay betting then do so in an all-out manner. No messing about. Tackle it head-on. Get yourself a plan. Sort out a 12-month goal. Choose how many horses you are going to link each raceday, and whether you want to back them for a win or place. Then, most importantly, stick to the plan! Don't be swayed off course.

Next, choose your bets sensibly. Remember the following golden rules:

  1. Never bet your money on bad horses;
  2. never consider a horse ridden by a moderate or bad jockey;
  3. never bet on horses with suspect legs. Always steer clear of restricted class performers whose form shows them to have many, many convictions. Always be on the lookout for young, improving horses.

Let's draw up, then, a potential 12month plan of attack. I'll assume you are a punter of moderate means. You have, say, about $50 a week to spend, and you like to bet midweek (Wednesdays) and Saturdays. Naturally, you choose the Saturday meeting as your main 'go' for the week.

What I am going to recommend is that you reserve Saturdays for the linking of six horses into doubles, trebles and accumulators. As a matter of fact, Statsman wrote about this particular approach just over two years ago, and it remains one of the very best approaches for stabbing profits from all-up parlay betting. More about it later.

On Wednesdays, you will invest a further $11 in linking up four horses into doubles, trebles and an accumulator (all four linked in the one bet). With this allup parlay, you can bet for a win or a place, but I suggest you either bet all the horses a place or choose one of them as a 'win standout' and take all the others to place.

Your Saturday bet will comprise the linking of six horses into a series of four horse parlays, and a separate three-horse parlay (costing $4). This will make a total for the week of $48. The six-horse link will cost $33.

Let's concentrate now on the six-horse attack. You select your six bets for the card and for the purposes of this article we'll label them A, B, C, D, E and F. You now arrange these horses into a set pattern of bets, as follows:

(1) A, B, C, D;
(2) A, B, E, F;
(3) C, D, E, F.

Now, the manner in which you are betting the parlays means that if any five of the six horses win (or run a place, if you make it a place parlay) then one of the three parlays will contain four of the winners. It is certain, then, that you will land a four-horse parlay and that you will strike your six doubles, four trebles and one accumulator. The following box will reveal exactly what I mean:

Horse Aoo 
Horse Boo 
Horse Co o
Horse Do o
Horse E oo
Horse F oo
You have linked up the parlays so that there is an overlap on all three. You can, if you wish, go for a more expensive bet than the $33 this one entails by linking the entire six horses together for a bet of 15 doubles, 20 trebles and 13 accumulators, totalling $48.

I prefer the cheaper three-legged parlay. You are pretty well covered with this one, as I'll now explain. You can assess potential winnings like this:

  1. Two winners (AB, CD, or EF)-two doubles up.
  2. Another pair of winners--one double up.
  3. Three winners, AB, or CD, or EF, with any one of the others-four doubles and one treble.
  4. Any other three winners-three doubles.
  5. Four winners, ABCD, ABEF, CDEF doubles, four trebles, one accumulator.
  6. Any other four winners-seven doubles, two trebles.
  7. Any five winners-12 doubles, six trebles, one accumulator.
  8. All six winners-18 doubles, 12 trebles, three accumulators.

I am not suggesting for one moment that you are going to come anywhere that you are going to come anywhere near to having all six horses WIN for you, but there is a likelihood that betting for a PLACE you can strike all six every now and then. Place betting, I am sure, will see you getting four and five home on a regular basis.

Let's examine a couple of possible outcomes. Firstly, winners: I'll suppose that you had a good day and that four winners rolled home for you. They were C, D, E and F. This would provide you with eight doubles, four trebles and an accumulator! If you were, say, betting for a place and got five out of six right, then you'd be hauling in 12 doubles, six trebles and an accumulator! Fantastic stuff.

You can, I'm sure, see the potential windfall element of this type of betting. You are really going for the jugular-and it IS possible to crack some great wins. Two winners from six will give you one or two doubles, depending which ones get home, but these doubles could very easily pay off handsomely. Let's say you got horses A and B home. These feature in two parlays, so you have the double twice.

Let's assume A was a 4/1 chance and B a 5/1 chance. Each double, then, will return 30 units, making a total return of 60 units on your outlay of 33.

On a more conservative basis, I want to remind you that there is a way in which you can 'play safe' on the parlay. All you do is bet race-by-race and as each winner comes up you retain a percentage of the profit and then re-invest the rest on the next horses.

My recommended course of action is to retain 40 per cent of the profit. This will give you the pleasure of knowing that you have more or less covered your entire parlay by withholding some of the profits as you go along.

Of course, as in all things, there is a downside to this. It isn't easy to pick two or more winners. No-one says it is. As I recall, my colleague Jon Hudson has pointed out previously that if you have a 20 per cent win strike with your selections your chance of bringing home the bacon with 4 winners in a parlay is 0.0016-not much of a chance at all.

But when we set out to attack the all-up parlay, we always must do so in the knowledge that we are aware of the pitfalls. We are prepared to cast aside negativity, in favour of a long-term outlook.

Over a year you will be investing 52 x $48 if you adopt the approach I have recommended in this article-that is, an $11 parlay of four horses on Wednesdays, a $33 linkup of 6 horses plus a three-horse linkup for $4 on Saturdays.

That makes a total of $1584 for the year. Let's assume you want to make a profit on turnover of 15 per cent. This will be around $238, which means your total returns for the year will have to total $1822.

To my way of thinking, that's not too much of an insurmountable task. If you struck your share of doubles and trebles throughout the year you would be well on the way to achieving that 15 per cent profit, probably lots more.

An accumulator of 3/1 chances would return you odds of 255/1 for a start, And then think of all the doubles and trebles you'd cop as well. In one bet you would go close to raking in the year's needed return!

Final thoughts: For regular successes, seriously consider playing all your parlays for the place. Next best: Play three for a place and one banker for the win. Next best: Try two for a place and two for a win. Finally: If you really want to shoot for the crown then back all the parlays to win! And good luck.

By Martin Dowling