In the July issue of  PPM the previously “mysterious” formula betting was de-mystified quite substantially with a series of examples which I am positive will have helped all readers in their understanding of how this bet form can be utilised.

I pointed out that the first thing to remember about formula betting is the formula number you choose is the number of times you have to be right across your series of bets. In this article, strategies will be shown which, if used sensibly alongside the helpful hints provided in the last issue, can be used to crank up the dollars returned on those days when all the gods favour the punter and the collects just keep rolling in.

One of the most frustrating aspects of  traditional win betting is the minimum bet size imposed by the TABs, with SuperTab currently setting this amount at $3. At $3 per minimum there will be some punters, especially those on a low income, who just want a bit of action and will find the greed of the TAB a real hindrance. There is a way around this problem.

Under the current system, you must spend $3 on each runner even if you only want $1 on each but if you fill in your selections on a parlay/formula card instead of a win/place card and the $1 box and fill in the Formula 1 box, hey presto, you are on for $1 each. This is the same as having to fill out three tickets for $1 each on three races, plus you have fulfilled the minimum cost requirement and you have not had to have $3 on each selection.

There is one catch, however . . . you cannot collect until the last race on your card. This is a great way for placing a huge number of bets at one time such as you would on days like the Melbourne Cup. For instance, if you have 10 bets you want to bet on,  each for $1, why not fill out two Formula 1 cards covering five races on each card? This means instead of having to outlay $30 you can outlay $10!

One of the most popular betting forms for the value seeking punter is the each way bet, as most of those bets are on horses around the 7/1 or longer mark. Let’s have a look at some formula options for the each way punter.

If the punter has three races in mind and one each way selection per race, the combinations are 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 (it’s two because one is for the win and one is for the place). The combinations are: www, wwp, wpp, pww, ppw, ppp, wpw, pwp where w = win and p = place.

If you took a Formula 2 (remember the formula number is the number of times you have to be correct), the above combinations become:

AwBw, AwBp, AwCw, AwCp, ApBw, ApBp, ApCw, ApCp, BwCw, BwCp, BpCw and BpCp.

Naturally, the more races you include and the larger formula number you take the more complex the combinations become. Let’s look at a slightly more complex example from the Moonee Valley meeting on May 26, 2007. The selections were:

  • Selection A R3 No. 12 Blitz ‘Em Riley 3rd $2.90
  • Selection B R5 No. 12 Pentecoster
  • Selection C R6 No. 12 Lucky Secret WON $2.30/$1.50
  • Selection D R8 No. 12 Fearless Waters WON $6.40/$2.00

If we set $96 as the outlay over the four races we find the each way punter gets $12 each way on each of the four selections, returning $271.80.

If you decided to do Formula 2 for 24 combinations @$4 each your return is $269.20. In the example just presented the returns are about the same whether you bet each way or formula betting; however, if either Blitz ‘Em Riley had won (it did next start!) or Pentecoster had even just placed, the returns for the formula bets would have returned substantially more.

If Formula 3 had been applied, 32 combinations would have been needed at $3 per combination returning $277.70, once again for the $96 outlay. There are four collects of Ap, Cw, Dw (A = selection) returning $128.06 Ap, Cw, Dp returning $40.02 Ap Cp Dw returning $83.52 and Ap Cp Dp returning $26.10 remembering odd cents are rounded after all dividends are added.

CHART 2 shows all the combinations for formula using the above races:

AwBw $BwDw $ApDw$74.24
AwBp $BwDp $ApDp $23.20
AwCw $CwDw $58.88BpCw $
AwCp $CwDp $18.40BpCp $
AwDw $ApBw $BpDw $
AwDp $ApBp $BpDp $
BwCw $ApCw $26.68CpDw  $38.40
BwCp $ApCp $17.40CpDp $12.00
Chart 2
In the above example, I have detailed a single each way selection per race; however, similarly, you can have two win selections per race. I like this idea as it allows you to slot in a solid A selection and a value selection beyond your first selection. The chart below (Chart 3) shows the combinations needed. i.e. five races with Formula 3 equals 80 combinations. If one selection loses again move over to the left and you find you still have 16 combinations left.

No. of Races 1 2 3 4 5 6
Formula 124681012
Formula 2 412244060
Formula 3 
Formula 4   1680240
Formula 5    
Formula 6     64
Chart 3
Next up, we will look at covering an ENTIRE eight race meeting over two cards. Currently, the most races you can take on a card is six, so how does one do this? The best way to attack this is to rank your selections for the day where A is your best bet of the day while H is your least fancied selection of the day.

If you are taking six races on each card, then Card 1 should be ABCDEF and Card 2 should be ABCDGH. I say “should” because using the above combinations will find your four best selections of the day are on both cards, so if they win, you are collecting on both tickets. The amounts outlaid will vary depending on your formula numbers.

If you are only taking five races on each then Card 1 should be ABCDE and Card 2 should be ABFGH. In this example, your two best selections are on both cards.

If you want to take your four best races for the day on one card, the combinations will be ABCD on that card. If you then wish you can take your next four best races (actually your four worst) on one card, the combinations will be EFGH. Commonsense decrees you have less on your worst combination ticket!

You will notice no selections are linked i.e. A: your best for the day on Card 1 is not linked in any way with Card 2. If you wish to overcome this problem and want to mix your As and Bs and any others, you will need to take more cards.

If, for instance, you think you can pick three winners for the day on an eight race program you can cover all combinations of Formula 3 in groups of four over 14 cards (see Chart 4) if you are keen enough. You will get a collect as long as you pick three winners and the more winners you pick the more returns you receive. Here is how you do this, remembering each of the 14 cards has four combinations.

The numbers are the Race Numbers:
Card 1 = 1234Card 8 = 5678
Card 2 = 1256Card 9 = 3478
Card 3 = 1278Card 10 = 3456
Card 4 = 1357Card 11 = 2468
Card 5 = 1368 Card 12 = 2457
Card 6 = 1458Card 13 = 2367
Card 7 = 1467Card 14 = 2358
Chart 4
How many frustrated quaddie punters are there out there?  Is your nickname “Jake The Peg” because you only ever get three legs and are left with useless tickets?

Never fear – the solution is at hand. Welcome to “three legged quaddie land”.

There are many and varied ways to take a normal quaddie. One of the more popular types is to take three selections in each leg, which covers 81 combinations and as long as you have a winner in any of your ABC selections you have the quaddie. In three legged quaddie land we cover 108 combinations using the same selections on  a  single Formula 3 card! YES, I said ONE card!

For simplicity, let us say all winners of the four legs of the quaddie paid $5. Based on an all up calculation it is reasonable to expect the quaddie to pay $625. As far as the trebles, I will receive (remember I am Jake The Peg and am only getting 3 legs in) which can only be one of  Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 or  Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 4 or  Leg 2 3 4 or Leg 1 3 4, I will collect $125 on each treble, totalling $500.

Yes, I am behind in this example because I have only got three legs in as opposed to the four legged quaddie, which obviously pays more and I only have 4/1 winners  but this is a long term strategy. For every four legged quaddie we actually get we also receive four trebles, which means on the days when we actually get four legs we will collect $625 for our normal quaddie PLUS four trebles totalling $500. I think you will agree we will a) get some four legged quaddies and b) more three legged quaddies so do not be distracted by my example above where we only receive $500.

WELL! I know it all looks breath-taking and mind boggling but if you work your way through the charts and examples and keep remembering the number of times you have to be correct is equal to the formula number then this form of betting is not quite as hard as first thought.

I know from personal experience the first few attempts at your TAB will be littered with frustrations as you scrunch up several tickets and/or squirm with embarrassment if the TAB operator starts throwing dirty looks your way.

Don’t worry about that. Worry about getting your selections right and the day you do bring in a wheelbarrow or order a security guard to help you cart the cash away. On that day you will receive a different kind of look from your TAB operator!

By Roman Kozlovski