If you ever despair of making a big 'strike' with your betting, then take heart, if only for the fact that there are many other punters just like you.

Some go their entire betting lives without enjoying the thrill of a huge winning dividend. Mostly, this happens because they do not plan for such a result.

Betting small, and never capitalising on small wins, they go through betting life hitting now and again, on a small-time basis, but never reaching the highs of a windfall collect.

Most will reassure themselves that. Well, because they're only betting in small amounts they shouldn't hang on to a hope that thousands of dollars are going to fall their way.

This is true, but only to some extent. It's my earnestly held belief that small-bet punters can put themselves into a position to score BIG, but they need to formulate a plan of attack and also possess the will to win.

Don't laugh at that last requirement. It's a fact that many punters, the majority, do lack that will to win. They will draw back from striking a big blow because of their innate conservatism, or simply a fear of risking too much.

To be successful in any endeavour in life you need to have discipline and determination. If these elements are lacking in your makeup as a punter, then you may be doomed to picking up crumbs!

My approach is for the individual punter to set a plan, or a target. Decide what you want to achieve, how much you want to win, and then set about making it happen. Not so easy? Well, not so hard, either.

If you're a win or place bettor, one approach that I can recommend, having used it myself for many years, is the 'rolling' treble. It comprises a linkup of well-fancied runners but not all on the same day.


It provides the small-bet Mr Average a chance to turn a few dollars into a great many dollars. How many depends, of course, on your initial investment and on the prices of the horses you choose.

But, think about what we've told you previously in PPM: A simple treble of three winners each at 6/4 gives you a 14.5 to I return. Or think about this: a treble of three winners each at even-money will result in a 9/1 treble.

Your problem, as a punter, is to pick those winners. The moot point is that you're not trying to pick them on the same day.

The plan is that you invest on a 'best bet' each day and continue the roll-over for three days. At the same time, though, you start other trebles each day.

Let's say that on Day 1, you win with Horse A at 2/1. You invest $1 on him to win. Your return is $3 to go on Horse B the next day. However, Horse B is also the start of a new treble, so you bet $1 to win to kick off this treble as well as the rolled-over $3 gained from Horse A.

With each new horse, you start a new treble. If you are ever able to back 6 winners in a row, you will collect on 4 winning trebles. Ten winners on end provide you with 8 winning trebles.

Okay, the likelihood that you are going to back 10 winners in a row is highly unlikely. However, backing for a place you would have a fighting chance. Which brings me to another angle in my plan: place betting.

You can back these rollover trebles for the place as well as the win. It's up to you. Place trebles will provide you with more returns, though small ones. It all depends on your betting philosophy and outlook.

My colleague Denton Jardine has written before in PPM about the potential of trebles. He pointed out that over a period of 12 months, assuming you back 180 trebles and collect on one in six of them, you will get a return on trebles.

If the average price of each winning treble was 9/1 (three winners at evens), your bet of 180 units over the year will have returned you 300 units, for a profit of 120 units.

Betting in $10 units, this means you've made $1200 over the 12 months. You'll probably make a lot more, because we can safely assume that a few of the trebles will pay you much more than 9/1.

Example: One winner at 6/4, one winner at 4/1 and a third winner at 5/1 would return you 74/1 for the treble! Pretty exciting stuff.

This is what I mean about the trebles offering you the chance to strike big. Bet those three winners at plain level stakes and you win 10.5 units.

The rollover treble method can be applied win, place or eachway. With eachway, you are using two stakes instead of one but the zealous form student can often come up with a flow of good eachway returns.

It should not be too difficult for a punter who plays the place tote to find solid bets once a day.

Many professional place betters boast of going weeks and weeks without missing a beat with their selective place-only selections.

Their aim usually is to get a return of 20 cents on the invested dollar. Many will go all-up to maximise their returns.

As you'd realise, it's win bets that produce the prospect of big dividends, and it's these on which you should focus your attention. After all, what we are seeking are big returns, not a steady drip, drip.

Discipline is required if this approach is to work for you. Remember that you are thinking in 12-month blocks, not just over a few days. Don't get dispirited and throw in the towel if, at first, you don't succeed.

Application and commonsense will pay off in the end. Based on 180 trebles a year, or just 3 or 4 a week, all you need is to hit one in 6 and you are bound for a good outcome.

In selecting your horses, keep in mind some basic tenets of form study. I think the following are always worth remembering:

  1. Good recent form plus the best overall form in one horse equals the favourite or a likely good bet.
  2. Good recent form usually means full fitness.
  3. No recent form means uncertain fitness.
  4. Bad recent form means a probable loser (subject, though, to close scrutiny of the reasons for the poor efforts).

English professional Kenneth Stewart, in his book Racing For Pleasure And Profit, wrote: "Even a well-handicapped horse must be fit enough to do itself justice and it must have shown courage.

"The horse which has shown the best form at the weights is the overall form horse. The horse showing the best recent form is the recent form horse. If both are the same, it could be, on paper, a winner."

Successful professionals beat falling into long losing runs because they tend to concentrate on the 'pick of the crop' horses. If there is nothing in a race that looks gilt edged they are not interested. It costs nothing to have a betless day.

The professionals are selective in their choice of both races and horses and this enables them to enjoy a high winning percentage. It's good advice for any punter to refrain from betting on poor-class horses and to save your money for good horses in good races.

Summing up, then, your aim is to plan for success. Choose your treble horses carefully. Never bet more than one horse a day. Make sure it's fit, in-form and reasonably priced. Be wary of any bad form in its recent runs. Take careful note of trainer and jockeys. Bad barrier positions are to be avoided. Big weight imposts can be a killer, so consider the weight angle most carefully.

If you follow these commonsense factors, then you'll give yourself every possible chance to pick the right horses. Remember, the target is a successful treble once every six bets.

By John Hudson