I have had correspondence in recent months from readers wanting some ideas on how best to go about betting on doubles. It’s certainly a topic that has always interested me.

Some of my best collects have been via doubles betting. I still have a soft spot for pre-post Cups doubles.

One reader, Allan from North Star in northern NSW, wrote to me and said that while he enjoyed playing doubles he found it hard to emerge with a profit every year. He wanted an approach that would help him defy the losses accrued in the inevitable losing runs.

Now, some time ago I was involved in the production of Equestrian’s free online book of staking systems (if you haven’t got a copy I urge you to get on to the Internet and download the e-book from the PPM website at: practicalpunting.com.au/book).

One of the staking plans in the e-book is my modified One In Ten Staking Plan, which I have aimed directly at doubles betting. I think it’s a wonderful approach that should be in the armoury of all punters who dabble in doubles.

It’s really a twist on my old One In Ten win-betting method, which we have outlined before in PPM. With the modified approach we are aiming to get a double at 4/1 in 10 selections.

That means in 20 bets, really, as we will be trying to get two horses to win for us.

We will use the all-up method of betting, or you can use the TAB Daily and Extra Doubles. It all depends very much where you think you can secure the best value chances.

The main question is this: Can you find two winners, one of them at 6/4, the other at evens – on a card? More importantly, can you do it at least ONCE in every 10 doubles you take?

If you can, what will happen is this: You will land a 4/1 double. Any better odds will see you travelling even more sweetly so far as profit is concerned.

At evens, the bet becomes 2 units going on the second leg and at 6/4 you get back a total of 5 units for your initial 1 unit outlay, and that means a clear profit of 4 units.

The staking approach is the key to the whole operation. Test it out with the following staking run:

1-1-1, then 1.5 and then 2-2-3-3-5-5.

Take the fourth bet as an example: Say it returns a 4/1 double. Since the bet is 1.5, the return would be 7.5 (6 plus the stake of 1.5). This gives you a profit of 3 units on the series for a total outlay of 4.5. Let’s put this in real terms, as professionals would: It is 66 per cent on turnover. Not bad at all.

The gentle progression allows you to make 10 bets spanning 20 short-priced horses, probably all favourite, and even if you have to wait until the final double for a win, a 4/1 double will return you 25 units (20 plus the 5 unit stake), and a small profit is achieved. You have bet a total of 24.5 and you are a half unit ahead.

But what if that final double contained a 2/1 winner and a 3/1 winner?

Ah, this is a far more exciting outcome. Your \$5 double would produce a return of 60 units.

On the series, then, your profit would be 60 minus 24.5 . . . meaning 35.5 units in your pocket! This is more than 147 per cent profit on your outlay.

Now, the idea of trying 10 times to find an evens and a 6/4 shot to couple and failing every time seems to me most unlikely. You would indeed have to be a most ordinary selector not to be able to nab a 4/1 double in 10 goes.

You can, of course, run the idea at four different venues. A 100 unit bank for each would be enough. There would be times when you hit all four and a few times of not managing to crack a double at all.

But, overall, you’d be making a maximum of 40 bets at four venues over 10 betting days or more.

My suggestion? Every time your overall bank increases by 25 units, on 1 unit bets, redistribute it across all four venues and resume on level terms.

I think this approach is a safe and reasonable one. Each series will cost you only \$25 in all, so even if you are bad at nabbing the doubles, you won’t suffer enormous damage.

I know one chap who has been using this approach for a year or so now and he is well ahead of the game. Guess who?

By The Optimist

PRACTICAL PUNTING - MARCH 2004