A planned form of betting does not appeal to a lot of punters. They feel restricted and frustrated because of the need to adhere to a set of strict rules.

I have an open mind. There ire approaches which demand some discipline with the staking, and there are other approached where the bettor needs to be flexible and able to change tack from bet to bet.

I've recently been poring over my catalogue of staking plans. Many of them go back to the early 1900s! I find them as relevant today as they were then because in many ways the basics have stayed much what they were.

The Escalator Plan is a version of the old 10 per cent of bank approach. But it calls for a rapid increase in stakes once you ire showing a profit.

It's ideal for place betting, and more so for those among you who restrict yourselves to betting on races with only 5, 6 or 7 runners (two dividends paid).

Win bettors can play the Escalator as well, but it's a bit riskier than if you stick with place bets. That won't frighten a lot of you, I know! Punters generally are tending to take more risks than they used to, obviously with the target in mind of hitting some high dividends.

I'm much in that Mould myself. I like to win but I like my divvies to arrive in BIG parcels, not in dribs and drabs! Each to his own.

You can use whatever percentage of bank you like with the Escalator, I per cent, 2 per cent, 5 per cent, 10 per cent, etc. It depends on which amount makes you feet comfortable. I rather feel that a very low percentage figure is an indicator of lack of confidence, while choosing, say, 10 per cent indicates something of a swaggering confidence.

I know a chap, a serious player, who uses a 40 per cent of bank approach with place betting. He does well, though lie might have only one bet a week. I don't for a minute suggest, you try betting to such a large proportion of your bank. It would mean, with a $100 bank, your first bet would be $40. If that lost, your next bet would be $24, and the third bet would be $14.50 (rounded up).

So three bets could set you back $78.50 if they failed to deliver the goods. The chap I've mentioned is so selective a bettor that a losing run of even just three is not something he considers.

The Escalator adds an extra element to the percentage of bank approach in that it calls for a 'double whammy' increase from the current profit level. Let me explain what happens. I will assume that you have decided to bet 5 per cent Of Your bank and that the bank is $100.

If you keep losing, your bank will fall and so will your bets. Nothing particularly different about this. You start with a $5 bet. If it loses, the bank is $95 and the next bet is 5 per cent of that figure. And so it goes on.

It's when you hit a winning run that the Escalator moves in. Let's say your bank gets to $105.

You’re $5 in profit. But, here's the Escalator edge. You assume that profit is $10 and that your bank is $110, so the next bet is 5 per cent of $110 ($5.50).

The same principle applies so long as your bank remains in profit. It is re-valued after every bet. If the profit reaches, say, $15, you assume it is $30 and the bank would now be $130 and you bet 5 per cent of that total ($6.50).

If the profit then goes to $25, you assume it is $50 and the bank is $150, calling for a next bet of $7.50. And so on. Each time a new profit level is reached, you double the profit figure.

The idea is to beef up your bets (the Escalator!) as your profits grow. You are trying to capitalise on winning runs.

If you're a place bettor, then profits will edge up slowly if you were not to use the Escalator increase factor. The Escalator adds impetus to your betting. It provides you with a chance to make the most of your good selecting.

The plan, then, is a really good one for p-lace bettors, and a more riskier one for punters who go straight for the win. Why not test it out for yourself?

Here's an example of how things might go, betting for the place, and Using 10 per cent of a $100 bank.

BANK $100 * 0.5 figures rounded up,

HorseBetRet.Bank Ajd.Bank
D14 28135.5171

The next bet, on E, would be 17 units. You have made four bets so far of 47 units for a profit of 35.5 Units. This is 75.5 per cent on turnover.

The key is to be selective with your betting. Don't go mad and try to bet every race. The strength of the Escalator will always lie in the power of the selector to come up with consistent winning, or placed, selections. Be 100 per
cent confident before you add a bet to the list.

If finding one bet only is too hard for YOU, You simply must consider some form of multiple betting. There are several approaches to backing three horses a race.

The rules:

  1. Decide the percentage of bank you will choose (from 1 per cent upwards). The figure of 5 per cent is recommended, though more risk-minded punters might go to 10 per cent.
  2. Whenever a profit is made on the starting bank, double it and bet the percentage figure to the adjusted bank total.
  3. On losing bets, simply maintain your percentage bet on whatever the bank happens to be (when in profit, operate on the adjusted bank).
  4. Restrict your bets to sensible selections.
  5. Bet for the place for ultimate safety.
  6. Don't bet race by race throughout the day.

Flat stake progression. You invest the same amount on each of the three selections, seeking a marginal profit. There will be a slight loss on a winner under 2/1. At 2/1, you break even while any return above 2/1 will  produce some profit.

Where prices permit, you 'save' your stake on two of the selections, with the remaining runner the major win bet. You could, say, 'save' on the two horses at the shortest quotes and make the longest-priced selection your big wager. You'll probably find that there are more winning collects by making the shortest-priced selection the major bet; on the other hand, the profits could be larger by going for the major bet on the horse at the longest odds.

Example: Horse A is 6/4, Horse B is 3/1 and Horse C is 6/1. Let's sty you are betting $10 a race. If you go for the A horse, you will have $2.50 on B and $1.50 on C. The balance of $6 is invested on A. A win by B or C squares the transaction, but a win by A gives a profit of $5.

If you make C your major bet, the savers would be $4 on A and $2.50 on B, with the balance of $3.50 on C. If Horse C won, the return would be $24.50 for a profit of $14.50. Many professionals prefer this approach of hitting the higher-priced runner as a few wins could offset losses while a good percentage of saver bets would win.

Back each of the horses to win the same amount, irrespective of which one is successful. The easy formula is to stake according to percentages. This is found by adding 1 to the odds and dividing into 10. 011 the above example, the bets would be $4 on A, $2.50 on B and $1.50 on C. The outlay is $8 for a return of $10.

There is a fourth plan and this is the Dutch Book approach. Now, we've covered Dutch betting in PPM but the most recent key article was many years ago, so it's probably time for us to revive the details for all the new readers who have come our way in the past 10 years.

I'll go into detail about Dutch Book betting in next month's July PPM. I'm sure you'll find this an interesting staking approach and one worth thinking about.

By Jon Hudson