If you're looking for a recipe for betting success then why not consider this: Carefully chosen horses and sound staking make the ideal system. This is what a respected British expert wrote many years ago, and his words ring true still:

"Winners alone are not enough. They provide us with the opportunities to make profits but it's a regrettable fact that many opportunities are wasted through haphazard, slipshod staking. Bad money management, in other words."

The punter who means business, who is truly betting to MAKE money, cannot afford to let chances slip by. He or she has to learn how to find winners consistently and to back them in a manner that will yield maximum profit. In this way, sufficient will be earned to pay off the inevitable losses.

It's always been my opinion that the clever bettor looks on losses as mere 'running expenses' and he always aims to cover them from betting returns. The casual punter tends to shrug off losses and forget them as soon as possible! He keeps no records.

But the shrewd punter, in the course of a systematic approach, is not afraid to record his losses; in fact, he regards it as the most important thing he does after each day's betting. The sole thought in his mind is to back winners, bet them properly, and thus secure back any losses, and reap any profits.

Knowing how to bet, as well as how to pick winners, is what all punters have to discover for themselves. Of course, the majority of punters do not bet big, so the prospect of too much discipline is hard to accept because, as we know, betting can be a frustrating business.

Everyone who has a bet wants to make good money in double-quick time. Even the bloke who bets in $5 and $10 bits would love to hit it 'big' every now and then. Only by structuring his bets to enable a big 'hit' is he likely to experience that warm rush of contentment that follows a major financial success.

As well as getting the staking right, the punter who aches for success has to make sure that he obtains as much value as possible when making his bets. Never take lousy odds.

This is what the Timeform group in Britain has to say on this vital topic: "Always remember the importance of self control. Remember at all times that you are seeking one thing only, VALUE. Bet only when you think you are getting a bargain, when you're getting over the odds.

"Successful betting hinges on recognising probable winners whose odds are longer than they should be. If all your bets are sound ones, you'll win in the long run."

Encouraging words, indeed! So what about the prospects for the small-dollar punter. How on earth can he make it all work for him? He knows that so far he's not had much luck betting level stakes and he sees this approach as hard and unrelenting.

The answer is to adopt some 'novelty' approaches – staking plans that arrange your bets so that if they happen to come off you are going to maximise the returns. No staking plan, of course, will work unless the selections and the odds are right, so keep this in mind.

I have drawn up 10 staking plans which I believe will greatly appeal to a wide range of punters. The three 'top' systems are on page 6. The other seven now follow:

With this system the punter sticks to races with small fields. He takes a horse from one race and two horses from another race. He backs these in 2 doubles - A with B and A with C. It's obvious that Horse A is the 'banker' selection. This 'banker' can be in the second race if you wish.

A variation of the plan is to have 2 horses in each race, for 4 doubles, but you must ensure that horses from the first three in the pre-post betting are used for the selections. Only one double can win, but even modest prices will produce a profit. The punter's winning chance is high and occasionally a selection will win at very good value odds.

This is the consecutive link plan that takes in 7 running doubles. These can be done all on the one program, or on separate days. On a normal meeting, we suggest you choose six of the races on the card, and link your selections in 5 running doubles - Races 1/2, Races 2/3, Races 3/4, Races 4/5 and Races 5/6 (or whatever numbers the races are you have chosen).

This is a bet of only 5 units if we assume 1 unit on each double (and a unit can be any amount you like). You might like to stick with prepost favourites. Thus, if consecutive races are won by the favs then you have a double collared. Any three produce two winning doubles, and so on.

I know a chap in Sydney who has been using this approach for many years, and he reports he does exceptionally well with it. The idea is for the bettor not to increase stakes on losing runs. Instead, the idea is to pick horses at increasing prices. As an example, let's say that a horse is to start at 2/1.

If this loses, the bet is on a similarly priced horse next time. If this fails, the bettor is 2 units down but instead of increasing the stake for the third bet, he instead looks for a selection at a better price. If unsuccessful, he looks for an even better price on the 4th bet. This means the actual stake is kept at the same level.

It's easy to work out what sort of prices you will need to obtain as losing runs continue. The following table ensures at least a 1 unit profit at 1 unit bets.


Many professional punters have used this system for decades in Britain. They choose their bets most carefully and adhere to a strict betting regime. The plan is based on horses whose prices range from odds-on to 7/4 - a very narrow band.

The idea behind the approach is that horses framed to these prices must possess very strong chances in any race. The lower the price the better the chance.

The method divides the prices into three sets, and there are fixed stakes for each set, as follows:

Odds-on to evens3 units
11/10 to 5/42 units
11/8 to 7/4 1 unit
Thus, if a bettor picks out, say, three horses for the day at evens, 6/4 and 5/4 his bets would be: 3 units on the evens chance, 1 unit on the 6/4 chance and 2 units on the 5/4 chance. This is a total bet of 6 units. If he struck with the biggest and smallest bets the return would be: evens chance returns 6 units, and the 6/4 chance returns 2.5 units.

This is a total return of 8.5 units on the outlay of 6 units, a gain of more than 41 per cent on the stake outlaid. A very good day's work. This system, naturally, is for those among you who are conservative and content to pick up small profits on highly selective bets. 

With this method, the stakes depend on the number of runners per race. It is usually used by punters who bet on well-fancied runners, perhaps favourites or second favs. The winning chance is increased as the number of runners is decreased.

Punters who bet on races of 7 and fewer runners are likely to have far more winners and more gains than those who operate on races with larger fields.

The method directs that the stake has to vary according to the number of runners. Punters who like to support favs are advised to restrict their bets to races which have fields of 12 or less runners.
5 to 73
8 to 102
11 to 121
This is an ideal system for those punters who like a bit of risk and excitement. The punter selects three horses that are expected to be around the 2/1 mark. They are backed in a treble. Since the return for such a treble will be 27 units, or 26/1, the bettor doesn't have to worry about increasing stakes. With horses at ordinary prices (as mentioned, around 2/1) there is a good chance of striking two or three trebles every few weeks.

If we assumed that you bet a treble three times a week, at $1 each, using selections around 2/1, that makes, over four weeks, a total of 12 trebles, for an outlay of $12 at $1 each. You need strike only one treble to get a return of $27, which gives you a more than 100 per cent return on the invested dollar.

With this plan, you consider only those runners with certain form figures at their latest three starts. The estimation for how much to bet is based on these form figures. Only horses with form figures shown in the table below are backed.

They are split into 5 'classes' from 5 units do" to 1 unit. Naturally, you must be careful in choosing your horses. Don't bet a horse simply because it has the required form figures.

(a) 112, 121, 211 5
(b) 113,131, 3114
(c) 122, 212, 221 3
(d) 123, 132, 213, 231 312,321 2
(e) 133, 313, 3311
It's assumed that horses with the better form figures will win more frequently than those in the other groups. This is why the higher stakes are bet on these runners.

This is a most useful plan for backing well-fancied runners. You bet 1, 2, 3 units in sequence. If a winner is found, say at the second bet you continue the 2-unit stake until a loser comes along, and then you drop back to the 1, 2, 3 sequence again.

If the winner is found at the third bet of 3 units, continue the 3-unit bet until a loser, and then revert to 1, 2, 3 again. If a winner is struck with the 1 unit bet then continue in 1 unit bets until a loser, then move to the 2 unit bet. If no winner is found by the 3rd stake then drop back and start a new series.

So the maximum you can lose in a series is 6 units. The method prevents you from getting into trouble bid it enables you to enjoy a decent profit if you strike a winning run. The suggested method of selection:

(a) Best pre-post favourite between evens and 211.
(b) Best 'most favoured' horse in the tipsters' poll.
(c) Your favourite tipster's best bet for the day.

If you are among the many punters who like to follow the views of the newspaper tipsters then this staking plan will definitely interest you. The stakes are based on the winning chances as indicated by the number of times a horse is tipped.

The recommendation is that you choose your 4 favourite tipsters. When they all tip the same horse for a race, the bet is 4 units. Three tips, 3 units. Two tips, 2 units, providing no other horse has 2 tips. Single-tipped horses are not considered.

The aim of the plan is to lead the punter into backing good horses, with the stakes regulated according to the strength of the selection.

I have a hearty recommendation for this plan from a New South Wales reader, who says she has been operating it with great success for a long time. She says the main problem is that from time to time, certain tipsters just disappear (retrenched, perhaps!?), so she has to include new faces.

This idea is another which aims at linking selections into high-paying trebles. Three horses are selected in each of two races and one horse, a Banker, in the other race. The bet works out as 9 trebles.

EXAMPLE: Race 1: A. Race 2: B,C,D. Race 3: E,F,G.

The trebles are: ABE, ABF, ABG, ACE, ACF, ACG, ADE, ADF, ADG.

The Banker bet, which can be in any leg, has to be very carefully chosen. The entire bet depends on ft. With three points in each of the other 2 legs you are pretty well covered, particularly if you are sensible and stick to good class races with no more than around 12 runners.

The outlay is 9 units, but one treble can return at least triple that even if the odds of each winner are only around 2/l each.

By Martin Dowling