Many P.P.M. readers who take the time to write to me express great interest in all the various forms of staking. The majority seem to favour progression betting.

I suppose this is because it offers the chance of letting them make some big profits if all goes well with their selections. One reader, Jack from Coogee in Sydney, asked me recently if I could suggest a sensible progression play that would not risk too much money, and which could handle long losing runs (he told me he had a good system but sometimes it struck losing runs of 15 or 16).

I immediately thought of a method I learned as a boy-betting in five columns. I can remember my old grandfather used to play around with this method but he, of course, was betting in sixpences in those days. He would sit at our old kitchen table with his small exercise book, ruling off the columns, and writing in his bets. It was a happy morning when he had had a good win the previous day.

The five-column method I am talking about now is a form of progression and regression. You go forward after each losing bet and you go back after a winner. The extent of the backward step is determined by the price of your winner.

The method's five columns allow for a total of 25 bets, and needs a bank of \$150. You probably will never need such a bank, but it's what would be required should you strike the complete 25 losers (if you do this, I suggest you give up betting immediately).

We'll call the columns A, B, C, D and E. Naturally, you kick off your betting under Column A. If you miss out on the bets in this column (a total loss of 20 with five losing bets) you move to Column B and so on.

The beauty of this plan is that you can have a run of 20 losers and still get square or get into a profit situation with a couple of decent-priced winners. Let me warn you, though, that the staking method is suitable for selections which can win 20 per cent of the time and which call for only a few bets per day.

So don't go overboard and try to work it race-to-race. You'll be pushing your luck too far. My suggestion is that you stick to good, solid bets. (Selections in Weekend Punter's Star Bets section would be ideal, as would Equestrian's excellent midweek and weekend superbets services).

The following is the five-column betting table:

The regression table goes like this for every time you back a winner:

Horse PriceGo Back
Under 2-11 step
2-1 to 5-22 steps
11-4 to 3-13 steps
7-24 steps
4-15 steps
Over 4-16 steps

Applying this method to the Weight and Odds selection method outlined in this issue of P.P.M. on page 14, we would have achieved the following result (from Feb. 11 to Feb. 18).

 Bet 1: Lost -2 Bet 2: 3rd -3 Bet 3: 3rd -4 Bet 4: WON + 27.5 Bet 5: WON +5.5 Bet 6: 3rd -2 Bet 7: 3rd -3 Bet 8: 2nd -4 Bet 9: Lost -5 Bet 10: Lost -6 Move to Column B Bet ll: WON +5.25 Move to Column A Bet 12: WON +10.50 Bet 13: Lost -5 Bet 14: WON +13.50 Bet 15: 2nd -4 Bet 16: WON +15 Bet 17: 2nd -2 Totals: LOSSES: 40 WINS: 67.25 PROFIT: 27.25

(Betting in \$10 units, profit \$272.50 in one week; betting in \$100 units, profit \$2725 in one week from 17 bets for six winners).

In this particular week you moved from Column A to Column B only once, and immediately struck a winner which sent you back to Column A for the next bet. Incidentally, you can tell from this that the Weight And Odds selection method for place bets really works! It snared 13 placegetters from 17 bets, including those six winners!

By Statsman

PRACTICAL PUNTING - APRIL 1989