Those among you who like complete 'order' in your punting have probably already satisfied yourselves with a beneficial approach. After all, if you are orderly-minded then you should have your betting affairs well under control, at least from a staking aspect, if not with winners!

I know there are many punters out there who have tried and given up on various staking plans, for a variety of reasons and excuses. I always try to advise punters that usually it's not the staking system that fails but the selections that underpin the staking! In other words, no matter how good the shaking plan, if the selections are no good it won't win for you.

For punters who like to chase a bit of value, and who seek something different in the way of staking, there could be advantage in trying out the double column betting approach. It's really for those punters who are clever enough to haul in a handy percentage of winners at, say, 2/1 or longer. With the plan I am presenting here, the aim is to strike a winner at 2s or better within the first seven bets.

If you can do that, you should be sailing along quite happily, and your bets won't rise above 16 units, with a profit being posted after each winner. Sound good? Well, it is, as long as you are rational with the selections and can avoid losing streaks.

Your betting is split into two columns we'll call them (what else?) Column 1 and Column 2. Your bets start, naturally, with Column 1 with the progression:


If, at any time, you back a winner and it pays 2/1 or better, you'll get a profit and you round off that series of bets and begin betting again at one unit, as required by Column 1. Always remember to back horses that are at least 2/1; regard this as a minimum price to be accepted.

Now to the bad-case scenario, which leads to the introduction of bets under Column 2. We'll assume that for some reason you lose all your bets in Column 1, leaving you with a total loss of 42 units (boy, they must have been shonky selections!)

For your sake, I hope you never have to reach the dizzy heights of those latter bets. If you do, there would have to be something chronically wrong with your selection technique.

Your aim under Column 2 is to win 16 units, and as soon as you do that you revert back to Column 1 and have a 16unit bet. If you can win with that bet (at 2/1 or better) you'll be ahead of the game.

If the 16-unit bet loses(!) you return to the first bet in Column 2 and do as before-win 16 units, and then switch back a 16-unit bet in Column 1.

Let's run through possible scenarios, using, firstly, a run of five losers, followed by a 5/2 winner. You would outlay, on the five losers, the following bets: 1-2-3-4-6, putting you 16 units in arrears. Your next bet, though, is 10 units on the 5/2 winner, returning you a total of 35 unit (including your stake). Thus, you have outlaid, in all, 26 units and received back 35, a profit of nine units. You now switch back to the first bet in Column 1, and begin a new series.

Now for a second scenario. You experience a horrendous run of seven losers in a row, and your entire Column 1 series of bets fail, putting you 42 units in arrears. You now move to Column 2, where you have a loser with the first bet of three units, but then strike a 3/1 winner with your next five-unit bet. This returns you 20 units, putting you 12 units ahead on the Column 2 bets. You still, need, though another four units to make up the required 16 units. This you achieve with your next bet, eight units on a 2/1 winner, returning you a total of 24 units. You are now in the position, in Column 2, of having outlaid 16 units for a total return of 44 units, a profit of 28 units.

You now revert back to Column 1 and your next bet is 16 units. Let's assume this wins at 2/1. You get a total return of 48 units, for a profit on that bet of 32 units. Add this to the 28 units you won on Column 2 and you have a total profit of 60 units. Deduct from this the 42 units you lost on the Column 1 bets, and you are 18 units in front. Now you begin a new Column 1 series again.

Now, a third scenario. You lose all your Column 1 bets (minus 42) and then go four bets under Column 2 without a winner (minus 28). Your next bet is 18 units, and you strike a 3/1 winner. This gives you a return of 72 units. Now, under Column 2, you have staked 46 for a return of 72, putting you 26 units ahead.

You now have that 16-unit bet under Column 1. If it loses, you are still 10 units ahead under Column 2, but you now start Column 2 all over again, with a three-unit bet. If we assume this wins at 3/1, you now have a Column 2 profit of 19 units, meaning you have another lash at the 16unit bet in Column 1. Let's assume this wins at 5/2, returning you a total of 56 units.

The ledger now stands at a total profit from Column 2 of 19 units, and from Column 1 you have the initial loss of 42 units, and then the 40 unit profit from the last 16-unit bet. You end up two units behind on Column 1, but 19 units ahead on Column 2. Your final tally then is a 17unit profit.

Back you go to start all over again at Column 1. In the examples I've used, you can see that I've stuck to conservative prices (no more than 3/1) and yet there are still 'good profits being made. With sound selections there will be very little need to use the Column 2 bets; you should be able to forge on and make nice profits on the Column 1 scale.

Pick your bets carefully, don't try to beat the card, and be satisfied with one, two or maybe three bets per day. But always make sure they have sound prospects. Steer clear of longshots.

By Richard Hartley Jnr