I had a few letters from readers after last month’s article in this series, and one of them, Paul from Jindabyne, asked about “reverse progression” and whether it held out any hope for the punter who seeks something more exciting, and even perhaps safer, than level staking.

What does reverse progression mean? To put it simply, instead of increasing bets with each successive loss, the punter decreases his bets as he loses. As he wins he makes larger bets.

At first reading, RP may be queried on the score that it gives you no chance to recoup. Such is not the case.

Going through my files, right back to the 60s, I found an article, which tackled the RP thing head-on, and I will repeat it here, so you can judge for yourself whether it’s useful for you.

The article says: “The formula is based on a gradual decrease plan and even when losing the stakes don’t reduce from bet to bet; several are held at the one level.

“In some respects the RP plan is similar to the percentage systems we have dealt with before. The difference is the scale of progression and, of course, there is no limit to the scale of progression.

“The opening bet is 10 per cent of the betting fund. For the purposes of this example we will put it down as $50. With the old-style 10 per cent Plan the first bet would be $5 and if it lost the bank would be $45-calling for a bet of $4.50. Another loss would reduce the balance to $40.50, and so on.

“With the RP Plan, the bettor also uses 10 per cent for his first wager but he does not alter the size of the bet until the balance of the fund falls below a specific mark.

“For instance, with a $50 bank he would change the unit of investment when the balance dropped to $40, betting 10 per cent of $40, and so on, and the next change would be at $20.

“The easiest way to illustrate this is to show the worst that could happen through a long series of consecutive losses. Remember, the starting bank is $50 and the first bet is 10 per cent, which is $5.”

The article then produced the following table of bets:

  1. A loss of $5 would leave $45.
  2. A loss of $5 would leave $40.
  3. A loss of $4 would leave $36.
  4. A loss of $4 would leave $32.
  5. A loss of $4 would leave $28.
  6. A loss of $4 would leave $24.
  7. A loss of $4 would leave $20.
  8. A loss of $2 would leave $18.

The article then went on: “From here on the minimum bet would be $2 and there is money enough ($18) for nine such bets, or in all a total of 17 consecutive bets, all losses, before the $50 bank was wiped out. That’s the worst possible happening.

“The system on good selections is well bolstered against a wipeout while there is no ceiling on winnings.

“Whenever the punter backs a winner he adds the profit to the capital and as the balance increases so do his bets, as he always follows the 10 per cent rule.

“I have shown the example with a $50 bank. However, you can start with a 50 units bank and follow the same plan of staking. A unit can be any amount you like.

“One simple added explanation for those not conversant with these percentage plans. Say the first horse had won at 4/1. There would have been a profit of $20, taking the bank to $70. The next bet would then have been of $7. It is a very simple formula and can win well either with straightout or place bet selections.”

At this point I want to make a correction to some calculations in my last article. An error was made when I happened to type in a wrong figure and this caused subsequent calculations to go awry.

PPM reader Keith Prickett sent me the following letter via email and I am most grateful to him for the information:

With regards to the October (2004) issue of PPM, I address my comments to the staking plan as described in Damien Whitchurch’s article “Hit with singles and doubles”. Although the staking plan known as Death & Taxes (D & T) has probably been around for a while, the analysis of the staking plan does not appear to be of the usual high standard of information delivered by your magazine.

If the D & T staking plan was followed and the operator failed to find a winner after 10 bets, then the operator would be losing 144 units and not 104 as was published. This error has of course produced further errors in later calculations, including the determination of the benchmark price of 5/2.

Table 1 will demonstrate how 5/2 will in fact yield a loss on bets 9, 11, or 12. The D & T staking plan would require 4.2 decimal or 13/4 to show a profit should any one of the 12 selections be successful.

Table 2 is a staking plan based on 12 selections and is designed to return a minimum profit of 20 per cent on turnover, at a minimum price of 5/2 , if any one of the twelve selections wins.

I consider the table 2 staking plan to be less erratic and more uniform in its approach to profit, as D & T produces great variation in its profit margins from bet to bet.

I have a very high regard for PPM, and can appreciate the hard work that goes into the production of such an informative publication. Having been brought up on the Turf Monthly during the 70’s, your fresh ideas and approaches to winning have duly influenced my betting activities over the last five years or so, and in such a positive way.

The following are the two tables that Keith provided for us. I know you will find them most interesting and helpful.


Bet No.Outlay
Total Outlay
D & T%
Profit on
@ 5/2
1 11 3.5 2.54.25 3.25 250
212 3.5 1.54.25 2.2575
33510.55.5 12.757.75 110
4 3 8 10.5 2.5 12.75 4.75 31.25
5 7 15 24.5 9.529.75 14.75 63.33
6 14 29 4920 59.5 30.5 68.96
7 14 43 49 6 59.516.5 13.95
8 27 70 94.5 24.5114.75 44.75 35
927 97 94.5-2.5114.75 17.75 -2.57
10 47 144164.520.5 199.75 55.7514.23
1147 191 164.5 -26.5 199.75 8.75 -13.87
1275 266262.5-3.5 318.7552.75-1.31

Bet No.Outlay
Total Outlay
@ 5/2
Profit on
I hope many of you have already obtained Equestrian’s special E-book of Staking Plans. It’s available on the Internet. All you do is download the book via an Adobe Acrobat file.

It all happens automatically and instantly. It’s free, too! The book contains many excellent ideas for staking. One that I like very much is recommended for those of you who like to bet horses at reasonable odds (not wildcard selections). You know the sort… those around the 3/1 to 5/1 range.

It’s called The One Bet Safety Plan and it’s a progression plan. The bank is 90 units and this covers you for a 9-bet sequence as follows:

2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10 - 12 - 14 - 16 - 18.

Clearly, the plan expects a lot of winners. At any stage, to cut even, one winner at 4/1 will do the trick. Except for the final stages, 7/2 is the maximum required to cut even.

If you strike four losers you will be 20 units in arrears, and the next bet will be 10 units. A winner at 7/2 will return you 45 units. At this stage, then, you will have bet a total of 30 units for a return of 45, giving you a profit of 15 units.

If the winner had been 2/1, you would have got back 30 units and that would have left you square on the series...That’s 30 out and 30 back. The same five bets at level stakes of $6 each would have seen you bet $30 for a return of 18 units. That’s a 12 unit loss.

This plan is best applied to systems with a very small number of selections, which have a high strike rate. Or you can use it for your one-bet specials every Saturday.

Maybe, even, it’s a worthwhile plan for place punters. This is something definitely worth thinking about.

You’ll find a whole host of staking plans in the Equestrian E-book. To get your copy, go to the address www.practicalpunting.com.au.

In the next part of this series, I’ll be discussing some selection plans. I have found a couple on the Internet, which are well worth thinking about, and there’s a third one, which I devised, with the help of my fellow PPM contributor Mark Merrick. These are sound, reliable selection approaches that will appeal, I am sure, to many PPM readers.

Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 1.

By Damien Whitchurch