In the last issue of PPM, I went through what could only have been the most brutal set of figures imaginable to illustrate what would happen to a punter who started betting on the Target Betting plan called The Six Point Divisor Plan.

No great damage to the wallet or the psyche of the punter would have occurred in the first losing streak of 10 losers, as only 32 units ($32) was lost. Even after another 10 losers the loss was 182 units and I am sure most punters would have felt “unlucky” by this stage, as I am equally sure there would have been a couple of narrow defeats involved.

I suspect most punters would have dug in for the battle ahead but after just another five losers (now making 25), a real sense of panic would have crept in. The loss was now 403 units and most punters may have been thinking, “What the hell have I got myself into?”

With just another five losers the loss would have more than doubled to 881 units and the next bet called for would have been a mind-numbing 148 units (based on a $1 minimum bet size). I reckon those $1 punters would have bailed out by now.

The biggest mistake made by ALL punters when they start out using the Six Point Divisor Plan is that they seldom believe a run of 30 outs will occur.

This sort of punter is one that has gone beyond just rolling up at the TAB or the races after having studied the fields briefly the day before and over breakfast on raceday. This punter has sought literature that might help add a little extra to the mix. Inevitably he or she comes across the idea of a staking plan and when discovering the SPD Plan thinks that punting heaven has been found.

Why? Because  when presented in its rawest form the plan makes sense and away goes the zealous punter with dollar signs flashing. As I have related, myself and some friends tried this plan many years ago and we all had our fingers burnt.

What we should have done was to seek the use of some safety brakes to guard against the fearsome rise in bet size once the certain run of outs happened.

Over the years I have played around with various safety brakes for  those Target Betting Plans I have experimented with and I have come to the very firm conclusion that the size of your divisor is the first of a number of critical decisions that has to be made.

Generally, there are two types of punters: those that back favourites or near favourites and those that will not back a favourite but seek what they call “value”, which usually will be horses around the 6/1 area and beyond to even backing the odd 100/1 chance. The punter who backs favourites and near favourites needs to have a different divisor than the person who backs the “value” brigade.

What usually happens with the beginning target bettor is that they bundle all varieties of odds into the one basket and use the one divisor, such as six, to cover all contingencies.

If a breakdown of all the prices they back shows most of their selections are around 3/1 (the mode), then they should double this figure and use six as their divisor and not back any horses much past 3/1 when using this divisor. A limit of 4/1 would be acceptable. This keeps well fancied selections at 4/1 under the one umbrella and not mixed up with longer priced runners.

If you keep only 4/1 and under chances when using a divisor of six, you will never win the exact amount of units sought and will only ever gain 4/6 of your total objective. Strictly speaking this does not exactly accomplish what the SPD Plan sets out to do but it also does not have you chasing smallish amounts and risking bigger bets in the process.

This is assuming you never divide by less than six. Some articles I have read recommend you can divide by less than six but let me tell you –  that is like running with the bulls at Pamplona. Do not follow this path. Do it often enough and you will be gored. You are probably wondering what is Roman talking about?

Let’s have the situation where you have had 10 losers and your 11th bet is $7 (based on a minimum $1 bet) to win $38, which is calculated by dividing 6 into $38 and rounding up to the next dollar. At this stage you are losing $32 and back a 3/1 winner and win $21; however, you were chasing $38 so you are still after another $17.

What the original Six Point Plan advises is that you subtract the odds of your winner (3/1) from six (original divisor) and divide three into $17 which is rounded up to $6 and you continue on until a 3/1 winner or longer wipes out the previous amounts lost, plus wins the original $6 (6 units) sought.

I did not mention this in the previous article as I wished to show you what could happen in one devastating run of outs and to introduce this rule in the first article was out of the boundaries of what I was trying to explain. If you have decided your divisor is to be six then NEVER divide by less than that figure because somewhere along the line you will regret it, simply due to the fact that as you divide by lower numbers your bet sizes rise quicker during a protracted run of outs.

The next scenario involves those selections the punter has that fall into the “value” range, which in the case above is 9/2 and longer, and again you have a look at the mode of the odds of the selections. This time you may find your selections past 9/2 have a mode of 7/1. Simply double this figure and it becomes the divisor for all your horses that fall into the 9/2 plus brigade. Naturally this now means you have two target betting plans on the move: one with a divisor of 6 and one with a divisor of 14.         

More often than not the reason why newbies to target betting lose is because they have their value selections mixed in with their favourites and often it is actually the 7/1 horses that drag the run of outs into such terrifying numbers. This is not to say you cannot have 30 losers backing favourites/near favourites but if you did then I would give the punt a big miss.

If we look at dividing by 14 it is obvious the bet size will not rise as dramatically and if we had 30 losers in the 7/1 range the figures show that after nine losers we rise to two units for the 10th bet, after 19 losers the 20th bet is $3 and after 30 losers (well and truly possible with value selections) you have outlaid a miserable 81 units with your next bet at $7 on Bet Number 31. Rather than reproduce a page full of figures to finalise this part, I will allow you to do your own stats for a losing streak up to 40 or more if you wish.

At this stage it must be obvious that the higher your divisor the longer run of outs your selections will be able to weather. However, you might still be feeling fairly uncomfortable with the sequences and somewhere along the run of outs (it’s usually just after Bet Number 20 for 6 Point Dividers), a slight feeling of panic will start to grip you.

Don’t panic because there is a simple solution at hand which will drastically slow down the bet size and when the winners do arrive, if you have been patient, you will trade out of any loss situations and make a profit or add to any previous profits.

Let us take the situation after 20 losers. At this stage you have the “nervous Nellies” and you can feel the start of a panic attack especially if today is another day where you bomb out. To slow down the size of the bets all you simply do is add six to your current divisor and $12 to your current objective.

In last month’s article, Bet Number 21 would have seen you chasing $188 with the divisor still at six therefore your new objective for Bet 21 would be $200 and your new divisor would be 12 which, when rounded up, is $17, Bet 22 would be $217/12 equalling $19 and Bet 23 would be $236/12 equalling $20 and so on.  You can see this simple process has seen the bet size rise far less aggressively than would have been the case if you had kept dividing by six.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from adding another 12 and six to the objective and divisor respectively to further slow down the outlay. Naturally, if you did this you would now need winners whose odds total around 18 (it’s never exact nor are the amounts involved due to the fractions) but this only requires  six winners at 3/1 or four winners at around 4/1.

To be quite honest, after as many losers as you have had there will be the inevitable run of winners not too far away. Horseracing is a tough game but in all my punting life there has always been three main scenarios I have encountered: one, a bad run of outs, two, a good run of winners and three, a mixture of winners and losers where we seemingly tread water and no profit or loss eventuates.

The advice I am about to outline is for the minimum $1 punter and you should multiply the figures accordingly based on your personal minimum bet size.

Allot $1,000 as your punting bank with your minimum bet at $1 or 1:1,000 and decide which style of punter you are going to be: either 4/1 and less chances or 9/2 plus chances. If you are at the favourites’ end, can I suggest if you can obtain $1.80 the place with a minute to go then bet for the place; otherwise, bet win only. There will be times when your place bet will shorten but there will be other times when they lengthen: just wear it.

If you want to back the 9/2 plus chances you can bet each way or place only or in some races you might back two or three roughies. Whatever you do, whenever you collect work out the odds you have received and subtract that from your divisor and likewise subtract the profits from your objective.

As an example, let us say you backed three roughies in the Doncaster at $1 each at 12/1, 20/1 and 40/1 for the win and the 20/1 chance won. You have outlaid $3 for a return of $21 or 18/3 which is actually 6/1 your money; so, you would subtract six from your divisor and 18 from your objective and away you go again.

Okay, there you have it. In the first article on Target Betting I showed you what can happen if you just continue and continue and continue. In this follow up article I have shown you how important it is to consider the mode of your winning prices and the addition of an extra divisor and objective as well as a general ratio for a betting bank of 1:1,000.

I will leave it up to you what to do once the profits reach a certain level! Just remember that a commonsense approach to Target Betting should never see you in trouble unless you really, really bomb out for winners but by that stage you would have lost your money anyway no matter what staking approach you used.

Click here to read Part 1.

By Roman Kozlovski