The introduction of 'parlay' betting on all-up tickets at TABs around Australia enables punters to strike some big divvies for a small outlay. The problem, however, is that the TAB bosses want to lure you into attempting to snare FOUR winners or placegetters.

In N.S.W., the all-up parlay ticket gives you six doubles, four trebles and a four horse accumulator for $11. This is all very neat but, as punters are quickly discovering, it's very, very difficult to strike tour winning bets.

The trick to all-up betting is not to be greedy. Stick to THREE horses and back them for a PLACE. You'll find that over a period of time you will be scoring regularly and getting some lovely treble dividends returned to you.

You must study the form carefully, pick out the three best for the day, and back them in an all-up place treble. Several friends of mine, all seasoned professional punters, believe implicitly in place trebles. Take the case of Alan, who is based in Brisbane and bets mostly on the provincial tracks (Gatton, Caloundra, Cold Coast, Bundamba).

He says there is great value to be had at these minor tracks. As an example, he points to his successful treble at Gatton in early June. He came up with Steel Thorn in the first, Northern Link in the second and Scarlet's Revenge in the third. Two won and the other one ran 2nd. His allup treble paid odds of 11-2.

But Alan is astute enough to realise that he should cover himself for the winners that inevitably will be struck.

He also takes a set of trebles as follows: Horses A, B, C. Trebles to be backed so that each has a horse for a win in it. So he would have A (Win) B (Place) C (Place) then A (Place) B (Win) C (Place) then A (Place) B (Place) C (Win). In this instance, he struck another two trebles at Gatton, this time with A winning and B and C placed, and also C winning with A and B placed.

You can see the beauty of this method. You are not going overboard by trying to stretch yourself to pick four placegetters. You are restricting yourself to three horses, so the treble is attainable as you are backing for a place only and you are going for horses with solid prospects, NOT outsiders!

If you like, you can follow Alan's example and add those Win and Place trebles in as well-but always make sure you have two of the three horses running for a place, and only one of them for a win.

You might well ask what sort of profits you can expect. Well, as you'll understand, this depends on how good your selections are going to be. A high strike rate can be expected if you select your horses sensibly, and without throwing in too many 'wild cards'. You must stick to well-fancied horses, though keep clear of those at evens and under.

Let's take a hypothetical example: Your three horses finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their respective races. For $1, the dividends for a place are $1.70, $1.50 and $1.75. The winner pays $3.50 for a win.

You have had $10 on the winning place treble, and $10 on each of the other three trebles. You therefore have a $17 return on the first placegetter, which goes on to the second placegetter for a return of $25.50, which all goes on to the third placegetter for a final return of $44.60. Your place treble, then, has paid odds of 7-2.

Now you have that winner at $3.50: This gives you a $35 return, which goes on to the second placegetter for a return of $52.50, which all goes on to the third placegetter for a final return of $92 (approx). You have outlaid a total of $40, and your total return is made up of $44.60 from the place treble and $92 from the Win-Place-Place treble, a final tally of $136.60. This gives you a profit of $96.60. This is almost 250 per cent on your turnover!

Now I am going to suggest that for the place trebles you consider using a simple progressive staking plan. I am convinced it will serve you well.

Assuming you are betting in $10 units, you would follow this progression:

    $10, $10, $10, $20, $20, $30, $40, $50, $70,$90.

This means you kick off your place treble betting with a $10 bet. If that loses, your next treble is also for $10. If that loses, you have another $10 treble. If that loses, you progress to $20. If that loses, you have another $20 treble. If that loses, you go to a $30 treble next time out and so on.

Let's assume you strike five losing trebles in a row. You would have bet $10, $10, $10, $20, $20 for a total outlay of $70. However, with your $30 treble you get all three placegetters up at the following divvies: $2.00, $1.70 and $1.80. Your return for the $30 treble is $183.60. You are now $83.60 ahead. Your total outlay, including the $30 treble, has been $100, but you now have $183.60 in your hand.

In fact, all you would have needed from the $30 treble to break even would have been a return of 5-2.

Think very seriously about what I've told you in this article. Place trebles can be a most exciting and rewarding way to bet. There's not a great deal of risk, and using the progression staking you will need only to strike a 5-2 to 3-1 treble to break even or show a small profit, no matter how many losses you hit.

By Jon Hudson