Multiple betting. Few punters haven't dabbled in it at some stage of their betting pursuits. I wonder how many have grasped the 'secrets' of it.

Let's face it-the average punter restricts his multiple betting to a few daily doubles, a box trifecta or maybe a treble or quadrella. They do not, however, pay enough attention to the enormous benefits that can flow from proper use of multiple betting techniques.

You can employ them in win/place operations, race by race, or in all the wide range of exotic bets available at the TAB, like quinella, trifecta, doubles, trebles and all-up betting.

One method I firmly believe in-and have used successfully many times-is to pick horses in different races and still make a multiple 'book' to defeat the bookie. The aim is to back horses in groups so that if just ONE of the group wins, a profit is made.

The horses -remember- are all in different races. This is the key and rather unique feature of the plan. The bigger the group of horses that can be covered, the greater the prospects of it containing a winner. This is true multiple betting, but at the same time it steers you away from the 'usual' method of backing more than one horse in the same race.

It is, in reality, a scientific multiple bet. This is one of the secrets of what I'm talking about in this article ... coming to grips with the balanced, rational approach to linking horses together in bets. With this form of multiple betting, you link outlay to expected prices.
Here's an example: Three horses are selected-A at 5-2, B at 3-1 and C at 7-2. The punter backs them to pick up a profit no matter which one wins. (More than one winner is a bonus!). You would back them in the following manner:

 A 15-2 12 points win B 3-1 10 points win C 7-2 10 points win

You have outlaid 32 points. If A wins, there is a net gain of 10 points ( total return of 42 points, minus the 32 points you have bet). Should B win, the net gain is 8 points. If C wins, you have won 13 points.

This is a simple plan in theory. The following table tells you exactly how you should allot your bets for the various prices:

STAKING TABLE

Odds Stakes (\$)
Evens-25
Odds Stakes
6-4-20 9-2-9
2-1-18 5-1-9
5-2-14 6-1-8
3-1-12 7-1-7
7-2-10 8-1-7
4-1-10 10-1-5

One point to remember is that you can't back ANY group of horses in different races and make a profit every time. You have to carefully work out the expected returns. If prices are too short you may lose even if you do snare a winner.

Your selections call for skill and judgement. Always steer clear of horses a very short odds. I wouldn't consider any at odds-on and think very carefully about anything 6-4 or shorter. Look always for value.

Here's another example. Let's suppose you are operating on the meetings at Flemington and Randwick on May 2. You choose Lady Zillah (pre-post 5-2) and Fix The Date (5--1) at Randwick, and Steppenwolf (4-1) and Scott's Lane (5-2) at Flemington. There was one winner from this foursome. Your bets would have been:
Lady Zillah \$14 possible return \$49 Fix The Date \$ 9 possible return \$54 Steppenwolf \$10 possible return \$50 ScotCs Lane \$14 possible return \$49

This is a total outlay of \$47. The one winner from the group was Steppenwolf at 2-1, well below what was expected. The return then from that bet was \$30, leaving you with a loss of \$17. However, had a second horse won-say Scott's Lane which started at 4-1-you would have had a further return of 14 x 4 equalling 64. Thus, your outlay and return would have read OUTLAY 47, RETURN 108, for an excellent profit of 61 points!

You do not have to go to four horses. You can work the same thing with 2 or 3, or maybe go to 5 or 6. As long as the prices are acceptable, leaving you with a profit, it doesn't matter how many horses you group. My own suggestion is that you do not go beyond 5.

This is a scientific betting method and can be employed by anyone able to secure or estimate likely starting prices and, at the same time, be able to select a good percentage of winners. Clever professionals use it all the time.

You can adopt the same sort of procedure in another way. This is to back several runners to show a pre-determined profit figure. An example: A is at evens in the first race, B at 3-1 in the fourth and C at 4-1 in the last race. We back each of them to return 20 units-that means each horse to bring in 20 units, including stake. Total investment, then, is 19 units. If one of the three wins we would get back 20 units for a profit of one unit. If two win, the return is 40 and the profit 21. If all three won the return would be 60 for a clear profit of 41 units.

Your bets would have 10 units on the even-money horse, 5 units on the 3-1 chance and 4 units on the 4-1 chance. That would be 10-10, 15-5, and 16-4.

Using this same idea, you could pick out, say, 6 horses at the following prices2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 3-1, 5-1 and 8-1. You decide to back them all to return 18 units, including stake. Your bets would be 6 units on each of the 2-1 horses (12-6), 4.5 units on the 3-1 chance (13.5-4.5), 3 units on the 5-1 chance (15-3) and 2 units on the 8-1 horse (16-2). Your total investment is 27.5 units. If you strike one winner you will lose 9.5 units. But a second winner gives you a profit of 8.5 units and each extra winner after that will land you with an extra 18 units profit.

If you struck, say, three winners you would make a profit of 26.5 units-almost 100 per cent on turnover. A fourth winner would give you a profit of 44.5 units. Because most punters will have to use pre-post prices, and thus bet to the price that is in the morning newspapers, it's possible that on many occasions a horse will pay MORE than anticipated, and so enhance the profits. On the debit side, sometimes they will pay less.

What you have done with this simple multiple bet is to INCREASE your chances of winning. You will be most unlucky--or a shocking tipster-if you cannot land I winner from 6 selections. Most punters should be able to average 2 from 6 on a long-term basis.

Another form of multiple betting is to concentrate on horses in the one race. A popular method is to back, say, three horses in the same race. You have your No. 1 selection as your banker, and then you bet on two 'dangers' to save your bet. An example: Your three horses are at 2-1, 3-1 and 6-1. You wish to outlay 20 units only. You would bet 5 units on the 3-1 chance (returning you 20), 3 units on the 6-1 chance (returning you 21 units). You have expended 8 units of your 20. You place the remaining 12 units on your major selection at 2-1 ( for a return of 36).
So, if your top selection won, your profit would be 16 units. However, should it be beaten you have your 2 saver bets running for you. If any one of them scored you would have your total investment returned.

Naturally, with this method you are reducing the actual odds on your major selection ( in this case a straightout bet of 20 units on a 2-1 chance would have returned you 60 units, whereas by taking savers you received 36 units).

But think of the safety factor involved.

Betting straightout, if your horse loses, all your money is gone. With the multiple bet, you still have 2 other horses running for you to return your stake. That's a nice feeling.

You can back as many horses as you wish, but remember that the more you back, the skinnier the bet will be on your major selection.

Multiple betting can be applied to all forms of punting--quinellas, doubles, trebles, trifectas, quadrellas, all-up etc. The majority of punters do use multiples when betting on the exotics, yet I find that few bother to do the same with win and place betting-a mistake, in my view.

The method I have outlined in this article will enable you to bring a semblance of systematic, scientific control to your win/place betting. You will be able to adopt a straightforward approach and keep your betting well under control by knowing in advance your possible profits.

It also takes away the haphazard element from your approach and this is vitally important. Another key factor is that the multiple approach gives you a sound knowledge of percentages, a most important factor in any punter's makeup. With proper money management and multiple investments on bettable races, a punter can build his/her capital to a point where racing becomes a profitable investment instead of a day's unplanned gambling.

Pittsburgh Phil, the great American punter, once said that an investment should only be made when the probable result is worth the risk. He was referring to profit percentage over a period of time in relation to actual turnover. His warning was that this could only be achieved if the punter waited for 'true' opportunities when the possibility of gain was greater than the chance of loss.

Remember when you punt that it's the long-term result that counts. To achieve that, you need planned betting.

By Statsman

PRACTICAL PUNTING - JULY 1987