If there's one thing you have to remember about staking plans, it's this: Even a very good staking approach will not overcome bad selections, and give you a profit in the face of a low percentage of winners.

You can, then, have the best staking plan in the world, but without winners it's as useless as a bottomless bucket. Of course, a systematic approach to your betting is definitely better than a haphazard one, but I don't know of a staking plan that will bring in a profit on selections which don't win.

Most professionals have a disciplined approach to staking, although I know none who ties himself down to a purely mechanical method. You can go wrong by restricting yourself 100 per cent to such staking plans. Sometimes, you must exercise some form of control over the plan, especially if bets are increasing (along with your worries about when the next winner is going to be found).

Most systems call for progression or regression staking at some point (except for level-stakes betting). But, as you should know by now, progression staking can prove a deadly sin, and extremely dangerous, unless a punter has a large betting bank and enough commonsense to never let his staking get out of control.

Some progression plays look great on paper. Yet, in practice, the theory turns into a madhouse of bets. It can even become a vicious financial trap for the unwary and the reckless. The 6-Point Plan-about which we have talked before in P.P.M.-is a terrific approach as long as it is in the hands of someone with willpower to stick to it. It can produce a profit even if the selection rate is below par.

But it does demand that you stick to the rules, and adhere to the 'safety brake' mechanism which can stop bets getting out of hand. If you ignore the safety brake, you put enormous pressure on yourself because your bets rise with a run of losers, and can rise rather rapidly.

The 'control' progression method I am now about to outline should be ideal for small punters, even if you are betting only in $1 and $2 units. You have as much need of a sensible staking plan as a big punter. I guess your $2's mean as much to you as the rich bloke's $1000.

So why throw them away with sloppy betting techniques? Buy yourself a notepad. Mark down the date. And then write the following words on the first page:


From this point, you adopt the staking plan I am recommending, and you stick to it. No excuses. No side bets. No little bets here and there. Your money management plan from now on is going to be controlled and sensible.

It's called Flat Stake Progression, and it means you start with a set bank (say $50) and only increase your stakes when you reach a certain level of profit. With this plan, you can never get into deep water, because you know exactly what your bets are going to be, and the extent of your liability should the very worst results pop up.

Now for the rules of the Flat Stake Progression method:

  1. We assume a flat bet of $2.
  2. You bet all horses (or dogs) $2 until you are showing a clear profit of $20that is, 10 times your starting bet stake of $2.
  3. The second stage of the plan, once the $20 profit is achieved, is to bet a $3 unit.
  4. You keep on this $3 unit until you have achieved $30 profit, or a profit you feel is adequate. Your unit bet then rises to $4.

Sound interesting? Yes, it is. You merely coast along with your $2 bets, gradually building up your bank until you are $20 in front. It might take you a long while to reach that $20 figure. If so, well, so be it.

You won't be doing too much harm hitting and missing with $2 bets. Once you have established yourself in a good profit mould-10 times the amount of your unit bet-it is time to move on, and be a little bit bolder. So it's a $3 bet from then. You now have that target of $30 profit to achieve before advancing any further.

If we assume that you have made the initial $20 profit, and that you started with a $50 bank, you now have a total bank of $70, and you will be betting in $3 units; this means you can go 23 losing bets without blowing the entire bank (if you do back this number of losers I would seriously suggest you take a long, hard look at your selection method!).

It would take seven losers to wipe out the $20 profit you made with the $2 bets. So you can see the merits of this idea. If you are not having success, you'll be stuck on that $2 unit-and rightly so. But once you start to get right into profit the method allows you to adopt a controlled upwards flat stake progression.

This is an ideal approach for the punter who doesn't want his or her betting to get out of control, or rise too steeply too soon.

It's also ideal for the punter who has the courage to admit that his betting is willy-nilly, haphazard, clumsy or careless. Control is the name of what I'm about. Show control in your staking and your selections will probably slip into a similar gear.

By Richard Hartley Jnr