As a final weapon in my betting armoury over the last decade or so, have used the target staking method known as the 6-Point Divisor Plan. It has worked exceptionally well, due suppose to the fact that my selections were very good.

The plan, which has been around a long time, has always had its critics. They pulled out the old adage that target staking plans were never worth your interest, because you ended up backing far too much money to win very little.

This criticism is not valid in the case of the 6-Point Divisor Plan because there is a built-in safety brake, which  shall explain as we proceed with this article. Let me say right now - BELIEVE in this staking method and recommend it to those punters with sane and sensible selection methods who are prepared to show the discipline required to operate it 100 per cent correctly.

The aim of the 6-Point Divisor Plan is to win six betting points every time you back a winner, or winners, whose odds total six. Now that may sound a trifle hard to fathom but it isn't. Collect your thoughts and read on.

Let's assume you are aiming to win \$6. Your first bet would be \$1-six divided into \$6. If your objective was to win \$12 your first wager would be that amount divided by 6 equalling a \$2 bet. Put simply, the procedure is just a matter of division into the amount you want to win.

To make it even easier to understand, I'll now explain a sample workout of the method.  will work on a target of \$12. Your divisor to begin with, of course, is 6, which you divide into \$12 to get the amount of \$2 as your opening bet.

If your first bet lost, your target (or objective) would be increased to \$14-your original target of \$12 plus the \$2 you just lost. Now, your second bet is determined by dividing 6 into \$14, equalling approximately \$2.30, which we will round off to \$2.50 for the purposes of this exercise, there not being such a thing as a 30 cent bet.

Your second bet wins at 3-1, giving you a profit of \$7.50. You now subtract this \$7.50 from your target objective of \$14, which leaves you \$6.50 still to get, to achieve the total target. As you have won three points (3-1 winner) you deduct 3 from your divisor. You now have a divisor of 3 into \$6.50, giving you \$2.16, which we'll round off to \$2 for the next bet.

If the next bet won, you would merely close off the series and start another one. If it lost, you would then add the \$2 you lost on to the \$6.50 target you were seeking, making your target objective now \$8.50 with a divisor of 3.

The safety brake comes in on the divisor. Whenever your divisor gets down to 2 or less you should introduce a new divisor and new objective. By dividing the target by 2 or less the stakes can rise too rapidly and things can, as the critics point out, get out of hand. But stick to the safety brake rule and you can't go wrong.

To use the safety brake, you start again by adding the balance of points in the divisor to a new 6 point divisor and \$12 target.

Here's an example of what to do:

Divisor Objector Bet Win Loss
61222
6142.57.5
36.522
24.52
Bring in new 6-pt divisor at this point + new \$12 objective and your betting table should now look like this:

8    16.5         2

If you kept on dividing by two as losers were struck your wagers would mount very quickly; the situation would become fraught with anxiety. So the safety brake is a powerful rule and a great weapon of protection and it doesn't matter how many times you use it.

Providing you always use your common sense in introducing the safety brake, you really can't go wrong with this divisor method. It is ingenious. You always have control of your capital and you ensure that you do not bet beyond your means by way of bringing in the safety brake factor.

On any reasonable set of selections, you will eventually back winners whose combined odds will wipe out the divisor and produce the desired target objective. In tests  have seen on one newspaper's selections, the divisor climbed to 27 during a very bad run of outs. Four new divisors and objectives were brought in but then seven bets produced five winners whose odds totalled 31, so all losses were regained and five objectives achieved.

You can also bring in the safety brake if, at any time, you consider the stakes are rising too steeply. The divisor may be 6 when you strike a slump which takes the objective to \$60, calling for a \$10 bet. By adding a new divisor of 6 and a new objective of \$12, your new table would give you a divisor of 12 and a target of \$72, calling for only a \$6 bet next time.

If you wanted to, you could even bring in yet another 6-point divisor and \$12 target, making it an 18point divisor and an \$84 target, for a bet of \$4.50 (rounded off).

Some professionals who use the 6Point Divisor Plan-and there are a handful of them--believe in starting afresh every time they show a profit. In your betting sheet layout you can add a separate column headed 'Profit and Loss' on which you can clearly see your actual financial position after each wager.

This is the line followed by conservative punters. They may achieve only a part of their objective but that makes them happy enough and they rule off and start a new series of bets. It's up to you how you play it.

When 'rounding off' you can either round off to the nearest dollar or to the next highest unit of investment. If you have a target of, say, \$7.20, you could round it off to \$7 or \$7.50. Alternatively, you can round off your actual bets.

Winners paying 5-4, 6-4 or 7-4 should, all be regarded as EVEN MONEY for the purposes of your divisor. Winners at 9-4, 5-2 or 114 should be calculated at 2-1. A 72 return is treated as 3-1 and 9-2 as 4-1 and so on. Over a period, these fractions will add to your profit.

I have drawn up the following example, from the selections of Brian Blackwell for The Banker Telephone Service recently. This gives you an idea of the worth of the 6-Point Divisor Plan.

You can see from these two series of 6-Pt Divisor bets that Brian's tips performed extremely well. There were two 7-1 winners for the Banker Telephone Service subscribers and they helped handsomely to make the 6-Point Divisor a real winner as well. The entire profit on the two series was \$464, with a total of four winners from 12 selections.

You can use the 6-Point Divisor for win and eachway betting.

You can even back two horses a race. With this method you are called on to use two stakes instead of one. If you hit a bad trot then your stakes can rise dramatically. Use the safety rule to stop this. By backing two horses a race, you naturally greatly reduce the prospects of striking long losing runs.

Assuming you were betting in \$2 units, your divisor would be 6 and objective 12, calling for a bet of \$2 on EACH of your selections. If both lost, the objective would increase to \$16 so your next investment would be \$2.70 each horse (rounded off to \$3, or \$2.50 whichever suits you). And so it would go on.

Don't forget that when you back two horses, and one wins at say 41, you only lop 3 off the divisor, because you have to take into account the 1 point lost on the second horse. Remember this!

I wish you the very best of luck with the 6-Point Divisor. It is a strong, sensible method of betting, as long as you operate it conservatively and are prepared to introduce the safety brake whenever you feel it is necessary.

I cannot stress enough the point about being conservative. With this method, your wagers can climb quickly if you strike a run of losers, but the answer to that is in your own hands-simply bring in a new divisor and objective and your wagers will fall.

By Statsman

PRACTICAL PUNTING - APRIL 1987