It's surprising - though it shouldn't be - how many professional punters continue to use 'divisor' betting. Most stick to the tried-and-proven 6-Point Divisor Plan, about which I wrote a major article in P.P.M. in the April, 1987, issue.

Critics have lambasted divisor betting because they say you can end up chasing your tail and betting huge amounts of money to win back what you have already lost. Frankly, isn't this what punting is all about-recouping losses, and then shooting for profits again?

The problem with the critics' argument is that divisor betting can be controlled quite easily by the use of the 'safety brake' idea. This is something I have previously discussed, but before going on to the new angle on divisor betting-which is the purpose of this article-lets briefly go over the 6-Point Divisor Plan.

As its name indicates, the plan is to win six betting points every time you back a winner, or winners, whose actual odds total six. The operation is to divide six into your objective. Let's assume you want to win \$12 (that is your objective). Divide six into \$12 and you come up with \$2, which is your opening bet. All you have to remember is that any losses must be added to your objective. When a winner is struck, the amount you have won is deducted from the objective and the odds of the winner are deducted from the divisor. The play continues until the divisor is eliminated, or the objective attained.

The 'safety brake' comes in when you may have had a run of outs and you find your bets growing. The divisor may, for example, be down to four and your objective, because of a series of losers, up to 48. This means your next bet is \$12. What you do, for safely, is introduce a new divisor of six and a new objective of \$12. This means you now have a divisor of 10 and an objective of 60, giving you a much lower bet of \$6. This is how the ‘safety brake' works, and you can do it as many times as necessary. Of course, if you find you are having to do it on a regular basis it would be time to seriously rethink your selection method!

With the 6-Point Divisor Plan, you should always introduce a new divisor of six and a new objective when your divisor gets to two or under. By dividing the objective by two, the bets can be too large, and rise too steeply. Stick to the safety rule and you can't go wrong.

With the New Angle Divisor Plan, we are adopting a similar approach but we do introduce a different style of 'safety brake'. Now, I think you'll find that this is the ideal betting method for those punters who like to bet on horses in the 3-1 area. But it isn't only okay for them. You can use it with any selection method that provides sound, sensible selections.

Your opening divisor with this method is three and your objective is any sum you want to win, but don't make the objective too ridiculously high, otherwise you are going to be faced with big bets. Play cautiously. Let's assume you have decided on an objective of \$6, with the divisor of three. That gives you an opening bet of \$2. At this point, we simply follow the rules of the 6-Point Divisor Plan, with losses added to the objective, and winning deducted from it, with the odds of the winner being deducted from the divisor.

If your opening bet was on an even money winner, your divisor would be scaled down to two and your objective would be reduced to five (one point coming off for the 1-1 evens price on your winner). You would have a second bet now of two divided into five equalling \$2.50.

Now we come to the crunch of the 'safety brake' aspect of this plan, and it is very important that you operate the method exactly as I'll outline. Now, we cannot really carry on with a divisor of three or less should we strike a long run of cuts. That's pretty obvious, isn't it? Stakes would shoot up far too rapidly for your peace of mind and the protection of your capital. Thus, the 'safety brake' rule comes into operation.

To keep your bets down to reasonable and acceptable limits, the 'safety brake' works as follows: Every time you back two successive losers you add ONE to the divisor. Example: First bet is \$2. It loses. Now your objective has become eight and your divisor remains at three. The second bet, then, is \$3 (rounded off). We'll assume it loses as well. Now you have an objective of \$11 and a divisor of three, but you have backed two successive losers.

Therefore, you increase your divisor by ONE, making it now four. So, your next bet is \$11 divided by four equalling'\$3 (rounded off). Should this horse lose as well, your next objective would be \$14, with the same divisor of four, making a bet of \$3.50. If this lost as well (heaven forbid!) your objective would be \$17.50, but you would again add ONE to the divisor, making it now five and this divisor divided into the objective would give you a bet of \$3.50.

You can see from this example that even though you are striking losers, your bets are being kept well under control. Let's now assume that your third bet won at 2-1. Your divisor would come down from four to two, and your objective from \$11 to \$7. This means your next bet would be two divided into \$7 for \$3.50 as the next bet.

You carry on like this until the divisor is cleared or- you are ahead of your objective. If at any time you find you have eradicated the divisor, but still have a small amount of objective left, you merely close off the play, and add the remaining amount of the objective to your next series. So-your new series would be three divided into \$6, but if you had, say, \$2 left over from your previous objective, you add this to the new play's objective, making it \$8 instead of \$6.

The strength of this method of betting, with a divisor, is that if your selections are sensible, and you operate the 'safety brake' rule, you should enjoy a most successful betting life. Your capital outlay is well-controlled and, with the use of solid selections, you will always hit the target eventually.

Compare this approach to what you may be doing at the moment and ask yourself this: Do you have control over your betting? Is your staking plan nonexistent or simply haphazard, \$10 here, \$20 there, etc?

If the answers are in the negative, it could be that you need a method like divisor staking, merely because it disciplines you and does not allow your betting to veer away from a set route. At least, with divisor betting, you know exactly how things will go, and you know exactly what to do. Even when losing runs happen along, you can accommodate them without too much risk.

And you know that as soon as you have backed winners whose odds total a certain amount that you are going to be in front.

You can see from these examples that there is much to be said for divisor betting. You can win good, steady money from it. I heartily recommend it for those punters seeking control over their betting, and who are prepared to use it only in conjunction with a very sensible selection method, with no more than five or six    bets per day, less if possible.

By Statsman

PRACTICAL PUNTING - APRIL 1988