In the many years I've been associated with PPM, I guess I've received some 200 letters from readers asking me about the benefits, or otherwise, of various forms of staking.

It doesn't surprise me that a lot of punters cannot find that ray of light that can brighten up their betting via GOOD STAKING.

PPM has handed out much advice down through the years and yet we still get lots of letters from punters who need help. I suppose the easy answer is to say "bet level stakes" and leave it at that! But keen punters are demanding more. They find level stakes too restrictive and they clamour for an approach that might lift their excitement level and provide them with the chance of some big returns.

A majority of the letter-writers mention target betting. I rather like this form of "shoot for the bull's-eye" attack. I know it has its critics, but so does just about every other staking approach!

We can't live our betting lives listening to doom sayers who predict we'll go broke after 15 years by following a certain system or a staking plan! Most of us are in for the short-term gain and "long term" means, at most, 12 months.

So what about target betting? Can it work for us? Is it worth a try? My answer is yes.

There are many interesting plans around. One of them was first unveiled back in the mid-1960s. It's a little complicated but once you understand what it's all about, you should be able to operate it with confidence.

  1. Make sure you have good selections.
  2. The object is to win a certain amount ($$) each meeting. For our purposes, we'll assume $8, or $1 a race.
  3. The least that can be bet on a horse is $1, or the aim per race. The maximum bet at this stage is $5.
  4. No bet if the selection is at 7/4 or under.
  5. The first horse is backed to win the target for the meeting, provided the required stake comes within the limits of Rules 3 and 4.
  6. If, and when, the target reaches $30, the betting procedure is changed as follows:
  7. If the target is $30 or more, the stake on the next bet, irrespective of odds, is 15 per cent of the target, and remains at 15 per cent until the target is reduced to less than $30, at which stage the betting returns to the original method.
  8. As soon as the target is gained for a meeting, then betting that day ceases. Should the target not be cleared at the end of the meeting, it is carried over and added to the next meeting.

The plan is well thought out and it could be a nice proposition if the selections used are sound. The 15 per cent "safety brake" is a smart idea, too.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this form of staking. Yes, you are chasing a target, but so does everyone, even if they don't admit it.

All punters go after a target. When you attend the races, or go to the TAB, or use your Net or phone account, don't you have a figure in mind? Of course you do.

Target bettors simply take the idea to its limit by naming an exact target and then chasing it until completion.

Some years ago, we introduced the Rice Bowl Target Plan. It became very popular.

My colleague Martin Dowling came back with the plan from the UK where he'd obtained it from a friend, Don Rice, who used the approach on greyhound racing around the London area tracks.

The Rice Bowl is a neat way of betting. You can never get into any strife with it.

There is not room in this article to expound on the rules but I promise I will go into some detail on it in the August PPM.

I'm sure you will find this target betting plan a viable one, especially if you are content to bet on only a few races per day.

It's the ideal plan for selective betting. Often, just one winner is enough to put you ahead for the day.

NEXT MONTH: We’ll have more on target betting with contributor D J in the August issue or PPM.

By Jon Hudson