Dutching is a method of betting that can be very successful, I am living proof of this, but it is often overlooked as a serious means to profiting from horse racing by individuals who have been brought up with the “bet it on the nose”, “never back odds on favorites” nonsense. You know who I mean, you find them every day in the bookmakers shops always willing to tell you the next winner. Hopefully you will find this article a little different and somewhat useful in deciding whether dutching is for you!
So you have the morning paper, you’ve looked at the cards or maybe you have received your racing tips for the day and there is one race that you just can’t get an angle on. Have you ever been torn between two selections when placing a bet?
Most of us have been in this situation at some stage, and Murphy’s Law dictates that the one you did not back always wins!
If you find yourself in the situation where you just cannot make up your mind, one option and sometimes the best option is to leave the race alone – but occasionally, and this is becoming increasingly more common, depending on the prices, there can be value had in backing 2 or more selections in the one event.
This is what is commonly known as ‘Dutching’ and from which I have been making a successful career in betting over the last 20 years.
So – What Is This Dutch Betting All About?
Put very simply, Dutching is the name given to betting 2 or more horses in a single race to improve your chances of finding the winner. Betting on 2 horses in a 9 runner field is a Dutch bet as is betting 7 horses in a 9 runner field. These selections can be your own or those provided by a racing tips service. I’m sure like me, you have had many occasions when you have been able to highlight a few horses that ‘stand out’ in a race, but have found it difficult to pinpoint the strongest and most likely winner. This is where dutching comes into its own as a sensible and viable betting approach. Dutching, in its simplest form, as explained above, means staking the same amount on each horse, irrespective of price – this is commonly known as “Level Stakes” dutching. What we will be doing does not. When it comes to dutching properly, the stakes are worked out so that the return is the same as long as one of your selections wins of course.
How Should You Stake When Dutching?
Depending upon the number of horses I’m going to back and the odds available for them, I use 2 methods of staking. The first is simply ‘Level Stakes’ and I tend to use this method if I’m only on a couple of horses and the odds for them are similar. Obviously, this method will return different profits depending on the odds of the winner but it’s a quick and easy method.
Recommended: A more sensible approach is to ‘divide up your stakes’ so that you will return the same profit regardless of the odds of the winning horse you Dutched. If you’re worried that this method is too complicated, please don’t as you can search for a simple free calculator which will show you how much to place on each of your selections based on their odds.
Important Staking Rule
One very important point I need to make at this time is that you should decide on a total amount you are comfortable with staking ‘per race’. By this I mean, if you usually bet £50 in each race this should be the total amount you bet between all your Dutched horses. You should never leave yourself in a position where you stand to lose more than this. All betting is risky and even though you have selected the horses that you feel are the most likely winners in your Dutch bet, there will be times when none of them win…
Warning Regarding Odds-On Horses
I tend to stay clear of dutching in races where there is a strong odds-on favorite as it’s usually difficult to rule out the favorite from your shortlist of potential winners and therefore the odds available on it will drastically reduce your returns even if your other horses are available at nice prices. A general rule of thumb I use is to only play in races where my selections or racing tips are at 6/4 (2.5) or higher. But this can be adjusted according to your strike rate, which will of course, be dependent on your experience and judgment.
Let’s Look At Some Examples
Dutching can be done on most sports that offer fixed odds and a number of outcomes. To give an example, I will use a horse race, which is where I have the most experience: Let’s presume that you have read the form or you have your racing tips and feel that two horses have particularly good chances compared to the opposition, yet you cannot make up your mind between the two. If the prices of both horses are high enough, this offers a good dutching opportunity. The first step is to make a note of the prices.
In this example, we will assume that:
– Horse A is 2/1
– Horse B is 4/1
Next, you must decide how much to stake in total for the bet. We shall assume that the total amount you are willing to risk is £10.00.
The last step is to split up the stake between the two horses, and place £6.25 on horse A, and £3.75 on horse B (total cost of bet is £10.00)
If horse A wins, you gain £12.50, but lose the £3.75 staked on horse B. Total Profit: £8.75
If horse B wins, you gain £15.00, but lose the £6.25 staked on horse A. Total Profit: £8.75
So as you can see, It does not make a difference which of them wins, as you gain £8.75 either way.
Wow, that sounds so simple yet complicated to work out I hear you say! Please note that most dutching calculators use decimal odds (the type of odds used on betting exchanges such as Betfair or Betdaq), so if you normally use traditional odds, you will need to convert by adding one. (5/1 becomes 6.0, 8/1 becomes 9.0, 5/2 becomes 3.5 etc)
But, not everyone has access to a computer all day, and may need to work out the Dutch bet manually. Don’t panic, here are the sums explained:
Again, using a horse race as an example:
You want to Dutch 3 horses using £10.00.
Horse A = 5/1
Horse B = 7/1
Horse C = 5/2
The first step is to convert the odds to decimal odds by adding one.
Horse A = 6.0
Horse B = 8.0
Horse C = 3.5
Next, you convert the odds to their percentage chance by dividing into 100:
Horse A = 16.67% (100 divided by 6 equals 16.67)
Horse B = 12.5% (100 divided by 8 equals 12.5)
Horse C = 28.57% (100 divided by 3.5 equals 28.57)
The third step is to add the percentages together: 16.67 + 12.5 + 28.57 = 57.74%
Finally, to figure out how much to place on each bet, you divide the horses’ individual percentage chance by the overall percentage figure – then multiply by the total amount you want to stake on the event (£10.00 in this example).
Horse A… 16.67 divided by 57.74 equals 0.29. 0.29 multiplied by 10 equals 2.9 Stake for Horse A: £2.90
Horse B… 12.5 divided by 57.74 equals 0.22 0.22 multiplied by 10 equals 2.2 Stake for Horse B: £2.20
Horse C… 28.57 divided by 57.74 equals 0.49 0.49 multiplied by 10 equals 4.9 Stake for Horse C: £4.90
Total cost of bet: £10.00
Profit if any selection wins: £7.32
How To Use Your Racing Tips To Dutch
Without a doubt, the best method I have found to date of placing profitable Dutch bets into Betfair is by using the Bet Angel. It really is the ultimate dutching tool. It calculates the stakes for you automatically based upon your chosen ‘total risk’ and will place all your bets at the click of a button. It also does tons more than this including Trading, Stop Loss, Simplified Hedging, Graphs. The list goes on….
Dutching your own selections or racing tips is an often overlooked method of profiting from horse racing betting, but can offer a simple and effective means of making money when taken seriously. I tend to have a number of bets each day where I am on 2 or more horses in the race. I’ve not only found this to be a profitable means of betting, but also it has the big advantage of increasing your strike rate which is a key factor in controlling the nerves and stress of betting that we all feel from time to time. And there you have it, a simple way to calculate a Dutch bet the next time you can’t make up your mind.