What is Dutch Betting?

Dutching or Dutch Betting, is a betting expression that means to back more than one horse or outcome rather than just bet on the one.

Before the betting exchanges emerged, dutch betting was used as a way of laying horses, by simply backing everything else in the race against the horse you wanted to 'lay'.

Now it used as a definite strategy when covering more than one outcome or as in our case, more than one horse.

So let's say you have a nightmare big field Handicap like the six furlong Wokingham Stakes at Ascot and there are 20 to 30 runners. To give yourself more of a chance of backing the winner, you may decide to back more than one runner.

Bearing in mind the odds of the favourite in a race like this will probably be no lower than 5/1, you can cover a number of runners and still make a profit if one of them wins. 

So if you select two horses, one at 11/1 and another at 8/1, both likely to still be near the front of the market here, there are three options available to you.

Dutch Betting options.

1) Either split your stake and place the same amount on both horses, so for a £10 stake place £5 on each horse.

2) Stake more on one horse and the rest as a saver bet on the other, so that you get your stakes back if the one with the smaller stake wins.

3) Stake a different amount on each horse so that whichever horse wins you make the same profit.

Option 1

Let us assume that the 8/1 horse wins the Wokingham. You have split your £10 stake and have made £40 on the winner, less the £5 losing stake making a profit of £35. If the other horse had won you would make 11 x £5 = £55, less £5 so a profit of £50.

What you must bear in mind, is the combined odds of the horses and the actual amount you stand to win compared to the stake, because it easy to think that an 8/1 winner, less one losing stake is a 7/1 winner.

However you have actually laid out £10 and won just £35, so effectively you have had a 7/2 winner, with a £5 winning stake returned.

If the other horse had won, it is not so much an 11/1 winner less one stake for a 10/1 winner, it is an overall stake of £10 for a £50 profit, so really you have a 5/1 winner.

You still make the profits and have more of a chance by backing more than one horse but you should understand the maths of it is all in reality.

Option 2

This can be used if one of your selections is more fancied or at a shorter price than the other.

By placing more on the outsider of the two you can win more money if it succeeds and then get your stake back on the more fancied runner with the smaller stake.

So say that you have two horses at 3/1 and 10/1 and you want the saver on the 3/1 horse using a £10 stake. You need to set it so that whatever you place on the 3/1 runner will get the stake back on the 10/1 horse.

If you place £2 at 3/1 this means placing £8 at 10/1 but £2 X 3/1 is only a profit of £6, so you need to try £3 at 3/1 and £7 at 10/1. This would mean a profit of £9 if the horse won at 3/1and would cover the £7 stake on the other.

Of course you would make a profit of £67 if the other horse wins and as we have seen before this would be combined odds of 6.7/1 on your overall £10 stake.

Option 3

Probably the more sound method of the three and most popular, is to split your stakes unevenly, so that you win the same amount whichever horse wins.

Choosing your stake and then working out the stakes however is not as easy as it sounds.

In fact it's a very complicated process indeed and a real headache, especially if you are backing three or more horses.

There is access to an excel spreadsheet at the bottom of this post that will automate all of the calculations.

When placing different amounts on a number of runners to end up with the same profit, you need to note the combined odds of the horses you are backing because even backing five horses at double figure prices could mean you are only getting odds of about 6/4 or 2/1 overall.

Dutch betting this way can be a lot more productive as you do give yourself more chance of selecting the winner, however but I would suggest two or three as a maximum to get the balance right between odds and profits.

I know that many people back the top two or three Master Speed Ratings as a definite way of picking a large number of winners when dutch betting.

Bearing in mind the combined strike rate of these has a long term strike rate of close to 60%, it's not a bad place to start especially when considering the number of good priced winners found. 

More information on the speed ratings can be found here.

So dutch betting or each way betting?

We now know a little more about dutch betting but is it better to back two or more horses in a race or back one horse each way.

Of course an each way bet means betting two stakes on the win and the place, so you get paid out to the full SP if the horse wins and you get paid a small percentage of the odds if the horse is placed. Then lose both stakes if the horse is unplaced.

Bookmakers Each Way Terms

Non-Handicap Races

2 – 4 Runners: Win Only (1st place only)
5 – 7 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st and 2nd place)
8 or more Runners: A 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)

Handicap Races

2 – 4 Runners: Win Only (1st place only)
5 – 7 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st and 2nd place)
8 – 11 Runners: A 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)
12 – 15 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)
16 or more Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 4 places (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place)

Personally I prefer dutch betting than betting each way.

I do understand the appeal of getting your stake back if the horse is placed but I would prefer to get a decent return on a bet, rather than hoping for just my money back.

It also feels like you don't really have the confidence in your horse running well.​

You also have to be concerned about the intention of a jockey in a race because when he is going for the win, he will be urging the horse to give it's all and may well be in with a great chance of passing the post first.

However, once it is clear that the horse is not going to win and other horses are finishing stronger and passing your selection in the last few hundred yards, despite not giving up or dropping his or her hands, the full intention of the race to win has now passed and the jockey will naturally try to look after the horse rather than worry about your each way bet!

If you do want to bet each way then try to back in race sizes at the lower end of the brackets above. So 8 runners instead of 11, 12 runners instead of 15 and 16 runners in big field handicaps as you are getting the same percentage of the odds but have less other horses to beat.

Back just for the place

Another alternative for each way betting is to use the Betting Exchanges to bet just for a place. So this is one single stake where you only get the place odds whether the horse wins or is placed.

Generally the odds here are adjusted down by exchange players hoping to snipe those trying to make money betting this way and the bookmakers each way terms and odds will usually be a far better bet.

The 80/20 staking

You can also shake the each way bet up a little by using the 80/20 method where you place 80% of your stake on the place and 20% on the win. You will need to place this bet on the Exchanges so that you can bet a different stake on the place part of the bet to the win.

It is a safer method instead of placing the full split stake on win and place and whilst you will win less on a winning horse, you should get more returns overall as horses are likely to be placed more often than win.

So for a £10 stake you would place £8 on the place and £2 on the win.

So in summary:

## Backing two or three horses in a race is probably a far better option than betting each way, with a preference for just two horses.

## If you are going to back each way, ensure your horse has a really good chance of winning not just placing.

## If you are going to back each way, betting in 15 runner handicaps is probably the worst option. Best stick to handicap races with either 8 runners or 12 runners to get the best chance on the odds provided by the Bookmakers.

## Betting for a place only on the Betting Exchanges is probably the worst option given the restricted prices on offer and the commission you need to pay on any winnings.

Dutch Betting Calculation Sheet Plus Bonus Items - just £3. 

With the Dutch Betting Calculation Sheet you will be able to simply:

  • Calculate the stakes whether you are backing 2, 3, 4 or even 5 horses in one race.
  • Save time and ensure the correct stakes are used every time.
  • Work out the combined odds so you can see the 'actual odds' you are getting.
  • Bonus Item 1: Increase your success by using this dutch betting staking plan - in the right type of races - and watch your profits steadily increase. 
  • Bonus Item 2: Still like the idea of betting each way? Use this clever each way strategy and increase your winnings by 50%!
  • Bonus Item 3: Each Way Calculation sheet. Input the odds to automate the % of the market for your horse, the profits/losses and returns for both win and place.

Please Note: To use the two calculation sheets you will need to have a copy of Excel already on your computer. 

You will be able to download and use all of these items immediately after payment.

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Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform Racing.com since 2003, I have over 30 years of racing and betting experience to share. Speed ratings are my main passion whilst updating the website and writing the odd blog post keeps me busy and hopefully other users well informed.

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