Dutching came about because the only layers used to be bookmakers. If you wanted to back more than one selection in a race, then you had to ensure that the odds for all your selections, when translated into percentage terms, did not exceed 100% i.e. create an ‘under round’. If one of your selections won, then you won.

I’ve written on dutching in the past and, if this interests you, please do visit one of the free dutching calculators available online at the following addresses:




I bring dutching up again because there have been a couple of dutching systems marketed recently, the first is Multi Bet Pro dutching software from Sure2profit and The Format Racing Method. Before I look at the merits of each, I wonder whether dutching is becoming a little redundant with the arrival of our ability to lay.

SoWhat AreWe Trying To Achieve By Dutching?

With the betting market favouring the bookmaker hugely (we have to find one winner, he has laid the whole field so always has horses running for him as a layer), the idea behind dutching is to back multiple horses in the one race in the hope that we are covering the winner. If one of our selections wins then we win.

Negatives? Of course if you’re backing multiple selections in one race then your returns in proportion to your stakes are small. So it follows if your multiple selections actually DON’T win the race (e.g. an outsider wins) then your losses can really mount up.

Let’s look at the similarities now with laying. When we lay one horse, effectively we are backing all of the other selections in the race. Surely this is backing multiple selections isn’t it? Further, there are more similarities with laying and dutching, namely the returns in proportion to the stake put on the line. Only in the case of laying, this money we put on the line is termed the liability. E.g. laying a 10/1 shot to win £10 requires £100 liability (we will lose that amount if the horse wins).

The Advantages of Laying Over Dutching

The advantages when we look at laying as “backing multiple horses” is clear. There are no calculations to be done or stakes to be split, and instead of just siding for one or 2 horses (and hoping the rest of them don’t win), we can select one horse not to win, and have all other horses running for us.

If you are confident that you have narrowed down a race to, say, 4 horses, then you can either back these horses, splitting stakes to ensure a profit on any of the 4 should they oblige, OR lay the nearest shortest priced horse outside of these 4, ensuring that you have all other horses plus the 4 you have selected running for you.

You could even employ what is called lay dutching, which is the facility to lay more than one horse in a race. Right, with all this in mind, let’s take a look at the 2 new dutching systems…

Review: The Format Racing Method

The Format Racing Method can be found at www.formatracing.co.uk and is a back ditching method which looks to win a target profit per race, while ensuring, all the time, that any stakes (or potential losses to give it another title) are of a predetermined size. If this “risk factor” was the only thing you got from Format Racing it would be worth it – adding sensible staking to the process of multiple backing, so stakes don’t become too large in proportion to the target profit.

What’s involved? Well Format Racing seeks to back a number of horses in each qualifying race. The maximum stake is set at a multiple of the profit target, and if the stake exceeds this amount then we move on to the next race, and so on. Some races are avoided because of the race type. The idea with this system is to follow every race every day and bet on every qualifier. Naturally this is unappealing for the person who has to work in an office, as this will be totally impractical. Further, other people don’t really fancy the idea of spending hours in front of the PC – time is a precious commodity after all!

The author has given the option of stopping when a profit is realised. This is a great idea, as it wil free up that time. Of course you may miss winners, but conversely you will also miss losing runs.

The Performance So Far . . .

I’ve been using Format Racing since 1st October. I did send it to a couple of testers and naturally relied on them, but having heard nothing back, had to take it on board myself! The first thing to say with dutching is that the bigger the odds the better. Bigger odds mean smaller stakes and repeatedly, Betfair has delivered odds generally in excess of bookmaker’s SP time and time again. This can cut your stake and these sometime marginal savings can, over time really add up.

Secondly, in practical terms (i.e. actually placing the bets), this can prove difficult in a fluctuating market like Betfair where we have to wait as near to the off as possible. Specialist software is therefore a necessity, especially when you are working to win a target profit – the software will simply calculate your stakes on qualifying horses.

Thirdly, this is a numbers game if you don’t adopt the stop at a winner policy. There can be so many qualifying races in one day that inevitably we face losing situations on a regular basis. Target profit remains constant throughout but stakes exceed target profit on a regular basis, meaning that for every 1 losing dutch, we have to, ideally, realise 2 winning dutches to show a profit. Since October 1st, and NOT using Betfair’s odds, I am currently running at a loss if getting involved in every qualifying race to my calculations. They seem to differ from those on the website. This may be due to my strict application of the rules and not using Betfair prices. The problem with the selection of races is the blanket coverage of pretty much all races, bar those noted in the ebook. For instance, would you want to get involved in an 18-runner apprentice handicap? Nah – me neither, or tough handicaps over 5 furlongs with 6/1 the field – or maiden races where all horses are debutantes and we simply haven’t a clue?!

Applying The Stop-at-a-Winner Strategy is Far More Successful

This is very much a long-term project because, from past experience, we can come across a significant winning streak. Following every race is time intensive and also a bit fiddly if you don’t have ditching software, especially for the betting exchanges where you can simply tick the horses, key in your target profit, and the software will do the rest.

Stop-at-a-profit may be the way to go with this. I have to factor in the time of year into results but will very definitely continue monitoring the system to SP and try with Betfair prices (if anyone can help, let me know). There are some modifications I feel could be made regarding certain race types which just aren’t betting mediums. Also, if we are looking to only put at risk a multiple of our target profit as stake, in certain races, we can dutch more horses UNTIL that stake limit is reached, so enhancing our chances of success. Again I return to my good pal Fairbot which has a dutching back and dutching lay facility. What I like to do with The Format Racing Method is to try to include as many horses as possible as long as my stake limit is not exceeded, BUT also create a break even on some horses, or even a slight loss. I am essentially trying to capture the winner in the band of horses I include. For those with Fairbot, get I touch and I’ll show you how to do it.


The potential is very much there with The Format Racing Method. Using the traditional methods, backing all qualifying races, you are simply playing a numbers game, hoping profits exceed losses. My results vary to those published and I will ask about this as I don’t want to mislead you. I will continue monitoring because I feel there is something there. I prefer my modification to The Method and the money management (which is a very clever idea) to include as many horses as possible in the dutch. I also advocate greater selectivity in race type – claimers on soft ground – big field nurseries and other races which are clearly not betting mediums can be left out.

Review: Sure2profit.com’s Multi-Bet Pro Software

John Anthony (actually some Italian guy using this pseudonym to sound like a secret service agent) has released the Multi Bet Pro Software package with accompanying e-books . But hold on a second! This is actually the same dutching software he’s been flogging before just touched up a bit and made into a fully fledged piece of progressive staking software. Not just progressive staking software BUT dutching progressive software. This can be looked at from 2 angles. From a negative perspective, it is perhaps a little careless to not only unleash progressive staking, but progressive staking with dutching on novice bettors. I’ve already mentioned the natural increased stakes that come with backing multiple horses in a race. So to embark on loss retrieval of those relatively bigger stakes could lead to all sorts of problems and a quickly diminishing betting bank.

Racing Anomalies Are The Enemy of All Progressive Staking Plans!

On the other hand, as we are increasing our chances of capturing a winner by utilising ditching methods, theoretically at least, our losing runs should be small and infrequent if we adopt a selective strategy and wait for the right races and right prices (remember what I said in the Format Racing review about the fact that some race types are just not betting mediums?)

If we are looking to dutch races, common sense would push us towards races with small fields where the favourite does not stand out, and near market rivals are close in the betting, with at least one or two horses priced as outsiders.

Another option for the dutcher is to leave out specific short-priced favourites. Why? The shorter priced horses take up the largest percentage of the betting book. For example an evens shot is 50%, a 6/4 shot 40% and 3/1 25%. So for every one horse priced at evens you could back 2 horses priced at 3/1.

(To work out the horse’s percentage just take the odds and add one – e.g. 3/1 would be 3 divided by 1 = 3 and we add 1 = 4; we then divide 100 by the 4 to get the percentage).

Losing runs must be kept short if we are to adopt a progressive staking plan with dutching. As to the software – it’s a simple bit of programming to produce a no-frills progressive staking calculator. As with all software calculators it is only as good as its user and that’s where the system seller can gain his solace. He then does not become responsible for any losses you might incur – he’ll just say that you’re not using it right! It’s a nice enough bit of kit, but can easily be knocked up by those with Excel formula knowledge. In fact you can get an Excel spreadsheet progressive staking calculator at http://stakecal.systemsthatprofit.com/ for about £3.25.

Multi Bet ProWorks in Betting Cycles

A betting cycle remains open until we have a winning dutch bet, and then our profits are returned along with any losses (if the current bet comes as part of a betting cycle where we have had previous unsuccessful dutch bets). A losing run of even 4 can prove to be very uncomfortable indeed, because you’re just willing the next bet to be the one that obliges for you. The need for discipline and patience is key to this, and progressive staking, let alone progressive staking of dutch bets is not suitable for everybody. Ultimately, it’s a high-risk venture and is very sound in theory, but how will you react to that inevitable losing run?

The e-books accompanying Multi Bet Pro are the same as came with the previous betting calculator (You know – the one you can get free on the internet!).John Anthony offers dutching tips at £47 per month and I have requested them. I am loathe to pay for dutching tips because with the right application, I can easily find qualifying bets every day so will, I think, begin this with my blog at www.back-laytrade-horses-football.blogspot.com

Let’s see if I can make this dutching progressive staking calculator work, or will I face a losing run and lose my bank? Progressive staking with ditching should come with a wealth warning, and if you are going to embark on this form of money management you must have a clear forward thinking plan for when you hit a losing run of 4 or 5, either by bad luck or bad money management. A losing run of this length can quickly turn a £2,000 betting bank into £800! You then face the problem of not having enough bank to make the next bet (and this is all to win £10!).


Yes, in theory, this is a great idea. If using extreme caution, correct selection strategy and stakes which are extremely small in proportion to your betting bank, this could be made to work! However you must have a plan for when a losing run occurs. Progressive staking, or loss retrieval, is one of the riskier money management tools, and is even riskier if your stakes are higher because you’re backing multiple horses in a race.

The software is easy to program into an excel spreadsheet if you want to try it yourself. Those of you taken by this form of staking (and I’ll admit is if you can get it right, the rewards can be extremely good) would do well to trial it without real money and with a stake that represents a small percentage of the betting bank. I will try to find a race a day for the software on the blog – check it out and see what happens.

As to The Format Method, it will not really serve you if you work during the day, as it requires you to follow the live betting market. I have suffered a loss this month so far, in stark contrast to the results on the site (and I am not disparaging the site owner as he is a trustworthy man) so will try to resolve this

The Format Method dutching is too inflexible for me. I want to be in a position to include as many horses, or create a break even on other horses in the race, as long as stakes stay within predefined limits. One saving grace from the method is the use of a risk factor – a limiter on the maximum stake allowed at any one time when dutching.

Continuous monitoring is needed given we are in the transitional period between flat and jumps where shock results do occur so jumping to conclusions based on a small database of results is misleading. You will get regular updates on the FR Method in the e-letters as well as my success with progressive staking dutching – hold on to your seats!