What is Dutching? A Horseracing Wagering Strategy Explained

Monday, December 31st, 2012
By Jonathan Russell

What is Dutching?

We’ve already seen many examples where two bets can be placed on a single event in such a way that the comparative odds can guarantee you a profit provided that you place your stakes accordingly. Each method is slightly different, whether it’s arbitrage betting, trading or hedging, but ultimately they follow the same sort of principle in that two bets can guarantee you will take home some money.

Dutching is similar in many ways but it takes this form of gambling to higher and more intricate levels. Whereas the other forms of betting concern two bets in a given event, dutching goes beyond that to the point where you can have any number of stakes on one specific horse race or similar sporting event.

Multiple bets

The important point to remember is that while Dutching involves multiple bets, it doesn’t guarantee a profit. It is used to back more than one horse or individual and the stake is placed in such a way that the same winnings will be returned no matter which of your selections wins. If your selections do not win then you lose all your stakes.

It is really best explained by using examples.



Becoming a master at dutching takes a bit of math but can be a profitable strategy

Example 1

Let’s assume you want to place a £100 bet spread across three horses in a race; you are using decimal (European odds).

Horse one is priced at 18.0           – you stake £20.41 to win

Horse two is priced at 12.0           – you stake £30.61 to win

Horse three is priced at 7.5          – you stake £48.98 to win

Your total stake is therefore £100.00.

Now look at your potential earnings should any of those horses win. If any one of horse one, two or three wins the race then you will collect £367.38 and your profit therefore is £267.37. If none win, you lose your entire stake (£100).

Example 2

You place a bet on two horses in the same race with a spread stake of £50; you use the decimal odds format.

Bob is priced at 12.0        – you stake £10 to win

Jim is priced at 3.0            – you stake £40 to win

If Bob wins you will have a return of £120 (12.0 x 10 =120), if Jim wins you will have a return of £120 (3.0 x 40 = 120), your profit if either wins will always be £70 because:

120 – 40 =80 (Return of bet on Bob minus stake on Jim)

80 – 10 = 70 (Return of bet on Bob minus stake on Bob)

So total profit is £70


120 – 10 = 110 (Return of bet on Jim minus stake on Bob)

110 – 40 = 70 (Return of bet on Jim minus stake on Jim)

So total profit is £70

If both horses fail to win you will lose your entire stake!

Spreading your outlay

While that example uses three horses, you can apply dutching with two, three or even four. The more horses you select, the more complicated these bets get but as with most betting systems these days, there is software widely available that can help you through (see our ‘betting tools’ webpage for a list of useful calculators, including a dutching calculator).

The Benefits

The advantages of using Dutching are quite clear and everyone one of us has, at some time, dithered over two or more horses in a race. After finally making our selection and placing a bet, we watch in anguish as one of our other fancied horses romps home.

If you really can’t decide between horses, by applying Dutching, you can bet on all of them and still collect the same amount providing one of them wins.

The History

Dutching has been around for many years and rumour has it that it was named after Al Capone’s accountant who used the system to great effect. Whatever the true story is with regard to its origins, it can be a powerful tool when it’s used correctly.

Unlike other systems that will result in a profit no matter what, Dutching won’t guarantee any winnings at the end of a race but if you can cover as many horses as possible, your chances of success increase which could help you make a healthy profit.

Rather than do all the calculation yourself it is strongly recommended that you use our online dutching calculator (which does the math for you and is free). The dutching calculator can be found in the ‘betting tools’ section.

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