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What is Dutching?

Dutching (also known as the Dutch win approach, proportional betting or proportional wagering) is a betting technique that was allegedly first created by infamous mobster "Dutchy" Schultz.

The original idea was that if you could eliminate all the non-contenders in a horse race and bet on all the rest, you would always win. Shultz’s system would split the stake so that the winnings would be the same whichever horse won. To explain Shultz’s method, here’s an example: assume two horses with odds of 3.0 and 5.0 and a stake of $100. In this situation, Shultz would bet $62.50 on the horse at 3.0 and $37.50 on the horse at 5.0. The profit is the same if either horse wins: (3.0 x 62.50) – 100 = 87.50 and (5.0 x 37.50) – 100 = 87.50.

Dutching’s drawbacks are:

  • All the entrants you back may lose.
  • Any profit will be small. Since there can only be one winner, you will definitely be backing losing entrants. Naturally, these losses will reduce the amount won from backing the winner.

This summarises the dilemma at the heart of dutching. The simplest way to increase your profit is to reduce the number of selections. However, the fewer selections you have the greater the chance that none of them win.

Dutching won’t provide instant riches, however, for those willing to put in some research, it can provide steady, regular profits. With your research you are aiming to find an edge that underpins your dutching strategy. For example, you might dry run your strategy by researching the statistics for last season’s flat racing. Determine the rough percentage of occasions when the winner came from the top three horses. Then decide what odds are acceptable based on the percentage of your stake you want as profit. Armed with this basic strategy, try a what if analysis based on the past races in this season’s flat racing calendar. You can then demonstrate how the strategy holds up if you had bet on the top three horses in races where the prices for those horses would generate the desired profit.

If you don’t want to work how to split your stake across several selections to return an equal profit, don’t worry. There are several sites that will do the number crunching for you. Just type "dutching calculator" into a search engine and you’ll find them.

Dutching is not just restricted to horse racing and you can use this betting technique on both bookmakers and betting exchanges. For example, you might choose to dutch a Betfair Correct Score market for a football match. Research the scores for the previous fixtures of the teams in question. Discard the scorelines that you think won’t happen. Then use a dutching calculator to work out how to divide your stake amongst the remaining scores to return your desired profit.