Dutching: A Way To Make Your Betting Pay

Guest post written by Ed from Value At The Races.

Have you ever fancied two horses in a race but sided with just the one and then watched it get beat on the line by the other one you fancied? This used to be the case for me until I discovered dutching.

There are two ways to Dutch. You can level stake your selections or you can place a certain amount of money on each to win a fixed amount.

There are some things we need to understand when dutching a race. By backing two 5/1 shots in a race we are actually betting at 2/1 for one of them to win. If we backed a 3/1, 4/1 and a 5/1 shot in a race then our bet will be returned at 8/13 should one win.

So, we need to remember that although the odds look attractive, by combining them we are reducing our returns. On this basis we need to make sure that we are hitting a much higher strike rate. It’s all very well finding a few 5/1 winners but if you are dutching a few in a race that returns your dutch bet at 8/13, you would need to find more than 62 winning bets from a hundred just to break even!

So how do we do the maths? Let’s use the example above.

Firstly we need to turn the fractional odds into decimals. We do this by dividing the left number by the right number and then adding 1. For example 3/1 = 4 (3 divided by one plus one =4). Therefore:

3/1 = 4.00
4/1 = 5.00
5/1 = 6.00

Now we need to convert these decimals into percentages. We do this by dividing a 100 by the decimal figure. For example 100/4.00 = 25%. Therefore:

4.00 = 25%
5.00 = 20%
6.00 = 16.67%

Next we add these percentages together which gives us 61.67%. You then divide 100 by 61.67% which gives us a decimal of 1.62 or 8/13 in fractions.
Now that we have gone through the maths, you can see that although the prices of each horse look good, by combining them we have created an odds on shot for ourselves.

I won’t go into the maths of calculating your dutches as there are some really good free calculators out there. I personally us oddschecker for my calculations.

It really is a good way to bet as you are increasing your chances of finding a winner, but remember you are doing so at reduced odds! Have a play about with it. You could look at the Racing Posts forecasts and paper trade the top three to see if you’d make money.

Any questions, leave me a reply and I’ll get back to you.



Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Backing a loser is a fact of life for any punter, successful or otherwise. To my mind, dutching encourages you to bet on races in which you don’t have a decisive selection, not to mention doubling or tripling your outlay and greatly reducing the overall odds. There’s too much wastage of stakes and too little margin for error for my liking.

    If you’re going to back three 5/1 chances to create a bet at even money, don’t you think your time would be better spent finding an outstanding even money chance elsewhere in the first place?

    1. A great comment , and I’m sure Ed will respond to it. However as dutching is the main staple of my betting I thought that I would reply as well 🙂

      I would disagree about the wastage of stakes, it is the same as any other form of betting, if you are getting value on your dutched odds then you will make a profit. For me, there is very seldom a single horse in the race that I think is the only one with a strong chance of winning. I prefer to bet across all contenders that are offering value in their odds. This is for two reasons. It increases the strike rate and reduces swings. Although this is not a particular issue for me it can be very good psychologically for some punters. However here is the big clincher for my personal betting…

      By betting on all runners I think have a strong chance of winning in a race, where I can find value on them, I am massively increasing my turnover. You can quickly go from a few bets a day to 60 or over 100. Yes the ROI does drop, but you are pushing a significant amount more money through the window and increasing your bottom line.

      Of course this method of high turnover betting does not suit everybody. Not least because it means a big downswing can occur in a very short period of time due to the quantity of bets, and you need to be bankrolled correctly for it. However if you can get into a high turnover model then you will see you bottom line increase significantly.

      There are various other reasons for dutching as well but those are two of my main ones. It will be interesting to see other arguments for and against dutching.

  2. Hi Willy,

    I understand where you are coming from in finding a single even money shot. Imagine a competitive handicap race though where you have 8 runners and the fav is even money? You’ve done your homework and believe the horse is over hyped by the market because the trainer has spoke highly of it. On investigating the form you think it won’t go well at todays trip/going whatever.

    Surely it would be better to side with 3 other horses in the race that offer value as the fav is taking up 50% of the book?

    This is where I use my dutching. If I can find an opposable favourite that has been massively over bet, then rather than laying it on the machine, I will locate the value within the rest of the runners and bet those for sometimes bigger odds than the Fav!

    Try it out by looking for a short priced fav and see if you can obtain value by finding two or three runners that may go better.



    1. If the Fav is Even money (50% of the book) and you think it’s “iffy”, rather than trying to pick out 3 or 4 to back (to beat it) I would say it’s easier just to LAY the Fav., i.e. you then have all the rest of the field running for you at about even money.

  3. Hi!
    Your coments are a lot of time to mach simple, easy. For example the punter who cant understend duching before he start with gamling will never be a have to understend math..
    The problem in betting is to find value bets. this is all that a pro needs.
    But I have to admit that with Michale help I found valu in LAYing horses. In 5 mounths I made 35 points

  4. Hi Keith,

    Thanks for your reply. I do agree that laying the favourite is the more simple option and I may have given a bad example in my previous response. It obviously does depend on what prices your taking. Obviously three 5/1 shots would equate to Evens and in this case I would Lay the favourite (although I tend not to lay at all). What I do is wait for the money to come for the Fav (takes a lot market monitoring!) and wait for the prices to be pushed out on the others. I may place a bet in the morning but not Dutch the race in question until later in the day, possibly within 10 mins before the off. What may have been 5/1 at 10 am maybe 8/1 come 2 pm.

    Imagine the market throughout the day. It is ever evolving as money is pushed around. Bookies are trading throughout the day and as punters we need to effectively do the same. I used to dutch all my races in the morning regardless of the prices (a long time before going pro!). I was taking odds on positions in the market where I could have got odds against, had I waited.

    When analysing a race where we find a “false favourite” and have two or more horses in mind, have a look at oddschecker. Below the odds available for that race you will see a little pie chart illustrating what the moneys coming for. If a large percentage of it is for the Fav and yours isn’t on the chart, wait an hour or two and you’ll probably get a bigger price on yours. It works both ways of course and if yours is highlighted on the piechart then get your bet on there and then!

    Hope that clears things up. In a word “trade”. In other words, shop around, be patient and learn to read the markets. It will be one of the top things to learn in order to become profitable.



    P.S You have inspired me to write an article on “Understanding the Market”!

  5. I have toyed with the idea of long term dutching for years, I say long term as in over a number of races per day, for instance laying the lower part of the book for 50%, over the day you more or less break even because betfair is so annoyingly efficient, stop at winner would work most days but you always have a day when 6 lower ranked horses win the race on the bounce, roulette horse racing picks ie instead of backing red or black back first 50% or last, write down six results first or last 50% of the book…something like FLFFFL, again you will win most days but theres always a day which ruins you, there is also dutching or laying over a number of races but treating as one race, you would have to set your stake or liabilty at the start of the sequence and take it from there, these are just ideas and not something I have actually bet on, they are different from the norm and somebody somewhere may develop them further

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