What is The Retirement Staking Plan?

The retirement staking plan is a staking strategy that I am often asked about and today I would like to set the record straight on how it is used.

It is thought to be quite a complex strategy to use, based on the theory that if you take into account the odds of the selections you are betting then you will be able to calculate the optimum bet size without too much risk.

Does it work? You will find a lot of people who rave about it and lot who say that it doesn’t work and the honest truth is that I don’t know. I have never used it seriously so I couldn’t say whether it will work or not, but I cannot see any reason that it shouldn’t. The principle certainly has some things going for it but the perceived difficulty level of the calculations prevent a lot of people from trying it.

This method of staking was invented by Barry Hughes of Grandstand Publishing and it is also designed to recover your losses. Although very mild recovery it is important to say that it is a recovery strategy.

Let’s get to the actual staking strategy. The first step is to make sure that you have had at least 20 winners flat betting or on paper trial before putting this staking into effect.

  1. Find the average odds of your winners.

  2. Find the ‘Divisor’ by doubling the average odds of your winners. This is the decimal odds – 1, multiplied by 2. e.g. If the average odds of you winners was 3.00 then your ‘Divisor’ would be 4.00.

  3. Your first bet using this staking plan will always be 1%.

The first 3 rules are all fairly simple to understand. We also need to calculate a target. The target is calculated by multiplying your divisor by your first bet. If we imagine we have a 100 unit bank and so our first bet is 1 unit, we have a divisor of 4 so our starting target is 4*1 = 4 units.

Let’s have a quick recap. We have found the average odds of our winner and multiplied it by two to get a Divisor of 4 and our first target is 4 units. All good so far.

Although it looks quite complicated working the Retirement Staking Plan is in fact much simpler than first glance. Apart from our first bet, the amount we bet is always the Target divided by the Divisor. If your bet loses you add the loss to your Target, if it wins then you reduce it from your Target (but your Target can never go below its first setting of 1% of your bank). If you have the same number of losers in a row as your Divisor number then you increase your Divisor by 1 after each bet, when you win you reduce it back to the same level it was when the Target was at a similar point (again it never goes lower than its original setting).

That is pretty much it. There is just one more rule. When your bank has increased by 2% you increase your original target by 2%. As you can see it is actually fairly simple. I have written out a sample below so that you can get an idea of what you are doing.

Horse Odds Divisor Target Bet W/L P/L Bank
1 2 4 4 1 L -1 99
2 3.5 4 5 1.25 W 3.38 102.38
3 1.8 4 4 1 L -1 101.38
4 5 4 5 1.25 L -1.25 100.13
5 7.5 4 6.25 1.56 L -1.56 98.56
6 4 4 7.81 1.95 L -1.95 96.61
7 3.5 5 9.68 1.94 L -1.94 94.67
8 2 6 11.53 1.92 L -1.92 92.75
9 1.75 7 13.45 1.92 L -1.92 90.83
10 4 8 15.37 1.92 W 6.69 97.52
11 6 4 8.68 2.17 L -2.17 95.35
12 2.5 5 6.51 1.3 W 2.26 97.6
13 3 4 4.25 1.06 W 2.19 99.79

As you can see every time a bet is lost we add the P/L to the Target. When a bet is won we subtract the P/L from the Target. After four losing bets in a row the next bet has a Divisor of 5 (original + 1) and then after every losing bet the Divisor has another +1 added to it. After our second win the Target is reduced to 8.68 and so looking back the closest Target we have had to that in the past is 7.81, which had a Divisor of 4 and so the Divisor is reduced back to 4.

I hope that this has cleared up any questions you may have had about the Retirement Staking Plan and shown that it is really a lot simpler to use than it looks at first glance.

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. Hello,
    your example of the RRT has one error which is the average odds of the winners is doubled to find the divisor in your e.g it would be 6 not 4 been using this for years works fine,patience and little bits and often.

  2. Hi Gerard, thanks for the correction. I always understood that it as double the average odds of just the fractional side so in decimal odds of 3.00, the fractional odds are 2/1 and so the divisor would be 4. So the divisor is actually the decimal odds * 2?

  3. Not done on paper,but i assume this betting could be used in place betting(show bets)? more strike thou some profits?/more strike rates? i guess so.Win bets basically ok will try both and see possiblities.

    1. In theory yes, but a lot of recovery staking will require huge bankrolls to recover losses when you are betting odds on. I would suggest you test it out in a spreadsheet using your past betting history.

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