Why Betting More Than One Horse In A Race Is Good

It is a common mistake to want to bet a single horse in each race. If you honestly only think that one horse can win the race then by all means bet a single horse. However how often do you think that there is only one horse with any possibility of winning the race?

I would bet that it is not often!

This comes from the concept that a good tipster or punter should be able to give a guaranteed tip. Of course nothing is further from the truth. Just for the record…

There is no such thing as a guaranteed tip!

I am not sure where this all began but it belongs in the same place as all the other gambling myths, the bin.

In fact there often multiple runners who stand a good chance of winning the race. Tipsters often reduce these to just a single bet by making the horse they think with the greatest chance the selection (because that is what most punters want) but in fact they would probably say that any of 2-5 horses had a very good chance of winning.

So what do we do?

We simply bet them all of course!

There are many ways that we can bet on multiple runners in a race but the most popular is called dutching and should be considered seriously by all punters. Dutching allows you to spread your stake across all the runners that you think have a strong chance of winning the race.

Now I am not going to look into the calculations of dutching this week but let me know if you would like me to and I shall go into more detail on it next week.

The important question to address today is WHY do we bet them all?

  • It helps you with your betting psychologically

For most people a strike rate of 20%-30% is very difficult to cope with on a long-term basis. Winning just 2 or 3 bets out of every 10 (on average) means that you are going to get some big losing streaks. Big losing streaks start to put you on edge and makes you bet irrationally. By dutching you can have strike rates as high as 80%+

This significantly reduces losing streaks, gives you more confidence and allows you to enjoy your betting more.

  • Smaller downswings

By reducing losing streaks you will also be getting much smaller downswings in your bankroll. Again this is good for betting moral.

  • More betting action

Once you decide you can bet on multiple horses it means that far more races become available to you. You are no longer looking for the elusive single runner in a race that is likely to significantly outperform others.

Betting in more races keeps you busy and allows you to look at your betting as a business rather than getting fixated on the results of just one or two races.

  • Big turnover increase

This is slightly dependent on how you bet but once you are more experienced the ability to bet more than one horse in a race can significantly increase your turnover. An increase in turnover will see your bankroll being able to increase at a much faster rate so we want to have as high a turnover as possible.

There is no good reason not to bet multiple runners in a race when you think they all have a good chance of winning and offer value. If you are not already using multiple runner betting in your portfolio then you should seriously consider looking at it.

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. I have to disaggree with you on this. I think that what matters is value – if you get value then the rest will take care of itself.

    If you think a horse can’t win the race and it is priced as a possible/probable – the lay it. Don’t back all/most of the others- there is no value in that because of the overround!

    If you need the psychological crutch of frequent winners and don’t like laying, then either:
    Bet Each Way
    or Find short priced value – favourites & 2nd favourites.

    I use a portfolio approach, so I subscribe to 2 different laying tipsters and 6 different backing tipsters. Their strike rates vary from 20% to 40% for the backing and from 80% to 90%for the laying but the key is that they all have different approaches are all profitable and so fit together quite well.


  2. You are right Ian, you should only bet on value. I should have made that clearer.

    You shouldn’t be backing most of the others, I am talking about backing the potential contenders (that are offering value). The absolute maximum amount of contenders in the race should be not more than 50% + 1 of the number of runners before looking for value. Value will normally knock out a few others.

    Dutching can be very powerful if used correctly. Depending on how you stake it can also increase your turnover significantly.

    I am a fan of a portfolio approach as well. How did you go about building the portfolio and deciding which tipsters would work together?

  3. Looking for a app for more than 1 selection in a race for trebles 4 folds 5 folds and so on there must be one somewhere in you know of oneHe’ll of a job getting bookmakers to tell you how many bets they say they haven’t got it on their computer. Do you know of one

  4. getting around 32% winner with my top pick and with top 2 im getting 54%…..should i be backing top selection or top 2….

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