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How to calculate dutching

Updated March 21, 2017

Unlike those of us who bet based on our favourite teams or the cleverest name of the animals racing, seasoned bettors utilise other methods designed to give them better odds than our sympathetic methods. One such method is known as dutching. According to the betting website Bet Formulas, dutching is "a method of staking several selections in the same race" while calculating each stake so that each selection returns an identical profit if you hit the winner. There are several online calculators available to perform these calculations automatically, or you can learn the method on your own. Other terms for dutching include Equal Profit, Dutch or Arbitrage betting.

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  1. Choose the number of horses in a given race that you want to bet on.

  2. Calculate each horse's odds of winning by dividing the number 100 by the given odds. For instance, a horse with odds of 4.5 to 1 would have a 22.22 per cent chance of winning: 100 / 4.5 = 0.2222.

  3. Add the percentages together of all the horses you plan on betting on. This amount is the overall chance that one of the horses you have chosen will win the race. Using the example cited in the Horse Racing Systems website, in a situation where you've chosen three horses, you would show calculations as follows:

  4. Horse A = 28.57 per cent (100 divided by 3.5 equals 28.57) Horse B = 25 per cent (100 divided by 4 equals 25) Horse C = 20 per cent (100 divided by 5 equals 20)

  5. 28.57 + 25 + 20 = 73.57 per cent

  6. Divide the horses' individual percentage by the overall percentage and then multiply this amount by the total amount of money you want to bet on the race.

  7. Horse A = 28.57 / 73.57 x £13 = £5.05 Horse B = 25 / 73.57 x £13 = £4.42 Horse C = 20 / 73.57 x £13 = £3.53

  8. Total stake = 5.05 + 4.42 + 3.53 = £13

  9. Tip

    As recommended by Horse Racing Systems, "Remember that the returns are consistent but small, so leaving out the fav[ourite] in every race will give you a regular 1 in 5 guaranteed loss." The writer adds that you can usually omit the favourite if it has won the previous race and/or has raced two to three times that day.


    As cautioned by Horse Racing Systems, "Don't pick races with over 16 runners ... or joint fav[ourites]." As cautioned by Bet Formulas, "Once the combined percentage of all the odds of your selections exceeds 100%, the calculation for Dutching cannot work, and returns a loss on every selection."

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About the Author

Susan Abe has been writing since 1986, producing reports for rehabilitation companies. She is a registered nurse with multiple certifications, working as a college baseball statistician and fitness coach. Abe holds an associate's degree in nursing, a Bachelors of Arts in sociology from Roanoke College and is pursuing a Master of Science in statistics at Virginia Tech.

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