What is ‘Dutch betting’?

‘Dutch betting’, or ‘Dutching’ for short, is a betting technique that involves backing multiple selections in the same race. Legend has it the idea was developed by infamous New York gangster Arthur Flegenheimer, a.k.a. ‘Dutch Schultz’, hence the name. In any case, the aim of dutching is make the same profit regardless of which selection wins, assuming that one does. Of course, it’s possible that all selections lose, in which case all stakes are lost.

Fairly obviously, if the odds on each selection are the same, say, 2/1 twice, the stake is split equally between them. If not, say, one selection at 1/1 and another at 3/1, the stake is split proportionally, with the shorter-priced selection carrying three-quarters of the total amount and the longer-priced selection just one-quarter. Backing two horses in a race increases the chances of winning, but splitting the stake between the selections produces ‘coupled’ odds, which are greatly reduced. In the above example, if we stake one point each on our two 2/1 selections and one of them wins the total return is three points. In other words, we’ve staked two points to win three, at collective odds of 1/2.