What Is Dutching?
‘Dutching is a sports betting strategy which is used to cover most, if not all outcomes of an event. If one of the ‘backed’ outcomes wins, the bettor will be in an overall profit.’
Dutching is generally a low risk sports betting strategy as only the favourite outcomes of an event can be backed, whilst outsiders/long shots can be excluded from the back bets.
This betting strategy can be made risk free when in conjunction with bookies offers such as Bet365’s £50 inplay risk-free bet.
It is important to understand the mathematics behind dutching before you put it into practice.
A Bookmakers’ business model sets out to accept bets in the correct proportions so that they make a profit no matter the outcome of the event. Bookmakers’ achieve this by offering odds lower than the true odds of each market; thus ensuring a profit.
The best way to understand this concept is to look at an example market. Here is the winner market for a football match between Middlesbrough and West Brom.
The are three possible outcomes to this match – Home Win, Draw or Away Win. We can work out the probability of each outcome using the following calculations:
- Middlesbrough Win = (1/2.37) x 100 = 42.2%
- Draw = (1/3.00) x 100 = 33.3%
- West Brom Win = (1/3.20) x 100 = 31.3%
When we calculate the sum of all the probabilities (42.2+33.3+31.3), we get a total of 106.8%.
The true total probability of this event is 100% or 1. The extra 6.8% is known as the overround and this percentage is the bookmakers profit as long as they accept bets in the correct proportion (stake x probability).
The underround is when the sum of the probabilities is less than 100%. In other words, the opposite of the overround. There are a few circumstances which can produce a risk-free dutching opportunity.
- Using risk-free bets
- Using dutching software which finds opportunities to dutch (like this one)
- Excluding outsiders from an event e.g. horse racing (not risk-free).
Dutching Horse Races
Although dutching horse races isn’t always risk-free, it can be profitable if used correctly. Here are criteria that should be avoided when dutching a horse race:
- Races with a field of 8 or more runners
- Maiden races – These races are prone to shock results as there is no comparable data
- Banded Stake Races – these races are for poor performing horses only (mostly).
- National Hunt Races – again, there is no comparable data so are prone to shock results.
- Races in heavy going over marathon distances – unpredictable.
- 5 furlong sprints – unpredictable
Here is a worked example of a dutching strategy:
From this horse race, there is a high chance that one of the top four horses will win (Martila, Belcanto, Miss JoeKing and Donna’s Pride). If we insert their odds into a dutching calculator with our desired total stake, we can work out what stakes we would need to place on each horse in order to make a profit if one of them wins. For this example, we are going to use a £100 stake.
From the dutching calculator, we can see each individual stake we need to place, and the profit if any one of the four backed horses wins. This can be made more profitable by placing bets across several bookmakers who offer the best odds for each horse. This betting strategy can also be made less risky by including more horses in this betting strategy.