Dutching Explained

Written by: Brian Webb
Fact checked by Jon Ridehalgh  
Updated: May 23, 2024

This strategy of betting which is known as ‘dutching’ is an approach which was first created by “Dutchy” Schultz, Al Capone’s trusted accountant. The man in question was a man of patience and knew that he was not going to become rich overnight. Instead, what he was looking at as a good accountant, was a regular flow of steady profit.

What is Dutching in sports betting?

Dutching is a ploy where a punter backs several selections with a bookie in the same event in order to make sure of a healthy return no matter which competitor wins the event at the end of the day.

It is a method by which a punter divides his or her stake over several selections in a particular event such that he or she wins the same amount at the end of the day despite the result of the event in question. Dutching is especially useful if there are a couple or more outcomes possible in an event which one would be keen to back and have a specific amount of money to stake on it.

It may be noted here that dutching had been a popular way to lay a bet against a particular selection in an event by backing everything else long before the advent of the modern betting exchanges.

The calculations that one has to make in order to successfully Dutch are quite complex. As odds on an event continue to vary with every passing hour or so the calculation keeps on changing. One also needs to take into account the commissions that are charged by the betting exchanges before one can come up with a sound calculation.

Dutching is especially popular with punters who are heavily into horse racing events. Horse Racing is one sport where there are absolutely no guarantees. There are far too many stories of near misses and how the favourite horse almost always conspires to come in a close second or third.

These four legged animals often play cat and mouse with punters and leave them in tatters more often than not. As such, it is a good idea to spread your bets on more than one horse. By doing so, one’s probability of making a profit on the total money invested rises a good deal.

Example of Dutching in Horse Racing

Let us look at a race where you have identified a couple of horses with odds of say 13/1 and 4/1 as the ones that you will back. If you have a £10 as the amount of money that you are willing to stake on the event, it will be quite tempting to simply split the bet into two equal bets of £5 each as the horse with the odds of 13/1 will return a lot more money should it win.

However, since there is no guarantee that the same would happen, it makes more sense to reduce the amount that you are willing to stake on the horse with the higher odds and increase your stake on the horse with the lower odds until you reach a point where regardless of which horse wins the race, you win the same amount.

In order to be successful with Dutching, you need to find out the implied probabilities from the odds as well as the stakes. Here’s how:

Implied Probability of the horse with odds of 13/1 = (1 / (13/1 +1)) * 100 = 7.14%
Implied Probability of the horse with odds of 4/1 = (1 / (4/1 + 1)) * 100 = 20%

If you have £10 as your betting fund for this event, in order to make £30 out of the complete transaction regardless of which horse among the two wins the race,

Amount to stake on the horse with odds of 13/1 = (7.14 / (25+7.14)) * £10 = £ 2.22
Amount to stake on the horse with odds of 4/1 = (25/ (25 + 7.14)) * £10 = £ 7.78