“Dutching” involves betting on more than one selection in an event in order to win the same amount no matter which of these selections wins. Often, gamblers specialising in Dutching will back a number of horses, for example, in one race in an attempt to increase the chances of winning a pre-determined percentage profit.
As an illustration, let’s imagine there are two horses you fancy in a race, one of which is available at odds of 3-1, the other at 11-1. Now let’s also say your total stake “pot” for the event is £20. In some circumstances, gamblers may decide to simply put £10 on each horse with the consequent possibility of receiving either £40 or £120 in total return from the bookmaker, respectively, should one of the horses win.
But when a gambler is “Dutching”, s/he would instead place proportionately more on the horse at shorter odds than the horse at longer odds in order to make the same return whichever horse wins.
So, in this specific example, the gambler would calculate the odds as follows: the implied probability of the 11-1 shot winning is one in 12, or 8.33%, whilst the implied probability of the 3-1 chance is 25%. Therefore, to work out the stakes to be placed, we have to add together the implied percentage odds of each and use that figure to divide into the implied probability of the outcome and multiply the total stake pot as follows: For the 11/1 horse, the stake should be (8.33 / (25 + 8.33)) x £20 - which equals £5. And for the shorter priced 3-1 runner using the same formula, the outcome is £15; (25 / (25 + 8.33)) x £20 which comes to £15.
With the stake split in this way, the potential gross returns from the bookmaker are £60 whichever horse wins. The same basic formula can be used by gamblers to back more possible outcomes in the same event. Professional gamblers often use this method to back multiple horses in one race.
So, Dutching increases the probability of generating a return. In fact, Dutching a number of selections in a race can dramatically increase your chances of making a profit with one of the selections - though the profitability decreases with each horse added as the stake gets spread ever thinner.
Also, there is, of course, the possibility of one of the other horses winning the race which is not covered by your Dutching - in which case your losses are 100% of your stake.