A Complete Beginners Guide to Dutching (With Examples)

Whilst many people might have heard of the phrase “going dutch”, it’s normally only seasoned gamblers who are familiar with “dutching”.

Let’s dive into what dutching is, some practical examples, and importantly how regular people like you and I can use dutching to guarantee profitable bets.

What is Dutching?

Dutching is a general term used to describe placing bets on multiple outcomes within the same betting market.

Think about betting on 2 horses in the same race, or betting on both players to win a tennis match.

Dutching is used in the gambling world to reduce the probability of losing money on an event. This leads to winning smaller amounts more regularly and is used to ‘de-risk’ some betting strategies.

In Matched Betting, dutching is the method used to cover all possible outcomes. Through dutching, we can guarantee the financial result before the event has even happened.

There are a few different dutching methods that we’ll discuss and provide practical examples for.

Where did the term dutching come from?

Whilst nobody is certain about the etymology of the term ‘dutching’, the most obvious answer is that it is based on “going dutch” where everyone pays their fair share of a bill. They’re both systems that split costs across multiple places.

However, the general consensus is that the term “dutching” is from American mobster Arthur Flegenheimer who’s famously also known as ‘Dutch Schultz’. Based in New York City, he ran a multi-million dollar racket by manipulating the odds of “pick 3” lotteries.

These lotteries used seemingly ‘random’ numbers derived from the amounts bet at Belmont Park, however Schultz realized he could game the lottery by betting significant amounts of money on multiple runners for certain races.

Many articles reference the idea that Schultz was Al Capone’s accountant but this appears to be fabricated.

The pros and cons of dutching

The reason people use dutching as a gambling strategy is simple, it helps manage risk primarily by reducing the variance experienced when gambling.

Some people would also describe this as ‘hedging’ a bet by making alternative wagers to mitigate the risk of a single event happening (or not happening). By making multiple selections, basic probability proves that you’ll end up selecting more winners.

Using the movement of odds before/during a race can be a very effective way to strategically dutch certain bets. If the odds move in your favour, you can even use dutching to lock in a profit.

However, dutching has three primary issues:

  1. When one of your selections wins, you also must take into account the losing stakes on the other bets.
  2. If none of your selections win, you lose all of the stakes made on that event.
  3. Dutching requires a good understanding of how odds work, so most casual bettors will stick to simpler sportsbook betting strategies.

In matched betting, we overcome these issues by utilizing sportsbook offers, betting on markets with only 2-3 markets, and leveraging dutching calculators to handle all the mathematics for us.

Types of Dutch Betting

There are 3 primary types of dutch betting, that vary based on the outcome you’re trying to achieve. When we know the odds of each event, and the outcome we want to achieve, we can use some simple calculations to determine our betting amounts.

We’ll use examples from Horse Racing where we aren’t covering all possible outcomes. Skip ahead to learn how matched betting guarantees a profit by covering all possible outcomes.

Simple Dutch Betting

The most basic form of dutch betting, mostly used by punters who are casually betting and like the chances of a few horses in the same race.

  • Stake $20 on Horse A at 300
  • Stake $20 on Horse B at 500

There are three possible outcomes:

  • Horse A wins
    • Horse A returns +$60 profit.
    • Horse B returns -$20 loss.
    • Total winnings of $40.
  • Horse B wins
    • Horse A returns -$20 loss.
    • Horse B returns $100 profit.
    • Total winnings of $80
  • Neither Horse A nor Horse B win:
    • Horse A returns -$20 loss.
    • Horse B returns -$20 loss.
    • Total loss of $40.

Set-Profit Dutch Betting

In set-profit dutching, you set a target amount of profit you want to reach as long as at least one of your selected outcomes occurs. Let’s set ourselves a target of $100 profit with the same two horses.

  • Stake $40 on Horse A at 300
  • Stake $24 on Horse B at 500

As before, there are three possible outcomes:

  • Horse A wins
    • Horse A returns +$120 profit.
    • Horse B returns -$20 loss.
    • Total winnings of $100.
  • Horse B wins
    • Horse A returns -$20 loss.
    • Horse B returns $120 profit.
    • Total winnings of $100
  • Neither Horse A nor Horse B win:
    • Horse A returns -$20 loss.
    • Horse B returns -$20 loss.
    • Total loss of $40.

As you can see, this requires you to adjust the amount of money staked on each horse to ensure that your profit is the same regardless of the (winning) outcome.

Set-Amount Dutch Betting

Similar to set-profit dutching, this approach requires you to set a total amount you’re willing to stake before calculating how much you should put on each horse to ensure profit is the same.

In this example, we only want to bet $30 but we want to win the same amount regardless of which horse wins.

  • Stake $18 on Horse A at 300
  • Stake $12 on Horse B at 500

As before, there are three possible outcomes:

  • Horse A wins
    • Horse A returns +$54 profit.
    • Horse B returns -$12 loss.
    • Total winnings of $42.
  • Horse B wins
    • Horse A returns -$18 loss.
    • Horse B returns $60 profit.
    • Total winnings of $42
  • Neither Horse A nor Horse B win:
    • Horse A returns -$20 loss.
    • Horse B returns -$20 loss.
    • Total loss of $40.

Is Dutch Betting a Profitable Strategy?

Any successful gambling strategy relies on beating the sportsbook’s odds. You want to bet on events that are more likely than the Sportsbook odds imply.

Therefore, if you think multiple possibilities are more likely to occur, it’s smart betting to place money on multiple outcomes.

Dutching is also very effective as a hedging strategy when odds change, or you identify that your first selection is less likely to win than you thought. Similar to a Sportsbook cash-out option, dutching can be used to reduce your potential losses or lock in a profit from any bet.

Dutching is a technique that can also be used for “arbitrage” betting, which is when the sum of implied probabilities is greater than 100%. This is a rare scenario when placing bets on every outcome would guarantee an overall profit, usually when selecting odds across multiple Sportsbooks. Not sure how implied probability works? We’ll show you how to calculate implied profitability from American odds.

Dutch Betting in Matched Betting

Matched betting relies on a mathematical approach to gambling, using Sportsbook bonuses to guarantee a profit from dutching multiple bets.

These bonuses are ‘risk-free’ which means there’s no loss of money if that outcome fails to win. By adjusting our dutched bets, we can ensure the same profitable amount regardless of what happens in the sporting event.

Check out our free matched betting guide to learn more about how matched betting works.

What are the best events for dutching?

Dutching is a technique that can be applied to any sporting event.

If trying to dutch your bets whilst the event is ‘in-play’, sports with longer games (and time-outs/breaks in play) allow you more time to follow the odds and calculate the appropriate stake.

When match, we want to cover every outcome so it’s preferable to use events with as few outcomes as possible. Thankfully, most sports here in America must have a winner or a loser from just two teams.

Therefore, sports like NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, or Tennis are fantastic sports for dutching because we only need to place two bets to cover every outcome.

We also don’t care about the odds moving, we guarantee a profit before the match has started.

The Alternatives to Dutching

There are plenty of alternative gambling strategies to dutching, although most of these strategies are losing propositions in the long run.

In certain states, it’s possible to “dutch” your bets in one go by using a betting exchange.

Betting exchanges allow you to lay an event which is betting on that outcome not to happen.

For example, in a horse race with 10 runners, you can be on Horse A to win but it would take you forever to bet on Horses B, C, D, E etc. individually. On a betting exchange, you are able to lay Horse A which is equivalent to betting on any of the other horses to win.

Betting exchanges are only legal in a few states, and it’s not a very popular gambling method in the USA compared to other countries. However, if you’re based in a lucky state like New Jersey, they’re a fantastic matched betting tool.

About The Author

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David has been matched betting for over 10 years, with experience profiting from bonus bets in the UK and Australia. He's made over $30,000 from just a couple of hours each week and funded travel across the world. He struggles to understand why matched betting isn't more popular when it's the perfect side hustle.

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