The Pros and Cons of Dutch Book Betting

Picking a horse can be confusing, and sometimes it can be difficult to choose just one. If the field of horses is promising and there is no clear choice, try betting on multiple racers with a Dutch book bet. Some look down on Dutch betting, but it can increase the chance of backing a winner.

What is Dutch Book Betting?

Dutching is simply spreading a bet over more than one horse. The trick to betting Dutch is to bet on the horses most likely to win in proportional amounts. If the amount of the bet was tallied correctly and one of these horses wins, the handicapper will profit. The amount to bet on each horse can be calculated using a Dutch book calculator.

Dutch betting requires the patience and attention of the person placing the bet. Some research has to be done on the horses, and one should use decimal odds for better results.


Backing all of the horses likely to win is certainly the safest way to bet. If two horses win 75% of the time, the handicapper betting on those two will profit just as often. Those odds can be sweetened by some careful research on winning horses.  

Most who bet on horse racing like to win. Dutch book bets make it much more likely for one of the backed horses to cross the wire first.


For some, the draw of horse racing is cheering on their chosen racer. Rooting for several different horses does not produce the some rush of adrenalin. Since Dutch book betting should produce the same profit no matter what backed horse wins, there is no reason to favor one over the other.

Dutching is a much slower way to earn money because the bets placed on the losing horses are deducted from the profits. The safety of a Dutch book bet is therefore offset by the bigger payouts of single horse backing. Patience is needed while waiting for suitable races, which can further slow things down.

Dutch book betting is a practice for the most meticulous of handicappers, but it is a great way to earn profit. The payouts are smaller and slower, but smart dutching will make them consistant.

"If you've enjoyed this article, please be sure to forward it to a friend!"