It seems to me that most people who start off matched betting get into it using exchanges like Betfair, Betdaq and Betmate to lay their bets. While these exchanges are a definite plus there are many benefits to be had by adding dutching and asian handicaps to your armoury.

Although I know that there are many people on here far more experienced than myself, I thought it might be an idea to post some kind of introduction to dutching and asian handicaps in order to encourage relative beginners who come to this board to look into these techniques after a while and make their matched betting even more profitable.

I did try to post this as one post, but it was too big, so I split it into two posts (“Dutching – An Introduction” and “Asian Handicaps – An Introduction” that really should be read together. This one should be read first then the one on Asian Handicaps.

Perhaps it could be used as the basis for an article on here with comments, corrections and additions from other people? Others may find it helps them to sleep at night.

Anyway, here goes:

What is 'Dutching'?

Dutching involves backing all outcomes of an event by in order to make a profit or to at least minimise a loss during the wagering of a bonus. It is particularly useful for completing wagering at two bookies at the same time if the odds are suitable.

There are no limits to the number of 'sides' or 'ways' you can include in a dutch. So long as the market is 'complete' (ie there is an option available to bet on for each and every possible outcome), you can dutch that market.

So for example you might dutch a 2way market - ie a tennis match by backing both players to win, or an over/under 2.5 market in football by backing both over 2.5 and under 2.5 - or you might dutch a 3way market like a football result - backing each of TeamA, the draw AND TeamB - or you might even decide that you want to dutch 10way market - say by backing every single horse in a 10 horse race! Clearly the fewer outcomes there are, the easier the dutch is to do.

How do you know if a dutch is profitable?

A dutch is profitable if the reciprocal total of both odds is less than 1. The reciprocal of the odds just means 1 divided by whatever the odds are, so the reciprocal of decimal odds 2.1 is 1/2.1 and the reciprocal of decimal odds 1.8 is 1/1.8.

For instance if you saw odds of 2.1 on Team A at Book 1 and 1.8 on Team B at Book 2 then you could add the odds together. 1/2.1 (0.476) + 1/1.8 (0.555) = 1.031. This would give you a loss of 3.1% of your total stakes.

If however you found a Book 3 that had Team B at odds of 1.95 you now have:

1/2.1 (0.476) + 1/1.95 (0.513) = 0.989. This would give you a profit of 1.1% on your total stakes.

If you’re not a maths fiend and your head hurts the good news is that plenty of kind people on the internet have kindly provided dutching calculators that do all the calculations for you. You can do a Google and find loads, but the simple one I use most is here:

http://www.money-for-old-rope.co.uk/multiback.xls

The beauty with these calculators is that they calculate the stakes for you, so that the outcome in money terms is the same whatever the outcome. You choose the stake at one book and this determines the stakes at the other books. In practice it is best to round up your stakes to the nearest £ (or whatever currency you are using). If you use unusual stakes like £57.57 it is likely to flag you as a matched bettor.

If you are using an exchange to dutch with you need to remember to include commission on winnings. Fortunately the dutcher above takes care of this. Simply include the commission rate and the dutcher calculates the real rate for you.

If one of the bookies tends to limit you but you know another bookie you are using as part of the dutch will easily let you get your stake on then it is best to check by trying to place the wager at the bookie you’re unsure about first. That way if your stake is limited at the first book you can adjust your stakes elsewhere.

If you want to keep the monetary result as near as possible to exactly the same you can still even things out by using an exchange for the odd part of the dutch (e.g back the 57p at Betdaq). In practice you may well skew the dutch a bit, so that if the odds are generally particularly poor at one book you are wagering at and you are looking to move money out of that book you may dutch a bit more than the dutcher tells you to perhaps make no money or even a small loss in the good book and a bigger profit if you win at the book you would rather lose at.

Advantages

- No exchange commission when dutching between bookies.
- You may be able to dutch bets that can't be laid at exchanges due to rule differences (e.g tennis match betting) or events that aren’t covered at exchanges (e.g minor league baseball).
- Two wager requirements can be completed at the same time.
- You can bet on odds that will be cut by the time the BF market gets going. Some books (e.g Partybets/Gamebookers) seem to cut their odds as soon as they are close to those at Betfair. By dutching before the Betfair market gets going good profitable or no-loss bets can be made.

Disadvantages

- Two or more bets are required at bookmakers – unless you know your limits beforehand you may not get your stakes accepted at all bookies.
- Odds may change. The more bookies involved the more chance that one or more odds will be cut while you're placing your bets. Bookies often slash their odds so that your profitable bet can become a loss-maker. You should always have a back-up option if your bet is refused, so you can quickly adjust for a minimal loss rather than having to gamble. This might be using another book with the same or slightly worse odds or an exchange where you can lay the bet.
- There may be rules differences between bookies. For instance there may still be different rules for retirements in tennis match bets, or one site may have listed pitchers whereas the other doesn’t in baseball bets.

For dutches where there are 3 outcomes I find odds comparison websites like Bestbetting or Oddschecker very useful. In general if they quote a market as less than 100% it is likely that there is an opportunity to dutch for profit, although sometimes this figure might include the best odds to back at an exchange in which case there is commission to take into account. Another option in these cases is using the -0.5 market at asian books, but more about those later.

For dutches where there are 2 outcomes you can also use oddschecking websites or you can just compare bookies odds side by side. In order to recognise no-loss or profit-making dutches quickly without a calculator I find it is useful if you recognise the fractional form of the decimal odds you are looking at.

For instance 2.25 is 5/4 and 1.8 is 4/5. 5/4 x 4/5 = 1. This means 2.25/1.8 is a no loss dutch. Therefore if you see odds of 2.25/1.85 you have a profitable dutch.

Similarly 5.0 is 4/1 and 1.25 is 1/4. 4 x 1/4 = 1. So 5/1.25 is a no-loss dutch.

If you are using American odds it is even easier to recognise no-loss and profitable 2-way ditches. If they add up to 0 then they are no-loss if more than 0 they are profitable. For instance +200/-195 is profitable, whereas +195/-200 makes a loss.

Typical no-loss odds are shown here:

- 2/2
- 2.1/1.91
- 2.25/1.8
- 2.3/1.77
- 2.5/1.67
- 3/1.5
- 5/1.25
- 6/1.2

After a while you will come to recognise no-loss dutches automatically. If in doubt you can always try decimal odds in the dutcher and see what it calculates.