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Dutching

Level: Advanced
Updated: November 18, 2020

Dutching is a must-learn strategy for matched bettors. It’s a technique that comes in really handy from time to time, so it’s well worth learning the ropes.

In this guide, I’ll explain what dutching is and show you the different scenarios where it can help maximise your matched betting profits.

What is dutching?

Dutching is a betting strategy that involves placing bets on all selections within a market, so that the returns are the same no matter the outcome.

It’s similar to traditional matched betting, but with one key difference; no lay bets are placed. Instead, all selections are covered with back bets, usually at different bookmakers.

The term ‘dutching’ is thought to originate from American mobster, Dutch Schultz, who was a numbers racketeer in the early 1930’s. Schultz enlisted the help of a maths whizz accountant, who could tell him how much to stake at the racetrack in order to manipulate the odds at the last minute. This gave Schultz control of the winning racket numbers, securing him a multimillion dollar fortune in the process.

How to dutch

Dutching is really just another form of matched betting. You place your initial bet and then cover the other outcomes within the same market at another bookmaker.

In order to make an equal profit or loss no matter the outcome, you need to stake different amounts on each selection, depending on the odds.

I’ve created a Dutching Calculator that takes care of the numbers for you. Simply enter your initial stake and odds and the calculator will tell you how much to stake on each selection.

Example

Let’s imagine you’ve seen the following offer at ‘Bookmaker No. 1’…

Bet £10 on the French Open Final Winner and get a £10 free bet

You take a look at the available odds and see that Rafael Nadal is odds of 1.50 (1/2) at Bookmaker No. 1, to win the Final. At another bookmaker (let’s call them ‘Bookmaker No. 2’), Novak Djokovic is priced at 2.50 (6/4).

So, you place your £10.00 qualifying bet on Rafael Nadal at Bookmaker No. 1…

(Bookmaker No. 1)

Place £10.00 on Rafael Nadal @ 1.50 = Potential profit of £5.00

You now need to know how much to stake on Novak Djokovic at Bookmaker No. 2. This is where the Dutching Calculator comes in!

You simply select the ‘First Selection’ target and ‘Standard Bet’ bet type and input your initial stake and odds for both bookmakers.

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, the calculator tells you to stake £6.00 on Novak Djokovic at Bookmaker No. 2…

(Bookmaker No. 2)

Place £6.00 on Novak Djokovic @ 2.50 = Potential profit of £9.00

Let’s have a look at your overall potential profit/loss for each outcome.

Outcome Bookmaker 1 Bookmaker 2 Profit/Loss
Nadal wins + £5.00 – £6.00 £1.00 loss
Djokovic wins – £10.00 + £9.00 £1.00 loss

So, regardless of who wins, you’ll make a small loss of £1.00 in qualifying for your £10.00 free bet. Congratulations, you’ve just dutched your first bets!

It’s worth mentioning at this point that dutching isn’t limited to sports where there are only two outcomes. For example, dutching can be used to cover all three outcomes of a football match (home win, away win and a draw) or even every runner in a horse race. Simply select ‘+ ADD BET’ on the calculator to add more selections.

When should I dutch?

Dutching is always an option, though it’s generally easier and cheaper to lay your bets at a betting exchange.

However, there are some instances where dutching makes perfect sense, so let’s take a look at those now.

Dutching instead of laying

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to lay your bets at a betting exchange. When this happens, dutching can be the perfect alternative, so it’s a really useful technique to have up your sleeve, ready for when the right offer comes along.

Let’s take a look at some example scenarios…

1. Tennis retirement rules

Tennis offers are pretty popular in the matched betting world, particularly when the big Grand Slam events come around. Each of the four Grand Slam events is played over a period of two weeks, giving you plenty of chances to profit across hundreds of matches.

There’s a snag though…

The first thing to consider with any tennis offer is whether or not the bookmaker’s retirement rules match those of the betting exchange. If their rules are different, the bets you’ll be matching against each other won’t be like-for-like. This would leave you exposed to a hefty potential loss.

Take the following tennis offer from 10Bet…

Banner showing 10Bet's offer on ATP Rome 2020.

They’ll give you a £5.00 free bet if you bet £30.00 or more.

10Bet’s retirement rules state that, ‘If the full statutory number of sets hasn’t been completed, all bets will be deemed as void.

Betfair’s rules on the other hand, state that, ‘If a player or pairing retires or is disqualified in any match, the player or pairing progressing to the next round (or winning the tournament in the case of a final) will be deemed the winner. However if less than one set has been completed at the time of the retirement or disqualification then all bets relating to that individual match will be void.

In summary, they have different rules, which means you would be putting your money at risk. If your selected player progresses due to their opponent retiring after the end of the first set, your bet at 10Bet would be voided and you would lose your lay bet at Betfair. On the flip side, if your selected player retires after the first set has been completed, you would make a nice profit.

So, it can swing both ways and some are happy to take the risk. Dutching, however, gives you a risk-free alternative, provided you dutch your bet at bookmakers with the same retirement rules.

At the time of writing, I’ve found the following odds at 10Bet and William Hill respectively, for a match between Diego Schwartzman and Hubert Hurkacz.

Screenshot showing 10Bet's Winner FT market for Schwartzman v Hurkacz.
Screenshot showing 10Bet's Winner FT market for Schwartzman v Hurkacz.
Screenshot showing William Hill's Match Betting market for Schwartzman v Hurkacz.
Screenshot showing William Hill's Match Betting market for Schwartzman v Hurkacz.

So, you simply enter your £30.00 Hurkacz stake and both sets of odds into the Dutching Calculator…

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, the calculator tells you to stake £50.64 on Schwartman at William Hill, which results in a small overall loss of £1.14, with your £5.00 free bet to come.

It’s worth noting that the Dutching Calculator also has a ‘Free Bet’ setting, which you can use when converting tennis free bets into cash.

2. No available lay market

It’s not unusual to see offers that feature obscure markets or lesser known sports. You’ll find that suitable lay markets aren’t always available at the exchanges and this is where dutching can save the day. If other bookmakers are covering the same sport or market, you’ll be able to dutch your bets and still profit from the offer.

Take a look at the following Esports offer from Midnite…

Banner showing Midnite's offer on the League of Legends World Championship 2020.

Midnite will give you a £10.00 free bet if you bet £10.00 on any Dragons market. Dragons markets aren’t covered by the betting exchanges, but fortunately there are some other bookmakers who cover Esports.

At the time of writing, I’ve found the following ‘Team to Slay First Dragon’ odds at Midnite and Bet365 respectively, for a match between Unicorns of Love and FlyQuest.

Screenshot showing Midnite's 'Team to Slay First Dragon' market for Unicorns of Love v FlyQuest.
Screenshot showing Midnite's 'Team to Slay First Dragon' market for Unicorns of Love v FlyQuest.
Screenshot showing Bet365's 'First Team To' market for Unicorns of Love v FlyQuest.
Screenshot showing Bet365's 'First Team To' market for Unicorns of Love v FlyQuest.

So, you simply enter your £10.00 FlyQuest stake and both sets of odds into the Dutching Calculator…

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, the calculator tells you to stake £9.89 on Unicorns of Love at Bet365, which results in a maximum overall loss of £1.10, with your £10.00 free bet to come.

3. Matched betting outside the UK

Unfortunately, betting exchanges don’t offer their services to residents of all countries. Betfair and Smarkets both have a list of prohibited countries. If your country of residence is on the prohibited list, it means you won’t be able to register and place any lay bets.

All is not lost though as dutching may offer you a glimmer of hope. If you can find different bookmakers that cover the same events and markets, you should be able to dutch your bets and take advantage of any bookmaker offers you can find.

Arbitrage dutching

Arbitrage dutching is the traditional form of dutching; dutching for profit. If bookmakers set their odds too high compared to the rest of the market, it can present an opportunity to make a quick profit. Such opportunities are known as ‘arbs’.

Whether you’re laying them off at an exchange or dutching them at another bookmaker, taking arbs can draw unwanted attention to your account. You should therefore never take arbs on any of your profitable accounts. It’s just not worth the risk.

You probably won’t use arbitrage dutching all that often, but it can be great for squeezing value out of any gubbed accounts you have. The same can be said for any bookmakers that don’t often run promotions.

The maths behind arbitrage dutching

If the probability (in percentage terms) of all selections within a market add up to less than 100%, there is an arbitrage opportunity.

To calculate the implied probability of an outcome, you simply divide 100 by the decimal odds.

Let’s say, for example, Red Rum is odds of 1/3 to win a two-horse race against Tiger Roll, who himself is odds of 10/3.

100 ÷ 1.333 means Red Rum has a 75% chance of winning
100 ÷ 4.333 means Tiger Roll has a 23.08% chance of winning
75% + 23.08% = Total probability of 98.08%

As you can see, their respective chances add up to less than 100%, which means there’s an arbitrage dutching opportunity.

When using my Dutching Calculator for arbitrage dutching, you have three different ‘target’s’ to choose from…

  • First selection
  • Total stake
  • Overall profit

Each setting enables you to fix a particular part of the dutching process. Let’s take a closer look at each one now.

First selection

The ‘First Selection‘ setting allows you to enter the amount you wish to stake on the first selection. This amount will be fixed regardless of the odds or number of selections being dutched.

Here’s an example featuring three selections with respective odds of 2.00, 5.00 and 10.00…

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 3

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, your stake for the first selection is fixed at £10.00. The calculator then gives you the stakes for your other two selections, ensuring that you make an equal profit no matter the outcome.

Let’s have a look at your overall potential profit/loss for each outcome.

Outcome Winnings Losing stakes Profit
Selection 1 wins + £10.00 – £4.00 – £2.00 £4.00 profit
Selection 2 wins + £16.00 – £10.00 – £2.00 £4.00 profit
Selection 3 wins + £18.00 – £10.00 – £4.00 £4.00 profit

As you can see, you’ll make a profit of £4.00 no matter the outcome.

You just need to be aware that by fixing the stake of your first selection, if you then add more selections, your total stake will increase.

Total stake

The ‘Total Stake‘ setting allows you to enter the total amount you wish to stake across all selections. This amount will be fixed regardless of the number of selections being dutched.

Here’s an example featuring the same three selections as above…

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 3

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, your total stake is fixed at £10.00. The calculator has given you the stakes for each selection, ensuring that you make an equal profit no matter the outcome.

Let’s have a look at your overall potential profit/loss for each outcome.

Outcome Winnings Losing stakes Profit
Selection 1 wins + £6.25 – £2.50 – £1.25 £2.50 profit
Selection 2 wins + £10.00 – £6.25 – £1.25 £2.50 profit
Selection 3 wins + £11.25 – £6.25 – £2.50 £2.50 profit

As you can see, you’ll make a profit of £2.50 no matter the outcome.

If you were to add more selections, your stake on each selection would reduce in order to ensure that your total stake remains the same.

Overall profit

The ‘Overall Profit‘ setting allows you to enter the amount of profit you wish to make no matter the outcome. Again, this amount will be fixed regardless of the number of selections being dutched.

Here’s an example featuring the same three selections as above…

Select bet type

Selection 1

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 2

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-

Selection 3

/
%
Stake
-
Return
-
Profit/Loss
-
Total stake
-

As you can see, the calculator has given you the stakes for each selection, ensuring that you’ll make an overall profit of £10.00, no matter the outcome.

Let’s have a look at your overall potential profit/loss for each outcome.

Outcome Winnings Losing stakes Profit
Selection 1 wins + £25.00 – £10.00 – £5.00 £10.00 profit
Selection 2 wins + £40.00 – £25.00 – £5.00 £10.00 profit
Selection 3 wins + £45.00 – £25.00 – £10.00 £10.00 profit

As you can see, you’ll make a profit of £10.00 no matter the outcome.

If you were to add more selections, your stake on each selection would increase in order to ensure that your overall profit remains the same.

Final words

In terms of matched betting offers, dutching is probably more useful now than it ever has been. As bookmakers continue to tweak their promotions and cover different markets, dutching will open doors for you that would otherwise be closed.

It’s also pretty satisfying to squeeze some extra value out of your gubbed accounts that are just sat there doing nothing.

Next time an opportunity comes along, give dutching a go and start maximising your profits!

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Matt Kirman - Matched Betting Blogger

Matt KirmanMatched Betting Blogger

Since 2014, I’ve blogged over £50,000 worth of profit, and made it my mission to make matched betting accessible to everyone.