Using Dutching Techniques in Soccer Betting
Most of the strategy advice we have to offer in our soccer betting guide isn't too specific. We try to explain how to approach certain situations, and how to use certain types of wager, without ever telling you exactly what to do and when. That's partly because it's hard to provide a precise blueprint for implementing betting strategy, as no two scenarios are ever exactly the same.
On the other hand, it's also partly because we want you to learn as much as possible. Our goal is to provide you with a solid foundation to work from. We go out of our way to give you all of the information and advice that you need, but it's your responsibility to use what we give you effectively. Hopefully, you'll be able to use your own ideas and experience to further develop these strategies. That's the only way you'll truly become a successful sports bettor.
This article is a prime example of how we do things differently than most other websites that provide sports betting strategy advice. If you do a Google search for something like "dutching soccer," many sites offering rigid systems for dutching techniques will show up. These systems will tell you exactly what to do, and exactly what wagers to place. And, in our opinion, virtually all of these systems are close to useless.
Dutching strategies can be very effective when betting on soccer, but there's no perfect system that works in any given situation. To use dutching strategies effectively, you have to be able to apply your own thinking. Identify situations where dutching might work, assess the likely outcomes, and then pick the RIGHT strategy to use. Don't expect one single strategy to work every single time.
We start this article by explaining the basics of dutching and what's involved. This includes details of the various calculations you need to learn how to do. We then discuss a number of specific dutching strategies that we use when betting on soccer, and we finish up with a few additional pieces of advice.
The Basics of Dutching
Dutching is considered to be an advanced betting technique, but the basic concept is actually rather simple. This method is used to cover multiple selections and guarantee which selection returns the same amount of wins. When you want to back two or more possible outcomes at different odds but don't favor one odd or the over, this technique can be useful.
It was traditionally associated with horse racing betting. Bettors would use it when they were confident that the winner of race would come from a number of selections, but they couldn't confidently predict which of those selections would win. For example, they might identify three horses as being the best in an eight-horse race. They would use dutching techniques to back all three of those horses and make the same return regardless of which one won.
Now, this technique only works in certain situations, as you have to be able to back all the relevant selections and still have the potential to make a profit. Thankfully there's an easy way to work out whether this is possible. Calculate the implied probability of the odds for each selection, and total them up. If the total is less than 100%, dutching is a viable option. If the total is 100% or more, then it's not.
Not familiar with implied probability? You should be! In fact, in order to become a successful sports bettors, you NEED to understand how implied probability works. Please read our article on probability and value to find out everything you need to know.
Although this article is about dutching when soccer betting, we'll use a horse racing example to illustrate the basic concept. This will just make it a little easier to understand, because dutching horse races is very straightforward. Let's imagine that there's a six-horse race, and we've highlighted two horses that we think have the best chances of winning. Since it's difficult to decide which one to back, we choose to back them both. One is at odds of 3.70, and the other is at odds of 2.80.
First things first; we need to calculate the implied probabilities of these odds. We can use the calculation below to find exactly what we need.
This will give us an answer between zero and one. Technically, probability should be expressed this way. A probability of zero means something cannot possibly happen, and a probability of one means something will definitely happen. For the purposes of sports betting, however, we typically express probabilities as percentages. So after applying the above calculation, we multiply the answer by 100 to get the appropriate percentage.
Here are the calculations we need to do to get the implied probabilities for the odds of the horses we want to back. Remember, one is at odds of 3.70 and the other is at odds of 2.80.
Please note; if you don't feel comfortable doing these calculations on your own, you can use our website's very own odds convertor tool that will calculate the implied probably for you automatically. This might be an easier option worth considering.
If we add the two probabilities together we get 62.74%. Well below 100%, so dutching is a viable option. The next step is to calculate the required stakes, so that we get the same return regardless of which horse wins. This is a little more complicated, so we ask that you please use the following formula.
A is the implied probability of the relevant selection, B is the total implied probability of all the relevant selections, and C is the total amount we wish to stake. We've already established that the total implied probabilities of the two selections is 62.74%, so we need to use the following calculations to determine our required stakes. We'll assume we want to bet a total of $100 on the race.
Based on this we'd stake $43.08 on the horse at odds of 3.70, and $56.92 on the horse at odds of 2.80. As long as one of those two horses wins, we're going to get a return of just under $160. Minus our original stake, we're left with nearly $60 in profit. Of course, we lose the whole $100 if neither of our chosen horses wins.
This is a very important point, as dutching is sometimes presented as a way to make guaranteed profits. It's not. That's arbitrage betting, which is something else entirely. If you're interested in that, please feel free to read our article that explains arbitrage as a sports betting strategy.
So why use dutching techniques at all then? How does it benefit us when the potential return is equal across multiple selections? While these are fair questions, the answers aren't going to be immediately obvious. In very simple terms, dutching is just another way to bet for value. We use it when backing a single selection isn't the right option for us, or when we want to improve our chances of winning by covering more than one possible outcome.
For example, let's say we're looking at an upcoming soccer game and we feel that one team is better than the other. Although we think they're better, we don't think they're a LOT better. We're confident that they won't lose, but we don't necessarily believe they are going to win either.
We don't have enough confidence in our favored team to just outright back them, since we clearly believe a draw is a distinct possibility. This presents an excellent opportunity for us to dutch two wagers: one on our favored team to win, and one on the draw. Dutching ensures that our risk is spread evenly across both wagers, and we'll get the same return regardless of whether it's a win for our favored team or a draw. We are at risk if our favored team actually loses, but we believe the chances of that happening are relatively slim.
When this type of scenario presents itself, dutching becomes a viable option. Of course, there are many other scenarios where's it appropriate too. We're now going to explain some specific dutching techniques that we like to use, and the kind of scenarios we like to use them in.
Dutching Correct Scores
Dutching correct scores is a very popular soccer dutching strategy. It's also one of the most straightforward. The idea here is simply to cover a selection of the most likely final scores, by placing the necessary correct score wagers.
This strategy is extremely flexible, as you can choose whichever correct scores you think are the most likely. Just make sure that the relevant odds meet the necessary criteria so that there's the potential for profit. It's also wise to check to see if the combined wagers genuinely offer good value, and that dutching is truly more beneficial than just backing a single outcome.
We know of some bettors who used a fixed set of scores for every game. They simply cover five or six of the most common scores, and hope that they make an overall profit based on the law of averages. We prefer to avoid this approach, because there are too many unknowns. We think the better option is to pick which scores to cover based on an assessment of the relevant game. This is what we do, and it works out pretty well for us.
There is, however, one scenario where we use the same set of scores almost every time. In games between two evenly matched teams that both have good defenses, we typically cover the following correct scores.
Our theory here is that these types of games are likely to be low scoring, and that neither team is likely to score or concede more than a single goal. Chances are high that they'll end up with one of the above four scores as the final result.
Let's see how we would actually apply this strategy in practice. Here are the odds associated with the relevant scores for our hypothetical game.
- 0-0 – 8.50
- 1-0 – 6.70
- 0-1 – 10.00
- 1-1 – 6.50
After we've determined the implied probabilities, the next step is to make sure they don't add up to more than 100%.
- 8.50 = 11.8%
- 6.70 = 14.9%
- 10.00 = 10%
- 6.50 = 15.4%
The total here is just over 52%, so clearly it's low enough to proceed. We then need to calculate how much we need to stake on each score to get even profits. If our total stake was $100, the following stakes would be required.
- 0-0 @ 8.50 - $22.59
- 1-0 @ 6.70 - $28.66
- 0-1 @ 10.00 - $19.20
- 1-1 @ 6.50 - $29.54
Based on this, we'll stand to win just over $90 if one of these scores is correct. That's effectively a 90% return on our total stake of $100, which is the same as placing a single wager at odds of 1.90. The odds for under 2.5 goals on the same game are just 1.65, so dutching is the better option if we're confident that 2-0 or 0-2 are not likely score lines.
Dutching Correct Scores & Both Teams to Score
If we had to pick a favorite soccer dutching strategy, this would be it. While it is a little more complex than the one we just went over, it's still not overly complicated. All we need to do is identify appropriate games and then follow a defined set of wagering rules. We are looking for games that meet the following criteria.
- 1One team is the clear favorite
- 2The favorite is unlikely to fail to score
- 3The favorite is unlikely to score four or more goals AND keep a clean sheet
When we've identified an appropriate game, we then place the following four wagers.
- 1Favorite to win 1-0
- 2Favorite to win 2-0
- 3Favorite to win 3-0
- 4Both teams to score (BTTS)
The theory here is that even if the favorite fails to win, they're likely to score at least one goal. In that case, the both teams to score wager will win. That wager will also win with a score line of 2-1 or 3-1. Basically, we're covering the most likely outcomes, and even some of the unlikely ones.
Here are the relevant odds from a recent game where we used this strategy.
- 1-0 – 9.60
- 2-0 – 10.80
- 3-0 – 24.00
- BTTS – 1.80
The total of the relevant probabilities was just under 80%. For a $100 stake spread across the four wagers, our potential return was around $126. This is obviously a low return, but only some very unlikely outcomes would have resulted in us losing. So, in our opinion, this wager does offer value. The favorite ended up winning 2-0, so we won on one of the correct score wagers.
We could, of course, have simply backed the favorite to win. The odds for that wager were 1.40, so the return would have been a little higher, but we would have also been exposed to more risk. Dutching gives us a little extra insurance on some of the other possible outcomes.
Dutching Correct Scores & Over 1.5 Goals
This is another dutching strategy that we prefer to use whenever we get the chance. It offers very low returns, but it's very low risk. Since we hardly ever lose with this strategy, the low returns aren't that big of an issue.
We use this strategy when a game meets the following criteria.
- 1Both teams are evenly matched
- 2We marginally favor one team over the other
- 3Both teams tend to score plenty of goals
Then, we place these three wagers.
- 1Our favored team to win 1-0
- 2A 0-0 draw
- 3Over 1.5 goals
With these wagers, the only outcome that will hurt us is if our favored team loses 1-0. All other outcomes are covered. This is why it's such a low risk strategy. We typically only get around a 5-10% return on our stake, which is decent considering that we win way more often than not.
Dutching League/Tournament Winners
Dutching league or tournament winners can be very profitable if done in the right circumstances. The idea is to cover ALL the likely winners, so that a return is extremely probable. The only problem with this strategy is that there aren't that many opportunities to use it. The combined implied probabilities for all the likely winners of a tournament or league are typically greater than 100%, which indicates that dutching will not work.
To illustrate this, let's take a look at the odds for winning the 2016/7 English Premier League. At the start of the season there were realistically six contenders for the league, out of the 20 teams taking part. We've listed these contenders below, along with their odds for winning the league.
Most people would have agreed that the league winner was almost certain to come from this group of teams. So dutching them all would be a fairly safe bet, in theory. However, if we add up all the relevant implied probabilities we get 116%. This means that dutching wouldn't work, as it would result in a guaranteed loss.
Let's look at another option for the 2016/7 season. This time we'll use the Spanish La Liga. There were only three realistic contenders here, again from 20 teams taking part. With fewer teams, it would be easy to assume that dutching would work. Let's see for ourselves. Here's a list of those three teams, with their odds for winning the league.
The total of the relevant implied probabilities here is 108%. Not as high as for the Premier League, but still above 100%. It's safe to say that dutching won't work here later.
However, there ARE some circumstances where this strategy can work. The English FA Cup is a great example. In the last 25 years of this competition, the winner has come from outside the six favorites just twice. That means we can safely assume that one of the top six teams is always very likely to win, barring a significant upset. The odds for the top six teams at the start of the 2016/7 season were as follows.
The total of all the relevant implied probabilities here is just under 70%. This makes it a great spot to use a dutching strategy. If we staked a total of $100 across the six teams, our potential return would be just over $140. That's not a huge return by any means, but remember that we've got a VERY good chance of winning. Dutching here would definitely represent value in our opinion.
Clearly finding good opportunities to use dutching on league or tournament winners will be extremely difficult. We still recommend looking out for them though, as they can be very attractive when you do happen to find one.
Some Final Advice
We've explained four specific dutching techniques that we use ourselves when betting on soccer. There is absolutely no doubt that these can be both effective and profitable if used correctly. That's why it's important to be selective, as you'll only make money from these strategies if you use them in the right circumstances. Don't expect to make a profit by dutching every single game. Assess each game individually and only get your money down if there is clear value on offer. The same applies when betting on league or tournament winners.
Here are some more useful tips to consider when using soccer dutching strategies.
- 1Be VERY careful when making your calculations
- 2Spread your wagers around
- 3Always check for better options
- 4Ignore dutching systems you have to pay for
Pay particularly close attention to this first tip. As you've learned in this article, there are quite a few calculations to do when using dutching strategies. Although these aren't especially complicated, it's very easy to make a mistake or two. You might end up dutching when there's absolutely no value, or getting your stakes wrong and missing out on the value. These mistakes can be costly, and may even result in a guaranteed loss. That's why we strongly suggest double-checking your calculations every single time just to make sure they are correct.
Spreading your wagers around is also highly recommended. If you regularly place all the required wagers with a single betting site, it will soon become clear that you're dutching. If you're successful, it's likely that you'll have your account limited or even closed. If you spread your wagers across different sites, however, you're more likely to go unnoticed.
Checking for better options is very sensible. Dutching techniques should only be used when there are very good reasons for doing so. You can very often get the same, or better, value by placing a single wager. There's no point in making things more complicated than they need to be.
Our final tip is one we strongly urge you to follow. There are lots of websites that offer dutching systems for sale, and you can be almost certain that these won't be worth the money. The best way to make money from dutching is to AVOID following a fixed system, but to instead use your own judgement to apply the techniques we've outlined here in the right situations.
Of course, you may also want to invest some time in developing your own dutching techniques too. If you're willing to experiment, there's always a good chance that you'll be able to develop effective strategies that no one else is using. And those are always the best kind of strategies to use.