ONE of the most talked about betting strategies is the chase theory (otherwise known as the Martingale betting system) – it also happens to be one of the most risky.
There is an element of risk with all forms of gambling. Whether it be betting on baseball, horse racing or playing blackjack, but the chase theory is designed to eliminate any risk of losing over a lengthy period of time.
Sounds good right? Sure, but it takes a certain level of brashness and plenty of discipline to pull off.
The chase theory betting system is more commonly used in sports betting where the result is 50/50, but horse racing punters can use the system to good effect.
What is the chase theory?
Designed in 18th century France, the chase theory is one of the simplest forms of gambling and can be applied to racing, whether you are wagering on the Rosehill Guineas of the Pegasus World Cup. The strategy simply states that the punter must double their bet after every loss, so when the punter does eventually win, he will make back whatever they lost (and more depending on the odds).
It was designed for the punters that have a large bankroll and, like all betting, requires an amount of luck in order to avoid losing your stack.
Punters will always recoup their losses with the chase theory, but there are some smaller printed details which need to be run over first.
Firstly – using the chase theory with a small amount of money isn’t the ideal betting strategy. The chase theory is designed for punters with bigger bankrolls which can handle a losing streak.
Should your bankroll by $100 and you’re betting $10 in the opening race, your bankroll can only sustain a series for four straight losses.
$10 bet placed
$10 x 2 = $20
$20 x 2 = $40
$40 x 2 = $80
With four losses your bankroll ends at $80 and you will have to start the chase again, but you will end up with a net loss on your first attempt.
Punters with larger bankroll have every chance to sustain a significant losing streak, but it’s not for the faint hearted.
If you do find yourself in the middle of a losing streak then your betting levels can reach big numbers. Some punters aren’t comfortable betting big numbers on horse racing, and if that’s the case, the chase theory isn’t the betting strategy for you.
It’s important to know that chase theory punters can still make a profit despite only tipping more losers than winners. Without using a chase theory, it’s tough to break even if you’re picking more losers than winners.
What you need to know before using the chase theory
We’ve told you how the chase theory works, but we haven’t mentioned anything about odds.
Odds are a key aspect to winning when using the chase theory and it’s vital that punters know what odds to take.
It’s nearing impossible to make money using the chase theory when you’re taking odds lower than $2. In order to make back what you have lost during your losing streak, your winning bet must be at $2 or higher to at least break even.
$2 will see you earn your money back and any odds higher will see you make a profit. Punters must not fall into the trap of betting on short priced favourites as this is the biggest mistake you could make when using this system.
Punters should try and pick their spots. Using the chase theory to bet blindly isn’t suggested and it takes time to figure out which horses to target for this strategy.
Some punters have had success using the chase theory on only one horse. The longer it takes a horse to win a race the longer its odds typically are, so punters using this strategy are often seen as “chasing your losses punters”, but it’s simply the chase theory in work if you’re sticking with the formula.
The number one rule of chase theory – never stray away from doubling your bet. The point is to make your money back with some profit after a string of bets, not after your first bet loses.
If you can’t stomach a handful of losing streaks then there are other betting strategies out there.
Stick with the game plan. Double your bet after a loss and when that win does come, start from scratch and do it all again.
Example of how chase theory works
Below is an example of how chase theory betting can return profits with a losing record.
Example 1: Punter bets $100 per race on a horses paying $2.50 for a total of 10 races
Bet 1: Winner ($150)
Bet 2: Winner ($150)
Bet 3: Loss (-$100)
Bet 4: Loss (-$100)
Bet 5: Winner ($150)
Bet 6: Loss (-$100)
Bet 7: Loss (-$100)
Bet 8: Winner ($150)
Bet 9: Loss (-$100)
Bet 10 Loss (-$100)
Example 1 punter loses six of his 10 bets and returns $0.
Example 2: Punters uses the chase system and starts off with a $25 bet
Bet 1: Winner ($62.50)
Bet 2: Winner ($62.50)
Bet 3: Loss (-$25)
Bet 4: Loss (-$50)
Bet 5: Winner ($125)
Bet 6: Loss (-$25)
Bet 7: Loss (-$50)
Bet 8: Winner ($125)
Bet 9: Loss (-$25)
Bet 10 Loss (-$50)
Example 2 punter returns $150 with the same win/loss record as Example 1.