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Square Root Staking Plan

Like many of you, I have come across this idea of square root betting that one sees from time to time on different staking plan menus, so I thought it may be interesting to do a year's sample and see where it ends up.

The guy who popularised it was James Selvidge in a book called "Money Management".

The central platform of the idea is not to give back any hard-won profits during an adverse run of outs.

So your first question is always going to be: is it better than flat stakes betting?

Well, because of the way these formulas tend to work, the profit on turnover (or p.o.t.) or return on investment (r.o.i.) as others call it (same thing) may not be as good as flat stake betting BUT the overall profit may be greater.

Using level stakes - through a protracted series of bets -may well derive a greater p.o.t. but, in fact, get you a lower overall net profit because the bets are not escalating as you gain profits.

Square root betting is simply this: your base bet PLUS the square root of any bank profit but ONLY while the bank is in profit.

If it falls below your starting point, the bet is always reverted to the base bet level whatever you decided it would be..... e.g. 1% or 2% of your starting bank and stays there until the bank is in profit again.

Okay - so now you understand the basics, let's see how it would have worked out in a twelve month betting trial. The method I have used to run this test is a high % success method called PFII which we have been playing with for a couple of years.

In 2011 it had just 49 bets for 22 wins (44.9% strike rate) and 35 placings (71.4% strike rate), so it is not the method of choice for most because it generates only limited action. (I prefer winning action to losing action -no great surprise there.)

At level stakes ($20 on a $2000 bank -1% of the bank as the base bet) it returned a profit in 2011 of $666.40 or, a profit on turnover of 67.8%.

So how would those same 49 bets have worked out if I had been using the square root staking?

With square root staking (base staking level $20 on a $2000 bank) on the same horses during 2011, the result is somewhat different.

The overall profit is $1268.70 or, a profit on increased turnover, of 55.6%.

The workout for this Staking Plan is available to download in .pdf format from

So there you have it. The square root system on a method like this would take you a bit of extra time each year on race days where there is more than one selection.

No staking plan can make up for plainly poor selections.

Disclaimer: Gambling on racing can be a very risky business and should only be undertaken with money you can comfortably afford to lose., or any of its associates or subsidiaries, cannot accept any responsibility for any loss occurred whatsoever in the use, or misuse, of information supplied