With so many markets to bet on these days – to win the match, HT/FT double, lead at quarter time, player possessions, the list goes on – it’s not uncommon to have more than one bet on the same match.

Most bets will be on different events in the match but any bets that rely on the same team or player, I like to describe as “dependent” bets. Dependent bets are not much different to any regular bet. The key difference however is that the risk involved is greater.

Let’s take, for example, the opening match of the 2017 AFL season this Thursday night, Carlton Blues vs Richmond Tigers. You might like Richmond and place the following bets:

• Richmond to win – 3.5 units @ $1.45 to return 5.1 units
• Richmond HT/FT – 2.8 units @ $1.80 to return 5.0 units
• Multi with Richmond, Western Bulldogs, Sydney – 2.0 units @ $2.50 to return 5.0 units

As individual bets, these bets are quite sensibly staked to return 5 units. In reality though, you’re not betting 2.0 – 3.5 units on 3 independent bets, you’re betting 8.3 units on Richmond having a good match. In other words, you’ve over-staked, which is great when you win but bad when you lose and eventually leads to a busted bank.

There are two ways to approach dependent bets:

1) Play the original bets but stake them to return 5 units / 3 bets = 1.67 units per bet (or however many bets you have). The new bets in the example would be:

a. Richmond to win – 1.2 units @ $1.45 to return 1.7 units
b. Richmond HT/FT – 1.0 units @ $1.80 to return 1.8 units
c. Multi with Richmond, Western Bulldogs, Sydney – 0.7 units @ $2.50 to return 1.7 units

You’ve outlaid 2.9 units overall to return 5.2 units. This allows you to play the 3 bets but risk a sensible total amount.

2) Choose the bet you believe has the best overs and stake it to return 5 units. Long-term, that will provide the best returns out of the 3 bets and risks a sensible amount. If you’re unsure which bet provides the best overs, choose the bet with the shortest price. That bet has the highest strike rate, so it’s most likely to win and better protects your bank from bad runs of outs.

Bets that depend on the same player (e.g. Trent Cotchin 25+ possessions, Trent Cotchin 2+ goals, etc.) are the same situation as above. The key with identifying dependent bets is that they depend on one team or one player.

The situation is different with two horses in the same race because each horse is an independent runner. Backing both horses to return 5 units basically means you are adding together the odds that one of them will win. For example:

• Horse A – 2.50 units @ $2 to return 5 units
• Horse B – 1.25 units @ $4 to return 5 units

In this situation, the actual bet is:

• Horse A or Horse B to win – 3.75 units @ $1.33 to return 5 units

It’s also different with two different players in the same team. For example, the following bets are independent:

• Trent Cotchin to score 2+ goals – 2.5 units @ $1.90 to return 4.8 units
• Jack Riewoldt to score 4+ goals – 2.5 units @ $1.90 to return 4.8 units

So next time you have a few bets on the same match, ask yourself: “are my bets depending on one team or player?”.  If your answer is “yes”, then chances are you have dependent bets and you should seriously consider your staking plan.