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    Quick answer is I did spend time months ago on VDW and it is good but dont have the time nowadays to follow it up. It often left me with 3 selections which i backed in a staking plan it worked out well.<br>

    • Total Posts 82


    Further to Scotia’s message, copies of the Raceform Handicap Book articles on VDW have been published in little booklets, they can be obtained from Browzers in Manchester, I think their web site is<br>They do a VDW package of booklets for about £35.<br>They make interesting reading, (I have no doubt he did exist, also one of the booklets contains an interview by Tony Peach). I was v.interested in VDW methodology about a year ago and found Scotia’s site v.helpful. But sadly I didn’t find the "system" that helpful in finding winners (in my hands), but it would be interesting if someone in the forum applied his methods p;rospectively, although I suspect that selections may differ.<br>

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    I have noticed that the ‘Systems Forum’ on this site, the BEST site might I add, start off well and then fizzle out just when they appear to be getting interesting. This one for example about VDW has less than twenty posts to cover such a massive subject.

    Not having a go, just saying.

    Anyway, I came across VDW when it first came out and have used it with varying degrees of sucess ever since. I don’t think that whether he existed or not is of any relevance, I have my own reasons for this.

    IMO<br>VDW in context. <br>When VDW first came into being nobody had a computer and video recorders were the size of a large suitcase. Like most people at that time I was taken in by the ‘Mysterious Dutchman’ and it was the first time that I had heard of an analytical approach to racing, adding numbers up and dividing them by themselves and all the rest of it. Alot of people jumped on the VDW band wagon in the usual half-arsed way that people do and soon found out that this wasn’t the Golden Chalice after all. (I think that this is where the general assumption that systems don’t work originates from.) When the Punters cried foul the VDW people came back with ‘AAhh, missing link’. The Punters than said, ‘Well, what’s the link?’. Booklets, Interviews and more of the same came the reply.

    Since VDW to Present Day.<br>Well the only thing that has changed since then is the Punters perception of racing, in particular people who use analytical elimination processes to arrive at their daily selections (us, systemites). Racing itself hasn’t changed much, doping, cheating and race fixing is not so common place, contrary to common belief. Computer generated Form, Handicap and Speed figures are freely available. Apart from that it’s the same as it ever was.

    What is VDW all about?<br>VDW is a methodology and not a system, as such, in it’s own right. I believe that the majority of things written about VDW are misleading and subsequently or should I say not suprisingly so do the people who try to build systems using VDW methods. The VDW method goes something like this;<br>Find two or more constants which have a high probability of happening in each race say 85% of the time the outcome of a race will be determined from these criteria or these probabilities.<br>So the chance of this happening is 85% x 85% = 72%.<br>So 72% of the time the winners of each given race will come from the group of horses that meet this criteria.<br>And that is the general thrust of this methodology!

    So why doesn’t it work?<br>I believe that statements like this one can mislead ‘Taking all races other figures show that 83% of winners come from the first five quotes in the betting forecast. This also shows that selecting a horse which does not appear in this range is tantamount to going against the odds’ unquote.

    What this statement should read is don’t back outsiders. What’s an outsider? well that depends on the number of runners surely and not the first five in the betting.

    Making it work<br>Do not bet in races with 5 runners or less.<br>Runners        Odds greater than <br>6                     4/1<br>7                     5/1<br>8                     6/1<br>9                     7/1<br>10                   7/1<br>11                   8/1<br>12                   9/1<br>13                   9/1<br>14                   10/1<br>15                   11/1<br>16                   11/1<br>17                   12/1<br>18                    12/1<br>19                    13/1<br>20                   13/1<br>Any horses priced higher than the above are in the outsider zone. (This also shows why a reliable betting forecast is required). So the number of horses to be considered in the first place are not the first five but the number of horses from the favourite to the outsider zone, which will be different for each race, obviously.

    And that is a good start!

    Much respect to anyone who manages to read all of that and I’ll post up more at a later date if anyone is interested.

    Please feel free to ask any questions and I will see if I can come up with an answer.


    • Total Posts 897

    Dave Jay,

    I for one, very much appreciate your helpful contribution on VDW methods and would welcome more. It seems  the essential message is that the main VDW method can make shortcuts to identifying a small group of horses in a race that the winner is most likely to emerge from. You then have to make a judgement as to whether any one of those select horses has sufficent quality to be a likely winner and to make a bet.

    One thing that might have changed since his day, is that you can now readily lay those the method excludes as most unlikely winners, on the exchanges.


    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386


    Absolutely spot on. You can discount most of the field in every race using these methods and 70% of the time the winner will be somewhere on your shortlist.

    I got my VDW stuff out when I came across this thread when it first started and had a read through it.

    VDW, well the information I’ve read looks at the following points:

    1. Betting Forecast.<br>2. Form Figures.<br>3. Race Type.<br>4. Class.

    I don’t know if there are any other considerations that have been bandied about since. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who did.

    So, we’ll look at ‘Form Figures’ next.

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    VDW Form Figures and assessment.

    I think it was mentioned earlier on in this thread that all of the form figures are added together and the lowest totals being noted as the best and the highest totals being noted as the worst. I think the rationale behind this is self explanatory, a horse that has won or been placed in it’s last three outings is more likely to win than a horse that hasn’t.

    Maximum rating for form string 111 is 3 and the worst rating 000 is 30.

    If you enjoy points systems these figures can be inverted;

    Worst possible rating – actual rating = positive value.

    Horse A has a form string 113

    VDW rating 1+1+3 = 5<br>Inverted rating 30-5 = 25

    This is how VDW form figures are presented in some of the work I have seen in others it is different. There are several problems here that I’m sure you have come across but here are my thoughts on the main one.

    IMO<br>This part of VDW differs from the assessment made under the heading ‘Betting Forecast’. VDW made an assessment and took the view that form figures were to be considered for ‘all runners’.  

    The Form Figures are being used to create POSITIVE values.

    The Outsiders rule, if applied as a system gives more than half of the field a NEGATIVE value.

    So, apparently, there is a contradiction and some confusion here. These methods do not sit well with each other. Firstly, we eliminate more than half of the field applying an 80% rule and then we rate the whole field again and create possiblities for horses that we have already said ‘are not good betting prospects’.

    I believe that this part of the methodology is seriously mis-understood.

    1. Form Figures can be used to generate POSITIVE values, selecting better horses from an already reduced field. In which case there is no need to invent form figures for horses as is suggested in some publications.

    2. Form Figures can also be used to generate NEGATIVE values to reduce the field in the first place. In which case all horses must have a form figure, in order to generate %values for elimination. Then the first 5 in the betting could be used to generate positive values.

    IMO it is up to the individual to decide if Form Figures should be the primary filter or the Betting Forecast, or niether of these and something else.

    That’s my opinion about VDW form figures.

    In some publications days since last run are also mentioned. IMO this creates a final selection criteria when all of the work is done and has no real value as a subject.

    Race Type

    I felt at the time that he was copping out a bit when he went for the highest value, non-hcp, sprint, with not too many runners approach. IMO his reccomendation for race types has virtually no value. The statistics do not support his view. The race types which form horses are most likely are the same ones that the Favourites win, because the Favourite is usually the only form horse in the race and the Favourite’s price is adjusted accordingly in those races.


    This is the part of his method that creates the controversy. If anything VDW made a bold leap when he came out with this because it is a truely original idea in the methodology. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t now the statistics bear this out. Horses that are improving are more likely to win races then ones that are on the slide.


    I use sytems on a daily basis and have alot of fun with them. The VDW method is not a system but a system building tool. If you make up a Postdata style tick box and come up with 4 categories 1 of elimination and 3 of selection then you are broadly speaking following VDW.<br>For example:<br>80% of races are won by 20% of trainers.<br>1. Filter by Trainer Table (make up your own)<br>2. Filter by Form Figures.<br>3. Filter by Course/Distance winner.<br>4. Filter by days since last run.

    I remember coming across all of this years ago and thinking:) ‘Right that’s me, I’ve found the haystack now all I’ve got to do is come up with something that gives me a winner a day. I’ll phone my bets in from Barbados’ I can laugh now!

    I hope this helps.<br>

    • Total Posts 897

    Dave Jay,

    Many thanks for all the VDW information provided. I have not had time to digest it all, as yet but would not want you to think it had not been very much appreciated. Any other forumites out there that could give a response or round of appreciation to DJ?


    • Total Posts 554

    Indeed. Much respect DJ fascinating reading.:cool:

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    Thanks,<br>What do you think to VDW staking plan???

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    VDW Staking Strategy

    Set up a 100 point bank and stake 10% on the first horse. If the horse wins at 2/1. 20 points profit are returned and added to the 100 point bank.<br>Next Stake = 120/10 = 12<br>And so on which is level stakes betting.

    VDW Recovery Plan<br>If the first horse loses the bank drops to 90 points. The striaght level stakes bet would then be<br>90/10 = 9 points on the next horse.<br>VDW recommends that the lost stake is divide by 10 and added to the original aim. In effect the losses are to be amortized over an ensuing series of winning bets using incremental stakes.<br>Bet       Stake      Bank<br>1           10           90<br>2           11           79<br>3           12           67<br>4           13           54<br>5           14           40<br>6           15           25<br>7           16           9

    The bank blows after seven bet compared to level stakes where the bank is only halved after seven bets;<br>Bet       Stake        Bank<br>1           10             90<br>2            9              81<br>3            8              73<br>4            7              66<br>5            6.5           59<br>6            6              53<br>7            5              48<br>Therefore, £48 – £9 = £39 additional monies are risked.

    I would suggest that this staking plane suits the fun punter who doesn’t want to spend more than £100 in a day at the races. He would stop at a winner or continue with reduced stakes once a winner is found.

    My own research into this type of staking has suggested that a different type of campaign can be waged. Where instead of starting with a base figure of 10%, 5% can be used for the initial aim and then losses amortized at 10 or 15%.<br>At 10% a series of bets would look like this:<br>Bet         Stake            Bank<br>1              5                 95<br>2              5.5              89<br>3              6                 83<br>4              6.5              77<br>5              7                 70<br>6              8                 62<br>7              8.5              53.5<br>8              9.5              44<br>9              10.5            33.5<br>10            12               27.5<br>11            13               8.50<br>This extends the series of bets available to eleven before the bank is blown, which will give the bettor an improved comfort zone.

    Staking this way enhances profit margins by 2 – 3%. So any selection method showing a loss of -5% or worse can’t be used, similarly any selection method which regularly has losing runs of seven or more shouldn’t be used as recovery is incremental and relies on a reasonable strike rate.

    An idea for a longer and more sustained betting campaign!<br>As with ALL staking plans safety can be enhanced by using more than one betting bank and then controlling them to level stakes as follows:<br>Set up a total bank = 10,000 points<br>Split total bank into 10 working banks of 1000.<br>Options<br>A – use the 10 banks consequetively giving a total of 110 bets before the bank is blown.<br>B – Revise Bank values if a bank blows.<br>First Bank = 10000/10 = 1000/20 = 50 first aim.<br>Bank blows and total bank value drops to 9000<br>Second bank = 9000/10 = 900/20 = 45 first aim.<br>(And on and on)<br>These types of campaigns usually come down to two or three bets in a season making the difference between showing a profit or a loss, as the overall trend will be static.

    My advise to anyone going down the VDW route,<br>Use the selection method to build your own system based on trends.<br>Look for 3 to 4 bets per week.<br>Staking can be used to enhance a profitable selection method by 2 to 3%

    It is worthy of note that some ‘Newspaper Tipsters’ use VDW methodology to arrive at their daily selections, I came across this purely by accident.

    I would be interested in other peoples views on this subject especially those who disagree and why.<br>(Some of the numbers aren’t quite right here I copied them from a spreadsheet)

    (Edited by dave jay at 9:14 am on Nov. 3, 2002)

    • Total Posts 897

    Hi Dave,

    I enjoyed reading your earlier posts and the suggestions to consider using other filters. One thing that you stated was about the class rating (£won / races won * 100) not working. Do you mean if used as a stand alone item – and do you have any statistics to hand?

    As regards comments on staking strategy, what seems odd is that as VDW claimed 80% winning bets, he would not often get past the second bet before the series ended in profit.

    Of the first 3 staking series you gave, it could be noted that the first one needs a 5/1 winner to recover stakes before otherwise going bust, the second a 10/1 winner to retrieve lost stakes after bet 6 and the last one a 6/1 winner at bet 11. So it could be argued that the safer bets in retaining the bank terms are less likely to get back into profit after a bad run than the first (because of the relatively small stakes bet).

    Like is not often compared with like in such examples and it seem the most logical way forward is to know what your long term average strike rate is, and the average price obtained. If there is a profit at level stakes you could then estimate a longest losing run and bet accordingly.

    If you are talking about maximising profits (rather than making a small profit from some poor results) then the bank has to be turned over much more rapidly than your 10 banks example, where much of the cash is laying idle for most of the time.

    The SmartSig forum have recently had a long debate on sophisticated mathematical methods to maximise profit from a series of bets.


    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    Thank you for your very valid points Robert.<br>A true story, I kid you not.<br>In 1987 I was working in Bristol and a group of the people I worked with got together and formed a betting syndicate. The syndicate was based around DGA rating program and the by then defunked VDW system. The syndicates aim was to get to a situation where we would be able to make a profit from gambling to pay for the software and for nights out. There were about ten people in the syndicate and we managed to get the VDW system working……..As advertised in the Racing Press.<br>I’ll post up what we discovered, but it might take me a while to type it.

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    VDW Conclussions – Part Two.<br>As I said earlier we had formed a syndicate to use the DGA Pro-Punter program. The syndicate was formed because of the lengthy process of manually loading the data required to perform the program operations. It would take an average of two to four hours to input one race. So the basic criteria for being a member was owning an Amstrad computer. Each person would be alloted a couple of races to input and this would give us at least a couple of good bets for the Saturday afternoon.

    The nature of the program familiarised me with form reading. We retained the records and within three or four months had built, what we thought was a good source of data. It was against this background that we researched the VDW methodology, amongst other systems, over about a year.

    I have made this quite a lengthy post so you can decide for yourself whether the decisions made were sound or not. I’m sure that I have only remembered the salient points. In addition, I have added my own further research for your perusal, as I feel a shorter response may be misunderstood.

    Informations presented.<br>System Aim = 80% strike rate<br>Statistical Filters = Betting Forecast / Form Evaluation / Class Evaluation.<br>Suitability Filters = Race Type / Number of Runners.<br>Identification Markers = Days since last run.<br>Betting = Illogical Staking Plan.

    Attempt One……<br>Working the system with the information presented.<br>Betting Forecast – Eliminate outsiders, captures 75 – 80% of the market. Eliminates a higher percentage of the field in Non-HCP’s than it does in HCP’s and higher class Non-HCP’s. We decided that this was how we should determine the number of all top selections from the check list. For example, if the betting forecast selects four horses and deletes four horses, only the top four for Form and Class would be considered.<br>Form Evaluation – in it’s own right, throws up winners. Bad in Non-HCP’s better in smaller field HCP’s.<br>Class Evaluation – Bad in lower class races. In HCP’s can push the selections up the weights. Major draw back, does identify horses coming up in class.

    So, taking these filters and applying them in the proscribed VDW cross refferal method we arrived at these trends

    Betting Forecast x Form Eval. x Class Eval. = Favourites<br>Betting Forecast x Form Eval. = Favourites and second Favourites.<br>Betting Forecast x Class Eval. = limited success, lack of data.<br>Form Eval. x Class Eval. = Short Priced Favourites.

    Race Type and Number of Runners were ignored in the first pass. Doing this would allow an assessment of advantage when applied retrospectively.

    We quickly realised that Class data was a bad filter. Not only was the lack of data not providing meaningful ratings any filter applied to it eliminated the longer priced horses it did throw up.<br>During this phase we were getting a strike rate of around 20 – 30% and no viable selection method. Days since last run made little or no difference between the longest and shortest number of days. Drawing a line at this we had a change of heart.

    Attempt Two………..Modification of Data.<br>We decided to discard the Class Eval. Filter and days since last run, rightly or wrongly, and introduce two new filters.

    We applied a Primary Filter – Number of Runners – limiting the size of field being considered to 6 to 15 runners.

    Form Rating – not wanting to abandon class altogether and not being overly confident in our VDW form figures, we decided to bring newspaper form ratings into the equation. We figured that so long as they were form ratings and not speed ratings  we’d be okay. A minimum of 50% of the field should have a rating, to ensure they had any relevance.

    So we set up another set of filters and repeated to process over again.

    We were still not there, we were down to two horses being the optimum or should I say more likely route, but couldn’t get over 60% strike rate and then only in cetain types of races and with limited conditions.

    Final System……..<br>Delete any race with less than 6 runners and more than 15.<br>Bet only in proper Non-HCP races.<br>Delete any race with a joint first or joint second favourite in the F-SP.<br>From the remaining races, select the forecast first and second favourite.<br>One or both selections must be in the select list for Form Evaluation.<br>One or both selections must be in the select list for Form Rating.<br>Combined SR = 60 -70%.

    The syndicate research ended at this point and we agreed that this was the best we were going to get based on the data gathered. The system was abandoned because it only generated two or three bets a week. I believe that this is the VDW selection system. This invaluable research allowed me to go on further and reinforce my belief that this was it.

    To be continued…………………<br>

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    VDW Conclusions – Part Three.<br>Analysis of the Staking Plan……….and my final analysis of the how the bank works and what it represents. The staking plan being the key to the whole method.<br>As you rightly pointed out Robert the Staking Plan I had posted up earlier appears to be illogical. To the point of being almost meaningless (which you so kindly didn’t say), the stakes are low and the profits marginal. There is also no turnover of working Bank capital.<br>So to proceed from there……….<br>You are right of course to assume that you can calculate your average strike rate and SP and then calculate your stakes from that………..

    This is the calculation for the above system.<br>It is worth noting that in reality prices will be much shorter than those shown in the examples.<br>For betting on two horses in the same race……<br>Add both fractions to one another and multiply the sum by the other horses fraction divisor.<br>So, example A<br>Horse A 2/1 = (2 + 1)*1 = 3<br>Horse B 3/1 = (3 + 1)*1 = 4<br>Stake<br>Horse A @ 2/1: 4 points to win, returns 2 x 4 = 8 – 3 = 5<br>Horse B @ 3/1: 3 points to win, returns 3 x 3 = 9 – 4 = 5<br>Odds, stakes = 7 points / to win = 5 points.<br>5/7 = .714 = true odds 8/11<br>Or, example B<br>Horse A 2/1 = (2 + 1)*2 = 6<br>Horse B 7/2 = (7 + 2)*1 = 9<br>Stake<br>Horse A @ 2/1: 9 points to win, returns 2 x 9 = 18 – 6 = 12<br>Horse B @ 7/2: 6 points to win, returns 3.5 x 6 = 21 – 9 = 12<br>Odds, stakes = 15 points / to win = 12 points.<br>12/15 = .8 = true odds 4/5

    Staking Plan<br>The staking shown on my earlier post suits these prices, level stakes profit?, 10% recovery from the first loser.<br>The staking plan can also be used for betting favourites of a similar price as those shown in the examples, above.

    Combined selections versus single selections.<br>(8/11 vs 8/11 (57.6%))<br>Two horse bets have an advantage over one horse bets and this can be expressed in the following manner.<br>One probability is generated by one chance of occurrence the other from two chances of occurrence. Putting it simply, this means that both things will occur the same amount of times but the probability generated by two chances will occur more consistently. In betting terms this means you will get shorter losing runs.<br>This is what convinces me that the system developed was correct, or a variation on the theme.

    An 80% Strike Rate – And a Word of Warning.<br>The only way I know of achieving an 80% strike rate is by covering to win on a series of bets staked as above, which is not to be recommended by anyone to anyone.

    There are some sharks out there selling systems that are based on this method. They are sold with a staking plan like the one I am about to show you. A friend of mine wrote a win/lose program based on 10,000 bets. Many hundreds of thousands of pounds were required to win £100 a day, as the stakes are on an exponential curve, meaning, multiplied by themselves and fractional divisors, in this case.

    To achieve an 80 to 90% strike rate a series of three or four bets would be placed sequentially aiming to stop at a winner and win a fixed amount of profit, illustrated in Scenario One. Scenario Two is the VDW version of this staking plan.

    Scenario One<br>Assuming you want to win £100 every day.<br>From the examples above.

    Example A: points returned = 5<br>So, <br>Aim = £100 / 5 = £20<br>Horse A @ 2/1 Stake (4 x £20) £80<br>Horse B @ 3/1 Stake (3 x £20) £60<br>If either win £100 profit is returned.<br>If lose carry over losses.

    Example B: points returned = 12<br>So, (aim £100 + losses £140)<br>£240 / 12 = £20<br>Horse A @ 2/1 = (9 x 20) = £180<br>Horse B @ 7/2 = (6 x 20) = £120<br>If either selection wins returns £240.<br>And so on ……………..don’t even consider this not ever!!

    Scenario Two – VDW version of scenario one.<br>This assumes you want to stake £100 on every race and add 10% to stakes after every loser. In this case it is the stake which is fixed. The stake is divided by the ‘points to win total’ and not the ‘points returned total’.

    Example A: points staked = 7<br>So,<br>Aim = £100/7 = £14<br>Horse A @ 2/1 Stake (4 x £14) £56<br>Horse B @ 3/1 Stake (3 x £14) £42.<br>If either selection wins £70 is returned.<br>Losses are not carried over in the scenario, £10 is added to the stakes for the next bet and you would not stop at a winner.

    The VDW staking plan assumes that ALL bets will return 1/1 (even money). It also assumes that ALL bets will win 80% of the time. These figures are of course falsely claimed as demonstrated here. An 80% strike rate can only be be achieved if the selections are coupled and covered from bet to bet.

    The Large Bank Method (LBM) is based on ‘Wave Theory’<br>Assumptions about results/returns are opinions and can be based on a series of 100 bets or so, which may or may not reflect the overall trend, which rolls out towards infinity. Probabilities of occurrence are totally random within their probability. For example a 60% win strike rate will generally produce 60 winning and 40 losing events. Over a series of 10 bets you would expect 4 losers and 6 winners, which would be quite correct. And at the same time completely wrong. This is because you can’t know beforehand how representative the 10 bets will be of the overall trend. The LBM using staking plans, allows a simplified cash flow. Where losing runs of 40 or so can be easily sustained. This method allows the probabilities to work out their proportions over time. It gives the mathematics respect, a point which is lost on many.

    I won’t go any further here about LBM and staking plans, perhaps another thread should be started on the subject. I couldn’t get into Smartsig, so I don’t know if they talk about it there.

    My Personal angle of attack.<br>I have tried to concentrate on the HOW’s rather than allude to vagaries like some people do on racing forms when discussing these kind of topics. They either don’t know or they won’t tell you anyway.

    My betting has somewhat evolved since 1987 and VDW as a system has long been abandoned. The Hook for selling this system is ‘the philosophy of filters’ which is correct. Everything else is designed to lever hard earned cash out of your wallet. I don’t buy systems or books anymore, because when you sit quietly and listen very carefully you already know……………………..

    (Edited by dave jay at 12:22 pm on Nov. 9, 2002)

    • Total Posts 5866

    Thanks for the very comprehensive explanation of "VDW" Dave.

    I am correct in thinking that a lot of people did not follow this method because it entailed having to work for a result? :laugh:

    Regards – Matron<br>:cool:

    (Edited by Matron at 5:31 pm on Nov. 9, 2002)

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