Boost your income; gain more financial freedom; do the things you want
This is a 10-point guide for newbies just starting their matched betting journeys – but that is not to say that the techniques written here can not help people who have been matched betting for a while.
Remember, bookies want us to use their bonuses otherwise they wouldn’t provide them – it is how you use them that needs evaluating. For example, a bookie is fully aware there are millions of people who go to certain restaurants for that ‘free burger’ promo every time it’s on – bookmakers are no different. They want us to take advantage of their offers to keep you as a customer.
It’s what we do whilst taking their offer, and after that counts.
Remember, there are no written rule books for keeping accounts healthy, but sometimes common sense must prevail to help seem more like a traditional ‘punter’.
Let’s get started.
1 – Always deposit a higher amount into a bookmaker than what is required to get the sign-up bonus.
For example, if you are about to sign up to a new bookie with a “Bet £10 to get £30 in free bets” offer – we recommend depositing double the first bet requirement. For this example, we recommend a minimum deposit of £20, and placing a £20 first bet. By betting £20 at first it may cost you an extra 40p or so once you have layed this off at Smarkets, but for account preservation, it is definitely worth it in the long run.
From experience, there are some accounts we recommend depositing higher than double, which are clearly noted in our beginner’s guide.
2 – Stick to one sport (if you can)
We are confident that sticking to one sport is another key factor for account preservation – Betway are a great example of this. We completely understand that seeing an Oddsmonkey daily promotion list of football, tennis, cricket, snooker and horseracing offers all at once for the same bookmaker are tempting to make use of in their entirety (to boost your monthly matched betting income) – but is exhausting each and every offer worth it when your account gets closed in record time?
I guess this depends on what your long term goals are for matched betting. From a longevity perspective, I guess the only time it is worth dabbling in another sport if say you started with football, may be when the season has ended and there is no international tournament.
3 – Place mug bets cleverly
For those unaware, a mug bet is a bet we place to look more like the kind of punter a bookie wants you to be. In other words, it is to disguise the fact we are matched bettors clearly looking to take advantage of the bonuses the bookmakers provide. I will go in to more detail with this as the list continues, but if you are going to place a standard mug bet of say, Rotherham to beat Halifax because you found a close match on your Oddsmatcher – do not do it (unless it involves one of the top Premier League clubs as you can then get away with it as so many people are betting on these bigger games). You will be asking for trouble betting on teams who are not too popular, as the bookmaker can see how close these matches are (which is how they catch people who place arbitrage bets).
Our recommendation is to stick to your favourite team and place a different bet on them each week. Maybe one week you can bet on them to win, then the next week you can bet on a player from your team to score first, then the following week you can bet on your team to win and both teams to score etc.
Yes, these bets may cost you a few extra pence to lay them off as they won’t likely be at the top of your Oddsmatcher’s (if they are avoid and choose a different market) – but as a trader looking into your account when processing a withdrawal, your affiliation with this team will definitely hold you in good stead.
4 – Bet on Acca’s (accumulators)
Bookies love nothing more than a punter who bets on acca’s – as they are one of the key factors in increasing their profit margins.
Thanks to exchanges such as Betfair and Smarkets, as matched bettors, we can now lay off acca’s in full. So for example, if William Hill provide an acca boost on Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham all to win, we can lay this off at one of the exchanges mentioned above. All we have to do is go to any bookmaker not providing this boost, and select those three teams in our bet slip before laying it off at the exchange (you will find a list of read made acca’s by typing ‘acca’ in your search bar).
These are perfect for qualifying bets, mug bets and free bets.
5 – Bet in-play
I know a lot of real gamblers, and have watched them bet online for years. Throughout that time I have noticed a familiar trait they all seem to share: they all seem to love betting in-play as they are watching a game live.
I actually watched a family member get £500 up betting in play within the space of a day. He then lost it all within the next 2 days. This is one of the reasons I have never gambled. Anyhow, betting in play (at half time is the safest time as the odds are more stable) is a good way to keep a trader reviewing your account happy.
If you want to be slightly riskier, you could try betting on the draw in play at the bookie, and laying it off at the exchange at lower odds a few minutes later if a goal is not scored for a guaranteed profit. There are other techniques such as laying the draw at the exchange at the beginning of the match, and then betting on the draw at the bookie if a goal is scored (this can only be done for certain matches depending on the odds). If the game goes on to be a draw after the first goal is scored you will make a hefty profit. I do not recommend these however, especially if you are a newbie, as it is a form of trading/gambling, depending on your stance. But I have used the first technique with a free bet quite a few times to squeeze extra profit from my free bet with no risk to my own money.
6 – Change your odds display settings to fractions
It’s obvious having your odds displayed in decimals at the bookie makes is easier for us when inputting the numbers into our matched betting calculators. But you have to think of it like this: Why are the majority of bookies odds displayed in fractions? Or why do bookmakers such as SkyBet not even have the option to change our display odds to decimals?
We have it on good authority that when your account is being reviewed, gentle alarm bells can be rang in a traders mind if on inspection your account odds are set in decimals – as it makes it easier for matched bettors! We highly recommend setting all your bookmaker odds to fractions and taking that extra second to convert them with your calculator into decimals. Just remember: top number divided by the bottom number plus one. See, its simple.
7 – Mix your free bets up
Most online guides will suggest you extract as much profit as possible from a free bet. They will say you should go for the highest odds possible with the closest match etc.
If you want to make as much money as quickly as possible in a few months, and are not in this for the long haul then the method of placing free bets on higher odds with a close match is perfectly plausible – but it is not difficult for a trader to spot on inspection. Especially as most new matched bettors (and a lot of veterans) place their qualifying bets slightly above the minimum requirement of odds of 2.0, at the closest match everyone else has available via their Oddsmatcher. They then use their free bet the exact same way but on odds above 5.0 with the closest possible match courtesy of the oddsmatcher. This time there will not be any gentle alarm bells rung – they will be full blown!
So how do we get around this?
If we have £100 of free bets to use, for example with Bet365’s welcome offer, we would place our one £10 free bet on an acca and lay it off for slightly less profit, we would then place a free bet on something that can not be layed off (possibly on a mixture of corners and cards that we have created ourselves), then we may follow this up with a few “normal” matched bets around the 5.0 mark for some more guaranteed profit before then switching to a bet at around odds of 2.5 (usually in play) which we wouldn’t lay off for the increased enjoyment of making some extra cash whilst watching our team play.
We must be doing something right, as we missed our first “bet £25 and get a £25 in-play free bet on the same game” Bet365 offer due to being on holiday in Orlando last month (all paid for by matched betting I might add! ha), and as a result of missing this offer we were sent the email below…
8 – Be careful on Live Chat
Remember all conversations are saved and can be reviewed at any time. Imagine using none of the advice above and constantly asking for your free bet if it is a bit late. If it is a good account that is valuable in the long run (all experienced matched bettors making +£1k a month know which these are), we recommend letting some of them go to stay under the radar (unless they start to take the biscuit of course). This takes both patience and discipline, but it is worth it if you are in this for the long haul as mentioned above. Again, if you are doing this to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time – just ask away!
Another thing I do to throw the bookies off on live chat is to sometimes play “dumb”. I might open a chat box and just ask them about how acca’s work for example (nothing to do with a free bet or bonus) as my sport of choice is football. If your sport of choice is horse racing you may ask about rule 4 and let live chat break it down for you which technically isn’t their job – but neither is it normal for a matched bettor to ask questions which do not involve a bonus!
9 – Combine a free bet with a mug bet
Some bookmakers (I can give Sky as an example), allow you to combine a free bet with your own money. If you get say a £10 free bet from Skybet, we recommend you add £10 (or more) of your own money into the bet slip for the same match you have selected to place your free bet, and work out the math’s accordingly when laying it off at your chosen exchange. By doing this you are combining a mug bet with a free bet, which is definitely not the sign of a matched bettor that all traders are looking out for when reviewing your account.
10 – Use the casino
There’s nothing wrong with placing a few 20p spins on the slot machines without the use of a promo. Most matched bettors will only be interested in promoted offers, where we often clear big profits, so mixing these in with a few spins that are not attached to a bonus is a good idea. Choose a slot machine with a high RTP (return to player), such as Blood Suckers, and spin as much as you are comfortable with.
If I am getting a lot of free bets from a particular bookie (say for example £30 of free bets), from this I would expect to extract £20 in clear profit. I would then spin 10% of this, so £2, using the minimum stake maximum lines strategy. This would equate to 10 x 20p spins. If I lose the £2 so be it, as I have already made my money from the free bets. Sometimes however, I hit some nice wins with these spins which is great – especially as they are not bonus orientated.
If anyone feels they have some other strategies to preserve account longevity, please post in our Facebook group – as we are always interested to hear other matched bettors points of views – especially for topics as interesting as this one.
That’s all from me – hope you all have a great day and enjoy the lead up to Christmas.
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