Keeping your bookmaker accounts
Once you have been matched betting for a while and used up all of the opening account free bets available, you may then decide to move onto offers for existing customers. If this is the case then one thing you will want to try and do is keep all of the your accounts open and intact.
Bookmakers love punters that mug bet i.e. bet on what they want, they especially love punters than place bets on high odds accumulators or short favourite in horse racing. These types of bets are where they make their money.
What bookmakers do not like is punters who look for value and by that I mean place bets on odds that are out of line or those that are perceived to be bonus abusers and take up every offer going.
This is where things get a little more tricky when matched betting as those two things are what make the most money, after all we don’t really care if our bets win or lose at the bookmaker, in fact we would prefer to lose as it gets the money out of the bookie and back into the exchange without it building up.
Longevity is the key
The longer you can keep an account open the more offers you can take part in. Some bookmakers along the way will do one or both of two things; limit your account i.e. restrict the amount you can bet or win with them (this was covered in the Guardian) or remove your ability to take part in future offers and promotions.
Some bookmakers are well known to restrict accounts and limit users to penny bets in next to no time at all and these accounts are only worth the initial free bet and obviously provide less value to the average matched bettor. Others will happily throw free bets and refund offers at you in the hope that you will continue to use them in the future.
Side effects of matched betting
The main side effect of matched betting is that bookmakers may start to take an interest in your account. It is fairly easy for a bookmaker to pick out those who take up only the promotional offers, or those that bet in certain patterns. Losing your account or get limited by certain bookmakers will greatly restrict the amount of money you can make by matched betting on an ongoing basis.
Whilst there is no fail safe method the following tips in theory should help you maintain and extend the life of your accounts.
Arbitrage bets or arbs are those bets where the back odds at the bookmaker are higher than the lay odds at the betting exchange, these happen when shifts occur in the markets and the bookmaker is slow to react. For example a team may change their usual line up, weakening the team, the betting exchange will react quickest as the odds are set by the users yet a bookmaker may take time to adjust their prices, leaving a gap in the odds. The same can occur if inside news is known about a particular hose in a race.
As tempting as it may be to take arbs (if the gap is large enough you can make some good money), the bookmaker will soon realise their price is out of line and adjust accordingly, it would be easy for a bookmaker to build a system to pick out those that keep on taking prices out of line and limit them. Whilst a bookmaker will not admit it, this goes on and is common practice in the betting world.
Place accumulator bets
Act like a normal punter and place the occasional acca bet. A couple of pound here or there is unlikely to dent your matched betting profits by much but may just make you look more like a traditional punter. If you have friends or family that like the odd bet (although why haven’t you explained the benefits or matched betting!) then offer to place the odd bet for them with your online account (as long as they pay you). My mum would never dream of opening a betting account but she does like the odd flutter on events like the Grand National.
Play the casino
The reasoning is the same as the above. The odd few pounds in the casino will again keep your account looking normal. For some bookmakers they make more money on their casino punters than they do on their sportsbook. On a side note, some will have welcome offers and regular promotions and there is money to be made from these, however they are not risk free and are subject to variance.
Place normal bets and lay them off
Try mixing things up with the odd bet on something that isn’t an offer nor a leading price. Have a look at the various prices on offer using sites such as www.oddschecker.com and bet on an outcome where the particular bookmaker doesn’t have top price, then lay it off as if it were a matched bet. Whilst it may cost you a few pounds once taking into account commission it will help improve your appearance as a mug punter and potentially keep you under the radar.
Use mobile betting apps
Bookmakers love punters who use their betting apps. The theory being that mobile betting is often done by guys down the pub or at the game who haven’t done their research.
They are also handy whilst on the go (you can carry on matched betting whilst out and about) and some leading bookmakers like to give app specific offers so it is worth downloading the main ones and keeping them on your mobile.