Tips to avoid getting gubbed
While some techniques for avoiding gubbings are debated in the matched betting community the below are pretty much agreed on by people who have been in the game a long time.
Don’t follow daily plays or diaries
Although we even have our own matched betting diary showing complete beginners the possibility of profiting from promotions we always recommend people learn as soon as possible how to use our software so they can avoid following a diary.
Following a set of daily plays while easy is a quick way to get gubbed as many people all jump on the same selection at once. That’s not the only reason daily plays suck for matched betting. You can read a full article on how terrible they are here. "Why Daily Plays Suck for Matched Betting"
Choose wisely where you sign up
There are many websites that offer sign up bonuses larger than available directly on the bookies site. It is fine to use these. But don’t sign up through any website that has an affiliation with a matched betting website. It’s pretty crazy but some sites that teach matched betting also run affiliate links for bookies. It’s so easy for a bookie to profile you this way it’s just not worth doing. The only exception to this is Betfair which is not a bookmaker but a betting exchange. Matched bettors form a healthy part of their ecosystem and they won’t ban you for matched betting.
Don’t bet non-round numbers
If you’re placing an arb or dutching bets between bookmakers, keep the numbers rounded. Constantly betting non-round numbers such as $71.43 make it appear you are number conscious and most likely using their generous prices to gain a guaranteed profit with another book.
One exception I would say to this is it’s fine to bet non-round numbers to clear your accounts.
Don’t let the bookies track you
Bookies have been known to use software such as ie.snare to help track data such as seeing if you frequent other bookies websites. There are guides such as this that tell you how to remove iesnare and avoid them tracking you.
Another option is to use an iPad or iPhone for your betting activities as these don’t allow flash cookies.
Don’t bet on the same computer as your mate who also matched bets
Don’t bet on all outcomes at the same bookie to guarantee a profit
Trying to ensure profit by betting on more than one outcome with a bookie is a big flag. By doing so, you are highlighting yourself clearly to the trader working that particular market. There are plenty of other bookies to use to balance out your profits.
Don’t turn over bonuses on obscure markets or events to squeeze out a better retention on your bonus bet
Sacrifice a little to potentially prolong the life of your accounts. Placing a bonus bet on a Danish Soccer correct score market to obtain 85% retention may be tempting, but this obscure bet will flag with the junior trader working that market pretty quickly. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to try to use your bonus bets on similar markets to which you obtained them. You are creating a profile for yourself with the bookies.
Don’t use your account for arbitrage betting, yet
Arbitrage betting can be lucrative, but it doesn't last long at all. Nowhere near as long as being able to use the promotional offers. You can still arb your bookie accounts after you have been banned from participating in promotional offers. If you were to start arbing before being promo-banned, rest-assured when they spot you arbing, you'll obtain a promotional ban too.
Do choose which promotions you play wisely
Participating in every promotion going will increase the likelihood of being banned from participating in promotions sooner. It's wise to be selective, get involved in the offers with the highest expected value first. We list EV for all the profitable offers in the offer calendar.
Being aware of what offers bookies have in the pipeline. For example, knowing that Ladbrokes are fairly quick to gub. It would be unwise to keep hitting them on their $20 price boosts that generally have an EV anywhere between $1-4. When fairly often, they have early payout offers where you can extract much more.
Bet closer to game time if possible
This is a game of cat and mouse. Most punters are betting just before kick off. The traders at the bookies are much busier on these markets at this time. By betting then you are hiding yourself a little better.
The traders at the bookies work out how much value you are taking from them by seeing how much you beat the SP by. If you plow in on a horse with odds of $9 and it runs at $5 then you risk being booted. Place your bets around 1 minute before the event starts then it’s difficult to beat the SP.
Bonus Bets on Multis
Multis are quite time consuming to place, but bookies love them. Using your bonuses on multis is a fantastic way of staying under the bookies' radar. It's also a great way to turn over your bonus bets for a decent retention. See how to do so here.
Techniques up for debate
While the above are clear rules to follow to prolong the life of your account. There are several other strategies that matched bettors sometimes look to incorporate.
Placing bets with bookies that don't have any bonuses attached to them, or is an arbitrage opportunity. Mug bets are those that simply have no advantage attached to them.
These bets cost the matched bettor money and EV. It is suggested amongst some that mug bets prolong the life of your accounts. As a consequence, it eats into your value.
Here's a couple of examples of how to appear like a mug punter without having to be one;
- Add to bets black book
- Bet on the same team each week
Betting over or under the bonus amount
Betting more/less than the stake required to obtain the highest possible bonus. This again will cost you some profit, but it may be less clear to the traders that you're purely there to take their bonuses.
Withdrawing of funds
Some matched bettors like to leave their funds in their bookmaker accounts. It is believed that a withdrawal brings your account to light, which could lead to the bookie digging a little more. If we weren't, then we could just lay bets on Betfair and become profitable punters. At some point, you will have to withdraw. By delaying your withdrawals, it may prolong the life of your accounts.
A common misconception - Can’t we just lose at the bookie?
No, not over the long-term anyway. It only takes a few results to not go your way to firstly have a bunch of money in a bookmaker and having incurred some heavy losses placing the mug bets. This misconception is the gambler's fallacy (Monte Carlo fallacy). That is the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal, it will happen less frequently in the future (or vice versa).
The most famous example of this was at the Monte Carlo Casino in 1913 on a game of roulette. Black came in 26 times in a row. The probability of this happening is around 1 in 66.6 million. Gamblers lost millions betting against black, reasoning incorrectly that the streak was causing an imbalance in the randomness of the wheel, and that it had to be followed by a long streak of red.
When matched betting, over the long-term, you are always going to end up with more money in the bookmakers than Betfair, as this is where we are taking the value. If we weren't, then we could just lay bets on Betfair and become profitable punters.