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Bookies and matched betting (Top 5 tips to keep your account open)

Bookies and matched betting. You’d think they go together like chalk and cheese. How so?

Essentially, matched betting is a brilliant (and possibly the only legitimate) way to beat the bookies at their own game. It’s an incredibly popular way to make money online and it’s continuing to grow as more people find out about this great technique.

Now, one of the key aspects of matched betting is keeping the accounts you have with bookmakers ‘healthy’ – this lets us complete offers from as many bookies as possible. The more offers you complete, the more profit we can make.

This is what will ultimately make your matched betting more successful. So, the aim is to keep bookie accounts open and active for as long as possible.

In this article, we’ll look at 5 top tips to help keep bookie accounts open and what to do if restrictions are placed on your account.

Bookies and matched betting: Do they hate it? 

Before we dive into ways of keeping our bookmaker accounts open and active, it’s worth asking the question: Do bookies hate matched betting?

This is a tricky question to answer definitively. However, it seems various bookies have different views on matched betting. In general, most are not fans of the technique. Let’s look at why.

The main concept of matched betting involves taking advantage of bookies free bets and promotions. Bookies offer us these promotions to incentivise us to place more bets with them. The betting industry is so incredibly competitive these days, bookmakers must offer these bonuses to even stand a chance of competing against other operators. That’s why there’s always an abundance of offers available.

How to keep bookie accounts open

The bookies don’t give out these free bets to anyone. They obviously want something in return (i.e. your cash!). That’s why there’s always qualifying criteria you must fulfil before receiving your free bet.

Most bookmakers aren’t keen on punters who abuse their promotions and only bet when there’s a free bet or bonus available. It makes complete sense when you think of it from the bookies perspective. Furthermore, matched bettors who do this regularly are likely to get their accounts restricted or gubbed in some way. A costly and unnecessary outcome.

Not to worry though, there are plenty of ways to prevent our bookie accounts from being restricted. Use these methods below and you’ll be a far more successful matched bettor.

5 tips to keep bookie accounts open

1. Place mug bets

Mug betting is the best way to keep your bookie accounts open. Period. This method allows you to keep off the bookies radar. This method is essential to long term success with no risk matched betting.

What is mug betting?

Mug betting is the process of placing a matched bet when there is no promotion or free bet available. Usually when placing matched bets, we qualify for some kind of free bet or bonus. With mug bets this is not the case. As we mentioned earlier, bookmakers don’t like punters who just take advantage of their promotions. Mug betting helps us avoid this. We use these bets to make ourselves appear like ‘regular’ punters in the eyes of the bookmaker.

There are two ways you can approach mug betting; the matched betting method or the gambling method.

The matched betting method

With this method you use the common matched betting technique. Place a back bet at the bookie and a lay bet at the betting exchange, calculating the exact amount to make your matched bet risk free. The benefits of this method include:

  • It’s risk free – you don’t lose any money
  • From the bookies point of view we’ve placed a ‘regular’ bet

When you’re placing these mug bets, I recommend you use Smarkets to lay your bets. They run a far more liberal platform than other betting exchanges and they’re not partnered with another betting firm like Betfair are (Paddy Power).

The gambling method

The second option involves simply placing a normal, regular bet like any gambler would. As you can imagine, this method is not risk free as the outcome is based on chance. You could win your bet or you could lose your stake. However, this is a sure fire way to prove we are not just in it for the promotions.

Overall, I recommend you use a mixture of both methods to keep your bookie accounts open.

2. Stakes matter – don’t stake the minimum

When we’re qualifying for free bets and bonuses, it seems sensible to stake the minimum required to qualify for the bonus. This information is stated in the terms and conditions for each offer.

It seems sensible…

…but doing this every time can be a big red flag for bookmakers.

Yes,  staking the minimum means we won’t lose as much money in our qualifying bet, but we also make ourselves look like we’re just in it for the free bet. We are, of course, but we don’t want the bookies knowing that!

The majority of the time it’s important to stake more than the minimum required. Let me explain with an example.

Keep bookie accounts open with mug betting

Take a look at the promotion above. Coral are offering a £10 free bet when you stake £25. To qualify for this offer you simply need to stake £25 during the week. Staking the minimum in this example may seem like the obvious choice. However, do this over a few weeks and the bookies will piece together a picture of your betting patterns and realise you’re just abusing their promotions. Once they know this, they’re more likely to restrict your account or ban you.

All in all, it’s important to stake more than the minimum required to qualify for a free bet. In the example above, I would probably stake £35.

3. Matched betting markets

Markets are incredibly important when it comes to matched betting. Finding and picking the best markets is another key ingredient to matched betting success. We believe it’s so important, we have a dedicated section in our members area, training matched bettors on how to pick the best markets for their matched bets.

The aim is to stick with the rest of the betting community. We should place our matched bets where they are staking their money. That way, we blend in with the betting crowd. In essence, we want to pick popular betting events. So if you have the option of placing your bets on a Premier League game or a League Two game, you should obviously pick the bigger, more high-profile match.

Placing our matched bets on less popular markets just highlights our accounts and makes us stand out – increasing the likelihood of a restriction being placed on our accounts.

4. Bet timing

Similar to the markets section above, it’s important you consider when you are placing your bets. We keep coming back to the point of blending in, but it’s vital for matched betting success.

In general, most ‘regular’ punters don’t place their bets days before a football game takes place. With the rise of online gambling, it’s possible to place your bets a few minutes before a game starts. This is typical for a lot of gamblers.

For our matched betting purposes we need to do the same thing. Whilst placing matched bets minutes before kick off isn’t necessary, there’s no need to do it the day before. You’ll just highlight your account and draw attention to yourself. I suggest placing your bets 30-15 minutes before an event kicks off. This isn’t always possible, but it should act as a good guideline.

5. Don’t win too much


Let me explain.

As matched bettors, we aim to win most of our bets at the betting exchange. In a perfect world we don’t want to win any bets at the bookmakers. Betting exchanges are typically much more appreciative of traders (matched bettors) than traditional bookmakers are and they don’t mind us winning. They make a commission on everything we win anyway (A far better business model, if you ask me)

This point comes back to picking markets for your matched bets. The aim is to choose markets which you think are more likely to win at the betting exchange. Obviously, the lower the odds, the more likely your matched bet will win at the bookie. Higher odds are more likely to win at the betting exchange.

Obviously, you can’t pick high odds all the time – and this tactic becomes a little tricky for qualifying bets. The aim is to pick markets with lower odds, resulting in less qualifying losses. But don’t simply take this point in isolation – just think of it as another branch of your matched betting strategy.

What if my bookie account gets restricted or banned?

Keeping our bookie accounts open is the ultimate matched betting aim. But you know what, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it’s not always possible.

Some bookies, despite our best efforts, still cotton on to the fact that we’re taking advantage of their promotions. The bookies use incredibly clever software to keep track of each punter’s account. Sometimes we have to accept that and move on.

In terms of account restrictions, the bookies usually add a maximum stake to your account. You’ll receive an email from the bookie notifying you of this restriction. From experience this severely limits your matched betting profitability. The best advice is to check what your account restrictions are and determine whether it’s worthwhile to keep using that bookie. In a lot of cases, it’s generally not worth it. We have to accept that this particular bookmaker has realised what you’re doing and essentially stopped your ability to profit from matched betting.

In terms of a complete ban, well there’s not much you can do there. All I can say is there are plenty of other bookies out there which you can continue to make a profit from. Yes, it’s incredibly annoying having your account shut down, but it goes with the turf – it’s part and parcel of matched betting.

Bookies & matched betting: Conclusion

By using our top 5 methods to keep your bookie accounts open, you’ve already upped your matched betting game. You’re already thinking about how you can blend in and make your betting patterns seem more natural.

Is it a hassle at first? Of course, but it’s a necessary evil for all serious matched bettors.

Once you’ve got a few weeks matched betting experience under your belt, following these guidelines will seem like second nature.

For our money, mug bets are by far the most effective way of keeping your bookie accounts open and active for as long as possible.

But the main takeaway is… don’t be disheartened if one or two of your accounts get restricted or banned, there are plenty more bookies out there. The online betting market is so competitive at the moment that you won’t struggle to find offers and promotions from other bookmakers.

Here at The Sure Bettor, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding training platform for members. For more in depth articles on how to keep bookie accounts open, why not join our matched betting community? It’s free to sign up.

Did I miss any tips on how to keep bookie accounts open? If so, let me know in the comments below.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading.