Mug bets are simply qualifying bets without a promotion attached. I advise you work through the qualifying bets tutorial if you haven’t already. We loose a small amount of money doing mug bets however they are very important in the long run and will ultimately make us more profitable.
The aim of mug bets
The aim of a mug bet is to make us, matched bettors, look like regular gamblers. The bookies offer countless promotions to attract new and existing customers and they want us to use these incentives. However if the bookies are not profitable we’ll have less offers and promotions to make money from. It’s a never ending circle. This is why the bookies keep a close eye on every customer’s account. The customers who continually win or only take advantage of the incentives are likely to have their account ‘gubbed’, restricted in some way or worse, closed. This is a way for the bookies to protect their bottom line, allowing them to provide more promotions for customers which in turn helps us make more money.
How much do the bookies know?
Each bookie have an accounts team. It may be 5 people, it may be 200 people. It depends on the size of the company. As you’ve seen already it’s important for them to work out which accounts are profitable and which aren’t. They’re out looking for customers who aren’t playing fairly. So how do they track this?
- A simple profit and loss account will show which customers are ‘up’ and which are ‘down’. Obviously the more profitable a customer is the more likely their account will be restricted in some way. We can’t control where our bets win however we always aim to win at the exchange rather than the bookie.
- IP addresses are used to show where accounts have been created and where bets have been placed. They do this to prevent multiple accounts being created by one household. If you try to create an account with an IP address which has already been used it will be flagged immediately.
- Cookies are another way the bookies keep an eye on our online activity. Everything we do on the bookies site will be stored and profiled allowing them to work out who’s doing what. The only way to restrict the amount of information the bookies profile is by regularly deleting your cookies and browsing history.
- Another option is to bet like a mug punter would. Watching a livestream is a great example. There’s always a mug bettor in the local bookie watching the horse race they’ve just bet on, so we should do that online. Bet365 and SkyBet both have great live streaming platforms.
How often should we mug bet?
For the long term profitability of matched betting it’s important to mug bet regularly. We don’t want the bookies thinking we only use them to benefit from their promotions and free bets.
It’s totally up to you how many mug bets you put on but we suggest you do a mug bet for every offer you complete. Put simply the more you do, the more you’ll look like a mug punter and the longer your account will stay un-restricted. This means more profit in the long run.
Other ways of staying low
There are also other ways for us to blend in with the betting crowd.
- Bet timing
Placing a bet long in advance of kick off will arouse suspicion at the bookies. It may not always be possible to place bets just before the event however, the closer we can get the more we’ll blend in with the crowd.
- Don’t stake the minimum
Keeping the qualifying loss to a minimum is an important part of matched betting however it should not come at a cost. You may want to stake the minimum requirement to be eligible for the offer however this tells the bookie your only in it for the free bet. Mug punters would not bother about the minimum requirement so we shouldn’t.
- Stakes matter
It’s very important to keep our bookie bets to a round number. Mug punters would never stake a decimal amount like £20.76 therefore we shouldn’t. However, this doesn’t apply for betting exchanges. Another good tip is to stake a regular amount with the same bookie. For example, if you staked £30 last week do the same this week. This creates a consistent pattern.
- Backing a team
A regular gambler will have a favourite team they always back. This is another tactic that we should use in matched betting to help us blend in.
- Price boosts
Another great way to stay low is to bet on price boosts. Both SkyBet and William Hill have some great price boosts to profit from on many different sports.
- Betting Markets
Backing a team to win in the Icelandic third division is more likely to arouse suspicion than picking a winner in a champions league game. If we stick to where the crowd is we are less likely to be flagged by the bookies.
Think like a punter and you won’t go far wrong in terms of your account being flagged by the bookies. And finally if you think your bet is going to arouse suspicion it probably will. There will always be another offer or promotion we can profit from so don’t rush in with your bets. Be in it for the long run.
If you have any questions about mug bets please post in the comments below.