Mug Betting – Why we need it

Matched Betting is risk free but because the bookies aren’t a big fan of it they may stop giving you free bets and other offers if they suspect that’s all you are there for. Obviously we want to keep getting as many free bets as we can out of them so we need to keep them happy and stay under the radar of the traders who are on the look out for matched bettors. Before I go any further there is never any risk to your money, if a bookie decided you are a matched bettor and “gubs” your account the worst that will happen is that you won’t get offers anymore. You can still bet with them and withdraw money as normal.

So we need to look like a normal mug punter. Those are the punters that the bookies make money on and those are the customers they look after the most. If you are a good customer then it means more bonuses for you.

So how do we look like a mug punter?


Mug Betting

Mug bets are bets that a normal every day punter would make. Betting on a favourite in a football match for example. Most importantly the mug bet must have no offer attached. It needs to look like a completely normal bet.

Of course we don’t want to lose money so we still go to the exchange and lay these bets off but the bookmaker doesn’t know we have done that. From their point of view we are a customer having a bet.

Why do we need to do this?

Bookmakers are in the business of making money. If they don’t think they can make money from you they will make it clear they don’t want your business. The first way they do that is to stop giving you special offers and bonuses. After that they may restrict your account so you can only place very small bets with them.

Because of the boom in popularity of matched betting bookies are on the lookout for us. They are looking for people who:

  • Always take close match bets (bookies monitor the exchanges too!)
  • Only bet on the offer bets – these people are quickly identified as bonus hunters
  • People taking arb bets – these are bets where the price at the bookie is higher than the exchange. We can lay these off for a profit.
  • People who win a lot of money – if you are costing them money then they don’t want you betting with them. That’s why many accounts that are suspected of being associated with successful betting groups get restricted.

The bookies are interested in 1 thing and 1 thing alone. Making money. Remember that and try not to take advantage too much if you want to make money from that bookmaker long term.


Arbing (arbitrage betting)

Bookies are constantly monitoring the exchanges to make sure their prices are below their prices. That gives them a margin to make a profit and reduce their liabilities if they need to. If the bookies odds are higher than the exchanges it means we can lay the bet off for a small profit regardless of the outcome. It’s an easy way to make money but we should avoid arbs wherever possible as the bookies restrict accounts of arbers. Long term arbers will cost the bookies money.

Taking special offer odds boosts are ok just don’t take too many.

How to Look Like a Mug Punter

Did you do any betting before you started matched betting? If yes then you were a mug punter. Think about what you used to bet on and keep doing that. Bet on your favourite teams and sports. Always lay these bets off so you don’t risk any money but keep placing the mug bets as well as the offer bets that make us some money.


Bookies love these as they are usually very profitable for them. So do a few accas. We can lay these off as well although it is quite a lot of effort. The software at OddsMonkey makes it much easier.

Play the casino

You can’t lay casino bets so this is a risk to your funds however playing the odd game at the casino will keep your account healthy.


Bet on high profile games

Super Sunday on sky sports is always big hype for example. Betting on these games is popular and you want to be part of the crowd.


Blend In

Betting on horses days before a race is not normal and will make you stand out like a sore thumb. Placing your bets on the day of the event is usually what happens so make sure you do that as well.

Cash Out

Have you noticed how bookmakers love to advertise the fact you can cash out all the time. It’s because long term it makes them a lot of money. It’s poor value for the customer so as a rule you should avoid cashing out. However to look like a mug punter the odd cash out is good for the account. Just make sure you don’t end up losing money if you have the layed the bet.

Be unpredictable

Change it up. Change your stakes. Don’t always bet the max refund amount for example. If there is an offer for £25 refund for second place why not bet £30 or £20. Taking the exact refund amount is going to make you a matched betting suspect.

Take Poor Matches

Taking poor matches at the exchange will cost you a few quid in qualifying losses but that’s ok. As long as we are still making money giving a bit back like this is good for your accounts. Always taking 95% + matches will quickly identify you as a matched bettor.

Be Vigialant

Never think you are safe from being gubbed. Always be looking to stay under the radar.


Matched betting is very profitable but if you lose your bookie accounts then your profits will quickly dry up. Keeping your accounts healthy is really important so you can continue to make money every day for many years to come.

Try not to overthink it and don’t spend a lot of time mug betting but make sure you do it. Another thing to remember is that no matter how careful you are and how much you mug bet some bookies will still gub you. Sometimes it can’t be explained and some bookmakers are quick to gub and restrict accounts. Don’t let it worry you just move on to the next bookie and try to learn from the experience. You will lose a few along the way but mug betting will mean you will keep the majority of your accounts open and healthy for many years to come. You can find out more about mug betting on the OddsMonkey forums, read my full review here.