Fine-Tuning Matched Betting - Tweaks and Tips to Get a Little Extra

This article is aimed at squeezing extra profit out of Matched Betting trades.
Nothing pays as good as bookie sign-ups and refunds for existing customers.
Get Matched Betting trades right, and it is free money. Everyone knows that, including the bookies of course.

I expect that you will already have found web sites that list up to date bookie offers.
Some of those sites may offer a slightly better deal than others if they have negotiated a better affiliate reward for finding new customers for bookmaker web sites.
It is a very long time since I traded bookie sign-ups, and refunds for existing bookie customers, but the suggestions below are things that I used to do to squeeze a little bit extra out of my trades.

Trading kitty.
Use a bank account that is totally separate from the bank account that you use for household bills, or anything else.
That will enable you to keep an exact record of how much money you have at any time, and where it is……In a betting exchange or two, or in bookie accounts.
Keep detailed records of your trades as you do them, and the results, including profit & loss.
Record daily and monthly profit & loss, and as things progress, your year on year profit from these trades.
If you ever have a dispute or a query, details of each trade will help you to sort out what happened.

My experience is that bookie web sites don’t make mistakes, so if you need to ring up a bookie with a query, always be polite and non-aggressive.
I expect that their help desks will deal daily with customers who are angry about a money problem. Don’t be one of them.
Aim to cultivate your bookies, not alienate them.
If you sound nice, it has been my experience that they will help you, so if a free bet is in order, a friendly help desk person will help you with that.

Turnover.
Matched Betting trading is a game of turnover.
The more money that you can turn over, the more profit you will make.
With that in mind, you need to work at keeping as much of your trading cash as possible available in your betting exchange account for the lay end of your trades.
It is not a good idea to hit winners with a bookie as that will transfer money from your trading kitty onto the bet side of your trading bank.
There are only two ways to get that money out of the bookie account :-
Trade it out by hitting a loser or losers, whilst you lay the other end of the trade, or making a withdrawal.
Both of those will cost you days of time, which will slow your trading down as you move money back into the lay side of your working bank – your exchange account, so it is always best to lose with your bookie if possible.
Aim to turn over your exchange cash, – – – the lay side of your trades, as often as possible.
You can’t do that if your money is stuck in a bookie account.

Side bets.
As bookies withdraw free bets and bonus payments, limit your stakes, or close your accounts, your bookie accounts that include bonus offers will become a rare animal, so do everything you can think of to make them last as long as possible.
It may be a good idea to bet and lay something other than free bet and refund offers. . . . I’ve seen those side bets called “Mug Bets”.
How much is that going to cost you ?
Perhaps only £1 or 50 pence per trade, so one or two mug bets occasionally might be money well spent if they keep your bookie account open and unlimited.

Best Odds Guarantee. B.O.G.
When trading a BOG bookie it is best to set up your trades early of course, and hope that the odds of your runner get bigger.
As race time approaches, keep your eye on the odds of your runner.
If the odds get bigger, and are also bigger with other bookies, you can lay a little bit £££ extra in anticipation of the bigger payout if you hit a winner.
Get your calculator out and work out how much extra payout you can expect.
Now divide that extra potential payout by your lay odds minus 1 and you can see how much you could lay without going into the red if your runner wins.
Odds can always shorten again, so it may be best not to lay all the extra payout, just in case you hit a winner.
if your odds have got bigger, your runner is not expected to win, but they sometimes do of course, so a bit of caution is called for when laying a bit extra on a BOG runner.

The video below describes a Best Odds Guarantee race at Ascot some years ago, and what I did to exit my trade when the lay odds moved out to 10.0 after I had placed a bookie bet at odds 6.5.
Don’t be confused by all the red that you see in my spreadsheet.
The bookie offer in the video that I was trading was the old Bet 365 4/1+ offer, if you remember that.
My strategy for that was that I was aiming to hit losers, not winners, so I was biasing my trade to favour a lose outcome.
Note that the starting price odds after the race were a whole point lower, ( at 9.0 ) than the bookie odds that were on offer just before Race Time.
If you have a go at laying extra in a BOG race, you might just remember that shorter S.P. odds could also happen to you, so be careful !
We live and learn.
After that trade, if I had a B.O.G. race that was worth an extra lay, I always allowed for shorter Starting Price odds when working out my additional lay stake.

Save some commission.
If you can trade 2 separate bookie offers in the same race, but using 2 different runners, you may be able to pay zero commission.
You will have layed 2 runners, so if one of those wins, you will have lay payout on that runner, and a successful lay on the other.
The lay payout will be bigger than the successful lay profit which will put your total market position into the red, so you will have zero commission to pay on the 2 trades.
You will have bookie winnings from hitting the winner, and successful lay profit on the other loser, but no commission to pay.
This old video shows an example :-

Exchange to Exchange trades.
It is a good idea to use more than one exchange, just in case one of your exchanges stops working when you have trades open and in progress.
If that happens, you can decide to step in and trade your way out to some extent by using your alternative exchange.
Another advantage of using more than one exchange is that exchange to exchange refund offers pay very well.
There will always be commission to pay at one end of the trade or the other whatever the result, either on the bet winnings, or the successful lay profit, but exchange to exchange matched betting trades still pay very well.
Finding a close match in the odds shouldn’t be a problem, but one thing to watch out for is that there is enough money available for your runner in both exchanges.
Betfair probably won’t be a problem, but your other exchange may not have the same level of liquidity, so it may be best to get matched up in the other exchange first, before getting matched up in Betfair..
Always read the T & C’s (Terms & Conditions) of any exchange sign-up or refund offer if you are lucky enough to have one, and look to see if the free bet / refund applies to a bet winnings, lay profit, or either.
If possible, I always tried to use Betfair for the lay side of my exchange to exchange trades.
My idea was that I would be more likely to hit a loser, so a successful lay from hitting a loser would keep my working cash all in one place.
The screenshots below demonstrate a sign-up trade and a free bet trade, both using the same bet and lay odds of 8.0 & 8.2.
Commission deductions are build into both ends of the trades, with commission deducted from whichever one of the sides, the bet or the lay, makes a profit.
Screenshot 1 shows a Qualifier trade.

Screenshot 2 shows a free bet trade.

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