Why lay bets?

  • It could be a bit controversial but I’d like to have a bit of discussion about the above.

    I’m down £3900 on smarkets and £1500 on betfair exchange since I’ve started matched betting 3 months ago. From reading forums this is not coincidence, all (most?) matched betters have a significant negative balance on exchange. Which means a significant positive balance at bookies.
    So the question is: why even lay bets since we lose them considerably in the long run?

    Some may ask if you don’t lay how is it different to mug betting. For starters matched betters look for and take value bets. Any other reason comes to mind?

    One pitfall of such strategy is problems with cash flow. Anything else you can think of?

    If you don’t mind post your exchange balances and period of time.

  • Mark 1

    My exchange balances are 2000+ and bookie losses in the red, I purposely bet to lose my stake in the bookies although it doesn’t always work out that way.

    My feeling is if you’re making the bookie money you’re less likely to be gubbed?

    I did make a significant mistake recently which ended up costing me over £300 where I forgot to click confirm on a betfair lay, had the horse won it wouldn’t have been a problem, in fact I would have been considerably up, but of course it didn’t. (This was on a qualifier bot a free bet)This was a valuable lesson for me, ALWAYS lay off! No matter how confident you are of the selection upsets can always happen.

    Plus if you’re only putting your free bets on selections you think will win then you’re likely not getting high odds and not getting the most value.

    Hope that makes sense!

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    Stims 0

    Some people do not lay the free bets and it is generally considered over time to be about the same in terms of value.. just more variance. If you don’t lay qualifiers you are just gambling.

    I might win bets now, but before this i would lose alot more often.

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    Tony S 5

    I don’t gamble lol

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    dekoder 1

    That’s interesting strategy trying to loose money, how much profit does it take away? Or do you wait for arbs/narbs?

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    Mark 1

    I suppose I can see the logic, in not laying qualifiers, a £10 free bet at evens would pay £10 if it wins, but I’d prefer the Guarenteed £8 on it no matter what.

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    dekoder 1

    This can’t be looked at in a single event logic, but what happens over time. Anyone else care to post their exchange balance over a period of few months?

    I don’t advocate not laying your bets, just trying to understand the reasons why my exchange balance (and others) is considerably down over time.

    And in a hypothetical experiment of not laying bets one would not look for most probable outcome when placing bets but would do exact same steps as before (find closest matches, high odds for SNR etc.) but then not place the lay bet.

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    78naD 2

    I’d be the same as Mark, I’d always look to lose the qualifiers and free bets on bookies and have a good record with this. It was also meant that Betfair commission percentage has come down.

    I also like to sometimes do my qualifiers as a 3 way dutch instead of a simple back and lay. This way I’m qualifying my bet for a free bet with 1 bookie, and I’m placing 2 mug bets with other bookies too. I find that this can often work out cheaper than back/laying too as I have between 30-40 accounts

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    Chris 16

    I too look to lose money with the bookies rather than the exchange especially with free bets as most have rollover requirements which will take a long time and a lot of betting. My smarkets 30 day profit/loss is +£653. Cash flow shouldn’t be a problem once you’ve built up profit from reading this blog (assuming you save rather than blow the cash).

    Mug betting needs its own thread, its a bit of a hot topic on the blog, some advocate it, some dont.

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    Chris 16

    And to comment on you asking why your exchange balance is down over time, the easy answer is that it appears you are not using your free bets at the bookies on high odds.

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    dekoder 1

    I am using high odds where appropriate (SNR, risk-free bets etc.). If the free bet is SR I go with closest pair (bigger profit), sometimes shorter odds, sometimes longer.

    My aim is to loose at bookies too, though I don’t place any bets to try move the funds to exchange if I win at bookies. I either leave them there or withdraw if the balance gets bigger.

    Maybe one of the reasons why I’ve got a big negative balance at exchange is I underlay at times, especially when betting horses (i.e. when playing an arb underlay so if win profit/loss is 0 and bigger profit if win).

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    dekoder 1

    Meant to be:
    (i.e. when playing an arb underlay so if lose profit/loss is 0 and bigger profit if win).

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    RyanB 10

    Stupid not to lay you’re bets….you’re basically just gambling!? my betfair account balance is definitely in profit where my bookies are the losses….how it should be to be honest!

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    Pavlon 3

    I agree with this, and also aim to lose at the bookies. This is particularly worthwhile with sign up offers, avoiding the need to roll them over by betting at high odds at the bookies and low returns on the lay at smarkets. Why would a booky close my account if they’re making money out of me? And smarkets make money regardless.

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    chris 0

    My exchange losses are huge and it makes sense; although the bookies have a slight edge over us, the free bets mean we have the edge overall [otherwise we wouldn’t be doing this!]. Since the exchanges are free markets I would have thought we should expect to breakeven before commission, so make a slight loss overall with them, but make out money out of the bookies in the long run.

    I’d be £1000s better of if I had never laid my bets but I wouldn’t want to take the risk. Just today I did a single bet where I won over £1600 on Smarkets. Imagine if I hadn’t laid that one!

    What I always think about mug bets is that the aim is to still make money out of the bookie overall, and this should really be obvious to the bookie, i.e. for them to make money they need you to do so many mug bets for each offer, but we wouldn’t make money if we do that. I have to say, I have never bothered, and never will bother, with mug bets. The bookies will all catch us in the long run, it’s just a matter of time but we aim to get as much out of them as we can.

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    Stims 0

    My p/l for the last 3 months in betfair is -653.10

    Worrying really and i will now make extra effort to get it back up and keep the bookies happy.

    I mug an average amount, but they always win with the bookie. Maybe i should take on more horses as that is my only profitable sport in the exchange.

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