If you’re smart then you’re probably already suspicious
“Guaranteed results” is a two word phrase used by telemarketers and online banners.
But this really is a results guarantee. Using the below method you can use the tactics used by online bookies, like bonus bets and enhanced odds, to place unloseable bets. This article is a step by step guide on how to do it and what to look out for. It is a long read, but by the end of it you will be 100% equipped to implement what you’ve learnt and make bets that can’t lose.
Caveat: this advice is only going to be relevant to you if you live in a country where betting on sport is legal and online betting companies are active.
If that is you, keep reading for free money.
What’s the deal?
The technique I’m about to explain is extremely simple to implement, but it can be a little tricky to get your head around at first. There are two key elements that make it work:
- Betfair. Betfair are different from every other online bookie in that you are not betting against them. Instead they are a platform where you make bets against other punters and Betfair simply takes a percentage of your winnings. This means you can not only place a standard bet but you are also able to bet against a result. This is called a ‘lay bet’ and I’ll go a little further into why that is significant in a moment.
- Betting Promotions. To stand out from the competition online agencies offer plenty of different offers to make betting with them appealing. These are usually in the form of matched deposit bonus betting, enhanced odds bets or refunding of your bet if certain things happen in a game or race.
So what is a lay bet exactly?
Explained as simply as possible a lay bet is a wager that sees you take the role of a traditional bookie. Instead of making a bet by putting $20 on 1.5 odds, which looks like this:
- You risk $20
- If your bet is a win you get your $20 back plus $10 ($20 x 0.5) giving you $30 total with a profit of $10
- You would take the other side of that wager, which would look like this:
- You place a lay bet of $20. This requires no money from you but for another punter to take up the bet, putting in their own $20.
- If their bet wins they would be returned their original $20 and you owe them additional $10.
- If their bet loses you would keep the $20 they wagered and they would keep nothing.
So what does that mean?
It means that if you want to you can make two bets that cover themselves.
Based on the example above:
You make one bet with a different bookmaker (let’s say Ladbrokes):
TEAM WINS: $20 x 0.5 = $10
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$20
You then make a lay bet with Betfair against the result you’ve just bet on
TEAM WINS: $20 x 0.5 = -$10
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: $20
You combine the results from either outcome and you get:
TEAM WINS: $10 -$10 = 0
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$20 + $20 = 0
So whatever the result you come out even.
Of course because Betfair takes a percentage of the winnings AND you will rarely find lay odds that are the same as betting odds (they are usually higher) that is not really going to be the case.
A more realistic version would look something like a bet with odds of 1.4 and lay odds of 1.5:
TEAM WINS: ($20 x 0.4 = $8) + ($20 x 0.5 = -$10) = -$2
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$20 + ($20 – ($20 x 0.05)) = -$1
So either way you are losing money. Not as much as if you’d lost just one of the two bets, but you are still going into the negative. So what is the point? Well that’s where the bet bonuses come into play.
- Boosted odds
Some bookmakers will give you special odds on certain matches to encourage you to make bets you otherwise might not.
What this can do in relation to lay betting is create what is known as arbitrage.
- Arbitrage is a situation where you can bet both sides and come out in the positive
Say, using the example above, the 1.4 odds apply to a high profile football game, and Ladbrokes have decided to boost the odds to 1.7. The previous situation now looks like this:
TEAM WINS: ($20 x 0.7 = $14) + ($20 x 0.5 = -$10) = $4
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$20 + ($20 – ($20 x 0.05)) = -$1
The bottom result hasn’t changed but the top result is now $4 up. So now all you have to do is adjust the lay bet to put both results into the positive
TEAM WINS: ($20 x 0.7 = $14) + ($23 x 0.5 = -$11.5) = $2.5
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$20 + ($23 – ($23 x 0.05)) = $1.85
So now no matter what the result you come out either $2.50 or $1.85 ahead. The real world examples of this will often be as much as $10-$15, still not a lot but completely risk free profit. However the real pay off for this strategy comes in the next step.
Nearly every online betting agency has a matched bonus bet incentive to create an account with them and then will offer matched bet or deposit bonus bets periodically.
What this means is if you sign up with a bookie like Ladbrokes, they will match your first deposit amount with bonus money for you to bet with up to a predetermined amount.
The caveats usually are:
- You must turn-over (make a bet with) both the original deposit and the bonus bet before you can withdraw. Depending on the agency you may have to do this more than once or do it on a wager above a specified level of return (eg: odds of 1.5 or higher)
- If your bonus bet is successful you only retain the winnings of the bet and not the original amount placed.
Now the logic of how to use lay betting to make guaranteed money with bonus bets is a little more convoluted to understand but just as straightforward once you get your head around it.
Your initial deposit
Some agency website make you just deposit the funds to activate the bonus bet, some make you actually place a bet. Either way I’ll walk through this part of the process so you get a full idea where you finish up funds wise.
So you will try and find a bet which has a very small gap between odds that you will bet on and the lay odds you can access. Remember to ensure you are meeting any minimum odds requirements for turnover or you will just have to repeat this process. Let’s say we get odds of 1.4 for the bet and 1.5 for the lay bet. After a bit of the lay bet I can get roughly the same result for every result.
TEAM WINS: ($200 x 0.4 = $80) + (-$195 x 0.5 = -$97.5) = -$17.50
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: -$200 + ($195 – ($195 x 0.05)) = -$14.75
A minor loss either way. Then comes the next part
The Bonus Bet
You get your bonus bet a find a higher odds bet with a relatively small gap between the bet odds figure and the lay odds figure. (the reason you need to go with a higher odd bet is because if your bet wins then you don’t get your stake back, so you need as much return as possible).
It will be harder to find odds that are closer with longer odds but you usually want to be looking for odds starting around 4.0. Let’s say you get a bet with odds of 4 and lay bet odds of 4.5. Some number crunching and you can come up with:
TEAM WINS: ($200 x 3 = $600) + (-$135 x 3.5 = -$472.50) = $127.50
TEAM LOSES OR DRAWS: ($135 – ($135 x 0.05)) = $128.25
See what happens there? Because you are betting with free money you don’t have to take any money out of your lay bet profit if the bet loses. You haven’t actually lost any money because the bonus bet was given to you for free from the bookmaker. This has a knock on effect that you don’t have to cover any potential losses with your lay bet. Instead you eat into your potential profit if your Bonus Bet is successful by making a bet the other way, finding the middle ground.
You turn a free $200 bet in $127 in guaranteed cash absorbing the $15 loss of the original bet you are still up $102 no matter which way the bet goes.
But how do I work out what to lay?
This is admittedly the trickiest bit – IF you’re doing it from scratch. Luckily all it really takes is number crunching and using this lay bet calculator you can enter in the values and work out exactly what to wager to cover yourself
You can try a few variations. Either set the value so you make or lose the same amount no matter which way the results go, or you can skew your lay bet toward one result or the other so that you make more from one result but the profit is reduced the other way (like a real bet but without the risk of actually losing anything).
Some important things to note to optimise your profit
Things didn’t always go smoothly when I was learning this process. I missed out on a fair bit of free money because of some simple mistakes. Make sure you read through these last few points so you can avoid them.
- Always place your lay bet FIRST: Because of the way the Betfair system works you can only make a lay bet if there is another user willing to match the odds with a regular bet. That means sometimes your lay bet will not be placed or only partially placed.
You will cover yourself if you place the lay bet first and if it isn’t fully accepted you can adjust your real wager to suit. If you place your regular bet first you can be stuck with a bet that you possibly won’t be able to cover.
- Agencies know about lay betting arbritage: It isn’t illegal, in fact in this article here Betfair even promotes it. And when you think about it why should they care? When you make a bet and cover it with a lay bet, they still have just as much chance of getting your money than when you don’t.
What they will crack down on is an overuse of the promotions. If the only bets you are making are on enhanced odds and cashback offers. Your account will be flagged and they will stop being available to you. It is worth making a small loss every now and then to keep making money in the long term.
- Don’t spend too much time comparing odds: Be careful of burning too much of your time looking for the exact right bet to turn your money over. When I first started arbitrage betting I would keep plugging odds for different games into my calculator to get the best possible return.
But you can spend half an hour looking for the right odds to turn a $100 bonus bet in $75 cash or you can get $65 from the same bonus bet in 5 minutes.
It is all free money. If an extra $15 is worth half an hour of your time then go ahead, but I’ve found it’s better to be quick and move on.
- Terms and Conditions: Some sign up bonuses aren’t available to residents of certain states (although sometimes you get them anyway), some bonus bets expire after a certain period of time, conditions like this are things you need to know to get the most out of your free money.
- Be careful of inventing new schemes: Doing math with money can be hard. Doing math with betting, lay-betting and bonus bets is even harder.
You might think up a new scheme based on one of the other offers a bookmaker offers. TRUST ME. You want to check it about 10 times before you put it into place.
My biggest misstep came from thinking I could turn a common offer of getting money back on a horse I place a win bet on coming 2nd or 3rd into guaranteed cash. Here is my basic back of the envelope math:
See the issue? The $50 I had pencilled in as profit for a 2nd or 3rd place run was really just the money I had originally put down coming back to me, so I was counting it twice. This meant I was actually running at a significant loss if the horse came 2nd or 3rd (guess what it ran?)
- Dodgy sites: This is one that has never actually caught me out but I’ve seen comments about it around. If you don’t recognise the name of an online bookie do a lot of research and be very careful about giving them your money. While this system works perfectly within an honest business model, there is stories out there of companies that have a history of holding money withdrawals or cancelling bets without notice.
My advice would be to not even consider sites that seem even slightly shady. It’s not worth it.
- Beware of the outlay: Some of the sign-up bonuses for Australian online bookmakers can be as much as $700. You can now turn that into $400 without breaking a sweat but you are going to need much more than that to make it happen.
Covering your initial bet won’t need too big a deposit but as the odds go higher the amount at risk in a lay bet does too. For example if you are turning over a $700 bonus bet at odds of 4 and lay odds of 5, your estimated lay risk will be over $1,600. You will need that money in your account to place the bet. It WILL come back to you but there will be a time when that money is in limbo and you can’t touch it.
There is also the chance that you won’t follow this guide correctly and not properly cover yourself. I would recommend not making large scale bets without fully understanding the mechanics of lay betting arbitrage.
- Keep track of your net profit: This is more some advice than an issue to look out for.
This is free money so to me it makes sense to save it rather than letting it just bleed into your weekly budget. Maybe put it all in a separate high interest savings account and let it accumulate towards a big life purchase.
Here is an Excel sheet I have created that helps you easily keep track of all of your wagers.