Matched betting is one of the easiest ways to make money online in the UK and Ireland.
Because you can expect to make around £500 – £1,000 in tax-free profit from the bookmakers’ welcome offers right off the bat.
And bank a further £100 – £500 (or more) each month thereafter.
That is – until you started getting gubbed!
Have you ever opened an email with the subject line: ‘Important Information Regarding Your Account’?
Only to see something like this:
Then you’ll be familiar with the sickening wave of anxiety that follows.
Knowing that yet another matched betting profit-channel has withered and died.
I’ve had my fair share of matched betting gubbings since I started profiting from the bookmakers’ free bets in 2012.
And in this article, I’ll be revealing the truth about account restrictions, the practice of mug betting, and how to continue making money without relying on free bets.
Gubbings and Account Restrictions Explained
Not all account restrictions are the same.
Here are the main three that you’ll encounter.
Restriction #1: Bonus-Banned – AKA ‘Gubbed’
A matched betting ‘gubbing’ means to have your bonus privileges revoked.
Meaning that you will no longer be able to claim any free bets on that account – even if you meet the qualifying criteria.
Given that free bets are the lifeblood of the matched bettor – being gubbed is going to reduce the amount of money that you can make.
Usually, your BOG (‘best odds guaranteed’) and other account enhancements will be revoked at the same time.
In most cases, however, you’ll still be able to place bets.
Why Do Bookmakers Gub You?
Because you’ve claimed too many free bets.
A bookmaker will never make a profit from a free bet in a vacuum.
These ‘loss leaders’ are instead designed to entice you to carry on betting with your own money.
So that you’ll bleed revenue into the bookmaker’s crooked business model via their ‘overrounds’.
But if you’re only betting when there’s value to be taken via free bets – then you’re going to mess up their profits.
Which is why you’re given the boot.
Restriction #2: Stake Limitations
Have you ever tried to place a bet – only to see that your maximum allowed stake is something ridiculous like 13 pence?
This is called being ‘limited’ – or ‘stake restricted’.
And it’s another way that the bookmakers can stop you from taking too much value.
In most matched betting communities, people use the term ‘gubbed’ to also include being ‘limited’.
But I prefer to make a clear distinction between being ‘bonus-banned’ and ‘stake restricted’.
Because there are certain matched betting strategies that can be applied to bonus-banned accounts – but not stake restricted ones.
Why Do Bookmakers Limit You?
Stake restrictions are usually applied when you’re betting on the bookmakers’ ‘weak prices’.
A weak price is one that mathematically offers value for you and not the bookmaker.
This can arise due to bookmaker-bookmaker or bookmaker-exchange arbitrage opportunities.
Or simply because you’re consistently able to beat the starting price (SP).
Also, if you place large bets at long odds – you may find your stakes limited on that (or all) sport(s).
And sometimes – you’ll get stake restricted simply because you’re a ‘winning’ punter.
Restriction #3: Total Account Closures and Balance Confiscations
Have you been caught multi-accounting?
Then don’t be surprised if the bookmaker closes the linked accounts and keeps all of your money.
A bookmaker isn’t allowed to keep your money unless they believe that you are engaging in what they deem to be ‘fraudulent’ behaviour.
And matched betting with multiple accounts gives them the green light to keep every penny.
Account Preservation Strategies – Mug Betting Debunked
There’s a lot of misinformation floating around on various matched betting forums and blogs regarding ‘how to avoid being gubbed’.
The truth is that a lot of this advice is now either outdated, incorrect – or deliberately misleading.
This is particularly true of ‘mug betting’.
What is Mug Betting?
Mug betting is the practice of placing bets that are unrelated to a free bet, price enhancement, or other favourable promotion.
The logic is that by placing such ‘poor value’ bets and laying them off on the betting exchange – you can hide your value extraction activities without risking your own money.
Thus, making you look like a ‘mug punter’.
And so avoid being gubbed or limited.
Does Mug Betting Work?
The bottom line is that once you’ve claimed more free bets that what’s deemed to be ‘fair’ – you’ll get gubbed.
This is because the massive surge in matched betting’s popularity means that the bookmakers are now losing around £20 million each month to bonus abuse.
So, as soon as you’ve hit the ‘threshold’ – you’re done.
And no amount of mug betting will fix this.
Why Do So Many Matched Betting Sites Advocate Mug Betting?
The premium matched betting sites like to make out that mug betting is the silver bullet to keeping your accounts open.
Because they don’t want prospects to realise that basic matched betting has a shelf-life.
And many of the free matched betting blogs and forums actually WANT you to sign up to a bookmaker, deposit more money than is required and start mug betting with it.
Because if you join a bookmaker through one of their ‘revenue share’ affiliate links – they’ll take a percentage cut of all the money you lose.
And finally, you’ll still see matched bettors advocating mug betting on various forums.
This is simply because they don’t realise how much the matched betting landscape has changed in recent years.
How Can You Avoid Being Gubbed?
If you take value – you’ll eventually get banned.
However, there are some things that’ll get you gubbed at a faster rate.
Here are 7 activities that you should avoid doing if you want to keep your accounts open for longer.
1: AVOID Joining Bookmakers Via Affiliate Portals
When it comes to being ‘insta-gubbed’ (banned right after joining) – there are several factors at play.
Such as legitimate data sharing between linked bookmaker brands (Paddy Power Betfair, Coral Ladbrokes, etc).
And the questionable use of web tracking tools like Iesnare and ThreatMetrix.
But I also know for a fact that if you join through an affiliate link – the bookmaker’s affiliate manager can quickly find out through which website or portal you arrived.
And if that portal is a ‘bonus abuse’ website – don’t be surprised if you get the boot sooner rather than later.
2: AVOID Using VPN’s
It used to be that VPNs were an effective tool for signing up to a bookmaker with multiple aliases.
But now, they are little more than a stark pointer to your multi-accounting activities.
A dynamic IP being one of the most blatant qualities.
And even if that goes unnoticed, all it takes is for your true IP address to leak via Flash for your accounts to be linked and your funds seized.
Personally, I’d just avoid multi-accounting completely due to the hassle that it brings.
3: AVOID Taking Win-Market Arbitrage Bets and ‘Exact Matches’
Taking straight bookmaker-exchange arbitrage bets is the fastest way to get limited.
Because these pricing inequalities are very obvious to the bookmakers’ trading teams.
Similarly, taking ‘exact matches’ for your back and lay bets – like 4.0/4.0 – will get you flagged faster.
This is called taking prices ‘at the top of the market’.
And the bookmakers don’t like it.
4: AVOID Taking Early Prices
When you take an early price, the chance of beating the SP (‘starting price’) increases.
Let’s say that at 10 am, you bet on Horse A at odds of 12.0.
But at 2 pm, the horse starts the race at odds of 7.5.
The SP is generally considered to be a ‘truer’ reflection of the selection’s real chance of winning.
And so, if you’re able to consistently beat the SP – you’re taking implicit value because you’ll be paid out over the odds on your winning bets.
But by betting closer to the ‘off’ – you’ll reduce the chance of taking massive amounts of value.
5: AVOID Betting at Long Odds
Betting at longer odds increases the bookmaker’s associated liability.
And even if these bets aren’t winning – they’ll still draw unwanted attention to your account.
For example, a £25 bet at odds of 10.0 has an associated liability of £225.
But a £200 bet at odds of 1.5 means that the bookmaker is only risking £100 to potentially claim double that.
This is one of the reasons why the bookmakers like it when you bet on favourites.
6: AVOID Horse Racing (If Possible)
Horse racing markets are volatile and typically have a large number of runners.
This means that it’s relatively easy to accidentally end up beating the SP.
And the longer odds aren’t going to do you any favours either.
Conversely, taking the odds-on favourite in a high-profile football match 15-minutes before the off is less of an issue.
Because the bookmaker is risking less than what they stand to win.
And the price is likely to be stable.
Meaning that the bookmaker will have factored in their overround effectively.
7: AVOID Non-Round Figures
Betting weird amounts like £43.92 will draw attention to your accounts.
Because this is the sort of thing that arbitrage bettors do.
Betting round figures like £10, £25, £50 and so on is a safer way to go.
3 Ways to Make Money on Gubbed Accounts – Matched Betting Without Free Bets
If you’ve had your stake sizes limited – that account is truly dead.
But if you’ve only been gubbed (‘bonus banned’).
You can use the three strategies below to continue taking value.
And yes, these techniques will eventually lead to you being completely limited.
But it doesn’t really matter.
Because the account has already lost its bonus privileges and therefore cannot earn you money in any other way.
Strategy #1: Each-Way Arbitrage
You could just take win-market arbitrage bets until your account is totally dead.
(Which won’t take long!)
But a smarter strategy is to take ‘each-way’ place-market arbitrage bets in the UK racing markets.
Because they are much harder for the bookmakers’ trading teams to detect.
Thus, allowing you to earn money for longer.
Strategy #2: Ante-Post Arbitrage
This is much more obvious than each-way arbitrage.
(But still less than win-market arbitrage).
By backing a horse the night before and laying it off the next day when the odds have dropped.
You can lock in a profit without relying on free bets.
I use the Bookie Blowout software to find the bets that will shorten in this way.
Strategy #3: Each-Way Dutching
There’s actually another way to exploit place-market arbitrage opportunities.
By placing each-way bets on every horse in a qualifying race – you can lock in a tidy profit.
Again, you’ll need special software to find the most profitable bets quickly.
Conclusion: Adapt and Overcome – Don’t Dwell on the Uncontrollable
The truth is that matched betting gubbings are unavoidable.
And the outdated practice of mug betting will ultimately do nothing to stop your accounts losing their bonus privileges.
Leading to wasted time and energy.
Feel free to disagree with me in the comments section below.
But I personally believe that you should instead focus on hoovering up the easy money from the bookmakers’ free bets initially.
Before squeezing every last drop of value from your gubbed accounts using the three price exploitation strategies listed above.
And once your stakes are finally limited on those accounts.
Then you can think about making money with Profit Maximiser’s high-EV casino offers.