How to Matched Bet without using an Exchange

Matched betting USA without an exchange

This would be very applicable to the current USA Matched betting scene at the moment, although I can’t comment on the taxes on winnings within each state. Hopefully that is taken away as planned soon.

Matched betting before Betfair

I’ve not seen many YouTubers online who mention the days before exchanges were around. I have even seen ridiculous comments made from some big websites stating “… matched betting begun in 2006”. Which is incorrect.

A little history of matched betting and when it actually started

They state this information because if you do a google search about “matched betting”, it shows that the searches for the terminology words “matched betting” only appears after around this time. But making statements like this is not true, although I guess the graphs are misleading. The truth is matched betting used to just be called “arbitrage”, and nowadays arbitrage is looked upon as a totally separate discipline.

Before Betfair we could in fact matched bet, although we obviously could not lay the bets, so how was it done? It was done by either using the following disciplines, for want of a better word.

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Matched betting without betting exchanges

Usually, a matched bettor would place their bets on say the Baltimore Ravens at odds of +100, or 1/1, 2.0 odds. They would then sell, or what is called lay this bet on a betting exchange.

By selling the bet – the matched bettor would not care if the bet won or lost.

If the bet lost, the matched bettor would win from the lay bet.

If the bet won, the matched bettor would lose from the betting exchange, where they sold the bet, but win from the bookmaker bet.

The above example is based on a qualifying bet, which is what is usually needed to gain a free bet. After this is where the true profit is made. The matched bettor would then sell the bet again and take the profit – for free this time, as they had no initial stake.

Please toe, this description is for an example, and there are several approaches that would be changed. Such as looking for a betting selection with higher odds, to increase profit potential.

Laying bets without Betfair or betting exchange

Because we could not lay the bets on Betfair, we had to figure-out a way to make profits.

After all, we are being offered free bets, so there was a mathematical advantage to us, we just needed to find a way to profit without losing the initial stake.

Dutching qualifying bets in matched betting prior to year 2000

Dutching was the most common method used prior to year 2000. In fact, some people still do this today. A clear example of a Dutch can be found below.

This is based on a qualifying bet with a bookmaker offering a $10 free bet if you placed a $10 bet on any selection at odds of  1/1, evens, or +100.

This would be very easy work to find. However, the internet was not commonplace then, and the most commonly used reference point was teletext on a TV. For those of you lucky guys who are too young to remember teletext, it was a page on a TV set – where you would type 314 for example, and bookmaker odds would appear.

No lay matched betting – A typical dutch

Here’s a typical teletext Dutch for our qualifying bet in the soccer world cup final, with there being no draw in the bet

BRAZIL odds  -110  10/11  1.91 decimals

FRANCE odds -110  10/11  1.91 decimals

We would bet on one of these teams with one bookmaker and another team with another bookmaker.

Because we have done this, no matter who wins we would lose a small part of our stake as the bookmaker’s odds are just below level.

Whoever won this match, means we would be minus 0.91p for our efforts.

This does not sound good, right? But it is because for that 0.91p, or 0.91c we would be gifted a 10.00 free bet from BOTH bookmakers.

Which means we would now have 10.00 times two in free bets, which totals 20.00.

We would then look to make some profits from this 20.00, knowing we are -0.91 for our efforts. Remember, because there are no exchanges, it makes things harder, but it is still possible.

There are two main approaches you can take with this

  1. Dutching again

OR

  • Value betting approach

To Dutch again, there are several options. But to make things clear, we’ll base this on another world cup soccer final game.

Unlike the last game, where we were purposely looking for odds that were level, or as close as. This time we are looking for betting odds that are contrasting. So, a typical example is shown below.

But we want to ensure we profit from this, unless we take the value betting approach, explained after this. So, for our no risk matched betting without using a betting exchange we would next need to calculate how much money we would need to place on low odds of BRAZIL.

Calculating no lay matched betting manually

How much would we need to place on Brazil to win?

Nowadays you can use a dutching calculator for this. To be honest, back in the days when I was doing this, we used to do it manually and I still never use a matched betting calculator. More about dutching is explained in this video.

To calculate this, we would have to place thew following bets. If you bet on selections with higher odds, you will generally receive more value in your free bets. But the problem with this is you will need to place a large amount with on the short odds selection, which will be shown afterwards.

This article here can help understand the mantra “the bigger the odds the bigger the return”, when it comes to free bets. Although his video is based on laying on Betfair but can help understanding.

Calculations of no lay betting in USA odds fractions and decimals

BRAZIL to win – odds -550, 2/11 or 1.18 decimals

USA to win – odds +500, 5/1 or 6.0 decimals

Tennis is another sport you can find plenty of odds like this in, probably the best “go to” for this, as the games are so frequent.

Using the above example, for our free bets

We could place BOTH or just one of our 10.00 free bets on the higher odds team, being PARAGUAY. The free bets would be with different companies. We would then look for the best odds-on BRAZIL, which we found above. For the record, these odds are true odds found randomly today, from a tennis match, so it is not uncommon to find these matches.

Here’s the maths of what we would need to do.

Step 1

We have placed our one of our x 10.00 free bets on USA at the bigger odds. This means if USA win, we would win 50.00. Which is very nice.

But we want to ensure we profit from this, unless we take the value betting approach, explained after this. So, for our no risk matched betting without using a betting exchange we would next need to calculate how much money we would need to place on low odds of BRAZIL.

How much would we need to place on Brazil to win?

Nowadays you can use a dutching calculator for this. To be honest, back in the days when I was doing this, we used to do it manually and I still never use a matched betting calculator.

To calculate this, we would have to place

Brazil – bet 52.35 at odds 1.18 – which wins 7.62

USA – free bet at odds 6.0 – which wins 50.00

The calculation “what if’s”

IF Brazil win

We lose our free bet, which was free, so no loss. But we win 7.62

MEANING 7.62 PROFIT

If USA win

We lose our Brazil bet of 42.35, but we win 50.00 from the free bet

MEANING 7.65 PROFIT

In summary, we stand to win an average of 7.64. Which, of course is 76% of our 10.00 free et stake. These are the types of average p [percentage son our stake we would like to shoot for, generally.

No lay risk free betting – the bigger the odds the bigger the profits

The bigger in the odds on you on the free bet, the more you will win and can sometimes bump the winnings up to the 90%+ region. But please bear in mind your stake will increase a lot.

For example, below

BRAZIL to win – odds -1000, 1/10 or 1.1 decimals

PARAGUAY to win – odds +900, 9/1 or 10.0 decimals

Tennis is another sport you can find plenty of odds like this in, probably the best “go to” for this, as the games are so frequent.

Using the above example, for our free bets

We could place BOTH our 10.00 free bets on the higher odds team, being PARAGUAY. The free bets would be with different companies. We would then look for the best odds-on BRAZIL, which we found above. For the record, these odds are true odds found randomly today, from a tennis match, so it is not uncommon to find these matches.

Here’s the maths of what we would need to do.

Step 1

We have placed one of our x 10.00 free bets on PARAGUAY at the bigger odds. This means if PARAGUAY win, we would win 90.00. Which is very nice.

As you can see the problem lies with betting on BRAZIL.

Because the BRAZIL odds are very small, we would need to place a whopping 81.80 ON Brazil

Our 81.80 stake would win 8.18 if BRAZIL won

However, if PARAGUAY won, we would win 90.00, minus the 81.80 staked and lost on BRAZIL, which equals a profit of 8.20

In summary, we would profit an average of 8.19, which is of course, 81.9%. If is up to the Matched bettor to figure out if it is worth using larger amounts, to profit more.

It certainly would be a better option, if you had a bigger bankroll to play with.

Value betting

Now, value betting is a grey area. Some people deem “value betting” as taking the best odds. We are referring to value betting, in terms of not laying or not dutching.

Proven statistics

I do not know the exact statistics, but if I could repeat my matched betting career, I would opt to not lay anything. I was constantly feeding my Betfair and Smarkets exchange with money. Every year I was in a minus figure. Which indicates that if I took the “no lay approach” I would have profited more.

Is no lay value betting a better for profiting long term?

This is a grey area, but I’m sure, many experienced matched bettors and arbers [arbitrage players] would agree with me.

However, it does complicate matters if you are to do anything other than standard matched betting. For example, soccer 2up and each way extra places matched betting. That said, I have also heard arguments that the expected value is higher from these also!

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Just remember, just because you do not have an exchange does not mean you cannot profit still.

You can till profit from dutching if you wat to secure and lock in profits. You could probably profit more from no lay value approach, but you will experience variance. The variance will be when you hit a bunch of winners or bunch of losers repetitively. However, over a longer period of time this will average out.

The benefits of value betting

The variance and uncertainty are what puts people off of doing this. Similar to high-risk casino, where the variance is very high. You will not hit variance anywhere near the rates as you will with high-risk casino, but it can produce a little anxiety if you have 10-20 losers consecutively. Having said that, conversely, having 15 winners straight is a pleasurable experience. These will all average themselves out.

The benefits of no lay

When we say ~”no lay” this is referring to laying on an exchange or dutching. Dutching is just another way of laying, as you are cancelling bets out and therefore have no exposure to risk.

This means the obvious benefits are you will only need a fraction of the money to do no lay betting, as you are not dutching. For example, with the BRAZIL cover et earlier, it was the problem that as requiring lots of money to dutch. This is the biggest issue with matched betting.

Unless matched bettor has lots of money to play with, when starting out, as many do not, they will be faced with money issues. They find the biggest issue is running out of money to lay their bets, or if you are not laying this would be dutching.

The cause of this is when the bookie bets all win or when the lay bets all win. The matched bettor will usually have to wait for a withdrawal, which can take days. These days are days they do not progress, and I have experienced these many times. It is very frustrating experience and just an occupational hazard.

So, in summary, no lay betting has its positives, btu can also be very emotional!

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