Tactical Mug Betting | Proven Strategies from Matched Betting Pros [2021]

It’s one of the most widely discussed topics on any matched betting forum.

But is Mug Betting really worth it, or just a waste of time and money?

In this article we’ll explain if mug betting works and why having a strategy early on in your matched betting career is vital.

Plus we’ll give you 5 tips from matched betting pros that will throw bookmakers off the scent and hopefully extend the life of your account.

Staying Alive

Matched betting is a noble and subtle art of extracting a welcome bonus from under the bookmakers nose. The problem we face is that bookmakers are completely aware of this tactic.

With more and more matched betting communities popping up on social media platforms and forums, bookmakers are investing in more sophisticated software to sniff-out potential matched bettors and limit their account.

A few years back you could have comfortably kept an account active for at least 6 months. But now algorithms are gubbing accounts within a few weeks.

Meaning you could end up going through every bookmaker bonus within 12 months.

So one option is to try and trick the algos into thinking you are just a regular mug punter – hence the term mug betting which we’ll explain in detail.

Algos are getting smarter at sniffing out matched betting punters.

Later on I’ll show you our mug betting strategy that kept one punters account active for nine months.

What is Mug Betting?

Mug Betting is a matched betting strategy where punters deliberately place a bet with the intention to loose money.

The term “Mug” in the UK implies the person is foolish or gullible, hence the term Mug Betting where only an idiot would want to intentionally loose a bet.

Why place Mug Bets when Matched Betting?

Some matched betting professionals believe placing mug bets can significantly extend the life of your account.

By behaving like a “mug punter” in effect your throwing bookmakers off the scent of your actual intention with little or no risk.

And better still is that by laying the opposite side of your mug bet on a betting exchange you get to place a mug bet with minimal loss[1].

So far so good right?

Well there are those that would argue while you’re not going to loose any money, you’re not going to profit either. In effect you’re wasting valuable time that could be spent placing matched bets and extracting those bonuses.

Some would go as far to say that you should crash and grab any winnings as quickly as you can before your account gets gubbed – which ultimately it will.

Does Mug Betting Work?

Betting on Villa to win is a mugs bet no matter how you look at it!

Well kind of…

You see for most people mug betting simply does not work.

The fact is generally most people that are new to matched betting will make mistakes early on – it’s natural and part of the learning process. You’ll only realise this later on when you have enough experience or discuss tactics with other forum members.

Which is why I always encourage anyone who is interested in matched betting to read as much as you can first before you start.

Get involved in matched betting forums and start asking questions from experienced punters, it will save you time and money and could prolong your account.

In fact I wrote an article on that very subject 10 Hacks to avoid being gubbed, which is a great for anyone starting out.

Prolonging Your Account

Over the last five years of matched betting i’ve met a handful of members on forums that claim they had the same account for over a year, completely intact without being gubbed.

At first I was somewhat skeptical about some of the claims being made, having had my very first account gubbed within the first month of matched betting.

But the more I discussed their tactics to evade detection the more I was convinced.

So how did they do it?

While each of them all had their own strategy to stay under the radar, they all had similar mug betting strategies.

Most of them wanted to remain anonymous to avoid being detected by their bookmaker and having their account gubbed.

But I was able to coax one forum member to show me screenshots of his account with a list of matched bets placed well over a year.

5 Tactical Mug Betting Tips

Below is a list of tips I honed over the years through conversations with matched betting professionals that have had the patients and discipline to follow a set strategy.

While there’s no guarantee they will extend the life of your account, there’s a good chance it will improve your odds.

5:1 Mug Betting Rule:

This is my own personal golden mug betting ratio when it comes to keeping your account alive for longer.

It’s a ratio i’ve created from hours spent chatting to experience matched betting professionals, getting their view on how frequently you should mug bet and then take the median average of those results.

It implies that for every five matched bets you place, one of them should be a mug bet.

That’s 20% of the time.

Whilst this ratio is not critical I would not advise doing any more than this as your time is best spent matched betting and there is no guarantee that this will work to prolong your account.

Avoid narrow odds:

Unlocking a bookmaker bonus initially involves placing/laying narrow odds following by a much wider spread on the second. This “narrow odds followed by much greater” is a tell-tale giveaway that your matched betting.

Instead you could widen your initial spread and take an insignificant loss to unlock the bonus.

Repeated placing narrow followed by huge odds will only give the game away unless you switch things up and make less regular matched bets for algos to detect.

Behave like a Mug Punter:

This is an obvious one and involves loosing money at the cost of keeping your account alive long enough to recoup those losses and make some gains.

An obvious mug bet to place would be an accumulator bet as it’s one of the most popular high odds-low place bets you can make. Most mug punters will place a $1/£1 bet on a six-fold accumulator in the hope it will return 10x to 30x their initial cost.

I would advice placing no more than $2/£2 or <5% of your average match betting returns. As like all of these strategies, there’s no guarantee they will work.

Avoid Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator Mug Betting:

Some leading authority websites in the matched betting community will encourage punters to use either Oddsmonkey or Profit Accumulator’s mug bets which are great if you don’t know what you’re doing and are intended to minimise your losses.

But bookmakers are also watching these sites and are using them as part of their algorithm software to detect potential MB punters.

Personally I try to avoid these matched betting sites altogether as their tips are closely monitored by bookmakers and make it easy to detect what you’re up to.

If you’re stuck for how to find a decent matched bets without the use of the big-two providers you should really read Why You Should Avoid using Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator, which has some useful tips at creating your own matched bets using online matched betting calculators.

Casino Mug Betting:

It’s not just sports betting where punters can exploit mug betting, you can also “behave like a mug” on online casinos.

Most bookmakers will also have an online casino with a number of welcome offers for you to take advantage of and minimise your losses. The only issue is if you win big you could raise the alarm – but it’s nice to have those sorts of problems!

I will stress that if you are not disciplined and have a tendency to get carried away when it comes to gambling then I would avoid this strategy altogether.

Remember these are tactics to help you make money, not lose it.

When Mug Betting does NOT work

Generally there comes a point where mug betting stops working.

This happens when you’ve already been gubbed by a handful of bookmakers.

The reason for this is that most bookmakers use Iesnare – a third-party software used in anti-fraud protection. It is intended to identify new customers and prevent any fraudulent activity.

There is very little information out there on this software, but it is believed to obtain information about the users device such as MAC ID, geographical location and IP address which is stored on Iesnare servers.

In effect it creates a digital profile of your device, so when you come to sign-up to a new bookmaker that uses this software, the new bookmaker will already see that you have been banned or limited from other bookmakers.

Lets be clear there is no physical evidence of this process taking place.

But having discussed this with countless players that have all had similar experiences there is some correlation between gubbed accounts and almost automatically gubbed new accounts.

The Most Important Thing…

If you’ve made it this far then you have the right kind of mentality to make a success of your matched betting journey.

So here’s the best piece of advice I was given early on in my career and it’s this…

AVOID BETFAIR EXCHANGE at all cost if you’re matched betting!

The reason is quite simple.

Some of you may not know but Betfair is part of the same group Flutter Entertainment that owns Paddy Power.

Flutter is also in talks to purchase The Stars Group which also owns Skybet.

Unlike Smarkets which is a sole exchange operator, Betfair is predominantly a bookmaker, and like all bookmakers they are intended to take money from YOU the punter!

Whilst there’s no proof of this (no bookmaker has ever admitted to it), there’s a good chance that these companies that are part of a larger holdings company will share information about punters between themselves.

So if you’re placing a matched bet on Paddy Power and laying the opposite side on Betfair Exchange, I would say there’s a good chance of certainty that Betfair will pass this information onto Paddy Power.

And the likelihood is that you will be gubbed soon after.

This is the single most important thing anyone starting their matched betting journey should know.

I have a list of things that I’ve coined as the Ten Matched Betting Commandments which I implore anyone starting out should read.

Our Verdict

So by now you should have the knowledge and confidence to place your first mug bet.

Whilst mug betting is much more of an art than an exact science, avoiding potential traps such as bookmaker exchanges (Betfair) or matched betting tip sites (e.g Oddsmonkey) are likely to extend the life of your account.

In the end it’s inevitable that every matched betting professional will receive the dreaded “your accounts been limited” email. But as long as you’ve taken the necessary steps we’ve highlighted above, you should be content that you’ve done everything in your power to avoid giving the game away.

Like all these things, don’t get too hung up on mug betting and just enjoy the ride.

Mug betting is just one tactic you should be using to keep your account for longer. If you want to know the rest then check out my 11 Hacks to Avoid being Gubbed and you should be well equipped to take on the bookies.

[1] Loss is dependent on how accurate you can match the place/lay bet. In most cases losses will be minimal <2%.