Alternatives to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting

As discussed in my article on the Top 5 things most Matched Betting Gurus won’t tell you, many matched betting sites do not promote alternatives to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting.

However, there are plenty of alternatives to this method and this article will look at what I consider to be the top 5.

Alternatives to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting
Alternatives to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting

Top 5 Alternatives to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting

1. Dutching your Bets

This is my favourite alternative to the Back and Lay Method in Matched Betting and I currently use it on all my free bets.

One of the biggest advantages to dutching your bets is that you can generate mug bets to place at bookmakers so that you look more like a regular punter.

You can also use dutching for your qualifying bets with the added bonus that you can qualify for multiple offers by dutching a single football match.

If you want to learn more about dutching, then check out our guide on Matched Betting Without Exchanges and our Free Bets Strategy Guide.

2. Combining Offers

This method is similar to dutching and involves placing multiple qualifying bets on the same sporting event e.g. the match odds market for a football match so that we qualify for multiple free bets.

It is best to find matches where the odds on the draw are higher than the odds for either team to win.

For the sake of this example, we will imagine three different bookmakers are offering us a €10 free bet when we stake €10 on a Premier League match being played this weekend.

To find an appropriate match, I usually use an odds comparison site like OddsChecker, OddsPortal or Oddspedia.

Using OddsChecker I found a match between Aston Villa and Brighton that is ideal for this method.

By placing a €10 bet on each of the three different outcomes at the three different bookies, I can qualify for the €30 in free bets (3 x €10 Free Bets).

The below payout table shows the profit or loss we will make depending on the result of the match.

BookmakerSelectionOddsAston Villa WinDrawBrighton
Bookmaker AAston Villa2.5815.80-10.00-10.00
Bookmaker BDraw3.4-10.0024.00-10.00
Bookmaker CBrighton3-10.00-10.0020.00
-4.204.000.00

As you can see from the table above, we will lose €4.20 if Aston Villa wins the match, break even if Brighton wins the match and win €4.00 if the match ends in a draw.

By using the odds to calculate the probability of each selection then we can expect that there is a 39% chance that Aston Villa will win, a 29% chance that there will be a draw and a 33% chance Brighton will win.

Therefore over the long term, we would expect to lose an average of €0.45 as sometimes we will lose €4.20, sometimes we will win €4.00 and sometimes we will break even.

3. Each Way Betting

This method involves taking advantage of the way bookmakers calculate the odds on a horse to place as bookmakers calculate the place odds based on a fraction of the win odds which does not reflect the true odds of that horse finishing in one of the places.

Each of the big three matched betting sites have an Each Way Tool that scans the bookmaker odds and compares them to the odds available at the betting exchanges.

As the place odds at the betting exchange are based on the actual odds that the horse will finish in one of the places, anytime one of these tools identifies a horse where the place odds at the bookmaker are higher than at the exchange then you will have the opportunity to place a value each way bet on the horse at the bookie.

There are a couple of downsides to using this method as an alternative to the traditional back and lay method.

The first is that you may experience long losing runs before you hit a few winners and you need to have faith that the system works during these losing runs. The other downside is that you will eventually be stake restricted by the bookie.

If you want to find out more about Each Way Betting, then check out our Each Way Betting Guide.

4. Straight Betting

Many Matched Bettors will think this method is heresy but you can choose to not lay any of your qualifying or free bets and simply let the probabilities work themselves out.

The biggest downside to this method is that you aren’t guaranteed to make money which is what attracts many people to the traditional back and lay method.

To give you a better idea of how this method would work, imagine that we had to place a total of €1,000 in qualifying bets to obtain €500 in free bets.

If we assumed that the average odds on our qualifying bets were 2.0 then that implies that 50% of the time we would win our qualifying bet and 50% of the time we would lose, so that we would break even overall.

Next, we will assume that we use average odds of 4.0 for our free bets which implies that we would win our free bet 25% of the time.

So if we split the €500 of free bets into 50 x €10 free bets then we would expect to earn around €375 which works out at about 75% of their value which is around the same amount you can get using the back and lay method.

The big caveat is that the above is assuming that the odds that you are getting reflect the actual probabilities.

By following this method you may find that you earn considerably less or considerably more than the €375 calculated above.

5. Value Betting

The final alternative method that I will discuss is value betting.

Value Betting is where you believe the odds being offered by a bookmaker for a certain event are higher than the true odds of that event occurring.

With value betting, you won’t win every time but because you are backing at value odds, the aim is to be profitable over the long term.

The major downside to this method is that it won’t take long for the bookmakers to identify you as a value bettor and they will likely stake restrict your bookmaker account to a level that makes value betting with that bookmaker impossible.

Another downside to value betting is that you will need some sort of value betting software to find value betting opportunities.

Many of these value betting software providers charge a high monthly fee to get access to their software which makes it harder to place enough value bets every month to be profitable.

I am not entirely sure why it is so expensive but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is because many of their customers get gubbed by most of the soft bookmakers after 12-18 months so they need to make as much money from them while they can.

Final Thoughts

If you are relatively new to matched betting then I would recommend that you only look at options 1 and/or 2 above as the other options are better left until you have gained more experience.

Personally, I use Options 1,2 and 3 but I plan to do a case study in the near future to see if the straight bets method would be a viable option to use.