Ultimate Mug Betting Guide

What is Mug Betting?

In Matched Betting, Mug Betting refers to placing bets with a bookmaker when there is no free bet or other offers obtained from placing your bet.

Matched Bettors mug bet so that their bookmaker account looks like the account of a regular punter rather than someone who is only interested in obtaining free bets and other offers.

Matched Bettors will place mug bets on a number of different events and then lay the bet at a betting exchange so that they can continue receiving free bet offers from the bookie.

The ratio of matched bets to mug bets will range from 1:2 to 1:5.

From my own experience, a ratio of 1:2 works best so that means for every matched betting offer you complete, you place 2 mug bets with the same bookie as keeping the ratio low, will help you reduce losses on your mug bets

Does Mug Betting Work?

There has been a low of debate in the matched betting community on whether mug betting actually works or not.

In my opinion, I think if you are clearly only betting when you can obtain a free bet, then it is only a matter of time before you are gubbed as the bookies are not stupid and will flag you as a matched bettor very easily.

That is why I and many other matched bettors mug bet to keep their accounts healthy.

Although the mug bets will cost you a small amount each time, this is more than made up by the additional free bets you will get from having a longer account life.

Mug Betting During Sign Up Offers

Placing mug bets at this stage of your matched betting journey isn’t as essential as when you are completing reload offers but new matched bettors are often unaware that you still need to appear as a regular punter from the very beginning and that it is important to take steps to look like a mug punter even at this early stage in your matched betting journey.

There is a number of things you can do to help you look more like a mug punter at this stage:

  1. Deposit more than the minimum amount – There is anecdotal evidence that one of the flags bookies use to identify matched bettors is their first deposit amount. A good example of this would be Coral’s Deposit and bet €5 get €20 in free bets. I would always recommend that new matched bettors deposit more than the minimum €5 for offers like this so they avoid being immediately flagged as matched bettors.
  2. Stick to major sporting events and teams – If you are betting on obscure leagues or teams for your qualifying and free bets then this will be another red flag for bookies. It is better to stick to major football leagues like the English Premier League or Spain’s La Liga.
  3. Don’t rush to withdraw funds – Once you have completed the sign up offers, don’t be in a rush to withdraw your money as a withdrawal request will usually result in your account being reviewed. Therefore any withdrawals will increase the probability of you being identified as a matched bettor by the bookie.

Mug Betting After Sign Up Offers

Mug betting is much more important once you have moved on to matched betting after the signup offers.

Your main goal should be to keep your most important bookie accounts as healthy as possible by placing a minimum of 1 mug bet for every matched betting offer you complete with a bookie.

From my experience, the following bookies are the best for reload offers and you should prioritise keeping these bookie accounts healthy:

  1. Bet365 – Bet365 is by far the best bookie account for matched betting so it should be your top priority to keep healthy as Bet365 often offer their customers a free in play bet of between €5 and €50 on big Premier League matches. If you have been regularly placing mug bets of €50 or above, then you are more likely to receive the €50 free bet offer.
  2. Betway – Betway regularly offers boosts on horse racing and football that are easy to lay at a betting exchange for some quick profits. However, if you abuse these offers, Betway is quick to gub accounts.
  3. BoyleSports – BoyleSports has a regular offer where they boost the odds on a big premier league match. You can usually lock in around €5 from this offer.
  4. BetVictor – They regularly offer a bet €20, get a €5 free bet offer to customers.
  5. Betfred – BetFred are well known for regularly offering customers a €5 free bet if you lose BetBuilder offer on certain sporting events.
  6. Coral – Coral offers matched bettors excellent horse racing offers and bet €5, get a €5 in-play free bet offers on football matches.
  7. Ladbrokes – Get daily horse racing boosts as well as regular €5 free bet offers.
  8. Paddy Power – Paddy Power is one of the best bookies for providing boosts on big sporting events.
  9. Sky Bet – Sky Bet has a weekly free bet club where you can earn a €5 free bet, a €6 in-play free bet, or 50 free spins when you place at least €25 in bets each week.
  10. William Hill – William Hill regularly offers €5 and €10 free bet offers for football and horse racing.

Other Mug Betting Tips?

Dutch some of your free bets – If you have read my free bets strategy then you know I am a fan of dutching my free bets under €5. I usually use this on football matches where there is a heavy favourite so the bet required to be placed on the favourite is €50 or more.

Don’t complete every single offer possible – You should be okay with missing the odd offer, as it will be a red flag to the bookie if you complete every single offer they have.

Stick with 1 or 2 sports – Try and be consistent with the sports you bet on. If you have been placing all your bets on football and horse racing, don’t suddenly start betting on baseball or American football just because there is an offer on that sport.

Mobile Betting – Mobile Betting is super popular with mug bettors so to fit in, you should try where you can to place your mug bets using your mobile.

Don’t always take the best odds – From my experience, the biggest risk to your account is taking too much value from the bookie. If you are placing bets at odds that are consistently higher than the starting odds, then it won’t be long before your bookie account is gubbed.

Mug Betting in Horse Racing

I have put together the below mug betting tips on how and when to mug bet horse racing and on how to look more like a mug punter to the bookies.

Check the form of the Horses – Use websites like TimeForm.com to check the latest form of the horses in a race. Timeform has a Horse racing filter tool that allows you to filter all the races being run on a particular day so that you can find horses that mug punters are likely to back.

My strategy is to look for horses that have run their last race or that have previously won over the same distance. By backing horses like this, you will look more like the typical mug punter who looks at recent form to make their bets.

If you are simply backing a horse because it is a close match on the odds matching tool, then you will stand out as a matched bettor because you are blindly backing a horse for no other reason than the closeness of the odds between the bookie and the exchange. By following my strategy, you will likely gain less on your free bets (70% instead of 80%) but in the long run, it will keep your account ungubbed for longer.

Don’t hammer the horse racing refund offers – For many matched betting beginners the horse racing refund offers can seem attractive at first but it is my belief that specifically targeting these offers can lead you to be gubbed by the bookies.

Don’t just bet on horse races with offers – This will be a giant red flag to the bookie and is something they can easily identify.

Stick to weekend racing at the start – As a beginner, I would recommend sticking to the televised races at the weekend as this is more common amongst mug bettors. Betting mid-week may also flag you to the bookie as a potential matched bettor.

Don’t back horses with very high odds for your free bets – I would avoid using horses with high odds to covert my free bets into cash as not only will this be a red flag to the bookie but you are also risking the horse actually winning and leaving you with a big balance at the bookie and depleting your funds in your betting exchange account. My strategy is to never use free bets on horses with odds of 10.0 or above.

Mug Betting Guide
Ultimate Mug Betting Guide