Bookmakers in Australia compete hard for your business and one of the main weapons they deploy are bonus bets.
You get them for many things… for having a bet. Or not having a bet. For contacting their customer service. When your horse runs second, or your team loses by a kick. When your multi bombs out. And so on.
It’s pretty simple business for the bookies… it makes you more likely to bet with them than one of the other dozen options. Even if they have to grant you the bonus, you’ll be back to use it. Then they can flog more offers to you.
And even if your bonus bet actually wins, there’ll inevitably be turnover requirements on the winnings that stop you from taking the cash and running: you might have to stake the winnings two or three more times before you can withdraw them. And yes, they’re ahead of you regarding your plan to do so by betting $1.04 shots. There’ll be a minimum price for these turnover bets, often $1.50+.
All-in-all, whilst a bonus bet offer may look like free money, the odds of your average mug actually ending up with any real cash in his pocket as a result are pretty slim.
But thanks to Betfair you don’t have to be an average mug!
Turn Bonus Bets into cash
The beauty of bonus bets, of course, is that you’re not actually risking any of your own capital. But rather than just hoping the bonus bet comes in, you can instead use that edge to cover both sides of a bet and guarantee yourself a positive result.
The key to successfully arbing your bonus bet is laying the outcome on Betfair, or a similar exchange. Laying is betting on something not to happen. For example, if I was to lay Phar Lap in the Melbourne Cup, I’m betting on it not winning – I would only lose if Phar Lap did win the race.
Turn Bonus Bets into cash: the calculations
Let’s look at an example: say you have a $20 bonus bet that you’re using on a Premier League match. You back Leicester to win at $6.
If Leicester wins, you’ll collect $100 (the $20 bonus stake is generally never included in your collect on a bonus bet). And if Leicester don’t win, obviously you get nothing.
This is where the arb comes in: you can use that $100 possible collect to effectively ensure a profit on the other side of the outcome; that is, Leicester not winning. You do this by laying Leicester on Betfair.
Ideally, Leicester’s lay price would also be $6, so there’s no “middle ground” between the two prices that you have to cover. Were that the case, you simply divide the potential win collect by the odds ($100 / 6), and lay that amount ($16.67 stake for a $83.33 liability).
Your outcomes will be:
Leicester win: $100 collect from bookie, $83.33 loss on Betfair. Net result = profit of $16.67.
Leicester don’t win: $16.67 win on Betfair.
You receive $16.67 either way.
It’s not the full $20 “bonus” – you have to pay something – but it’s $16.67 guaranteed, free money that you can withdraw or bet again as a normal stake.
The dollar result is the same, but the better outcome for you is that Leicester loses. That way the $16.67 profit hits your Betfair account, and isn’t subject to the turnover rules that it will be if Leicester win and the profit is in your bookmaker account. Obviously, the longer the odds you’re betting at (in this case $6), the greater the chance is of that occuring.
April has been a cracking month for members. 4th best day in 5 years on Saturday, backing up 3rd best day two weeks ago 💪📈https://t.co/UHOQWhLWws
— Rod (@highlowrod) April 18, 2021
Turn Bonus Bets into cash: more info
It’s all backed by maths of course, but that’s the basics. Now for the details:
- It’s extremely rare you’ll be able to find a price with a bookmaker, and a lay price on Betfair on the same outcome, that are equal. The key is to get them as close as possible, minimising the variance between the two that eats into your margin.
- If you sit down and do the maths, you’ll find that backing and laying a short price will produce a very different net result to a longer price. Experiment… you’ll generally find the sweet spot for the best possible result is around $6 – $10.
- Points (1) and (2) eat into your margin. In our example, the margin was 83.33% ($16.67 cash realised on a $20 bonus bet). How high your margin is really depends how dedicated you are to searching out the best possible odds for this purpose. Some people insist on at least 75% for all bonus bets; others are happy to settle for 60%. Like most things punting, the more time and work you put in, the better you’ll do.
- Don’t forget commission! Betfair and all other exchanges charge it, it’s how they make money. Commission eats into your effective odds on the exchange, so you have to factor it in.
- You can effectively ‘lay’ across other bookies if you don’t want to use Betfair. For example in a H2H match you just take the other side with another bookie. Or in Win-Draw-Win soccer for example. You can use your bonus bet on one option and cover the other two elsewhere.
And finally… don’t worry, you don’t have to sit around with your calculator doing trial-and-error for every possible bet! There’s plenty of free calculators on the internet that will work it all out for you with a few simple inputs. This pommy one is pretty easy to use, and there’s plenty of other good ones around.
Rod’s High Low is a staggeringly profitable, specialist service that suits a certain type of punter.
With an average bet size of less than $50, you won't be breaking the bank.
To see if you might be able to take advantage of the unmatched profits it offers, get in touch with us for a chat.