Mug Betting – A Beginners Guide

The only thing that can stop your march towards matched betting riches is getting “gubbed” from your bookie accounts. If a bookmaker suspects you are a bonus hunter they will take action and limit or remove the number of promotions you are eligible for. Not good. We want as many bonuses and free bets from every bookie account we have.

A quick search of many matched betting forums and you will see big threads on gubbings. Often many people at once will lose a bookmaker meaning the bookies probably gub accounts in batches based on their activity.

We need our accounts to look natural and we need the bookies to think we are a typical mug bettor. Losing too many bookie accounts to a gubbing will see your matched betting dreams come to an end so this is really important.

Mug Betting

Very simply mug bets are bets we place with online bookies that have no bonus attached to them. We can’t get a free bet or any other bonus from placing them.

However as we are matched bettors and not gamblers we still lay them off at the exchange for a small loss. Usually pennies.

You want the bookies to think you like betting. These are the people they make money on so they treat them well. If they think they can’t make money on you they won’t treat you as well and usually it leads to a gubbing.

Why Are Bookie Accounts Flagged?

It’s not only matched bettors who get their accounts flagged and then gubbed. Bookies are on the look out for 3 main things:

  1. People who only bet when there is an offer attached
  2. You always bet on close match low odds bets and then high odds with your free bets.
  3. People who win too much money.
  4. Arbitrage betting – more on this later

Any of these things too often will get your account flagged for a review by a member of staff and they will take the decision to get rid of you if they think you are costing them money. It’s ridiculously unfair but they are a business at the end of the day.

Another potential outcome is stake restrictions where you can only bet really small amounts like 5p. This is what usually happens to people who are part of betting tip groups. If they win too much – stake restrictions.

Arbing (arbitrage betting)

Arbing is what happens when we take boosted odds at the bookies too often. The bookies monitor the exchanges too and try to keep their prices in line with the exchange but sometimes bets will slip through and you will get higher odds at the bookie. This means you can lay that bet off for an instant profit. Bookies hate this. It is a big no no if you are a matched bettor. Avoid arbs at all costs.

How to Look Like a Mug Punter

There are many strategies for this. Think about your betting patterns before you started matched betting. You probably placed the same bets every week. Betting on your football team to win or your favourite player to score first. Keep doing this if you used to do it and if you didn’t start. Choose a premier league team and bet on them to win every single week and of course always lay it off.

Play the casino

Bookies love it when people play the casino games and slot machines. These are a big money vacuum and overtime the bookie cannot fail to make money. Unfortunately we can’t lay these off so we will lose money most of the time. However it’s a drop in the ocean from what we will make with that bookie over a lifetime of matched betting.

Give the bookies some money back every month in the casino. They will love you for it. Just be careful as the casino is addictive.

Accumulator bets

Do them. They are great for making money with the Oddsmonkey acca matcher but they are also a great way to mug bet.

Huge big accas that have practically no chance of winning are as muggy as it comes. Sticking a £1 here and there on an outrageous long shot is a good mugging technique.

Try to do all your mug accas on bets that don’t qualify for a refund. Check the terms and conditions of the bookies acca refund and make sure you avoid qualifying when mug betting.

Bet on high profile events

If there is a big football game on or a F1 race, have a bet. Do the offers of course but also have a bet that isn’t offer related.

New Bookie Accounts

When you first open a bookie account they are under major sscrutiny. The bookies want to know what kind of bettor you are. Thwy will be watching you closely. In this time it is vitally important to look like a mug bettor. Do the sign up offer and then start your mug betting on your favourite team etc.

Go easy on the offers for the first few weeks. They aren’t going anywhere so be patient.

A good rule of thumb is 3 mug bets for every offer bet. This is even more important in the early weeks.

Blend In

Most bets are placed on the day of the event. Especially on the horses. You need to do this as well. It’s nice to get your bets on early and then concentrate on other things but doing this too often will make you stick out.

As we are laying off all our mug bets it’s tempting to take really good matches to keep the losses down but bookies look at the exchanges. Take a few bad matches as well to really make yourself look as far from a matched bettor as possible.

Cash Out

Bookies are always advertising their cash out feature this is because it actually makes them money. As a matched bettor you will be told to never cash out and this is true if you are matched betting. You need to be very careful with this as if you have laid the bet off you could lose money but cashing out is very muggy.

Be unpredictable

AS well as doing your weekly bets as I mentioned above. Change it up every now and then. Change your stakes. If you bet £25 on every horse race every day how long do you think it will be before the bookie is looking at your activity and wondering what is going on. Don’t always go for the maximum refund either. A good example of this is on the horse racing. Often you can get a refund of a maximum £25 bet if your horse comes second. So if you bet £25 every time it’s going to look suspicious. Bet more than the refund and bet less than the refund. Mix it up.

Take Poor Matches

I already mentioned this but it’s worth emphasising. Some of your mug bets should be bad matches with the exchange. Betting on sports that have no excahnge market is the perfect mug bet but obviously we can’t lay these off.

Be Shrewd

Bookmakers employ very intelligent people. They are looking for patterns. Never think you are safe from a gubbing and get slack on your mug bets. I once got emailed a random £20 free bet from a bookmaker for being a loyal customer. I thought I was doing a great job of mug betting. A few days later they gubbed me. Take nothing for granted.


Mug betting is important.

Matched betting may not last forever but it’s going to last a very long time. We want to keep doing it for as long as we can. The only way to do that is to keep our accounts healthy.

Even after following all these tips you may end up getting gubbed. You may simply get unlucky and all your bets will keep winning with the bookie. It happens when you are placing so many bets every day. With that in mind bet on the underdog every now and then!

Following these tips will help you keep your accounts open for longer and hopefully forever.

If you do get gubbed then not all hope is lost. You have learnt a vital lesson. Examine your activity on that account and see if you can identify what made you stand out. Learn from it.

Sometimes it is possible to get accounts ungubbed as well by continuing to bet with the bookie after being gubbed. This is rare but it does happen.

Mug betting is like insurance, it’s easy to get greedy when the money starts rolling in. Mug betting is annoying and time consuming but just think of it as an essential part of your matched betting career. Whether you are a member here or anywhere else.

The forum at Oddsmonkey has some great advice on avoiding gubbing and what to do if the worst happens. You can get a free trial here.