Underlay And Overlay Betting: Which is best?

Underlay and Overlay Betting:

Which is best?

Table of Contents

If you’ve recently started Matched betting, or have had a play around with the Advanced section of the Matched Betting Calculator, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the terms Underlay and Overlay.

If you haven’t tried underlay or overlay betting yet; we are here today to show you exactly what these terms mean.

We will completely break it down in this tutorial, advising you what happens when you overlay, including how to make extra profit from these techniques.

If you’re completely new to Matched Betting, I’d start off with this guide first. 

You will need some experience of Matched Betting to fully understand the following.

What is an Underlay?

When we place a matched bet, we back and lay a bet. 

By default, the calculator will be set to ‘normal’.

It’s set this way so that you make exact same amount of qualifying loss, regardless of the outcome.

In contrast to a normal lay, or ‘typical’ lay, you can Underlay a bet. 

An Underlay bet would leave you with 

For this example, we are going to compare the differences between a normal lay, with an underlay.

I have placed a £10 bet at odds of evens, laying at evens also. I’ve added 2% commission from the betting exchange.

Oddsmonkey Underlay Bet

The first thing I’m going to state, is that we are going to ignore the overlay area completely, for now.


Why do Bookmakers Restrict members?

It’s very simple. Accounts get flagged which are beating the bookmakers over a long period. 

When I say beating, I don’t mean that you’ve turned £1 into £500 over 10 bets. 

You’re taking the best odds on their site, leaving them with a very small margin. You’re essentially costing them, long term, to have you as a customer.

When Matched Betting, the main reason for your account getting flagged, is that you’re only doing the offers. 

You only sign in when they’re running a free bet offer. You deposit the maximum they’ll allow for the offer, then you withdraw once the offer is completed.

From their side, the offer is wasted on your custom. They wanted you to deposit more, come and take a look at the slot machines, maybe have a game of Poker. 

Bookmakers actually lose a fair bit of money from promotions that they run, although a lot of this money is recovered from their loyal fanbase, who bet weekend after weekend.

If they can cut their losses further, by getting rid of the people which aren’t interested in placing regular bets, they will. 

Another reason why you can get restricted is the fact that you’re betting patterns don’t make sense. 

This is the one thing I had a disagreement with Profit Accumulator about, when their own tutorials mentioned to place a qualifier with low odds, then use the free bet at maximum odds (to make a higher profit).

I don’t think this is good practice, as the bookmakers will wise up to this trick when a site is telling 50,000 of it’s members to do the same thing.

Arbing is also going to bring up red flags immediately. Like I mentioned earlier about getting consistent close matches, imagine if you were actually beating the bookies software, getting better odds than they should be offering.

The benefits of this; it can bring you a profit, guaranteed, without even requiring an offer.

The problems with Arbing? If you survive anymore than 3-5 decent sized bets, I’ll honestly be shocked.

My ultimate horror story I saw on the forums was an unfortunate individual sharing his Mug Betting spreadsheet with us. I thought you know what, he’s switched on with his mug betting.

It weren’t until another user actually looked at the transactions, advising him that he was infact arbing Bet365, a matched betting favourite.

It’s safe to say; His account was soon stake restricted.

How to Mug Bet

Over time, bookmakers will start to check out your accounts. These could be natural triggers, such as ‘all time deposits’. I was a member of Bet365 for 4 years, depositing over £200,000 in total during that time.

Obviously, it wasn’t all new money, but that’s what Bet365 were inclined to believe. I would recycle money between the bookies and the exchange. 

The best way to survive when your account gets flagged, is to blend in with the other punters out there; placing their weekly bets, trying to win an accumulator bet they’ve placed in the pub.

A great strategy that you can use is to keep placing bets on the same team. This would work wonders in showing the bookmaker that you’re just a punter placing a bet on his favourite club.

In addition to this, a normal gambler would be placing bets on all the biggest events. The grand national, the Champions League… maybe even bet on the Boxing. 

Bookmakers also love when you use their other products, playing roulette at the casino is quite a muggy thing to do, but at the same time is quite low risk.

It’s going to add a bit of admin onto your weekly tasks, but looking after your matched betting accounts is one of the most important tasks.

Remain Undetected

Hidden in plain sight, just the way Matched bettors like to be. We are usually the first to get on offers, meaning that we’ve completed it long before the bookmakers can even spot us.

You need to perform a few actions to remain undetected on their platform. 

There’s a few things which you can avoid, to offer your account the world of good. Sometimes, the oddsmatcher might show up a good match, but it’s for the Ecuadorian league, have you bet on that before?

There’s no real reason for you to bet on this league, so when the bookmakers notice that you’ve bet on it, then also found it’s a really close match, or even an arb, you can kiss that account goodnight.

Our best tip for not getting gubbed, is to stick to the top leagues. Popular sports, which proper punters have some interest in.

Something else that we’ve gained interest in, is cashing out bets. 

At some point, everyone cashes out a bet. This would give the bookmakers the belief that you haven’t laid the bet, as you wouldn’t cash out if this was the case.

You will have to put a bit of work in, if you have laid the bet, but it’s an advanced technique.

Survive the First Few weeks

When you open up your matched betting account, don’t get too excited and start smashing the offers. It’s much more effective to start building up your profile early on, so that the bookies immediately classify you as a punter.

It’s probably the most important time for your account, as it’s the bookmakers first chance to work out your betting patterns. Ultimately, they want to judge if you’ll be a good customer for them.

Complete the sign up offer, then completely mix things up. If you go from sign up offer straight to price boosts and other offers, you might experience the sour taste of a gubbing early doors.

 If you do win a bet with the bookmaker, don’t just immediately withdraw your money. How many gamblers are happy with their winnings? They usually want to ride their luck and continue to bet, until they lose.

We would be laying these bets off though, so we never lose!

I really wouldn’t be surprised to learn that bookmakers have tracking in place, so they know which customers are only there for the offers. 

Consistent Staking Patterns

This is another mistake I’ve unfortunately seen, very often.

A Matched Bettor will throw £25 in for a £25 offer, claiming the absolute maximum profit that’s on offer.

However, when it comes to mugging, they’re only placing £1 stakes. This isn’t enough.

You need to remain consistent, whilst at times also being unpredictable. The best way to achieve this woul d be to not take the maximum from every offer. 

If the max offer is £25, maybe just take £20. You’re missing out on about £3, once it’s converted to profit. 

However, if your account lasts just one week longer from doing this, you’ll be able to make £17 again next week. This works the same with all bookmakers.


Accumulator Bets are great mug bets

Accas are the most popular bet in the world for punters to place. It’s a perfect dreamland for the punter, who can place a £5 bet and hope to win tens, if not hundreds of thousands.

Bookies also love accas, as they don’t offer the customer much value. Even if a bookie pays out £15,000 for a £5 acca, you can ensure they’ve received about £50,000 of profit from other bets. It’s probably even higher than this.

Placing an accumulator bet is the perfect mug bet, as they’ll think you’re one of these punters. I personally would give back between 5 to 15% of my profits in the form of accumulators, but only giving the better bookmakers more. 

You can also employ personal challenge bets, such as £5 to £100 in 5 bets. 

However, ensure that you aren’t placing Accumulator Mug bets with bookies that have Accumulator refunds. This would actually be you trying to claim the acca refund, which counts as you taking their offer. 

You can use the Oddsmonkey Acca matcher to find which bookies offer Accumulator Refunds.


We’ve offered you the best tips to avoid your accounts getting closed, but unfortunately it does seem that being restricted by bookmakers is a fatal countdown, right from the moment you opened your account.

I was first gubbed by Betfred, which was quite frustrating at the time as I would often give them some back in terms of mug bets. 

At the end of the day, we are Matched Betting. It’s completely legal, but the bookmakers hate it.

You have two options, take the rockstar road and completely obliterate the offers, with a reduced life expectancy for your accounts. 

Alternatively, you can play cautious, taking offers, giving some back & trying to remain undetected.

It’s something that worked well for me for years, but you may not be looking at Matched Betting for a long term fix.

For us, it was quite fun to remain on the bookmakers side, whilst making a great monthly income from them.

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