The Art of Bookie Bashing

Let’s take these two simple examples:

Example 1.

Suppose that a bet is placed on a tennis match between Player A and Player B.

The odds on Player A winning with a bookie that is offering a free £20 bet are 7.0.

The odds on Player B winning are 1.25.

The best odds available on the betting exchanges and with other bookies are as follows:


There are four options in which a win-win situation can be achieved:

Option 1

Using the free £20 bet, Player A is backed to win at odds of 7.0 with the bookie offering the free bet.

The profit on the bet is £120 if Player A wins and the liability is £20 (the free bet) if Player A loses.

Player A should then be layed to lose on a betting exchange such that the liability of the bet is less than £120.

Why? Because, if Player A wins, £120 will be won on the first bet and used to offset the potential loss on the second bet.

If Player A loses, the win on the second bet is used to offset the £20 loss on the first (free) bet.

Therefore, regardless of whether or not Player A wins, the bet is won.

To make things a little clearer, let’s suppose that a profit of £5 is to be made, regardless of who wins the match.

Using the free £20 bet, Player A is backed to win at odds of 7.0.

The profit on the bet is £20 x (7.0 – 1.0) = £120 x 6 = £120 if Player A wins and the liability is £20 (the free bet) if Player A loses.

The second bet is now placed on a betting exchange for Player A to lose.

The liability of this second bet must not exceed £120 (the potential win on bet 1) minus £5 (the profit). i.e. the liability on the second bet must not exceed£120 – £5 = £115.

At lay odds of 8.2, the stake must not exceed 115/(8.2 – 1.0) = £15.97.

If Player A is layed to lose at odds of 8.2 on a betting exchange and the stake is £15.97, the liability is £114.98 if Player A wins. £15.97 minus £0.80 (assuming 5% commission on winning bets) will be won if Player A loses.

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The table below summarises the two possible outcomes of the match and the profit:


From the above table, it can be seen that if Player A wins, £5.02 would be won.

If Player A loses, £15.17 would be won but the £20 free bet would be lost.

Option 2

Using the free £20 bet, Player A is backed to win at odds of 7.0.

The profit on this bet, should Player A win, is £20 x (7.0 – 1.0) = £120 x 6 = £120.

If Player A loses, the liability is £20 (the free bet).

Player B should then be backed to win, with a different bookie or on an exchange, up to a liability of £120.

Why? Because, if Player A wins, £120 would be won from the first bet and used to offset the losses incurred on the second bet.

If Player A loses, £20 would be lost on the first (free) bet but the second bet would win.

Therefore, regardless of whether or not Player A wins, the bet is won.

To make things a little clearer, let’s suppose that a profit of £5 is to be made, regardless of who wins the match.

Using the free £20 bet, Player A is backed to win at odds of 7.0.

The profit on this bet, should Player A win, is £20 x (7.0 – 1.0) = £120 x 6 = £120.

If Player A loses, the liability is £20 (the free bet).

The second bet is now placed on Player B to win using a different bookie or a betting exchange.

The liability of this second bet must not exceed £120 (the potential win on bet 1) minus £5 (the profit). i.e. the liability on the second bet must not exceed £120 – £5 = £115. £115 should therefore be placed on Player B to win at odds of 1.35 with a second bookie or on an exchange.

If Player B loses, the liability is £115.00.

If Player B wins, the amount won would be £115 x (1.35 – 1.0) = £115 x 0.35 = £40.25.

If a betting exchange is used to back Player B to win, £2.02 (assuming 5% commission on winning bets) in commission will be payable.

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The table below summarises the two possible outcomes of the match and the profit:


From the above table, it can be seen that if Player A wins, £5.00 would be won.

If Player B wins, £40.25 (minus any payable commission) would be won but the £20 free bet would be lost.

Option 3

Using the free £20 bet, back Player B to win at odds of 1.25.

The profit on this bet, should Player B win, would be £20 x (1.25 – 1.0) = £20 x 0.25 = £5.00.

If Player B loses, the liability is £20 (the free bet).

Player B should then be layed to lose on a betting exchange up to a liability of £5.

Why? Because, if Player B wins, the £5 from the first bet would be used to offset the losses incurred on the second bet.

If Player B loses, the £20 free bet would be lost but the second bet would win.

Therefore, regardless of whether Player B wins or not, the bet is won.

To make things a little clearer, let’s suppose that a profit of £5 is to be made, regardless of who wins the match.

Using the free £20 bet, back Player B to win at odds of 1.25.

The profit on this bet, should Player B win, is £5.00.

If Player B loses, the liability is £20.

A second bet should then be placed on Player B to lose.

The liability on the second bet must not exceed £5 (the potential win on Player B from the first bet) minus £5 (the profit).

This equates to a zero bet, which is not possible.

The best that can be achieved is to place a minimum bet of £2.

At lay odds of 1.35, the liability on the bet equals £2 x (1.35 – 1.0) = £0.70.

Therefore, if Player B wins, £0.70 would be lost and £2.00 minus £0.10 (assuming 5% commission on winning bets) would be won if Player B loses.

The table below summarises the two possible outcomes of the match and the profit:


From the above tables, it can be seen that if Player B wins, £4.30 would be won.

If Player B loses, £1.90 would be won.

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Option 4

Using the free £20 bet, back Player B to win at odds of 1.25.

The profit on the bet, should Player B win, will be £20 x (1.25 – 1.0) = £20 x 0.25 = £5.

If Player B loses, the liability is £20 (the free bet).

Player A should then be backed to win at a different bookie or on a betting exchange, up to a liability of £5.

Why? Because, if Player B wins, £5 would be won on the first bet and used to offset the loss incurred on the second bet.

If Player B loses, the £20 free bet would be lost but the second bet would win.

Therefore, regardless of whether Player B wins or not, the bet would be won.

To make things a little clearer, let’s suppose that a profit of £5 is to be made, regardless of who wins the match.

Using the free £20 bet, back Player B to win at odds of 1.25.

The profit on the bet, should Player B win, will be £20 x (1.25 – 1.0) = £20 x 0.25 = £5.

If Player B loses, the liability is £20 (the free bet).

Player A should then be backed to win.

The liability on this bet must not exceed £5 (the potential win on Player B from the first bet) minus the £5 profit.

This equates to a zero bet, which isn’t possible.

The best that can be achieved is to place a minimum bet of £2 on Player B to win at odds of 8.00.

If Player A wins, £2 x (8.0 – 1.0) = £2 x 7 = £14 minus £0.70 (assuming 5% commission on winning bets) would be won.

If Player A loses, £2 would be lost.

The table below summarises the two possible outcomes of the match and the profit:


From the above table, it can be seen that if Player B wins, £3.00 would be won.

If Player B loses, £13.30 would be won.

The above principles can be applied to any situation where there are only two possible outcomes to an event i.e. one player or team wins and the other player/team loses.

It is important to note that these principles cannot be applied where a draw is a possible outcome.