If you have done any matched betting using a product like Profit Maximiser, you have probably come across the phrase “mug bets.”
This is basically a term for placing deliberately stupid bets that put the bookies off your scent if you are a matched bettor or successful gambler and make them think you are a novice – or “mug.”
It is a staple part of an experienced matched bettor’s routine and a crucial part of making money long term from the bookies’ free bets and bonuses.
Why do Mug Betting?
“Why would you do this though?” you may ask.
Well, quite simply to keep your bookie accounts open. The bookies have a business model that depends on keeping losing gamblers whilst restricting or even banning winning ones.
So if they see you as a winner, they are very likely to shut you down pretty sharpish.
The idea is that the mug bets you place should be hedged – for instance by placing a bet with a bookie for Man Utd to win, then laying Man Utd at Betfair – thus giving you a risk-free bet but making the bookies think you are a mug.
Otherwise putting on these bets would probably end up costing you more than they are worth.
The Bookies Are Watching You
It has been said that bookies score punters from 0 to 100, with 100 meaning you can place as much money as the bookie will allow up to the maximum, whilst 0 would be a closed account with no bets accepted.
They track your activity in great detail, noting not just your overall record, but your record in each sport and the nature of your betting – timing, staking, teams/players bet on, the odds you bet at and so on.
All this data is crunched using sophisticated algorithms to detect betting patterns, with arbers being marked as the worst offenders, followed by matched bettors and then winning punters.
So never think you can coast along without the bookies noticing you – they are watching you and every bet you place...
How to Place Mug Bets to Keep the Bookies Off your Scent
So accepting that the bookies are watching you, how do you go about placing mug bets to the maximum effect, to make the bookies think you really are a chump?
Well first, let’s go through an example of a mug bet.
When placing a mug bet, you probably want to use some odds matching software like Mike Cruickshank’s Matched Betting Software. This will give you the closest odds between the bookies and the exchanges in all the upcoming sporting events, saving you a huge amount of time and money in the long run.
Using the matched betting software, you would find a close match between the bookies’ odds and the Betfair odds for a big game, let’s say for example Man Utd v Chelsea.
A mug bet would be to:
- Place a £20 back bet with one of the bookies, e.g. Coral, on Man Utd at 2.25
- Then place a lay of £20 on Man Utd at Betfair at 2.24.
The beauty of this is that it won’t have cost you anything – or very little, probably less than 50p, but it will have boosted your standing with the bookies.
You could just place the back bet without laying it off and hope it wins, but there is a risk you could lose quite a bit of money doing that over the course of lots of bets. Better off doing it as a matched bet.
Top Ten Ways to Bet Like a Mug – Revealed
There are numerous things to bear in mind when you are placing mug bets. The key thing to focus on though is to try and make the bookies think you are a bad gambler – erratic, wooed by offers and tempted by the big events.
Think of the scruffy guy down the bookies putting his fivers and tenners on willy-nilly, with a few goes on the betting machines and fruities and and you are getting close to the bookies’ ideal punter.
Mug punters have some characteristics that mark them out from the winners – and even the potential winners, who aren’t profitable yet but have a professional approach. At the end of the day it is all about patterns.
Now we will have a look at ten of the very best patterns you should use to make you look like a mug bettor.
1. Popular Events
One of the most important things with mug bets is the type of events you bet on. You should focus on big, popular events, like top Premier League and Champions League matches, England internationals, the Grand National, Cheltenham, Wimbledon, the Open, the Ashes etc. The more hype around the event the better.
People who have a “flutter” on these kind of events are the classic mug punter. They are betting for the sake of entertainment and having some interest in the event rather than having great knowledge about it.
And it’s a good idea to bet on favourites when you are placing mug bets – another sign of an amateur gambler. Pros tend to back outsiders, mugs back favourites.
The bookies love punters who place accumulators. They are the ultimate mug bets. Basically you are multiplying the bookies’ edge over you, meaning accas are terrible value. Plus you will find genuine mug punters love accas for some reason – perhaps it’s the potential for a big win.
So chuck in a few accas of weekend footy matches and the bookies will love you. Your classic would be combining all the big name teams like Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Liverpool into one acca.
Of course accas are more difficult to hedge, so you may want to keep stakes small.
3. Place Lots of Bets
One of the most crucial points about mug bets is that you need to place a lot of them. It is no use doing 10 free bet offers with one bookie and then chucking in one mug bet for good measure. It will make virtually no difference to the overall look of your account.
Remember that the bookies are looking at patterns. So you need to be placing at least as many mug bets as proper bets.
Some people claim that you should be placing mug bets in a three to one ratio to regular bets. You may not need to do that many and in truth it is difficult to know the exact number that will get bookies to mark you down as a “mug.”
But the main point is that your bookie accounts should have more mug bets than regular or matched bets and the more you can do, the better.
Obviously the more you do, the more it will cost you as you will be sacrificing a small amount of money on each one you do normally.
4. Bet Just Before the Event Starts
One of the factors that separates professional punters from novices is the timing of bets. When it comes to horse racing, professional and successful gamblers tend to place bets ahead of time. It is a sign of planning and consideration. This includes not just ante-post bets but also bets placed the evening before racing, when bookies are most exposed to having mis-priced a horse.
Novices, by contrast, tend to bet very close to the event starting. This is sign of a rush of blood, of wanting some excitement during the live sporting event, rather than the careful planning of the professional.
So to make yourself look more like a mug, place some bets just before the start of the event.
5. Play Casinos and Games
One sure-fire sign of a mug punter is one who plays casinos and games like slots and bingo. This is because the bookies make much money from these than from sports betting. The margins are much better on casinos and games and people are more likely to become addicted and do things like chasing losses and upping stakes.
So to get the bookies to like you and see you as a mug, chuck in a few casino bets every now and then. Obviously you don’t want to do too much as that is likely to lose you money, but a bit here and there should be well worth it in terms of keeping your bookie accounts open.
6. Bet on Your Favourite Team
Another sign of mugs is that they tend to bet on their favourite team much more often than they should. For example the Liverpool fan who backs Liverpool every week, regardless of their form, the opposition or the odds.
Professionals would never allow emotion to come into it like this, they would not bet on their own team unless careful analysis suggested it was a good bet.
If the bookies consistently see you betting on the same team even if it is losing you money, it will be taken as a sign of mug punting.
7. Don’t Always Take the Best Value
As an astute gambler, you are probably so used to using sites like Oddschecker to find the best value for your bets that it’s automatic and you don’t even think about it now.
But you might be surprised to learn that there are some people out there who don’t do this but just use two or three bookies, or even just their favourite bookie and don’t bother to shop around for the best odds. These people are mugs, quite literally.
You can imitate them and therefore raise your standing with the bookies by not always taking the best price when you are placing a mug bet. William Hill best price at 9/2? Why not take the 4/1 available with Ladbrokes for example – they are more likely to see you as a mug for doing this.
8. Use the Price Boosts and Other Special Offers
The bookies will often have special offers such as price boosts and odds enhancements for popular football matches. This is an effort to entice you to bet on these events as they are lucrative ones for the bookies and attract your “occasional punters” who just have a flutter now and then.
Taking these offers sometimes will make you look like one of these mugs who can’t resist betting on the big game.
One of the bookies’ favourites is the cash out offer, which is terrible value for the punter.
9. Use Betting Apps
The bookies spend a lot of money advertising their mobile apps and for good reason. Betting on the go is big business and is a growing market with more and more people having a wager whilst they watch a game down the pub or at a friend’s house.
It’s another sign of a mug, as professional and considered gamblers would rarely place a bet on the go, which is a sign of a rushed or impulse bet.
So place some bets using mobile apps and you will go up in the bookies’ estimation.
10. Mix it Up
The final suggestion on our list is to mix it up in terms of the sports you bet on.
Another thing that differentiates winners from losers in betting is that the former tend to focus on just one or two sports. After all, it’s difficult to become an expert in just one thing, let alone more than one.
So to make your account look more a mug’s, chuck in a few wagers on random sports that you would never normally bet on – ice hockey, Gaelic football or volleyball, for example.
Conclusion – Think Like a Mug, Become a Mug
Mug betting is a hugely important part of keeping your bookie accounts open, whether you are a matched bettor making £500 per month using a product like Profit Maximiser or just a successful gambler making some profits from your betting.
It’s a game of cat and mouse with the bookies and you need to stay one step ahead of them. The good news is that by taking the steps above, you can make your betting accounts look like those of a rank amateur rather than the shrewdie that you are.
The key to it is to think like a mug does – betting willy-nilly on whatever big game is coming up, backing your own team and gambling on loads of different sports. A mug punter’s bets aren’t cleverly planned or looking to exploit value, they are impulse gambles placed on the hoof.
Once you get into that mindset, you will see how to make yourself look like a mug and keep your bookmaker accounts open much longer.
It may be quite time-consuming to place these mug bets, but it is well worth it in the long run.