Risk-Free or what we call win-win, bookmaker offers are another great way to make some guaranteed money from matched betting. Although all matched betting is considered to be risk-free these types of offers are named based on how the bookmakers themselves name the promotions.
This offer type is defined when the bookmaker provides a promotion that involves returning your original (back) stake when your bet with them doesn’t win. Here are some examples of these types of promotion to help you recognize them:
“Money-back as a free bet (up to £25) if your horse comes in second to the starting price favourite”
“Risk-free pre-match bet on the Tottenham vs Chelsea game (up to £10). Bet £10 on the Tottenham vs Chelsea game on any market and if your bet loses we will refund your stake up to £10”.
The key point of these promotional offer is that the bookmaker is returning your stake (i.e. your back stake) to you IF your bet with them loses.
As matched bettors there are a couple of ways we can tackle these types of offer.
We can treat it as a normal Qualifying or Mug Matched Bet (usually using odds between 2.50 to 3.50), and take a normal small Qualifying Loss. We then HOPE the back (for) bet at the bookmaker loses and that we will be rewarded with our back stake returned as a free bet, from which we can then extract a guaranteed profit. We can make a good profit like this (~80% of the returned stake amount) IF our back bet loses. If however, our back bet wins though, then we can’t make any profit (as we don’t get a free bet) and we instead just accept a small qualifying loss. Basically we are hoping our bookmaker bet loses in this case, but have covered ourselves that if it doesn’t then we will only take a small Qualifying Loss. We can only make profit with this option if the bookmaker bet loses.
We can treat it instead as a Risk-Free Matched Bet and guarantee ourselves a profit no matter the outcome. The overall profit here will be slightly reduced than what it would be with option 1 BUT the key difference is we will make that profit even if our bet (back) at the bookmaker wins. To do a Risk-Free-Matched Bet requires our special Risk-Free Equal Profit Calculator. When using the risk-free calculator we also tend to use higher odds (e.g. 4.0-6.0 at least). Our risk-free equal profit calculator works out for you what you should lay at the exchange so that you guarantee that you will make the SAME profit from a money-back promotion no matter what happens (whether the back bet wins OR whether it loses). The only thing you have to remember if you use the risk-free calculator and then your back bet at the bookmaker wins, you need to go and use the refunded stake as you would a profit free bet (using the profit calculator). Then depending on what profit you extract from the free bet you need to update the risk-free calculator and see what your over all profit was. It’s a little more confusing than Bet & Get offers, but after you do one or two it should click what’s going on.
So to clarify, if you did option 1 here, and you staked £10 at the bookmaker using the Qualifying Matched Bet Calculator, you would take a small Qualifying Loss (e.g. -0.30p) and then wait to see if your back bet at the bookmaker won or lost. If it won you would be -0.30p down. If it lost you would be -0.30p but would now have a £10 free bet to use at the bookmaker, from which you can aim to make a £7-£8 profit from.
If you did option 2 here, and you staked £10 at the bookmaker using the Risk-Free Equal Profit Matched Bet Calculator, you would be guaranteeing yourself the SAME profit, which would probably be around £4-£5 depending on the odds you used, no matter what happened. If your back bet at the bookmaker won your profit would automatically be sitting in the bookmaker. If your back bet at the bookmaker lost you would need to then extract profit from the free bet and then add it to what you lost at the exchange to calculate your overall profit, which would be about the same as if the bet had won at the bookmaker.
Risk-Free bets are definitely an intermediate level matched betting offer.