Advantage Play Explained: Gain An Edge with Your Bets

man is winning bets

Fed up of always losing your hard-earned money to the bookies?

I’m not surprised. It’s about time that you got educated on the best strategies to beat them.

In this article, we’re going to teach you what advantage play is and how you can use it to rinse bookmakers and casinos for as much money as possible. 

What is Advantage Play?

Advantage play refers to any system that punters can legally use to try and stack the odds in their favour. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the house always wins’.

It turns out lots of people are fed up with this. Including us. This article is going to focus on the best advantage play systems that you can use to try and extract as much profit from bookmakers and casinos as possible!

Bookmakers and casinos are cut from the same cloth. Their business model is set up to offer games of value to entice customers to part with their cash thinking they have a chance.

And they do have a chance, of course, they do. The trouble is, the more appealing the offer the less likely you are to win.

Let us explain…

There is a difference between true odds and bookmaker odds. 

True odds are the actual chance of something happening. Take the roll of a dice.

There are a set number of outcomes, in this case, 6.  Say you want to bet that it lands on 1.

There are 5 other numbers it can land on so the true odds of it landing on 1 are 5/1. 

Meaning in six rolls of the dice probability states that you will win once. Therefore you can break even over the course of playing. 

That is not what the house wants. Remember bookmakers are a business, they want you to lose. 

To ensure this happens they set their own odds, known as house odds. Let’s go back to the dice example.

To correctly predict the number on a roll of the dice we know the true odds are 5/1. A bookmaker would not offer you this.

The house odds would be less, say 4/1.

If you were to bet £1 for a total of six rolls that’s £6

You would lose 5 times so that’s minus £5.

You would win once that’s plus £4.

See how we’ve ended up losing £1 over the course of our six rolls? This is what we’re up against. It is all based on probability.

You might say – ‘what if I win on my first go?’

Great! Take the money and run. But how often do people put the money back in hoping to win more? We’ve all done it. This is why the above example is so important. 

In the long run, the results will start to fall into the pattern shown. This is the explanation for how bookies and casinos always stack the odds in their favour. You have been warned.

This is why we wanted to show you what you’re up against. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Advantage betting is all about getting an edge back on the house. We’re going to show you the best advantage gambling methods that you can go away and try today! That’s what we’re all about here at Beating Betting.

Matched Betting

Matched Betting represents, in our opinion, the best form of advantage betting. 

It is all based on sports betting. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to have any great sporting or technical knowledge. It is a system invented to make the most out of the offers available on bookmakers websites.

Betting companies are always clamouring to get new customers. They know the value of getting you started placing bets. 

Once you’re in, the potential to make money seems great. Doubling, tripling your money all seems perfectly reachable. 

Sadly for the average customer, it is not. As we’ve discussed, continually betting without a strategy leads you to lose more than you win.

That’s where advantage betting comes in. 

Matched betting will allow you to take advantage of new customer sign up offers that bookmakers are always running.

The best way to find all of these offers is to sign up to an oddsmatcher like Oddsmonkey. 

There will be a monthly charge, currently £17.99, but they also offer a free trial – where you can start earning straight away. 

We’re already members of Oddsmonkey but you can sign up here.

The massive advantage of using an oddsmatcher is it finds all the offers for you. This not only saves you a lot of time but takes out any knowledge of sports betting.  

On average people have reported they have made £1000 after completing all the sign-up offers.

Even after the sign up offers bookmakers are running regular offers that we can use weekly. In matched betting, these are known as ‘reload offers’. 

Online Casino Offers

Online gambling is massive. However, it’s not just about sports betting. 

Online casino games have become big business in recent years. No need to leave the comfort of your sofa to have a spin on the roulette wheel.

The advantage play when it comes to online casino games are again the offers.

They are slightly more complex than the sports matched betting offers and although not all risk-free are mostly low-risk.

The casino offers are often a much better chance of winning than standard bets on the casino. Bookies can do this as they don’t mind losing a bit of money upfront as in the long-run it will swing in their favour. 

Sticking to offers is where the casino advantage play lies.

This is another great way to make money month after month. 

We do not advocate things that we don’t use ourselves. Matched betting and casino offers are the two main advantage play offers we use to beat the bookies. 

Betting Exchanges

Betting exchanges like Betfair Exchange and Smarkets are only growing in popularity. Betfair Exchange is the most popular, with the highest amount of money being matched. 

They don’t take up the position of traditional bookmakers, which is against you. 

Instead, you are betting against other people – who can bet for something to happen but also for it not to happen. 

The owners of the exchange, in this case, Betfair, then take a commission on any winning bets. For Betfair Exchange this 5%.

The advantage play for this is it allows you to trade sports odds in a similar way to a financial exchange. 

If you can buy at high odds and lay at lower odds then you will have just made a profit. This is the art of Betfair trading

Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting is another strategy that can be used in sports betting. 

With so many markets and sports available to bet on it’s hard for bookmakers to keep their odds in line with competitors. These discrepancies are where money can be made.

Similar to matched betting we will be looking to cover all outcomes of an event. 

It’s a mathematical process relying on not just difference in odds but difference in stakes. 

If you are betting on a tennis match you will be betting on Player A to win at one bookmaker. Then you want to almost simultaneously place a bet on Player B to win at another bookmaker. 

Arbitrage is a lot more difficult than matched betting to complete by yourself, software is necessary. Bookmakers want to avoid leaving punters with these opportunities so are constantly adjusting their odds.

That’s where the software comes in. It will constantly scan betting sites and notify you when opportunities arise. By linking your betting accounts to the software you can alter your stake and place bets in one click. 

This is a massive advantage when speed is of the essence. There should be a good few chances to arb a day. 

Betting Exchanges have made it slightly easier to arb. The odds on an exchange move differently to a bookmaker, plus you have the option of betting against events. 

The profit for each arb is usually up to 4% of your stake. Rarely do bigger opportunities come around and if they do its bookmakers don’t usually take too kindly to you making the most of it.

For this reason, you will need a larger bankroll to start arbitrage betting compared to the previous advantage bets. 

We shall run through the risks of each advantage play at the end of the article.


Perhaps the best known of advantage play systems is counting cards. It is also the most difficult to do correctly. 

Everything we have talked about here relies on probability. This is especially true in casino games. 

It’s you against the house, no sporting variables here. 

Made popular by films like 21 and even featured in The Hangover. However, there is a lot more to it than often shown.

It is all based around maths and stacking the probability in your favour rather than the dealers. 

This is not a sure-fire system, it does not guarantee a profit. It instead informs you of times when you have a better chance to receive favourable high cards rather than low-value cards. 

By doing this it allows you to decide when to enter and exit the game as well as when to adjust your bets accordingly. 

The idea is to keep a running count of the cards value. Each card is attributed to the following score…

A high number card (10 and face cards) is given a +1

The middle cards (7, 8, 9) are ignored

The low cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) are -1.

So if two high cards and a low card come out the running count will be 1.

A higher running count suggests the odds are in your favour and a low running count the opposite. +2 and above is a good game to get into while anything minus is avoided. 

This is a very basic example. There a multitude of articles and YouTube videos that take an in-depth look at counting cards. 

It’s recommended that you get a good grasp of them before stepping foot in the casino. You need to be able to do it without a seconds thought to keep up with the dealer. 

There are also interactive blackjack games online that are set up to teach you basic strategy.

As you can see there is a lot to blackjack advantage gambling. If you are just looking to make a bit of extra money then the other options discussed in this article are better to try first.

If you are based in a country where sports betting isn’t allowed then this can be a profitable strategy. It’s become popular because it works. 

Are There Any Risks?

There are of course risks when it comes to winning as we know bookmakers and casinos simply don’t like it. 

Rest assured, all the advantage play tips that we have mentioned above are perfectly legal. They are simply playing the game well.

The threat with matched betting and arbitrage are the same – banned accounts. However, the speed at which this happens differs slightly. 

When you start matched betting you are simply opening an account, using the sign-up offer and moving on to the next one. This won’t be seen as suspicious and you’re very unlikely to have any problems here. 

Bookmakers will only start to notice when you begin to really rinse their offers. This leads to accounts getting ‘gubbed’, meaning you won’t be able to bet on offers and may have your stakes limited. Although you are still technically allowed to bet it becomes pretty useless to you.

Remember there are over 40 bookmakers out there so there are plenty of chances before your options run dry. There are few different thoughts on avoiding detection but all experienced matched bettors will have dealt with being gubbed.

Arbitrage betting is slightly different. It is easier for bookmakers to tell when you are arbing. A lot of the bets that come up are on obscure events and leagues. If you’re betting large sums of money on the Russian second league this is a sure-fire way to alert bookies. 

Because of this bookmakers are quicker to close your accounts down. If you want to get into this we recommend trying to do it with bookmakers you don’t mind losing. 

Keep the big bookies for matched betting as they tend to have the best offers. 

Lastly, blackjack has become harder and harder to card count. 

Casinos are actively switching up the rules to try and make it more difficult to learn. 

As soon as you enter the casino you are being watched. They have detection units that will look for hustlers trying to run advantage play systems. Dealers can even discreetly alert the house if they believe you to be counting cards. 

Basically, if you are winning, sooner or later you’ll be asked to leave. Unfortunately, that goes for all our advantage play strategies. 

You shouldn’t let that deter you. The takeaway from this article should be that there is money to be made. 

It’s always easier to start from behind your computer so go ahead and give matched betting a try.

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About the Author

This post was written by Max. Max has been writing and editing for Beating Betting since August 2019. He's a massive sports fan and got into matched betting a few years ago.

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