If you’re completely new to backing and laying your bets for profit, avoiding offers with wagering (or ‘rollover’) requirements is heavily recommended.
The level of complexity increases slightly with these offers and they also tend to increase the time taken to complete, too.
Generally speaking, you get better bang for your buck by sticking to the more simple offers — especially when you’re first starting out with a small bankroll.
However, everyone reaches the point where the easiest offers have been used up and it’s time to move on to the slightly more complex offers.
The good news is that just because they can be a little more time consuming, offers with rollover requirements can also be more profitable too. This is because the bookmakers can generally offer higher value bonuses due to the wagering demands putting a certain percentage of beginner matched bettors off.
In this guide, we’ll look at how best to tackle wagering.
Table of Contents
Should You Choose Bets with Higher Odds?
One of the most obvious places to start is the fact that if you lose your bet (i.e. you win it into the exchange) then your wagering requirement will be completed instantly.
With this in mind, people commonly want to look to betting on higher odds with their free bets or bonus cash. Why? Because the higher the odds, the less chance the bet has of winning.
However, there are an important couple of factors to consider:
The first is less common. Does the bonus come with a maximum winnings cap?
If it does, you might end up breaking the terms if your bet wins, or if multiple bets win. This means high odds should be avoided and you should simply look to rollover the funds in a disciplined manner.
The second factor is by far the most common: how big is your bankroll?
If you don’t have a big bankroll and your bookmaker bet wins at high odds, you need to make sure you have enough money in your exchange to lay the next bet off. This bet, regardless of the odds, will likely have at least 2-5 times the liability of your first bet.
…And after that, what if the next bet wins too? Depending on the required rollover, you may end up in sticky bankroll situations if you opt for bets at odds that are too high.
Even if your bankroll is large and can handle the exchange liability, huge stakes may make your account look slightly suspicious.
Let’s say your £100 bonus (with 10 times wagering requirement) wins at odds of 6.0 and you then have £600 in your account, many matched bettors would simply whack that full £600 on the next bet.
How many real bettors do you think would do that? What percentage? The truth is that it would be incredibly low. Doing this could make your account stand out and open to restriction.
Underlaying Your Bets for Profit & Efficiency
If you choose to lay your bets regularly during the rollover period then the amount of profit you make will be the stake of the free money you’re awarded, i.e. bonus funds, minus the qualifying loss of your bet — if your first bet loses (wins into the exchange).
Example: You’re awarded £50 in bonus funds on a £100 deposit. You input £150 on the calculator at odds of 2.0/2.06 and commission of 2%. The loss on the calculator shows £5.88, so your profit would be £50 – £5.88 = £44.12.
However, if that first bet wins, you won’t have made a profit yet. Well, you will have made profit, but you won’t have actualised it because you can’t withdraw it.
You don’t have access to the money because you need to continue rolling it over until you fulfil the bookmaker’s requirement.
So, that means you’d need to bet (and lay) again, spending more time and losing more in qualifying losses. If that bet wins, you may have to repeat the process again depending on your balance and the terms of the offer.
This means you’re spending more and more time to inevitably lose more of the profit you originally generated.
Therefore, instead of laying regularly, we recommend looking to underlay.
What is Underlaying?
With regular laying, you generate an even return regardless of whether you win at the bookmaker or exchange.
With underlaying, you lay less than the recommended regular lay stake so that if you win at the bookmaker you make more profit (or lose less in qualifying losses) but if you win at the exchange, you make less profit or more in qualifying losses.
If you underlay your first bet of a rollover or wagering requirement, it means that if you win into the bookmaker you have more profit to play with when you need to complete the rest of the wagering. If you win into the exchange, you make less profit but you don’t have the hassle of needing to complete the wagering. Win-win.
Example: Using the same aforementioned figures (2.0 to back, 2.06 to lay, 2% commission, £150 stake of which £50 is bonus funds) if you were to underlay and win at the bookmaker then you would retain £50 profit but have a rollover to complete. If you win at the exchange then you would make £38.68 profit but the rollover would be instantly complete.
It’s highly recommended that you always underlay your first bet using the ‘Advanced’ mode on the matched betting calculator.
By selecting the advanced option, it will give you an underlay figure that will be suitable for the job at hand.
It’s worth noting that underlaying can be used in other situations too:
Imagine you’re given a price boost at odds of 7.0, the lay odds are 5.0 and the maximum stake is £10.
If you wanted to lay this normally, you’d generate £3.77 in profit regardless of the outcome. However, if you underlaid, you would win £0 if it ‘lost’ into the exchange, but you’d make £19.20 if it won.
This can add more fun or excitement to your price boosted bets and it also increases the EV because your lay stakes are smaller and you’re therefore paying less in commission.
Completing Wagering Requirements
If your first bet does win at the bookmaker and you retain the full value of your bonus funds, you can choose whether you wish to continue underlaying or lay as normal.
Either option is suitable really, as your wagering will usually be complete in 2-3 bets (not always, but most of the time).
Rolling Over Casino Offers
If you’re looking for information regarding wagering requirements on casino offers, check out our full casino offer guide.