Underlay! underlay! arriba! arriba!
Or more simply, my question is when do you underlay?
The one time I have underlaid it has worked out very nicely, but I only did it because the odds weren't matching properly, however there have been a number of times I was tempted to, chose not to and was relieved I didn't.
Do you only underlay on free bets, or on the WR? Or is it on certain sports?
Tips and tricks would be gratefully received
I pretty much underlay, 90% of the time but mostly I bet on horse racing.
If I have a free bet I will scew it for an amount I am happy with or more if it was to win - eg. A £25 SNR I would take £17 in betfair say or £xx more if it was to win in the bookie.
I always underlay on WR as I can then either bust out or have more profit to play with whilst going through the wagering.
And I always fully underlay any arbs I have, so as if it didn't win I wouldn't lose anything but would have a good amount of profit should it win. This gets disheartening at times when time and time again your horse comes second, but is good when your horse/s, team do win....
It's mainly just personal preference, I learnt MB at MSE and at first used to follow their strict guidelines of equal loss either way, but I personally would rather risk an extra £3 for the potential of getting £30,£40,£50 etc more. If it loses, you money is in the exhange which is of course preferable and if not you have extra pounds in the bookies
I tend to only underlay when I have a WR to complete at a bookie where the odds are really poor. For instance if I look at a book and calculate that I will lose 20% of the bonus over a 5 x WR I might decide to find a bet at odds of say 3-ish where if I bust out in one go I will make about 70% of the bonus, but if it wins I have an extra 10-20% on top of the bonus to complete the WR.
If I am betting at a bookie where I am confident of finding enough arbs or no-loss bets for the WR I don't bother.
Once in a while I underlay a bit if I'm betting on the horses at highish odds, but I don't fully underlay. I understand why others do it, but my thinking is that a bookie will limit you for arbing them eventually whether your bets win or lose. I would hate to get on 20 horse arbs, make nothing and have my account limited. each to their own though, that's just my take on things.
It is not an exact science but there is some theory to some of it. In answer to the question I would and do underlay every bet, always, because there is not any good reason not to.
Reasons I do are (and this is not a comprehensive list)
I value my time quite highly, if I win £s into Betfair then it is garunteed the £s are there and that is that, I dont need to do anything else I just move on and the extra funds in betfair just stay in my float. If I win at a bookmaker then A) I have to withdraw, this may involve faffing around with CS, waiting for my money, sending ID, and to varying degrees a chance I may not get the £s for various reasons. Depending on how much I think the chances of trouble/effort are depends how much I underlay, I would underlay maybe 90% of a PaddyPower bet vs 50% or less at BetAfterBet or Bet770.
So because of the potential trouble If someone said to me now, "Hey Andrew im going to give you some money, do you want £10 added to your Betfair account or £15 added to your Bet770 account" I would probably say "Can I have a tenner in Betfair please". Underlaying makes that possible.
It is also more fun if I am watching a race or going to a game. Having a few hundred £s on a correct score or the outsider in a Race at long odds, it can only cost you a few £s lost potential that I wont miss, and I might get a few hundred £s if it comes in and I will actually notice. They do come in sometimes and it makes it all so much more exciting. If you havnt had a few £100s riding on a game ending say 2-2 and its 2-1 with 85 minutes gone and in the 86th minute someone slams home a screamer into the back of the net to equalise and you go mental actually jumping around the room, THEN, have 5 minutes of torture, actual torture, as everytime anyone has the ball you pray they are tackled and dont score again, then there is a fast break and you want the other team to tackle... It is actually painfull to watch. But then the whistle blows and you are a few hundred £s richer and it is all worth it. Anyone who has done/had that will know exactly what I mean, and if you havnt then you honestly havn't lived. By Underlaying a £25 freebet for £5 or £10 if its not 2-2 but +£225 if it is, you get to have it to an extent, winning £18.68 no matter what the result doesnt really appeal to me, where is the fun in it?
It can be better to underlay if the site you are playing at offers reloads for busting out (This is mainly US sites), so you might set your bets to make just 25% of the bonus value "if" it moves the entire amount into a new bookmaker elsewhere, because you can just go straight back in and get another bonus, and make 25% of that again, etc etc etc. The time you win at that bookmaker you are not getting any/many more reloads, so you want to have set it so that that payoff is actually a pretty big amount so you are rewarded for killing the Golden Goose.
Some sites have a large wagering, and assume you do normally back and lay each bet exactly, and you only ever bet where odds are the same at the bookmaker as to lay at betfair. Then you will be losing 5% per turnover due to the commission betfair charge should you keep winning at the bookmaker. If you have a 5x wagering you are going to lose 25% of your balance then (sort of that is not exact but you get the idea as you wager more and more you slowly lose more and more Net £s). You also have to put in more time and effort making more bets to finish the wagering. You would therefore be just as well to set it so you move 80% of the start balance at the Bookmaker who added the upfront cash bonus over to betfair. Because its 80% out in one and done and dusted, if you keep winning at the bookmaker then you can keep losing 5% but after that first bet it boosted your equity another 20% anyway (depends on odds quite what boost you get) but it cusions your profit for the losses you will take on the next bets.
There are other reasons, and I didnt properly explain the above in detail but that is the Gist of why I do it, others may do it for other reasons and to different degrees it is all personal choice. Its really about betting so that no matter what the result you are are happy. Thats the main thing. Everyone is different so will have different choices of how much to lay. I cant think of any scenario where I would have the same happiness with EXACTLY the same amount of profit between two places I would always favour one or the other and so underlaying allows me to factor that in, so I am happy no matter what.
P.S. I think Munk once wrote a very good post about it, quite a long time ago now, I will try to find it and link to it from here.
Have a plan and stick to it
I like this thread .
From a personal point of view i only underlay on the odd occasion such as WR on bookies with low odds.
I also underlayed a few of the Will Hill Bogofs so that i would break even if they lost but win around £60 or so if they came in ( I did this on the golf and also on Amir Khan).
I can understand Andys motives for underlaying most of his bets, but i am looking at it from a different perspective at the moment. Just now I just want to make a steady stream of income, hopefully enough to wipe out the debts i have from my undergrad days. Once I have made enough to clear my debts i'll probably tinker around with underlaying a bit more, it is definitely more fun and less time intensive. But for now I just need the cash to be increasing at a steady-ish rate, so i'm happy to win £18 whatever the result rather than 10 losers and 1 big win.
To clarify, I wouldnt ever recommend you allow a loss, but having "No Win" vs "Massive win" and "Small Win vs Big Win" is fine.
Originally Posted by s0095063
And the Big Wins do come in and when they do you dont pay commission on it so actually in the very long run underlaying is more profitable for that reason. Laying anything is basically paying 5% of your total lifetime profits as insurance for a steady return, you make 5% more if you take the variance (Assuming true odds, blah blah blah, could write an essay on the maths behind that). So underlaying is a compromise and you make maybe 2% or 3% more profit in the Long Run. But as you say thats the Long Run and you would be happier with the garunteed £s now so do that. In the Long Run we are all dead (JM Keynes).
Have a plan and stick to it
Sorry, yes i meant small win v big win.
Originally Posted by Andy
I know there would more than likely be more profit in the underlaying method, i think it's a psychological thing for me just now though. I prefer my profit to have a (small) steadily increasing incline rather than a step-wise increase.
Like you say there really is no right or wrong way, it's all about being comfortable with what you do.
Thanks guys, these are brilliant answers. I'll have to re-read them a few times more before my non-mathmatical brain can grasp it all.
If I'm betting on horses at higher odds, I have tended to overlay since I'm pretty certain the horse won't come in. I understand underlaying at lower odds, but not so much at higher odds.
Originally Posted by bioboybill
Also what is 'fully underlaying'? Does it mean making no loss, but only gaining at the bookies?
Do you use a spreadsheet to work out what you would be comfortable laying? The spreadsheet I'm using is just a basic mb one which isn't happy to allow you to enter a different lay than the one suggested for the same gain/loss either way.
Say if you had a horse at 20/18 for example and you overlayed as you say you do. These high odds horses can and do sometimes come in, so if you overlayed for £5, if this horse came in on a £50 bet you would then be approx -£35 down.
If you underlayed to lose nothing but gain if it won - If it did win you would be +£55.29 but if it didn't you would be at no loss either so this way guarantees at least you won't be losing anything, where overlaying is very risky imo - there may be instances where overlaying may be useful but I have never had to overlay yet so don't know when or if it is.
Basically, overlaying can be very costly if one of these horse do come in especially the higher the odds are, so I personally wouldn't recommend overlaying.
Fully Underlaying is a you say, you make no loss should it win at betfair but +£ if it wins at the bookies. Usually I can gather how much to lay as I've been doing it a while, but find this sheet useful for playing around with stakes if I need to Arbitrage betting stake calculator
I would seriously question overlaying long shots.
1. It produces a high liability for a low reward.
2. Done often and even miraculously never picking a winning horse you're still tieing up extra money in the exchange and the amounts you're winning can definitely be won without tieing up your funds and without the added risk.
3. When you do lose (which you will in all reality), you not only end up with a -£ but you've essentially paid for the priviledge of moving your money to a book who you'll have to withdraw from or turn over the money with them.
Some instances where it's sensible for all to underlay (regardless if you would usually take a guaranteed return) is when dealing with currency conversions. You're kinda fooling yourself to take a "guaranteed" return regardless of result if winning at the book means you'd then be subject to withdrawing and being hit by conversions/exchange rates. So an underlay helps take this into account as a win at the book produces more instant profit and, if affected by the conversion/charges, you may still end up nicely anyway.
Another is taking into account WRs (as Andy has pointed out). If you'll likely lose 2% per £100 bet and you need to wager £2k before withdrawing, then matching to guarantee a return doesn't take into account you may need to complete the WR. So you can underlay so that busting out means you lose a little more than you would have matching normally and busting out but you can set it so that if the book bet wins then your whole bonus is still in tact or you've made even more on it. This not only takes into account the actual WR but the fact that in completeing the WR you'll be spending time and effort so no point continually losing 2% AND having to spend time doing it.
For those not really comfortable with the idea of potentially losing guaranteed profit by underlaying then backing multiple horses in a race could be a good example for you. Just as an idea, if you could back 3 out of 6 horses, maybe using £50 SNR on on Horse A (odds 11/11) and matching say £46 of it, underlay a £100 arb on Horse B (odds 3/2.8) to break even (book 2) and even matching fully by taking a no-loss bet on Horse C (book 3), it provides permeatations that can create a nice return should any win.
Pinky, if just using the simple MB spreadsheet.... say you find that 3/2.8 horse bet and have £100 on it. You could simply alter the back stake downwards until your "back profit" box says £100 then you know you have a no loss bet. You'd find putting £96.50 into the back stake box then gives you a lay of £105.27 and the "back profit" is £100.01 which is basically your original stake covered = no loss bet. Probably much better spreadsheets if you use them for this kind of thing but that's one way with that one anyway.
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