Low-Risk Betting Strategies

Risk Less When Betting – How to Do It

Risk less betting

Online sports betting is becoming an increasingly popular pastime for players worldwide. Many sports fans often choose to place a bet on their favourite sports. Sports betting will always be a game of chance, though, and that involves risk. However, it is possible to risk less and still make a profit. So, how can you get more, risk-less, when playing on high-ranking bookmakers and their sportsbooks? It’s crucial to mention that there’s no sure-fire way to become successful. You need to always be mindful and play responsibly. Any number of factors can influence the outcome of a bet, even when using a low-risk strategy. Of course, with these strategies, punter-error can also result in significant losses.

We’ll be taking a look at betting strategies you can use to risk less to a certain extent, as well as a few top tips to use them. At the same time we kindly remind you that betting should be a fun activity you take on by bearing the full responsibility of your actions.

Gamble ResponsiblyNever lose focus when gambling. We remind you to play responsibly and try our strategies only if you are 18 or older. begambleaware.org


What are Low-risk Betting Strategies?

If you want to risk less, low-risk betting strategies are one of your options. The point of these betting methods is to place bets while mitigating the risk. We say attempt because there’s just no way to guarantee anything when it comes to wagering. After all, gambling is a game of chance.

That said, there are two primary betting strategies to risk less. They are known as Matched betting and Arbitrage betting. There are pros and cons to using each, but both may up your chances just a little bit and help you mitigate the usual risks when it comes to wagering on most bookmakers and online betting sites.

There are still risks to using either of these strategies and making any mistakes while placing your bets is still possible. We recommend that players use low-risk betting strategies with caution. Always double check your bets.

Before we take a more in-depth look at these strategies and how to use them to wager at bookmakers and betting sites, it’s critical to understand several things. First, you will need to know how to choose the right bookmaker and then what back bets and lay bets are. Understanding these terms is crucial to risk less.

Back Bets

A back bet is a traditional type of wager. Essentially, you’re placing a bet on who you think will win the match, or what outcome you think will happen. For example, let’s look at a football match between Manchester City and Liverpool. If you’re placing a back bet on Manchester City, you’re saying that you think they’ll be victorious.

Lay Bets

Let’s stick with our Manchester City vs Liverpool analogy. With a lay bet, things work a little differently. If you place a lay bet on Manchester City, you’re saying that you bet they’ll lose against Liverpool. If Manchester City wins or it’s a draw, you lose your lay bet. But if Liverpool wins, however, you’ve got yourself a winning bet.

Here’s the most essential thing you need to know about lay bets: you can’t place them at any online bookie. Instead, you need to use betting exchanges that offer back and lay bets. A good example are sites like Betfair, to place your lay bet. It is perfect for newbies and pros alike.

Something you’ll need to keep in mind is lay commission. When you play with a lay bet, you’ll need to pay a percentage as commission to the exchange. Even with the commission, you should still be able to risk less, though.

Risk Less with an Arbitrage Betting Strategy at Popular Bookmakers

Arbitrage betting, or arb betting, is a low-risk wagering strategy. The strategy was designed to take advantage of odds and pricing discrepancies. If you don’t make any mistakes, you’ll usually be able to risk less while wagering.

Before you start considering this method, you should know that there’s a steep learning curve. Spotting the best bookies by odds in not an easy task. Making mistakes can get awfully expensive, and arbitrage bets are tough to find. You’ll need to have time and patience to find the best odds to risk less.

There are a few other drawbacks. You’ll need to be able to make complex calculations, and a significant amount of start-up capital wouldn’t go amiss either. Also, we would like to warn you that many bookmakers do not allow arbitrage betting on their platforms.

How does Arbitrage Betting Work?

Most commonly, arb bets involve placing both a back bet and a lay bet. However, cutting out lay bets seems to have become common practice. Many players claim that this strategy is still arbitrage betting, but it’s actually called Dutching – quite a proper name.

Here’s an oversimplified example of dutching:

TeamBookie OneBookie Two
Team A2.01.8
Team B1.82.0

At Bookie One, you’ll be placing your wager on Team A, while placing your wager on Team B at Bookie Two. This way, you can cover your loss at the other bookie.

Arbitrage betting, however, involves placing both a back bet and a lay bet. The odds for your back bet must be higher than those of the lay bet – if it’s not, you won’t succeed. You’re also not limited to the outcome of an event. In fact, you can bet on just about any outcome or event, but you’ll be betting both for it (back bet) and against it (lay bet).

The calculations can get wickedly difficult, though, and it might just be better for you to use calculation software instead of trying to do them yourself. The only way to really risk less is to avoid mistakes at all costs and being very responsible with your bets.

Here’s an example to show how arb betting would work:

Back Bet Stake
Back Bet Odds
Lay Bet Stake
Lay Bet Odds

For your arb betting strategy to work, you must place the lay bet at €105.26. That way, no matter the outcome of the wager, you can walk out with €105.26. The calculations are a lot more, commissions come into play, and different factors can completely affect the outcome.

Common mistakes that players make

All these potential errors can still impact your play, no matter how little risk might seem to be involved. In the end, it comes down to how much time and effort you’re willing to put into using this strategy.

If you’re a hobby punter, you might want to give arb betting a hard pass. Even if you’re going to risk less, the end result might not be worth the time for you.

  • Miscalculating odds and profits.
  • Transacting frequently, raising suspicions, and risking frozen accounts.
  • Not taking a bookie’s pay-out times and rules into account.

Pros and Cons of Arbitrage Betting

For example, there’s a low-risk factor, but arbs are hard to find, and a mistake can be quite costly.

Here are our pros and cons of using arb betting as a wagering strategy:

  • Pros
  • Legal at some sites
  • Risk less
  • Several ways to implement the strategy
  • Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Easy to make expensive mistakes
  • Limited Bookie Life
  • Hard to find
  • Small profit margins
  • Shifting odds can wipe out chances
  • Bookmakers can and will close your account if they suspect you’re using this strategy

Risk Less with a Matched Betting Strategy at Popular Bookmakers

Matched betting strategy

Now that we’ve covered Arb Betting, we can move on to matched betting. The strategies are remarkably similar, but with a few key differences:

  • You’re going to be using free bets and promotions to place your back bets.
  • The back odds don’t necessarily need to be higher than the lay odds.
  • Most importantly free bets can be also used.

Matched betting is a low-risk wagering strategy, and, like arb betting, is thought of as a way to make your game more fun. It’s also called ‘No-Risk Betting’, or ‘Bonus Hunting’. The goal of matched betting is to use free bet promotions and similar offers to cover all your bases, and allowing you to risk less!

The kind of offers you’re looking for match your bet 100%. These are quite common at different sportsbooks, with many offering new players unique rewards.

If you shop around, you’ll find that many online bookies offer bonuses like these, especially to new members. With a little bit of research, you’ll find no shortage of bonus offers to use for your matched betting.

How does Matched Betting Work?

How can a matched betting strategy help you risk less? The point of matched betting is to cancel out the risk of a back bet, or a traditional bet. You’ll need to place both a back and a lay bet against the outcome of an event, removing the risk.

We’ll start at the beginning. You’re about to join a bookie and get your free bet bonus. The offer you get will depend on the bookie you join. For example, your free bet bonus could consist of multiple preset bets, or you could break it up any way you choose.

Let’s assume that the bookmaker you’ve joined has attractive bonus codes with free bets available. You’ll need to jump through the usual hoops and terms to get your free bet.

With all the requirements met, you’ll finally have your free bet to use for your matched bet. You’re essentially using the bookies reward to place your wager, but you’re the one who gets to keep the winnings. As with arb betting, you’ll need to place both a lay and a back bet, but this time it’s the free bet that you will make the most of, rather than the difference in the odds.

As you get more familiar with this strategy, you’ll find that shopping around for free bets at different bookies can be a good idea.

Pros and Cons of Matched Betting

As with any betting strategy, matched betting has both pros and cons. For example, there’s a low risk factor, which is a definite advantage. At the same time, players stand the chance of making a mistake or even getting their accounts limited on betting sites where they use it.

Here are our pros and cons of using matched betting as a wagering strategy:

  • Pros
  • It is quite popular
  • Easy to spot matched bets
  • Cons
  • Hard to get the gist of
  • Quite easy to slip and make a mistake
  • Need to beware of hidden terms

Promotional Free Bets – Risk less with Free Bet Bonuses

There are many free bet promotions out there – you just need to find the bookmakers that offer them. No rule forbids you from joining more than one, either, which gives you a plethora of regular loyalty offers to use.

As you learn more about matched betting, though, you’ll find that you don’t necessarily have to use free bet offers to take advantage of this strategy. Any offer that allows you to make a wager that skews the odds in your favour, or offers you some kind of free wager, will work.

With this strategy, you also shouldn’t be depending on offers from just one bookie. To mitigate the risk, you should be comparing bookmakers and their offers. To risk even less, try to have several options available. Shopping for good odds at the same time can be beneficial.

Conclusion – Using Low-risk Betting Strategies on Betting Sites

We all want to have fun when wagering on sports, but gambling is gambling, and that means risk. But, while punters can continue placing bets at online bookies, there will always be those who want a foolproof betting system. Who doesn’t want to risk less when betting online?

Low-risk betting strategies are about as close as you’ll get to ‘risk-free’. Even so, it still has its risks. You might make a mistake while placing a wager or get your account limited by your preferred bookmaker. Remember, never wager more than you’re willing to lose, even when using low-risk strategies, and gamble responsibly.

So, is there a perfect way to risk less? Not really – but we can certainly try.

Javia Alex
Javia Alex is an expert-level Copywriter/Editor with a wealth of experience in the iGaming scene. A self-described player advocate, Javia’s player-first mindset, “tell it like it is”, has earned her an oft-cited voice across gambling circles. She frequently works late nights and long hours, fact-checking reviews and pages for accuracy.