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Q&A - 2022-12-07
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As you might have noticed on Twitter during the last few days, we are back in business again after a shorter break.
Since we have received a couple of interesting questions during the last couple of weeks, we figured the time has come for our first Q&A.
Occasionally, we compile the questions in a Substack Q&A and provide careful answers to the ones deemed relevant for all of you.
If, after reading the Q&A, you have any additional questions, you are of course welcome to ask them in the comments section below.
“Could use some help here. Signed up with a bookie, €100 deposit + €100 bonus. Bet all €200 at 2.17, now I have €434 in my account. €68 profit on that bet. Rollover is at €800, no bet limits. But the best odds I can find still take out about €25 off my next bet that would get me over the €800 threshold. So net profit would be around €43. Is this normal? Seems quite low to me.”
Yes, this is quite low. ~ 70-75 % is normal for standard welcome bonuses (100 % on deposit, 6-10x rollover requirements).
Two things to consider:
The odds you are using to hedge your bets determine how much 'fee' you are paying per bet. The better the odds, the more money you keep. In this case you have probably hedged your first bet using fairly bad odds. As a proxy you could restrict yourself to cases with RTP > 0.97 (probably even higher for higher odds) to make sure you are not losing too much on each bet.
Note: Haven’t heard of RTP? Our Betting 101 has just been updated with a detailed explanation of the term.
Aim, whenever it is possible, for higher odds than 2.17 on your initial bets. This way you'll on average have to wager less money/site, i.e. more money will be left over. For example, assuming fair odds for both propositions (not that uncommon in practice by combining the right bookies), it is significantly better to place your first bet at 6.00 than at 2.00.
“How do you decide something is fine at odds of 5.00-8.00? Because then the hedge odds will be so low that you barely make a profit. At least based on my calculations.
An example from a basketball game today: Stake €200 (€100 deposit + €100 bonus) at 5.1 odds. Best odds for a neutralizing wager I could find at 1.15. Plug the numbers into the calculator, wager €886. If the 5.1 wins, my net profit is (€1,020 - €886 - €100 = €34). If 1.15 wins, my net profit is (€1019 - €886 - €100 = €33). Seems like such a low profit for a hiqh liquidity bet. When I could find something more decent in the 2.75-4.00 range that would net a €70-85 profit.”
Generally it will be a considerably tougher mission to find suitable games if one decides to place BR-bets at higher odds. In this case we have an RTP of ~ 0.94, i.e. you lose approximately 6 % of your large stake (11X the value of your deposit bonus) which is *really bad*.
What we are saying is *not* to solely look for odds in the range [5.00, ∞], instead we stress that *if* such an opportunity presents itself (with a sufficiently good RTP) you should definitely make use of it.
Note: If you are taking advantage of freebets/risk-free bets, then indeed you should restrict yourself to higher odds as explained in both Freebet 101 and Risk-free Bet 101. The discussion above assumes we are talking about qualifying bets.
“Hey guys, I’m U.S based, and used up all of my welcome promos on the sportsbook sites and it worked great! However i wanted to start working with other people to continue to take advantage of the welcome offers, and was not sure how that would work with taxes. This is the only thing holding me back from scaling it since I was not sure how to report my winnings/losses from others people’s account. Has anyone tried to overcome this?”
Note that we are neither tax experts nor US based, hence our best guess (which is far from any kind of advice) is likely to be completely wrong.
Probably optimal if everything is done using their own accounts, both for profit and tax purposes. When everything is done you leave enough money for them to pay the taxes and split the remainings with them. This way, you:
Avoid situations where you are +15 K on your accounts but -10 K on theirs and have to pay the full profit of 5 K in taxes (don’t know the details on whether gambling losses are tax deductible or not).
Avoid having to ‘settle’ everything long after the betting part of it has been completed.
Step 1: Send them enough money to cover deposits on ~ 50 % of the relevant sites.
Step 2: Use the Master Calculator and bet the sites against each other until one or more have been cleared.
Step 3: Withdraw money from the ones that are done, deposit it into the remaining ones and continue betting until every site is finished.
Step 4: Compute tax amount, leave this amount with them, split the rest of the profits.
Step 5: Of course you should make sure the one you are doing the scheme with is capable to pay his/her taxes correctly, if this is not the case: don’t even consider doing BR with them.
Will make sure to bring on a tax expert to handle this carefully further down the line!
“€150 deposit + €150 bonus. 6x rollover for bonus only, so €900 to meet the rollover requirement. €600 wagered so far, another €300 will unlock the cashout. Would you stake that €300 on low odds at 1.5 (which is the minimum), so then you'd need to hedge only €160 at 2.8 (RTP over 0.97)? To me, this seems the sensible option since you meet all the rollover requirements and don't need much liquidity to neutralize the bet. Is my thinking right here?”
Your thinking is indeed correct. Since the last few bets are often placed for the sole purpose of unlocking the bonus money, it is all about losing as little as possible. This is done by maximizing RTP and minimizing the amount wagered.
“How does one account for the fact that a penalty shootout might, theoretically, not end?”
Love this question. This is actually a quite intricate mathematical problem and it deserves a post of its own. For now, we will simply note that there are some similarities with the mathematics handling a deuce in a tennis game, a problem on which there are tons of available material. Google ‘Markov Chain Tennis Deuce’ to find out more.
“How on earth were you running so many people (mentioned doing 600-700)? Getting ready to really go all in with this in the states. Did you do it fulltime? Would really enjoy for you to get into this part of the game. I am trying to mass produce and would love to learn about struggles you encountered.”
Found the basics in a betting forum at age 15-16, could not do it myself though since gambling was 18+. Instead used my father’s betting accounts after having explained everything to him and made like 2-3 K in the first two weeks. Never had much money growing up so at 16 that of course felt *absolutely amazing*. The second I turned 18 I went all in. Dropped out of college to pursue it full-time at ~ 19-20, then stopped doing BR at ~ 22-23 (extremely depressing doing the same thing ad infinitum + at that point I believed I’d made it already [in hindsight false but whatever]) and went back to school + transitioned into ordinary betting which I’ve always considered a beautiful game.
How to do 6-700 people?
An initial note: It will surprise you how many people are happy to lend you their betting accounts for something like $300. If you think finding people will be the hard part then you’ll soon learn it’s not.
Everything must be very well structured. Any new prospect was sent a document explaining the most important details, then offered 2-3 different time slots for the first round which required ~ 1 hour in Skype.
Round 1 they were sent enough money to cover the deposits for all sites. We then registered with the different bookmakers and placed the first bets (yes all bookmakers at once, hedged afterwards using the Master Calculator).
Round 2-4 each required ~ 15-20 min, next everything was settled. They kept their $300 while the rest went into my pockets. 99 % understood absolutely zero of what was happening but were more than happy about earning $300 while speaking to a ‘soon to be cartoon’ on Skype for two hours.
Do the above with at least one new prospect per day for 2-3 years.
“Many betting sites place limits on how much of your bonus you can stake. For example, at site B a €100 deposit gets another €100 in bonus. But I can stake only 30% of it. So max. €60 per bet. At 4X rollover, I would need to hedge seven bets (7x€60 = €420) before withdrawal. What should I do here?”
Would probably go for a couple of longshots (again, check that odds are good enough) on the first 3-4 bets to try to ‘lose’ the money, if that fails then simply place bets until the funds are withdrawable.
An alternative is to do it in the most straightforward manner: pick the best/most suitable games at each round and stake $60/bet until the requirements have been satisfied.
A helpful calculation: If your RTP is ~ 0.97 (standard) and you bet at an average odds of 3.00, you’ll lose ~ 8 % per bet (remember, the bet must be hedged, a hedge that itself is associated with ‘fees’). Hence, at a $400 rollover, $32 will be lost in fees on the initial $100 bonus, leaving $68 in profits.
“I'm seeing many sites offering €100-200+ where you have to bet on 2-4 selections at 1.80-2.00. Never done that before. How would I back/lay these?”
We’ll solve a simplified case here and then you’ll hopefully be able to generalize it yourself. If you need any further assistance please ask in the Discord server and we’ll help you out.
Suppose, for simplicity, that you are interested in hedging a 2-game parlay where both games have only two outcomes (A or not A for the first game, B or not B for the second). Assume both games are offered at even odds and that your parlay consists of a wager of $100 on the combo A to win and B to win at an odds of 4.00 [2.00 x 2.00]. How do you hedge it?
Since in our setup there are two games, each with two possible outcomes, there are a total of four elemententary events to consider. Those are [A & B, A & not B, not A & B, not A & not B] and currently your payoffs for the set of possible outcomes are [+300, -100, -100, -100]. By definition of a hedge, you’d like to somehow convert this payoff vector into an updated one looking more like [0, 0, 0, 0]. Due to the fact that you’ve only wagered any money on one of the four elementary events, it seems natural to place some bets on the other three and see what happens. Indeed, by nature of the odds considered in this simplified version of the problem, betting the same amount of $100 on each remaining outcome yields the payoff vector we are interested in, namely [0, 0, 0, 0]. Therefore you hedge your position by betting $100 on the three parlays A & not B at 4.00, not A & B at 4.00 and not A & not B at 4.00.
Autist note: Betting on both [not A & B] and [not A & not B] such that no matter the outcome in game B, your result remains the same, is of course equivalent to simply placing a bet on not A. Therefore, the only parlay that you’ll really have to make use of in your hedging process is [A & not B].
“How do you avoid being scammed/rugged by people?”
Or you could set up a written contract, but that’s no fun.
Happy to see our following really picking up on the bonus rugging lately.
We hope you enjoyed reading the opening BowTiedBettor Q&A and, again, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments section below.
See you in the betting pools, anon.
Until next time…
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Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind. These are *opinions* written by an anonymous group of mathematicians who moved into betting.