Bookmaker Offers And Concessions - Scavenging For A Profit

Updated: 2894 Other

I would like to start this blog with a story that many readers willfind unbelievable, but is the absolute truth.In November 2000, a work colleague and I started to visit a newlyopened independent bookmaker's premises, which was convenientlyclose to our

Bookmaker Offers And Concessions - Scavenging For A Profit
Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

The Story

I would like to start this blog with a story that many readers will find unbelievable, but is the absolute truth.

In November 2000, a work colleague and I started to visit a newly opened independent bookmaker's premises. 


This shop was conveniently close to our place of work, 

We had been drawn in by a notice in the window stating that " bets could be placed and would be settled without deduction of the dreaded betting tax "

The tax at the time either 9, or 10%, I forget which.

We tended to visit the shop at lunchtime to place our bets for the horse racing that afternoon.

We soon got to know the regular clientele, shop manager, and staff, who were all very friendly and enjoyed discussing forthcoming sporting events.

About six months later, a fresh sign was placed in the shop window advising potential customers that the bookmaker was offering concessions on multiple bets.

Bookmaker Offers

All the bookmaker offers need to be considered - especially welcome are those offers that fit into your betting style.

Customers could place a Patent (Consisting of 7 bets, being 3 singles, 3 doubles, and a treble) for the price of 6 bets.

With similar free bets being offered for the larger multiple bets, such as Yankees, Lucky 15s and 31s, etc.

If you want to read more about patents and multiple bets please visit the betting school - types of bet article.

I took little notice of these concessions at the time, as I normally backed horses in singles, or the occasional ‘cheeky' each way doubles. 

However, a few months later, my colleague and I were chatting to another regular visitor to the shop, who explained that when settling an all correct multiple bet where the stake had been discounted, the punter would receive the return as if they had paid for all the individual bets that made up the multiple, 

Thus in the case of a Patent, they would pay for 6 bets, but if all 3 selections were successful, they would be paid out with a return that included 7 times the individual bet stake. 

Having given this matter some further thought, I realised that providing the punter could regularly find 3 winners, by placing a Patent they would benefit to the tune of a 1 bet stake ‘bonus', plus of course the winning generated by selecting all 3 winners.

Knowing how difficult it can be to identify 3 winners, the bookmaker was offering this concession as an incentive to punters in an attempt to get them to place riskier bets that would more often than not fail.

I took no further interest in this concession, as I was still concentrating on backing horses in singles and had no interest in placing multiple bets.

However, my colleague gave the matter further thought and after checking the terms and conditions relating to this concession, it appeared that the bookmaker was prepared to offer these free bets for any multiples on any sport with no minimum qualifying odds. 

This meant that a punter could effectively ‘buy money' through backing 3 exceptionally short-priced selections in mismatch events, in a Patent.

You knew that not only would the punter benefit from the small level of winnings generated from the singles, doubles, and treble, but they would also receive a return of their initial stake, plus the value of the free bet, as in the example below:

  • 1 pt win Patent
  • Novak Djokovic to beat me at tennis at 1/100 (believe me this would be the best value bet of the century).
  • Frankel to win a Seller at Catterick at 1/100.
  • England to beat San Marino at Football at 1/100.
  • Total Outlay: 6.00 pts.
  • Winnings: 0.12 pts.
  • Stake returned: 7.00 pts.
  • Total returned: 7.12 pts.
  • Profit: 1.12 pts.

Although the profit is not huge, it represents a return on investment of 18.67% and it is worth noting that the actual winnings represent only just 10.71% of the total profit.

My colleague therefore set aside a betting bank of 30 pts and started placing 1 pt Patents (total stake 6 pts), whenever he could find 3 long odds on mismatch selections from a wide range of sports that he had never previously considered as a betting proposition.

To be honest, he had only a modicum of knowledge regarding some of the sports on which he was finding selections to include in his Patents and was certainly not considering whether the odds provided value, 

He was only interested in finding near ‘dead certs' to bet on, leaving the value aspect to the fact that it was already built into the return for each bet due to the free bet concession. 

Although he suffered a very occasional failure when a long odd on favourite failed to win, within 1 month his initial betting bank had doubled in value, at which time he doubled his unit stake.

easy money

This scenario continued without too many problems until the end of the seventh month, when unsurprisingly he was told by the shop manager that his custom was no longer appreciated, 

By which time his betting bank stood a 2,724 pts and his unit stake for each Patent had risen to 32 pts, requiring an outlay of 192 pts per Patent.

To be honest, he had expected his bets to be refused long before then, so had in his own mind been betting on borrowed time for at least a couple of months 

The profits from this escapade have comfortably covered his betting requirements to this day.

Some readers may feel that my colleague was employing sharp practice and should not have taken advantage of what may have been an error in judgement by the bookmaker, however, in my opinion, he was playing by their rules and the bookmaker could have refused the bets at any time during the 7 month period.

Perhaps I should have jumped on to the ‘bandwagon' at some time during the period,

However I refrained not through any sense of loyalty to the bookmaker, but I felt that more than one punter playing the apparent loophole would surely result in the offer being quickly pulled by the bookmaker, thus reducing my colleague's opportunity to profit.

Whilst there will probably never be a more punter friendly bookmaker offer/concession as the one I have mentioned above, I have taken special notice of bookmaker offers/concessions since then.

I have developed some effective betting strategies for making a modest year on year profit, which I consider to be the equivalent of scavenging for a profit.

I will highlight a few of my favourite methods for making a profit from various bookmaker offers below. 

Refund of bet placed on a specific horse if it fails to win the race as a free bet

Obviously, this is a very useful offer if the punter intends to back the horse in question, as it effectively provides a no-risk wager on the horse.


However, it also provides an opportunity for punters who were not intending to back the horse to have a no-risk ‘saver' on a second runner in the race.

Even if the punter has placed their main bet on another runner in the race, or have a risk free interest in a race where they would not normally place a bet.

A recent example of this offer was the concession from Paddy Power which allowed punters to back Jack Hobbs in the opener at Kempton a few weeks ago. 

OK, he was the long odds on favourite, the early Price was around (1/3), the SP (1/5) and the offer was limited to just £10, so the return was only a few quid. 

However that still represents a 20/33% return on a risk-free bet and if it had lost, then the free bet could be used by the punter to back a selection of his/her choice afterwards.

All losing bets in a race refunded as a free bet if a specific horse (often the favourite) wins the race

This is a really useful offer if a punter intends to back a selection against the specified runner, especially if they believe that the specified horse is the main danger to their selection.

Clearly, this offer does not provide a guaranteed return if the eventual winner is not the punter's selection or the horse specified by the offer, but it does provide an element of insurance in the race.

Free bet in the next televised race if your selection wins at odds of 4/1, or greater

It is always great to back a winner at odds of 4/1 or greater, but getting a free bet on the next race is the icing on top of the cake. 


However, I have found that it is often difficult to make the best use of the free bet as there is very little time between races to fully assess the runners in order to make a solid selection on which to place the free bet.

I normally find that I have either placed a bet on my selection in the next race, earlier in the day at odds that may not be available later in the day, or alternatively I have dismissed the race as too difficult and therefore have no wish to place a bet on the race.

If I have already placed a bet in the race prior to qualifying for a free bet, I may decide to back the main danger to my selection, or ‘top up' my investment on my original selection using the free bet.

However, if neither of these options suits, or if I have no strong opinions on the race, I tend to back a runner at around 5/1 and then lay the same horse on the exchanges to guarantee a small profit whether the horse wins, or loses. OK, so the likely profit will be relatively low, but I believe that this strategy is better in the long run than taking a ‘flyer' on a runner that I don't really believe will win.

In addition, if my free bet selection wins at odds of 4/1 or greater, I will qualify for another free bet in the next race and therefore have the opportunity to consider the above options again and hopefully secure another small profit.

Refund of stakes as a free bet if your selection finished second in the race

I believe that this offer really offers the best value in small field races (7 runners, or less) when a selection is likely to start at odds of 4/1 or less, 

it effectively provides a free each-way bet on the punter's selection.

 If the punter's selection wins then great, but if it is beaten into second place, then the punter gets a second chance to turn the free bet back into real cash.

Second Place

Take advantage of bookmakers who offer this second place concession.

I used this strategy twice last Saturday, when backing The Corsican in the 7 runner 1.45 race at Newbury, which won at 4/1,

The free bet refund was not required and when backing Mutakayef which finished 2nd at 2/1 in the 3.10 at Ayr, which again had 7 runners. 

In the latter race the return of my stake as a free bet represented a better return than I would have received if I had backed the horse each way.

Enhanced Place Terms

When betting each way, I often find that my selection runs well but finishes just outside the places.


Therefore I will often place bets on my each-way selections with bookmakers who are offering one, or occasionally even two additional places, even if the odds on offer are slightly worse than the best that are offer.

This is a personal preference, but if two bookmakers are offering the same odds on the punter's each-way selection, why would the punter back the horse with a bookmaker who is offering to pay out on fewer places.

I appreciate that it takes time and effort to implement some of these strategies 

The return won't make a punter rich overnight, but I believe that any edge the punter can get over the bookmakers is worthwhile considering, 

Even a small profit from these strategies of say £2 per week, mounts up to over £100 per year, which for many punters, including myself is worth taking.

Let's not forget that even the Tiger will not turn down the opportunity to scavenge a snack, or a small meal if the opportunity arises.

I intend to update this blog as and when I identify new opportunities to scavenge a profit from bookmaker offers as and when I identify them.

I would also love to hear from readers that have comments regarding this article, or have deployed similar strategies to eke out profits from such offers and will be happy to add them to the list if they are in my view viable and the originator gives me permission to do so.

For anyone who is interested, I have added a link to the Bookmaker Offers and Concessions page on the OLBG site, which may assist anyone who wishes to start scavenging for a profit.

In the meantime, I wish all readers the best of luck whether they are scavenging for profits, or hunting the bookmakers down as we would normally expect the Tiger to do.

If you wish to read more about betting ideas please visit the betting school article on systems and strategies.

To view the latest offers from the bookies please visit the online bookmaker pages. 

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