Naturally, as a matched bettor, you will have money in various betting accounts.
After all, to “match” a bet, you need to have at least two accounts in most cases.
This amount of money you have spread across your accounts is known as your matched betting float.
Consider the following example.
You deposit $250, and Sportsbet gives you $250 in bonus bets as a deposit bonus.
As matched bettors, we know we can convert this $250 bonus into ~$200 guaranteed profit through a standard matched betting play.
If you’re new to matched betting and want to learn how we do this, I recommend checking out my FREE beginner’s guide here.
We know to “match” these bets we’re going to need to lay them at Betfair.
Let’s say we deposit $200 into our Betfair account to cover lay bets.
Our accounts will look like:
Then let’s say we manage to convert all our Sportsbet bonus bets into $200 profit.
Our accounts will then look something like this:
But now we need more bonus bets.
We’ll sign up for Ladbrokes and get a $250 deposit match bonus, and we’ll do the same at Pointsbet.
Now our accounts look like this:
Bonus bets: $500
As you can see, we’ve now got over $1,000 in cash sitting in our betting accounts.
This amount of money is known as our float.
For some of you, having a $1,000 float will be no big deal.
For others, it may be impossible because you may not have that kind of cash sitting around.
Maybe you can only afford to keep a $300 float, or even less.
That’s okay! You can still make profits.
Some ways to manage a small matched betting float
The first thing you can do is split your bonus bets.
If you have a $50 bonus bet, you can split it into two $25 bets, or even four $12.50 bets:
Splitting your bonus bets will reduce the liability you have in Betfair, so instead of needing $100 to cover a lay bet, you’ll only need $50, or $25.
This automatically cuts your float in half.
The second thing you can do is choose bets with lower odds. Generally, higher bonus retention comes with higher odds, but it also requires a much bigger float.
Look at this example using the calculator at bonusbank:
In this bet, we have back odds of 15 and lay odds of 16. This is typical of something you might see on a horse race.
We have excellent retention of 85.45%.
However, because the odds are so high, you need $650 in your Betfair to cover the lay.
If you have a $5,000 float, this isn’t a big deal. But if you have a $500 float, this is impossible.
A better option would be to take something like this:
In this bet, we have back odds of 4, and lay odds of 4.5.
These are typical odds of a draw on a soccer game, or maybe a heavy underdog in rugby.
In this case, we have split our bonus bet so it’s only $25 instead of $50.
Because of the low odds, we only need $58.66 in Betfair to cover the lay.
Even with a $300 float, this is no problem at all.
The retention is 65.36% which isn’t the best, but it’s not terrible either. And besides, it’s only temporary!
Once you build your float up, you can start taking bets with higher retention.
Managing your float requires some finesse, especially if you are betting on high odds.
On those bets, it’s possible for your accounts to move by $500+ in a single bet.
Of course, you never actually lose money – if you “lose” $500 in Betfair, you’ll win around $540 at the bookie, giving you a $40 profit.
But you need to manage those big swings so you don’t end up with thousands of dollars in one bookie and nothing left in Betfair to cover your lays.
However, managing your float is something you’ll learn intuitively as you advance in your matched betting career.
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