How to set up accounts for value betting, arbitrage betting and matched betting

There are some pitfalls when it comes to value betting, arbitrage betting and matched betting. Here is a list of 8 tips to get you started with your own betting account, without making the most typical rookie mistakes.

But, before we go through the specific things to think of when setting up a new account at a bookmaker, we need to establish the single most important rule: 

We play by the bookie’s rules.

This implies that we need to be careful when we set up our account and do not give them any reason to withhold our hard earned profits, because they will if they can. The bookies know that people do use them for value betting, arbitrage betting and matched betting they usually have different terms and conditions between them which are crucial to read. This is especially important if you are thinking of using one of the bonuses the bookie is offering. 

The 3 proven ways of making money on betting are;

  1. Value betting

  2. Arbitrage betting

  3. Matched betting

So the bookmakers obviously don’t like it. For the rest of the article please note that we are not affiliated with any bookmakers in any form or way. In fact, the bookies don’t like us as at all, as we help people beat them. For the article we simply had to chose one bookmaker to use as an example and selected on the major European ones (which also has a lot of edges on Trademate).

Further Resources on Matched Betting, Arbitrage Betting and Value Betting

  1. This article explains the difference between an arbitrage bet and value betting

  2. This article discusses the pros and cons of matched, arbitrage and value betting.

  3. This article covers the experiences and thoughts on pros and cons of arbing vs value betting by the experienced Danish arber called Vida.

Continuing on with tips on getting bonuses

As we can see in the bonus terms and conditions at one of the major bookmakers:

Extraction of the  bonus terms and conditions  at one of the major bookmakers

Extraction of the bonus terms and conditions at one of the major bookmakers

As we see marked in red, the bookie usually reserves the right to do whatever they want with the bonus. If you are to read the general terms and conditions as well, you will see that it is a long list of disclaimers which underlines the importance of always being careful when setting up the account. 

8 STEPS to signing up with a bookmaker

Next we will show the signup process at a bookmaker and we start by clicking on the register tab:

This is a typical bookie menu bar.

This is a typical bookie menu bar.

1. Personal details

After you click ‘register’ you will typically get here.

After you click ‘register’ you will typically get here.

When providing your personal details, be sure to double check that it is the same as in your passport and credit card. Remember, we play by the bookie’s rules, and there should not be any discrepancies that the bookie can catch you on. The email address needs to be one you use, because you sometimes need to verify the account through email. This also holds for your phone number


2. Address and phone number 


The address you use needs to be a place you live, or where you get your bills. You need a piece of paper with both your name and address on for verification purposes when you are withdrawing your money later on. This is to prove that you live where you live, and to make it more difficult for you to have several accounts. 

The mobile number needs to be in use as the bookie also can use this for verification purposes. 

3. Password and security question 

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Either you are doing matched betting, arbitrage or value betting you will usually have several betting accounts at once. When it comes to your password there is two main approaches: 

1.    One password for every site. This is easy to track, but leaves you exposed if someone is to find out your password, so choose a nonpersonal difficult one.  

2.    Different passwords for every site. This can be hard to track, so it can be smart to  use a password manager like Lastpass to keep track on all the different passwords. Lastpass is free to use. This will also help you log in to the bookmakers fast, saving essential time when placing value bets.


Security questions are rarely something you need to use but be sure to track them if necessary. Bookmakers use this to verify that it is actually you who are doing the betting.

4.    Terms and conditions 


This is maybe the most important part to remember, because if you do not have control on this you could potentially lose money. If you are using a bonus provided by the bookmaker, you should read the bonus terms and conditions carefully. This will give you all the parameters you need to consider for you to unlock the bonus. It is usually much shorter than the general terms and conditions and easier to deal with. Some bookmakers also acquire you to tick off boxes before you make the account for you to be able to get the bonus, so be sure to tick off the appropriate boxes. If you forget this, it is usually not a problem as the bookmakers want you to have the bonus. Customer service can be used if you have any problems and by experience using the chat is the most efficient choice.


5.    Deposits  

Now, that you have made your betting account you need to deposit money. The deposit button is usually the biggest one and should never be hard to find. When you click on it, you will usually get options for how to deposit money (Innskudd = Deposit in Norwegian).

Different types of payment options when depositing on Unibet.

Different types of payment options when depositing on Unibet.

When depositing money there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 

1.    You do need to withdraw money with the same method as you deposited with in the first place, so keep this in mind. This is usually for money laundering purposes, so it should not be a problem for you unless you are a criminal. 

2.    Skrill and Neteller deposits will usually mean that you can’t get the bonus. For the bookie this can be a sign that you are a serious player, and you should try to avoid using these methods. If you are to use eWallets, it is important to use the same currency between bookmaker and eWallet as well as your bank account. This is to avoid getting exchange rate fees.  This article covers how eWallets work and how you can save money when using them.

3. If you have ticked off the boxes for the bonus, deposited money and then did not receive your bonus, don’t worry! A quick and kind chat with customer service will usually fix the problem.

Therefore, you should try to keep it simple and use credit cards to deposit money, this is the preferable way for most people. This will keep you under the radar and keep you away from getting flagged by the bookies. In this article you can read some additional tips on how to reduce your chance of getting limited by the bookies.


6.    Verification 

It can also be beneficial to have on hand what you need to get verified by the bookie when you are setting up the betting account. There are usually three things you need to get verified: 

1.    Picture of your passport. Be sure that the picture is of good quality and no edges are hidden. 

2.    Picture of your credit card which is used for deposits. Good quality and no hidden edges also apply here. 

3.    Picture of certificate of residence (with the address you used when signing up) or a bill with the same address and your name.  


These things are needed so you can be verified when you are later doing withdrawals from the bookie. The bookmakers are doing this to minimise the chance of people having several betting accounts. It can be smart to get verified as early as possible because they usually try to hold onto your money as long as they can. This can make withdrawals time consuming exercises and getting verified early can mean saved time and then more profits later on. 

Verification can usually be done manually by uploading your documents to the verification tab in the menu. If this is not the case, it is easily done by chatting with customer support. But be careful, this can be a sign of you being a serious professional so it can be an idea to not go out of your way to verify your account at once, unless it’s intuitive. 

7.    Withdrawals 

Some bookies operate with clauses in the terms and conditions that says that if you try to withdraw before your bonus is turned over, they can cancel the bonus and take the money on your account. Be careful and read the at least the bonus terms and conditions

The bookies usually ask for verification when you start a withdrawal process, and some bookies can use weeks verifying you. Therefore, it can be an idea to get verified immediately after signing up. I usually send in my documents as soon as I’ve completed the registration process. After you are verified the bookies might also use some time confirming your withdrawal. I have experience with the withdrawal process taking more than a month, so verifying early can help a lot. There are differences from country to country and some places they ask for verification the moment you set up an account, which should speed up the process.

If you either need the money to do matched betting, acquiring bonuses elsewhere or you are limited by the bookie for value betting or arbitrage it is important to withdraw the money as fast as possible. The things you can do to speed up the process is:

1.    Get verified early on. 

2.    Keep on top of the process by talking to customer support every other day. Keep in mind that they have your money so be nice to them. It is usually beneficial to give them an impression that you are stupid, so keep the language simple and slip in a stupid question or two. 


8.    Speed in betting 

The faster thing goes, the more volume of bets can be made which will generate higher profits either you are doing value betting, arbitrage betting or matched betting. Some tips to make things go faster:

1.    Use password managers like lastpass. These will make it easy for you to have safe passwords and keep track of them. It will also provide you with a 1 click login to the different bookmakers you are using. 

2.    Use apps like Spectacle for Mac to shift and resize browser windows quickly between bookmakers and Trademate Sports

3.    Verify your account early. 

4.    Be on top of the withdrawal process and email the bookie frequently. 

5.    Generally remember that we are at the mercy of the bookies, trying to avoid any problems with them at almost all cost. 

Key Takeaway

To conclude, there is one important things to remember: 

We are always at the mercy of the bookies, but as long as you follow these simple steps you should be all right! There are rarely any big problems with depositing or withdrawing money other than it can take some time. All these tips can seem overwhelming, but they will come naturally to you after a while!


How to bet? The 10 Step Trademate Guide to Improve Your Betting

Here are some key concepts you should know about, educational resources, tools and practical steps you can take to improve your betting.

1. Find value from odds deviations at bookmakers.

Different bookmakers offer different odds, which are possible to exploit through value bets. What a value bet is and how they occur is covered in these articles

2. Start with clearing signup bonuses on the soft bookmakers.

The majority of soft bookmakers offer bonuses with a turnover requirement, e.g. a 10x. You can use arbitrage to clear these bonuses. For instance let’s say you are betting on an Over / Under in a basketball game. Bookie A offer 2.05 in odds on an over, while Bookie B offers a 2.05 in odds on under. By placing $100 on each side, you have a surebet with a guaranteed profit of 2.5%. [ 1 / (1/2.05 + 1/2.05)]. Remember that you’re goal is to clear the bonus, so you can go break even by taking 2.0 and 2.0 or even go slightly below. Just make sure that your bonus is large enough to justify taking bets with a slightly negative expected value.

3. Know that “tipsters” who are profitable would never give away their advice for free.

Most tipster make money from affiliate deals with bookmakers where they get money if you use their links to sign up to the bookmaker site or by getting a percentage of losses made by bettors. If a tipster has an actual edge or inside information they will act upon this themselves. Only once they have taken a position in the game will they be willing to give up this information. The result being that they get better odds than you. For instance if a tipster recommends Troy at home versus South Florida in the NCAA at 1.75. They could take an earlier position at 1.80. Once people start following their advice and the market drops to let’s say 1.65 they can take a bet on the other side to make a surebet. Most tipster also don’t want to give away their track record and for the once that do, there is no guarantee that they have not simply deleted some of the bets they have lost. For the tipsters who actually do show you their full track record, the sample size is often very low. If they only place 250 bets a season for example their results will mainly be down to luck. There are two good articles on Pinnacle, which covers how to evaluate tipsters track records and survivorship bias.

4. Don’t bet on accumulators.

This article covers the maths behind why were created to make you loose a lot of money

5. Not having a staking strategy.

Even if you are placing profitable trades, without a correct staking strategy, variance could wipe you out. So what does a profitable staking strategy look like? Well there’s two options you can deploy profitably. A flat stake, and a proportional stake.With a flat bet size, you either put the same wager on every single game, or you put the same wager on games that have the same odds and edge. Flat bet sizing is fairly easy to use, but it's hard to select a proper size. A size too big will increase the chance of going broke, while a size too low will not yield big enough profits.A proportional strategy is where you place a certain percentage of your current bankroll on each bet. Kelly's Criterion is a formula that maximizes the growth rate of your bankroll. You should be aware that following the Kelly Criterion is high risk. You can reduce your risk by following for instance 30% of whatever the Kelly Criterion tells you to. I’ve also made a video where I explain the Kelly Criterion and how to apply it in betting.

Alternatively you can read this article about bankroll management using the Kelly Criterion for sports betting.  

6. Know how bookmakers work and measure by whether you are able to beat Pinnacle or the closing lines of the other sharp bookmakers.

You can read about the closing line here. 

7. Not tracking performance or analysing your game.

Lack of knowledge and analysis of your performance against the bookmakers is one of the biggest factors in not becoming a profitable long-term sports trader. Whether you are a poker player or day trader, keeping track of your results enables you to determine whether your strategy is working and whether you are running good or bad. This can in turn enable you to change your strategy for the better. When trading sports you should measure your performance versus the closing lines of the sharp bookmakers. If you are able to consistently place bets where you get better odds than the bookmakers closing lines you should be profitable in the long term.

8. If you are profitable at the soft bookmakers you will be limited.

This article covers some tips to make you stay under the bookies radar and make your accounts last longer. In this section you can find interviews with industry insiders and their advice for avoiding limitations

9. Market liquidity = information

The bookmakers employ top sports experts and data scientists who take in huge amounts of information on everything from lineups, injuries and team form to place their initial odds line. In other words, information is used to calculate the probability of let’s say Arsenal beating Tottenham this weekend. One of the best sports traders in the world is Tony Bloom, the owner of Brighton Football Club and the betting syndicate Starlizard ( According to Business Insider, Starlizard employs 160 workers who spend their day crunching statistics and building their own computer models for calculating the odds of sporting events, e.g. Arsenal winning. To run a company of Starlizard’s size and pay all the employees, the betting size and volume needs to be huge, in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of pounds per bet. If they believe that the bookmaker are giving odds of 2.0, when their own calculations say that the true probability of Arsenal winning is 1.9. They will bet a large amount on any odds above 1.9, causing the odds to drop until it reaches 1.9. It is not possible to place large bets on the soft bookmakers, so the professionals perform their betting at the sharp bookmakers who offer higher stake limits on games. Once the odds goes down on one side, it will inevitably rise on the other. So now the odds of a draw or away win could be at 3.40 and 3.90 respectively. Now, someone else might believe that there is value to be had by betting on an away win based on the information they possess. They will then place a bet on Tottenham to win, shifting the odds line again. Eventually the odds line will reach equilibrium, where no-one is willing to place any more money on any of the game’s outcomes. If you are going to place $1 million on the outcome of a game, you better make sure that you get it right, if not you will go out of business over time. This also implies that when someone is willing to place such high stakes on a game, they possess information that suggests that this is a profitable bet. Thus one can draw the conclusion that the more money is placed on a game (liquidity) is equal to information. Watching and analysing these high-liquidity markets, allows you to follow big movers such as Tony Blom. Essentially giving you access to their positions and information.

10. Some good free tools and resources are:

This article covers some good free tools and resources to improve your betting.