Underlaying and Overlaying Explained in Matched Betting

The possibility of hearing terms such as underlay and overlay mentioned is high then you’re familiar with matched betting. If your are just starting, maybe these next couple of words can give you an idea of what this means: underlay and overlay are lay techniques which result in varied profit depending on the outcome of the bet. It gives you the option of turning a non risk-free offer into a potential risk-free offer. Simply, when you underlay a bet and that bet wins at the bookmaker, you will end up with more profit. And when you overlay a bet and that bet loses at your chosen bookmakers you will make more profit.

What is Underlaying and Overlaying?

Underlaying a particular bet means that if that bet were to win on the bookmakers then you will end up with more profit and vice versa, if it goes on the other direction, if you were to lose on the bookmakers, you will end up with less profit than if you were to lay the bet normally as per the calculator. Overlaying is then the opposite of underlaying and results in less profit if the bookmaker bet wins, but more profit if the bookmaker bet loses.

When you would Underlay

Let’s say you are placing a trigger bet on a refund offer, your favorite team needs to lose so you can receive the free bet. Usually, on these offers you can have a risk of not triggering the free bet and also you can occur the lose of the qualifying bet.

Underlaying means you lay less than the amount you would if you wanted equal profit. Laying less means that we will lose less if our exchange bet loses (bookmaker bet wins), but then it also means we win less if our lay bet wins (back bet loses). Let’s take an example so we can understand better, how underlaying and overlaying works.

Example Offer: Money back as a free bet (up to £10) if your team loses. The issue with this kind of offer is that if we back the winning team we don’t get the £10 free bet, however we still incur the trigger bet loss. Our solution in this case is to underlay: lay slightly less than needed, meaning you win slightly more on the exchange if the bookmaker bet wins. So, using our example, if we choose to pick a team with back odds of 2.0 and lay odds of 2.2 (as in the above screenshot), then we see we lose £1.16 if the team wins using the normal lay method. Looking at the underlay box, we can underlay such that if our backed team wins we don’t lose anything. But if the team loses we incur an additional 93p loss. (£2.09). However, losing on the bookmaker means we triggered our £10 free bet.

When you would Overlay

As before, let’s use an example offer. In this case, to trigger the free bet and you want your chosen team to win. Again, these offers come with the risk of not triggering the free bet and still occurring a loss from your matched qualifying bet.

Overlaying is laying more than you usually would. Laying more means that you could lose more if our exchange bet loses (bookmaker bet wins), but then it also means you could win less if our back bet wins (lay bet loses). Which is fine as we’ll be using it for offers that reward us with free bets if our back bet wins. To understand better, we are going to use the above screenshot and an adjusted example offer to explain what the overlaying implies in your matched betting experience.

Example Offer adjusted: Now, the offer implies that you win your stake as a free bet (up to £10) if your team wins. The issue with this kind of offer is that if our team doesn’t win then we don’t get the £10 free bet, however we still incur the trigger bet loss when placing the trigger bet. Our solution is to overlay. As before, if we choose to pick a team with back odds of 2.0 and lay odds of 2.2 (as in the above screenshot). Looking at the overlay box, we can overlay such that if the team loses (exchange bet wins) we don’t risk losing anything. But if the horse wins we lose £1.52 more (£2.64). However, winning on the bookmaker means we trigger the £10 free bet.

We believe these methods of laying are really useful on specific promotions, when a bookmaker will give away your stake as a free bet if a specific team wins/loses on a specific tournament/race and the changes of that team/horse to retrieve the expected result (for triggering the free bet) is “uncertain.”

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