How To Make The Most Of Your Bookmaker Bonus


You've just signed up with a new bookmaker and received a deposit bonus. How can you make the most of your bookmaker welcome bonus? In this article we show you how you can try to create a surebet and potentially turn your bookmaker bonus into cash.

When you sign up with a new bookmaker, you will often receive a deposit bonus or a free bet. Unfortunately the majority of bookmakers do not let you withdraw your bonus until you have bet the full amount of the bonus a number of times and at a set minimum odds. So the question is, is it possible to create a surebet and turn our bookmaker bonus into guaranteed cash?

On this page, we'll be finding out how to satisfy these conditions while ensuring we get most of our bonus. Fortunately there is an almost risk free way of securing your bonus.

1. How To Convert Your Bonus Into Cash

Creating A Surebet From Your Bookmaker Bonus

After you have opened an account with the bookmaker of your choice, you make a first deposit and receive the bonus. Now you need to take the following steps:

Step 1: Open an account with a betting exchange

Why open an account with a betting exchange? With a betting exchange you yourself can act in the role of the bookmaker. Not only can you place bets yourself, but importantly you can also lay bets. We'll explain why this important later in the article.

In principle all that matters is that you have an account with a betting exchange, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Betfair. You could also open an account with their rival Betdaq or if you prefer you can sign up with What you do need to take into account is the amount of commission that you will pay on your exchange bets. For the purposes of this article, we are going to use Matchbook as (at the time of writing) they have the lowest commission rates.

Step 2. Place a bet with your bookmaker

Now let's place a bet with our bookmaker. In theory it doesn’t really matter which sport you choose, but we would recommend you place a bet on a major football league such as the Premier League. Why? Let us explain in step 3.

Step 3: Make the exact opposite bet with your betting exchange

Now we need to place a bet on Matchbook that is the opposite of the bet we placed with our bookmaker. For example, if you bet with a bookmaker on Southampton to win an upcoming Premier League match, with your Matchbook account you will now bet AGAINST Southampton. You are able to do this so called lay betting, whereby you make a bet with another customer, just as a bookmaker would do.

The reason we want to place a bet on a major sporting event or league such as the Premier League is because we can pretty much be guaranteed the ability to lay our bet on the betting exchange of our choice, in this example, Matchbook. If we choose an obscure league or tournament, we may not find someone willing to take our lay bet on the betting exchange, or even worse, the particular league or tournament may not even have markets listed on the exchange at all.

You will also more than likely need to offer slightly higher odds on Matchbook than the odds you received with your bookmaker for this bet. The closer your Matchbook odds are to the bookmaker’s betting odds, the better it is for you.

2. Bookmaker Bonus Surebet Example: Southampton vs West Ham

Let’s say that you have opened an account with Winner Sports and you have deposited £100. This means you get a 100% bonus, an extra £100. You are paying £100 in, but you now have £200 to play with.

Winner Sports Bonus Small Print

As we discussed earlier in this article, you can’t cash the bonus immediately. The number of times you must turnover (bet) your bonus before you can withdraw it as cash varies from bookmaker to bookmaker. Some demand a single turnover, meaning you must bet the total of your bonus just once, while others demand you turnover your bonus a number of times. The fewer times you must turnover your bonus, the better. Having to bet your bonus upwards of five times can have a big impact on the amount you will be left with to withdraw as cash after your turnover is complete. With each round of betting you are not only risking your bonus (even if betting conservatively) but more importantly, bookmaker commission will eat into your bonus. So again, the fewer times you must turnover your bonus, the better. It’s also important to note the minimum odds you must bet when turning over your bonus. The majority of bookmakers have odds of 1.50 set as the minimum.

In this case, let's say that Winner Sports demands that you must bet the total of your bonus 3 times, meaning you need a total turnover of £600. As you can also not bet odds below 1.50, the risk of losing the entire bonus would be relatively high in the traditional way.

Pick your bet

Now you bet with Winner, betting on a Southampton home win against West Ham.

You see Southampton are at odds of 1.75 to win the match at Winner Sports. So you bet the entire £200 (our deposit plus bonus) on this result at these odds for a total return of £350, a profit of £150 should Southampton win.

...and bet the opposite with Matchbook

Now you bet the exact opposite with Matchbook i.e. a lay bet against Southampton. It's important to note here that we want our liability to be exactly the same as the amount that we can profit on our Winner Sports Southampton bet. So in his case £150 (£350 return - £200 bet stake).

Southampton lay odds

To determine the amount you want to enter as the 'Backer's Stake', you can simply enter amounts until the liability equals the exact same amount your stand to profit from your bookmaker bet. Or depending upon commissions to be taken into account, you can use this simple calculation:

Backer's Stake = Liability / (Decimal odds – 1)

In our example you can lay Southampton at odds of 1.776. Our maximum liability is £150. This is the amount that you will lose with Matchbook if Southampton wins.

Let's then consider each scenario.

Scenario 1: Southampton draws or loses

BookmakerBalanceNet ProfitPoints
Winner Sports  £100 + (£100 bonus) £0 - £100
Matchbook £150 £343.52 £193.52
Total £250 + (£100 bonus) £343.52 £93.52

As you can see, in this case, you have no money left in the Winner Sports account. Instead, you now have significantly more money in your Matchbook account - so effectively you have transferred the majority of your Winner Sports bonus (£100) to your Matchbook account (£93.52). And you can withdraw this money at any time.

Scenario 2: Southampton wins

BookmakerBalanceNet ProfitPoints
Winner Sports  £100 + (£100 bonus) £250 + (£100 bonus) £150
Matchbook £150 £0 - £150
Total £250 + (£100 bonus) £250 + (£100 bonus) £0

This is the least desirable outcome, however it is not a disaster. You may have lost your £200 with Matchbook, but you made a £200 profit on your Winner Sports account. So essentially we broke even. No harm done.

You can now repeat the 3 step process with another bet until either the bonus finally ends up in your Matchbook account, or you meet the wager requirement for Winner Sports and can withdraw your bonus from there.

3. Always Follow The Same Pattern

This routine can be applied to every bookmaker bonus. There are only two things to keep in mind.

#1 - The Lay bet with your betting exchange should be as close as possible to the bookmaker’s odds. Anything else is a waste of money.

#2 - Your maximum possible loss with your betting exchange should exactly match the amount you stand to profit from the bet you place with your bookmaker.

4. Things To Keep In Mind

The great thing about this bonus trick is that you can save yourself a majority portion of the bonus with almost no risk. However even in rare instances, things can go wrong.

For example, there is the possibility of making an error when entering your bets. So you should always double and triple check that all entries are correct. You could for example accidentally bet on a Southampton win with both Winner Sports and Matchbook. And even with a risk free Bonus transfer, you could place a bet of more money than you intended.

In instances where games are cancelled, sometimes the bookmakers have different rules for repayments. In football, cancellations are rare, and so the rules are very consistent; in tennis however things are very different. It is therefore important to become familiar with the specific rules of the bookmakers in advance in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.


For anyone who has not yet opened an account with a bookmaker, this explanation of how to use bonuses provides an excellent means of bolstering your betting capital quickly and efficiently.

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