What is Gubbing?

In a nutshell, gubbing is when an online bookmaker applies some – potentially drastic – restrictions on your online betting account. Why do they do this and how can you avoid it?

Find out more today.

What Is Gubbing?

An Overview of Gubbing and Gub Betting

Promotional offers, especially for new customers, are popular in online betting to attract new business. Leading horse racing betting sites also use these promotions to tempt a lapsed customer back – a free bet offer is a common way to do this. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of getting something for nothing? Stick a few free bets on the races or the races or the football, get lucky, gain a lovely profit without no outlay.

There’s a potential dark side to taking advantage of these promotions, though. As you know, bookmakers are businesses, not charities and their model is built around making profit. Daily betting is basically a battle of wits between punter and bookmaker.

In every bet, there has to be a winner and loser. In casino parlance, “the house always wins”, and a bookie is essentially another form of casino and they always want to win. This means if your bookie feels like you are taking too much value from their promotions – only placing wagers using free bets or matched betting – and then winning without any personal outlay, you will probably receive an email from the bookmaker. Sadly, they will not be congratulating you on your savvy gambling strategy and asking for advice!

This email may inform you that you have been gubbed. They won’t use that terminology – “gubbing” is a colloquial term coined by matched bettors. They will, however, inform you that you are no longer permitted to take advantage of any further promotional offers, such as free bets or matched betting, and you may have a deposit limit placed on your account. This means that you have been gubbed. Disaster!

What Happens When You Get Gubbed?

When you have been gubbed that bookmaker will apply some restrictions on your betting account.

The most common impacts of gubbing are that:

  1. You’ll be banned from any offers and promotions, such as free bets or matched betting.
  2. You might have a deposit limit placed on your account. For example, you may only be allowed to deposit £5 at a time. This may impact your ability to bet on high profile and leading horse racing events at appealing odds that lead to big wins.
  3. Your account is closed.

Keep checking the email address that you used to set up your betting account. This is how a bookmaker will inform you that you have been gubbed. There will be no warnings ahead of time, though. Remember, gubbing can strike at any time for a smart matched bettor that exploits promotions smartly but legally.

Why Have I Been Gubbed?

You may consider yourself an everyday, normal punter and wonder what you have been gubbed by a bookmaker. It’s a good idea to understand why bookmakers are likely to take this step.

First thing’s first – bookies are not necessarily interested in your wins and losses. What will capture the attention is taking too much value from promotional offers, though.

If you are making money from bookies without spending any, they’ll spot a theme emerging.

Here are some of the reason why you might get gubbed by a bookmaker. If you’re worried that you may be sailing close to the wind as a matched bettor, review your strategy to avoid garnering unwanted attention.

You only place bets using promotions

Bookmakers don’t have a problem with customers utilising their promotions. That’s what they are for – to convince you to give a bookie your business.

Try not to make it too obvious that you’re only betting when an offer is available, though. This is one of the easiest ways to attract the attention of bookies, especially if you win more often than not.

In the eyes of a bookmaker, a normal punter will enjoy betting under a range of circumstances. Placing dummy wagers (also known as mug bets) alongside matched betting is one of the golden rules of avoiding gubbing.

You extract too much value from the bookie

We said earlier that bookies do not care about how much you gain or lose, and we stand by that – to an extent. Nobody will get gubbed because they placed a bet at good odds and it came in for them. That’s the name of the game when it comes to gambling. As the old adage goes, you win some, you lose some.

All the same, bookies do want you to spend more money that you extract from them. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s capitalism. Your bookmaker will review the value they are extracting from your gambling. Just like you likely chose an online betting site because it had the most attractive odds on offer, a bookmaker also wants to extract a profit from their customers.

Experienced and savvy matched bettors use matched betting software to get the best possible odds on backing vs. laying. If you’re using arbitrage betting to cover all possible odds and make a profit whatever the outcome of a football match, horse race or other event, you’ll likely end up getting gubbed.

A bookmaker does not extract any value from this kind of matched betting. That’s why these matched bettors end up gubbed to protect the profit margins of the bookmaker.

Equally, if you keep winning – even by chance – your account could be restricted. At best, you are a financial liability for the betting site. At worst, you have insider information or are placing wagers on rigged events. This suspicion might arouse unwanted attention and encourage people to look closer at your betting patterns.

You are multi-accounting

Online bookmakers have a simple rule – one account per punter. This is why you’ll invariably need to provide ID when you sign up for an account. If you use multiple accounts at once, also known as, “gnoming”, getting gubbed is the least of your concerns.

Multi-accounting is an act of fraud, and you may face criminal charges. Don’t try to get away with this, and please do not ask us for advice on how you can pull the wool over a bookmaker’s eyes. We will not entertain any conversation on this topic.

How Can I Avoid Being Gubbed?

Getting gubbed can seriously impact your enjoyment of online betting. This means that you should avoid gubbing wherever possible.

The secret to avoid being gubbed is to place mug bets. Don’t be deterred by the name. “Mug punter” sounds like an insult you’d hear on an episode of The Only Way is Essex, but as you’ll see, it’s a good thing. Mug betting means convincing a bookmaker that you are just another gambler placing bets and hoping for the best.

If you want to practice mug betting, follow these tips:

  • Don’t always take the best odds. It will not go unnoticed if you are only betting when a special offer is made, designed to entice new customers. Place less appealing mug bets from time to time to keep a bookmaker off your scent
  • Bet on a wide array of different sports. Even if you’re primarily interested in horse racing, occasionally dip into betting on football, rugby, boxing and even novelty wagers, such as politics. This helps you look like a hobbyist punter, not a specialist that is outsmarting the industry
  • Use in-play betting. This will help you resemble an average punter that is caught up in the excitement of live sport, not one that is finding a way to circumnavigate a business model
  • Bet local. If you’re wagering on football, for example, just make a wager on your city’s local derby. Correctly guessing the score of three games in the Bulgarian third tier will raise eyebrows and could be another reason why your account is gubbed

You can use free bets for your mug betting so you don’t end up out of pocket. When these run dry, reach into your pocket and place a small bet using the funds you have in your account. As a rule, try to place one mug wager for every four or five regular alternatives.

Mug bets may result in short-term losses, but they may help you keep your account open in the long term. It’s worth taking these chances to avoid the dreaded email that announces your account has been gubbed. If that happens, it can be a real pain to reverse the decision.

Can I Be Ungubbed?

So, your account’s been gubbed. Nightmare. One of the most common questions in this situation is, can accounts be ungubbed?

The short answer is yes … but you may not enjoy the method. Basically, you need to lose a few wagers. As discussed, gubbing arises when you no longer seem to provide value to a bookmaker. If you give the impression that you’re just another hapless punter that enjoyed a hot streak, account restrictions are likelier to be lifted. Bookies love a loser, after all. If you’re pumping money into their coffers without receiving any winnings in return, you’re the perfect patsy.

If you have not had any deposit restrictions placed on your account but have been banned from parking in special offers, gamble as normal for a while. This will regain the trust of a bookmaker. You’ll resemble a loyal gambler, not a matched betting mastermind. Keep this impression up before reverting back to the mean, though. Your account will probably still be watched closely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most popular questions we get asked about gubbing:

How do I know if I have been gubbed?

You well receive an email from your bookmaker announcing restrictions to your account. Do not expect a warning or a slap on the wrist first. Gubbing can come without warning.

How do I stop gubbing?

Mug bets are the most successful way to avoid gubbing. if you use your account for generic gambling, in addition to taking advantage of offers and promotions, your bookmaker will not see you as a major threat to their profit margin.

Throw a pound or two on a sure-thing football match every now and again, or back the favourite in a horse race at extremely short odds. Try to use a free bet for this where possible, but spending money will also keep your account in the good graces of a bookmaker.

What is a mug bet?

A mug bet is essentially a wager that is not designed to turn a profit for the punter. If you practice mug betting, you are less likely to look like an opportunistic gambler that is exploiting offers and favourable odds. Accounts that place mug bets are less likely to be gubbed by bookies.

How do gubbed accounts make money?

You can still turn a profit if your account has been gubbed, but this is much more challenging. To be honest, you’re better off turning to a different betting site and starting over. There are no shortage of bookmakers out there that will gladly accept your customer. Take a look at some of our recent posts for recommendations.

Learn from your mistakes, though. Avoid drawing attention to winning bets through matched betting or similar techniques. Also, take a look at the parent business that owns the site that gubbed your account and ensure the same company does not operate your new choice. Your name or IP address may be clocked.

Will matched betting get you gubbed?

Taking advantage of matched betting is not a standalone reason for gubbing an account. Only using matched betting, however, is. Bookies will not be shy about restricting accounts that constantly take money from their coffers without pumping anything in. This one of the most common reasons for gubbing betting accounts.

I think I have been gubbed unfairly

If you feel that your gubbing was unjustified, take it up with the bookmaker. They are under no legal obligation to explain their decision, but if you’re a regular customer they may hear you out.

Be aware though, gubbing decisions are made on particular accounts, not generic data like an IP address. Pleading innocence on the grounds of mistaken identity without evidence is unlikely to sway hearts or minds.

In an apocalypse scenario you could complain to the UK Gambling Commission, but you’re unlikely to be invited to bet on this site again if you do so, regardless of the outcome.

Do all online bookies gub punters?

If you’re worried about gubbing, consider using a betting exchange site instead of a conventional online bookmaker. These sites pitch punters – and their own money – against each other, with no bookmaker overseeing the process. This means that such sites rarely gub customers, as accounts are opened and bets placed at the risk of the individual.

Summary

Gubbing is the bane of the lives of punters that enjoy matched betting. You’ll have to bet smart to avoid this outcome and stop the dreaded email accounting restrictions to your account.

Place occasional mug bets, avoid gnoming, and mix-and-match your bookmaker of choice when taking advantage of offers.

You might still end up being gubbed if you’re a skilled gambler that extracts more value from bookies than you offer. These techniques will minimise the risk of such an outcome, though.

The Best Online Betting Accounts

If you have been gubbed you may be looking for another online bookmaker, check out the best ones below who all have some great sign up offers: