How To Use Odds Boost Plus Why They Vary

Are you constantly getting Odds Boost or Power Play offers? Do your odds supercharge more than your mates?

Then you may be a bookies favourite customer.

Find out how this bookie promo really works and how to take advantage of it.

How it started

Corporate bookmakers are consistently trying to invent new promotions, to drive new customers and hold onto existing ones. To make an impact, their marketing departments need to tread the fine line of perceived generosity, profitability and innovativeness.

Ladbrokes were able to do this in 2016 when they introduced Odds Boost.

Once per day you would be able to click on any fixed odds product and have the price increase. A $4.20 priced horse might become $5.00, a $3.00 away team in the AFL might be pushed out to $3.50.

The promotion was impactful. So much so that it was only a matter of time before their corporate competitors introduced similar promotions.

Sportsbet were the first to take action, creating the Power Play. Not long after, William Hill, Crownbet and Neds did the same thing.

This marketing war has been a win for the punter as the bookies have left themselves open to promotional arbitrage (or matched betting). You’ll find a list of the best promos to arb on this Spring Carnival page by Bonus Money.

Betfair is a peer to peer platform for punters. As a low margin exchange, the odds don’t need boosting.

Generosity Rescinded

However, it seems that once Ladbrokes and Sportsbet captured the market attention they put in measures to reduce the generosity. Systematically, Odds Boost has become less and less relevant.

The first thing Ladbrokes and Sportsbet did was to reduce the boost, depending on the profile of your account.

For example, an account that contributes significant profit to the corporate bookmaker may be able to boost a $10 horse to odds of $13. A less lucrative account (for the bookmaker), however, may only be able to turn a $10 horse into an $11 proposition.

It seems the Odds Boost generosity is tiered, depending on an account’s value. Which is why you may wish to re-evaluate your betting if you’re constantly getting Odds Boost communications from your bookie. Particularly if your boosts are bigger than your mates.


Two markets that Sportsbet and Ladbrokes love to promote with extra boosts is the first goal scorer and first try scorer markets. These 150% markets can be cash cows for bookmakers. The heavy margins mean that even after boosting the odds the price is less than the probability.

Let’s look at an example. In Round 18 2017 vs St Kilda, Lance Franklin was (at one point in time) $6 with Ladbrokes to kick the first goal. If you boosted those odds, $6 became $6.50. That’s the bookmaker equivalent of a coupon discount to David Jones.

Meanwhile, Lance Franklin had kicked the first goal in only two of the first 17 games to that stage of the season. His 100% odds, based on the probability of that small sample size, was $8.50. A recreational customer backing Franklin thinks they have received value, unaware that they’re contributing to a bookmaker’s profit margin. Punters should never assume that an Odds Boost instantly gives them above-market odds.


Another glaring example was the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather mega fight from August 2017. McGregor’s odds (at one point in time), with both Ladbrokes and Sportsbet, was $5.00.

When you boosted those odds, you received approximately $5.50.

Meanwhile, on Betfair, McGregor was $7. No Odds Boost required, just a 100% market with a 5% win-based commission.

That’s a staggering difference.

Boosted Odds: Approximately $5.50

Betfair Odds: $7 – 0.36c (commission if McGregor won) = $6.64

A Better Way to Use Odds BOost

Now that we know just how frugal these bookmakers are we can see how hard it is to find value. It used to be easier.

However, opportunities do exist. We need to find markets with either low bookmaker margins or pricing errors.

Some Markets To Look At Here

  • Horse racing events that day, after 9am or close to the race jumping (SP)
  • Weekly golf tournaments
  • Fixed price greyhound racing
  • The outsider in half time / full time match markets
  • Method of victory markets on boxing or mixed martial arts
  • Correct score in tennis, soccer or series betting
  • Test match cricket

One Last Problem

As some of you would know, these opportunities can feel like a mirage. If you show sophistication with your betting, particularly with promotions, your account may be restricted.

Even a new account can be shut down after just one sophisticated bet.

There are two ways to approach the bookmaker vigilance. Bet under the radar and mix up your account with legitimate bets as well as marketing promotions. Or know that you’re only getting one large opportunity and maximise your return.

Betfair is a low margin exchange, just like Airbnb. We create markets for punters to take on punters. And we want winners.


The best way to use Odds Boost and Power Play is to find odds that exceed Betfair. That gives you the flexibility to potentially create risk free opportunities or have confidence that your odds exceed the true probability.

However, that can be easier said than done. Corporate bookmakers rarely compete on price and the reduction in the Odds Boost percentage means that it’s hard to find over market odds. It’s just as hard to have a winning account that’s allowed to bet on promotions.

Rather than focus on promotions that continue to be watered down, it pays to seek value with every bet you place.

The goal is to find a fixed price that matches or exceeds the Betfair ‘Lay all’. If you do that, you’re getting odds that match or exceed their true probability. You then have the option to lay your bet back on Betfair and potentially create a risk-free investment.

Don’t Lose When You Win.

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