Welcome to my Matched Betting Guide where I explain in simple terms exactly how it works and you can start making money from it as soon as possible.
If you are totally new to Matched Betting, possibly never having placed a single bet at any time in your life, you are in the right place. I will explain and illustrate in the most simple terms possible how Matched Betting works.
Read the whole page. Have a look at the recommended Matched Betting sites. Watch the free training videos and read the instructions. You don’t need to do anything with real money until you feel comfortable taking the first step.
Feel free to send me a message me via my main social media channels if you need any support. Remember, no question is too simple or silly. If you are unsure of something please ask.
What is Matched Betting?
The very phrase “Matched Betting” can be immediately misleading and possibly off-putting for many people right from the start.
So, let me make clear from the very beginning. Matched Betting is NOT GAMBLING.
Matched Betting in it’s most basic form is a way of exploiting bookmakers free bet offers and other promotions for profit. It quite often involves placing 2 bets which offset each other in order to make a tax free profit.
The intention is to make a profit regardless of the sporting event result.
A Brief History of Matched Betting
Matched betting has been around for many years. However, only recently, the last couple of years has its popularity really taken off. Prior to this, anyone interested in trying out Matched Betting for themselves had to manually find the offers and work out how to do each one. It was all very time-consuming.
However, the recent boom in popularity is all down to new Matched Betting sites making the whole process so much easier for complete beginners to follow.
The market leader and by far my favourite matched betting site is Profit Accumulator. They make the whole process so simple. Taking you through your first offers step by step with training videos and very clear instructions.
As well as walking you through the first offers step by step when first starting out, they also provide much more. Educational training videos, spreadsheets, various software, matched betting calculators, Odds Matchers software and much more.
How Does Matched Betting Work?
The most common free bet offer is the Sign-Up offer. Now the exact offer will vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. However, as a pure example, it might be something like this:
- Bookmaker Offer: Bet £20, get £10 free bet.
To get the £10 free bet, the Matched Bettor has to first bet £20. This first bet is called the qualifying bet. It’s the £20 bet that qualifies you for the £10 free bet.
However, the qualifying bet will, in fact, involve Matched Bettors placing 2 separate bets (a back and a lay bet). They do this so there is no risk of losing that £20. The Matched Bettor will have all outcomes covered whatever the result. In doing so, they will make a very small loss, in this case, a loss of about a £1.00.
This will then qualify you for the £10 free bet. It’s with the free bet that we make our profit.
To profit from the free bet, again, 2 bets in total will need to be placed, so all outcomes are covered and we make ourselves a profit.
From this type of offer, “Bet £20, get a £10 Free Bet”, you can expect to make an overall profit of £7+.
£7 might not sound much, but it really doesn’t take very long. Plus this is just an example. Some sign up offers alone offer the potential to earn £30-£70+. Plus consider there are approximately 70 sign up offers, you can see there is money to be made. That is just the start.
Let’s just cover some more of the basics first.
What is a Back Bet?
A back bet, is your typical bet. You’re backing the winner by placing money on it. Whether it’s a £10 bet on Chelsea to win, £5 on a horse to win a particular race or £1 bet with a friend on the toss of a coin being heads or tails.
If you are betting on it, you’re backing it to win. It’s a back bet.
When you go to a bookmaker, you place back bets. You bet on the outcome you expect to win.
You’d normally just call it a bet, but being a Matched Bettor, it’s important to understand the differences between the 2 types of bets you’ll need to understand.
What is a Lay Bet?
The Lay Bet is the key ingredient to Matched Betting. This is what makes Matched Betting so easy and possible.
Take your time understanding this type of bet. Even regular sports gamblers may not have heard or understand what a lay bet is, even though it’s relatively simple. So don’t worry this would be new territory for many people.
A Lay Bet is a bet on the outcome not to win. (Or if you prefer, it’s a bet on the outcome to lose or against it happening.
You can’t place lay bets at bookmakers. This is probably why people generally haven’t heard of them or understand them.
You can, however, place Lay bets at online Betting Exchanges. Unlike with bookmakers, of which there are well over 100, there are just a handful of betting exchanges. The three most often used are Betfair, Smarkets and to a lesser extent Matchbook.
Example of a Lay Bet
The best way to explain a lay bet is with examples:
Premier League Football Match: Chelsea V Manchester United.
There are 3 possible result outcomes:
- Chelsea Win
- Manchester United Win
At an exchange, you could lay bet any one of those 3 possible outcomes. Remember, when you lay bet you are betting on the OUTCOME NOT HAPPENING.
So, if you lay bet Chelsea, you are betting on CHELSEA NOT WINNING.
You would win your lay bet if the end result of the match is a draw or Manchester win the game. If Chelsea wins the game, you would lose your lay bet.
So, in this instance, your lay bet covers 2 match results, the draw or the Manchester United win.
Another lay bet example, this time a Horse Race:
Example Horse Race.
6 Runners – Named Below:
- Shut the front door
- Cue Card
- Arctic Fire
- Native River
- Presenting Percy
- Let’s Dance
You could lay bet any of these horses in this race. Let’s say you choose to Lay bet the horse “Cue Card”. You would be betting on Cue Card not to win. So in this instance, if any other horse wins the race, you win your lay bet.
A lay bet is a bet on the outcome not to win. So, you’re effectively betting on any of the other possible outcomes to win, just with one bet. In this case, by lay betting one horse, you are betting on one of all the other horses to win. All under one bet.
I hope that makes sense. Once you understand “lay bets” you will soon understand how Matched Betting works.
For a more detailed explanation of the lay bet including an infographic see my post on lay betting. I call the lay bet the key to Matched Betting, because once you understand it you’ll see how it all works together and you can use for profit.
What is a Bookmaker?
A bookmaker is where you typically place your back bets. You might have seen them on high streets and they all have online websites. In fact, there are lots more bookmakers online that don’t have high street shops. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to any betting shops. All Matched Betting can be done from the comfort of your home.
The most common examples of well-known bookmakers you might already know of are William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
What is A Betting Exchange?
A betting exchange is exactly as it sounds, an exchange of bets. You only find betting exchanges online.
On a betting exchange, people are placing back bets at an odds price they want. Other people are placing lay bets at a price they want. If there are people willing to back and lay at the same price, the bet is matched and your bet is placed.
The betting exchange is basically matching bets with people who want to back an outcome of winning, with people who are lay betting that the outcome won’t win at that odds price.
The betting exchange is effectively a marketplace of bettors. The exchange is between individual people’s money pooled together in a market for specific outcomes on sports events. You are not betting against a bookie.
When you are on the betting exchange you will see how much money is currently available to be matched for each specific bet.
Qualifying Bets Explained
So, now you know what a back and lay bet is and a bookmaker and a betting exchange, we can get back to the mechanics of Matched Betting, starting with the Qualifying Bet.
When we place our qualifying bets, we will make a very small loss. This is fine as we make more than enough profit from the forthcoming free bet.
In order to keep the loss as low as possible, we need to find the ideal sporting event and end result to bet on, that have really close back and lay odds. To do this we use what is known as an Odds Matcher.
We take the odds info given in the Odds Matching software and put into a Matched Betting Calculator. This will tell us how much our lay stake at the exchange should be and also the qualifying loss.
What’s An OddsMatcher?
The Odds matching software is what you use to find the best matches for your qualifying bets to keep losses low and then to maximise profits from your free bets.
The Odds Matcher pulls odds data from hundreds and thousands of sporting events. It combines the back bet odds and exchange odds giving each match a rating.
The higher the rating the better the match between the bookie back bet and exchange lay odds for your qualifying bet or higher odds free bet (higher odds gives more profit for free bets). The better the match, the lower your qualifying loss will be.
The Oddsmatching software is really simple and easy to use. You’ll soon get the hang of it.
In the screenshot above you can see events for Bet365 bets that are close odds with what’s available at the betting exchanges. This was taken outside the football season, so there are not many bets you would recognize. Don’t worry about all the data columns for now. You will learn all that easily in time.
What is a Matched Betting Calculator?
As you can see the Matched Betting Calculator is very simple and easy to use. It’s just a matter of selecting bet type, inputting odds, stake and commission rate. The training guide and accompanying videos explain all you need to know as you go along.
Profiting from the Free Bets
We then use the Odds Matching software and Matched Betting Calculator again, this time to calculate the lay stake for the free bet, using a different mode on the matched betting calculator.
We should expect to aim for 75-80% profit from the value of the free bet. So, if it’s a £10, free bet, expect to profit £7.50 to £8.00
How Many Matched Betting Offers Are There?
There are two types of Matched Betting offers.
Sign Up Offers
At any one time, there’s approximately 70 sign up offers to take advantage of and make a profit from. These offers involve you signing up to each individual bookie or casino and taking advantage of the initial, and usually quite lucrative sign-up offer. However, that is just the start.
When most of the “Sign Up Offers” have been completed, you move on to what are known as “Reload Offers”. At any one time, there might be 40-50+ individual reload offers available. All with full instructions on how to complete them.
A typical reload offer might be something simple like “Bet £20 get £10 free bet”. However, there are a wide variety of possible reload bets.
In addition to the individual reload offers there are also groups of offer types all of which you can take advantage of. For example:
- Horse Refunds
- Football Refunds
- Accumulator Refunds
- Sharbing Refunds
- NFL, NBA and other American Sports Refunds
- Golf, Tennis, Rugby, Darts Refunds
Attempting these will open up the opportunity to take advantage of many more reload offers. All using the easy to use software provided. Match Catcher for horse refunds and Acca Catcher for accumulators.
In addition to the sports-related offers above, there are also lots of casino offers, such as 5 free spins, as well as bingo offers. Again, full instructions for each are provided at Profit Accumulator.
The type of offers you end up concentrating on will most likely be down to your individual preference or circumstances.
Profit Accumulator: The Best Matched Betting Site For Beginners
Profit Accumulator is the matched betting service of choice for me and the majority of people who undertake Matched Betting.
There is a monthly or annual fee. However, you get to do 2 trial offers for free first. These will give you a feel for how easy it all works. You will make a profit from these 2 offers simply following the instructions. You can then put this profit towards a monthly or annual membership and begin your Matched Betting journey. Or alternatively, decide it’s not for you and just pocket the money and move on.
Monthly or Annual Membership?
For me, the annual membership of Profit Accumulator was a no-brainer. I paid it, then worked on just making that money back as soon as possible. Obviously, I’d already made some money from the first 2 sign up offers. However for others, the initial smaller monthly payment might feel more comfortable to start with, and you can easily get that back from just completing 1 or 2 offers, with plenty more offers left to choose from.
The membership is, in fact, cheaper now than when I joined and they have added new matched betting software, such as Acca Catcher and Match Catcher all for the same fee. Both of those software types will be of use further down the line and add greatly to your profits.
Matched betting is new to most people considering it as a new-found form of extra income. So it goes without saying there will be questions and apprehensions.
I hope the above answers have helped.
I would like this Matched Betting Guide to be as clear as possible for anyone totally new to Match Betting. If upon re-reading any parts there is something you’re simply not understanding, please ask.
If you have any further questions please feel free to ask in the comments or contact me via my social channels.