What is Matched Betting?
Matched betting is a risk-free form of gambling, typically on sporting events. This is also commonly referred to as ‘bonus hunting’.
By using free bets, matched bettors guarantee profits by having all outcomes of a match or an event covered.
Whilst people think that free bets are in limited supply, with no-risk matched betting you can ensure they keep coming in day after day.
“It is a betting technique used by individuals to profit from free bets and other incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.” – Wikipedia.
The definition above makes things seem a little complicated, so let’s try and describe it in a way that you can easily understand:
How Matched Betting Works
There are some finer details that you’ll need to learn in order to achieve even greater long-term profits, but the main bulk of what you will need to learn is this:
The ‘Back’ Bet
The back bet is the most traditional form of bet, essentially you’re saying “I think this will win”.
If your team, horse, or whatever else you bet on wins, then you’ll win your bet and the profit along with it.
The ‘Lay’ Bet
This is the exact opposite to a back bet, where you are now saying “I don’t think this will win”.
If the team that you bet on don’t win the match, you win your lay bet.
And yes, if the result is a draw, that means your lay bet also wins (because they didn’t win the match).
Laying Back and Making Money
Matched betting works by using lay bets to cancel out any risk that a back bet poses.
You back and lay against the same result in order to remove all risk. You cannot lose your bet because you have every outcome covered.
This part isn’t where you make your money though:
You will go on to make a profit from a bookmaker’s free bet.
Your first bet is known as a ‘qualifying’ bet – it is what qualifies you to earn a free bet.
Once you have this free bet from the bookmaker, you can guarantee profits by covering all outcomes again with the same back and lay method.
This removes all risk and guarantees you an easy profit, regardless of the result of any sporting event.
And no, the free bets don’t stop coming once you’ve completed all of the sign-up offers.
With matched betting, you’ll find ways to constantly keep earning the free bets that will become your bread and butter income.
How do you do Matched Betting?
UPDATE: Whilst we outline the basics in this post, we’ve put together a more extensive guide that we recommend you read after this: how to do matched betting.
Real-World Matched Betting Example
FAKE-BOOKMAKER.com, who we’ve invented for the purpose of this post – are promising you a £25 free bet if you deposit and place a bet of the same £25 stake with their site.
You sign up, deposit the £25, and bet on Manchester United to win at odds of EVENS, or 2.0 (as matched bettors always use decimal odds).
You then go onto Betfair, and LAY Manchester United (that’s betting on Manchester United to NOT WIN) also at 2.0, for £25 liability (a fancy word for the money you can lose if the result goes against you).
The possible outcomes from the game are as follows:
If Manchester United win, you’ll win £25 profit on FAKE-BOOKMAKER and lose £25 on Betfair.
If Manchester United draw or lose, you’ll lose £25 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but win £25 profit on Betfair.
Either way, you break even.
You will now be credited with a free bet from FAKE-BOOKMAKER worth £25.
You decide to place this bet on Watford to win at odds of 4.0 (that’s 3/1). This means you can win £75 from nothing, as the bet was free.
You then use a matched betting calculator choosing ‘Stake Not Returned (SNR)’, putting in your free bet stake of £25 as well as your odds, and calculate the stake you need to LAY against Watford.
Again, this may seem complicated but it’s extremely straightforward once you’ve done it two or three times.
The lay odds on Betfair are also 4.0, and the calculator tells you to lay £19 against Watford. The liability on this bet (that’s the money you can lose if Watford win) is £57.
If Watford WIN, you’ll win £75 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but lose £57 on Betfair, meaning you’ve made an overall profit from both bets of £18.
If Watford draw or lose, you’ll fail to win with your free bet on FAKE-BOOKMAKER, but you’ll win your lay of £19 on Betfair.
Betfair take 5% commission, so you’ll have won £18.05 on this result after commission is taken from your £19 lay.
It doesn’t matter what the result is of the Manchester United game, you’ve broken even – or will have lost a few pence after commission.
It doesn’t matter what the result is of the Watford game, you’ve made £18 profit or slightly more.
The result of either game (or any game you bet on with matched betting) doesn’t matter, the profit is guaranteed.
Now, we’ve picked these games and odds at random for the purpose of this example, but when you’re signed up to a matched betting site you will be able to use their software to find matches with the best odds for you.
Whilst £18 profit may not sound like much (or maybe it does!) you can repeat this multiple times every day once you have built up your bankroll a bit – which doesn’t take long at all.
Rise in Demand
Matched betting is not necessarily a new thing, but demand in recent times has well-and-truly gone through the roof, with no signs of slowing down.
There are now over 9,000 people searching for the term “matched betting” in the UK every single month, with this number constantly increasing.
So, despite being around for a good number of years, why has matched betting soared in popularity so suddenly?
There are a few simple reasons for this:
Firstly, there is the rise in competition between bookmakers.
These bookmakers such as William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power and many more run promotions in order to try to attract both new and repeat business.
These promotions prove to be profitable for them, so they’re constantly adding more and more to their sites each month.
Promotions are easily exploited for guaranteed profits with matched betting, as seen in the example in this post.
The more promotions there are, the easier matched betting becomes.
More People ‘In-The-Know’
The majority of people are skeptical when they first hear of matched betting.
It’s easy to understand why – everyone that does it was skeptical once.
Let’s be honest, we know it sounds like a scam!
Thanks to an increase in the best matched betting sites, many are learning the power of it the easy (and cheap) way.
As more and more people try it out, more people learn how profitable it is and go on to tell their friends and family about it, spreading the word at rapid rates.
This helps more people to become educated about the process and its legitimacy via word of mouth.
I bet you wish you had a friend or family member to vouch for it before you jump into it, right?
If you sign up today, we guarantee you’ll be the one vouching for it in a week’s time.
If you are wanting to try it out but you’re having doubts, you can get a free trial of Oddsmonkey by signing up through this link to see just how amazing matched betting can be.
Another good option is MatchedBets who are cheaper by £1-per-month – or £51 cheaper on the annual option – and you can sign up to their free trial by clicking here.
You’re guaranteed to make up to £45 profit on their trials, which can be earned in a matter of hours.
There are currently tens of thousands of people in the UK matched betting in order to get themselves a better life, free from debt and enjoying treats that wouldn’t otherwise have been affordable.
Matched betting has been quite a well kept secret when you consider the amount of money that can be made doing it.
However, there’s no need for it to seem like some sort of shady underground crack den.
Matched betting is entirely legal.
In fact, a spokesman for William Hill has even said in the past that the gambling industry is happy for people to do it:
“There’s no illegal element [to matched betting]. It’s a free bet and you can do what you like.” [Source: The Telegraph]
Unlike regular gambling, there’s a reason this thing is also known as ‘no-risk betting’.
You may have been brought up to believe there’s no such thing as a “dead cert” when gambling or betting – we all were!
However, with matched betting everything really is guaranteed.
Because it doesn’t matter which team wins or loses, or which horse crosses the finishing line first.
Matched bettors make a profit regardless of the outcome of any sporting event.
In an era of government spending cuts, guaranteed extra income of thousands of pounds each year cannot be sniffed at.
It might seem complicated at first, but it’s actually extremely straightforward.
No one is able to magically wrap their heads around matched betting in an instant.
However, most people learn the process in just a day or two.
If you need proof of how simple it can be – in my first ever month of no-risk matched betting, where I learned the process entirely from scratch, I made £1,113.15 profit.
It couldn’t be easier to learn matched betting when following a video or reading a post that tells you exactly what bets to place and where to place them.
Just look at my first spreadsheet pictured above – the way I tracked my bets back then might have been a bit rubbish, but earning those profits was the easiest money I’ve ever made!
That’s why I’ve continued to matched bet every month since that day.
There’s only one site that we recommend following and it already has thousands of happy customers:
Who wouldn’t want to earn £1,000+ extra each month from the comfort of their own homes?
All you need is access to the internet and you’re away.
It’s this reason alone that matched betting is extremely popular with students, many of whom are paying off their entire student loan debts before they even leave university.
It’s also a booming industry for mothers of newborns; whilst the babies are in bed, mummy can earn enough to pay for nappies, food and put some money away for University fees!
That’s probably music to many of your ears; match betting is completely tax-free.
This is because it falls under the category of ‘gambling’, and even though there is no risk involved it still classes as being 100% free from tax.
How Much Money do you Need to Start Matched Betting?
Matched betting works best when you are able to invest in completing multiple offers at once.
This comes once you have built up your bankroll.
However, the vast majority of people don’t have a lot of money set aside for such investments, and therefore tend to start with a very small budget of £100-£200.
This level of budget allows you to complete one or two offers at a time, and you can easily turn this into a £10,000 bankroll in a few months time just like many others (including us) have done before you.
Personally, I was confident in my finances and had become convinced of the method, so I started off with about £400, before investing a little more (from my overdraft – although I wouldn’t recommend that!) once I realised how much I could earn.
What’s the Risk with Matched Betting?
It may seem too good to be true, but there is absolutely no risk involved in matched betting when done correctly.
There are a couple of things you need to be careful of, however:
Firstly, ensure that you follow instructions and enter the stakes that the calculator tells you to bet carefully.
Small mistakes can happen quite frequently when starting out and they’re never usually too costly, but always keep an eye out and triple check everything is as it should be.
Secondly, and this is the biggest drawback, bookmakers can remove your access to promotions and free bets if you’re seen to abusing bonuses.
This is known in the betting industry as being ‘gubbed‘.
To ensure you don’t abuse the promotions too hard, refrain from betting on too many offers in a short space of time with the same bookmaker.
Looking like a mug punter to a bookmaker is essential for long-term profits.
More About Matched Betting
We hope we’ve answered the ‘what is matched betting?’ question in huge detail here, but do you still want to know more?
Have a scout around the basics – we hope we’ve got every area of no-risk match betting covered.
If you wish, you can also ask us a question in the comments below and we’ll gladly respond as soon as we can!
Alternatively, you can send us over an email via our contact page and we’d be happy to help.
Read next: How to do Matched Betting