I have never been a big gambler. I’ve always hated losing money. So when I first heard of matched betting I dismissed it immediately as something I wouldn’t be interested in. Fast forward 30 days from when I started it though and I was around £750 richer and of course I was hooked.
The great thing about it is, it’s very simple. Anyone can get involved in matched betting. Never placed a bet before? No problem. There are absolutely loads of guides on the internet to teach you how to do this, I fully recommend checking out Oddsmonkey. It’s a subscription service but it is worth every penny.
So what is Matched Betting?
First of all matched betting is completely legal and you are not breaking any rules or terms and conditions by doing this. What we are doing is turning the tables on the bookies and putting the advantage in our hands. In fact, we are turning them so much that we can’t lose. This is completely risk free.
You can read about matched betting on Wikipedia and in this Guardian newspaper story: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/jul/24/free-bets-bookies
That story is from 2010 so you can see how long this has been around.
The basic principle is to get free bets from the bookies by placing bets when they have an offer on. Once we get the free bet we can lay it off for a profit. All our qualifying bets are also layed off so we are never in danger of losing a bet. The lay bet covers all eventualities.
One example would be “bet £25 with us and we’ll give you a £25 free bet!”.
How does it work?
To qualify for a free bet there are 2 types of bet we need to place;
The ‘back’ bet
This is the bet we place at the bookie. So let’s use Arsenal v Chelsea as our example.
The bookie is offering us a £25 free bet when we bet £25 on the Arsenal v Chelsea match. So we are going to place a £25 bet on Arsenal to win.
The ‘lay’ bet
Now to make the back bet completely risk free we need to place a lay bet. This is done at a betting exchange like Smarkets or Betfair. In order to work out what we want to lay we need to use a betting calculator. This is because the odds will be slightly different to the back odds. No need to worry though the calculator on Oddsmonkey for example will you exactly what you need to lay.
We are going to be placing a lay bet on Arsenal. Which means we are betting on them not to win. If they lose or draw then the lay bet will win. If they win the back bet will win. Either way we break even at the end of the match. There may be a few pennies lost or gained depending on the odds.
Once the game ends the bookie will credit us with our free bet!
The ‘Free’ Bet
Now we have our free bet we can make some money. We are going to do exactly the same as with did with the qualifying bet. We are going to use our free bet to bet on a sporting event and then lay it off at the exchange. We need to use the calculator again and this time set it to Free Bet. This will tell us how much to lay so that no matter matter the result we make a profit.
Usually we make around 80% of the value of the free bet. So in this case our £25 free bet is going to turn into around £20 profit.
And that in a nutshell is the process of matched betting. We can do this across all the different online bookies and start to make some serious cash.
Note: the exchanges charge a small percentage of our bet as commission. The calculator takes this into account so there is no need to worry about it. Just make sure you choose the right commission percentage depending on which exchange you are using. Betfair is 5% and smarkets is 2%.
How much profit can I make?
Like I mentioned we can make around 80% of the value of each free bet. Every bookie has a sign up offer that will get you a free bet ranging from £10 to £200. Once the sign ups are complete the bookies will keep offering you free bets. There are dozens every day. Finding them is the only problem but that is where Oddsmonkey comes in.
It is easily possible to make £1000 plus every single month from this process. The hourly rate for your time invested is well above minimum wage. Many people are taking this up full time.
Don’t forget as well that every penny you make is yours and completely tax free!
What’s the risk?
There is no risk. Matched betting is risk free and anyone can take part. Obviously you have to be careful not to make mistakes as mistakes could lead to you losing money but following the guides at Oddsmonkey will ensure that this does not happen.
Anyone can get involved but obviously you need to be 18 in the UK to place bets.
It’s also worth knowing that depositing at gambling websites does not affect your credit rating but I would check with your bank if you are about to apply for a mortgage as it’s going to show a lot of activity on your bank account!
There is a risk of getting “gubbed” by the bookies. This is when they stop offering you free bets because you took advantage too many times but you can never lose money.
Sign Up Bets
Coral – Bet £5 get a £20 free bet
William Hill – Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
Bet365 – Bet £200 get £200 free bet
Paddy Power – Bet £10 get £30 free bet
These are just a few of the dozens of free bets out there you can take advantage of. Check out Oddsmonkey.com for more and learn how to make money day after day, week after week. Read my full review of their service here.