Introduction to Matched Betting: What Is Matched Betting?

If you’re looking for the perfect side hustle to start earning a little bit of extra cash with minimal effort, then matched betting could be the perfect solution.

Essentially, matched betting is a straightforward, low-risk method of boosting your monthly income from the comfort of your own home totally tax-free. It sounds unbelievable, right? That’s what I thought until I tried it for myself.

Now, I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘gambler’ – in fact, I’ve always been fairly anti-betting because it involves such a high degree of risk. Losing my hard-earned money in an instant or developing an addiction isn’t something that excites me in the slightest.

Once or twice, I’ve played low stakes in the casino for a laugh and I’ve witnessed first-hand friends winning big on football accumulators or horse races, so I understand the rush and the adrenaline of winning big or hitting a jackpot. At the end of the day though, the odds are never in your favour and the risk of losing is too great.

I’m not trying to say that all gambling is bad, in fact, I know a few people who do quite well out of it and win on a regular basis, however, their methods are time-consuming and take serious dedication and self-discipline – it’s almost a full-time job and it still involves risk which is the main thing that puts me off.

The only time I would want to bet is when there’s a guaranteed profit, and that’s exactly how I discovered matched betting. In this guide, I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned about matched betting and set you on the path to profit.

What is Matched Betting?

In a nutshell, matched betting is a method of making guaranteed profit through online bookmakers by following a set of specific steps. By taking advantage of promotional free bets and bonuses offered by online bookmakers, you’ll be able to hedge your bets (i.e. cover all possible outcomes on an event) and guarantee a win at the end.

You may be skeptical, but trust me – it really does work. The only actual risk comes in the form of human error so provided you stay focussed there’ll be nothing standing in your way of making some extra cash. Depending on how much time you have to dedicate to matched betting, you can walk away at the end of each month with up to £1000 in wins, if not more.

Still not convinced? Did I mention that it’s completely legal and tax-free? Honestly, this is a fool-proof method of making money through betting, only this time, the house doesn’t always win. I wouldn’t even categorise matched betting as a form of gambling – it’s completely legit because the outcome is (almost) always positive and results are always guaranteed.

Matched Betting Guide: The Process

Let’s take a quick look at the process of matched betting to get a clearer understanding of how it works…

The vast majority of online bookmakers offer incentives or bonuses when you register an account to use their platform. To take advantage of these free bets and promotional offers will require a small deposit from your own pocket – for example, a popular offer is bet £5 and gain a free £20 bet.

By placing a back bet on a certain outcome and placing a lay bet on the same event with another bookmaker, you’ll break even and access your free bet. It sounds more technical than it is, so let me explain what a back bet and a lay bet are.

A back bet is when you bet on an outcome to happen, for example, a horse to win a race or a cricket team to win a match. If that outcome happens, you win. This is where the term ‘backing a team’ or ‘backing a horse’ comes from.

A lay bet, on the other hand, is when you place a stake against a certain outcome, for example, a football team to not win a match, i.e. lose or draw the game, or a horse to not win a race. Therefore, a back bet and a lay bet are essentially opposites and if used correctly they can cancel one another out allowing you to break even.

Matched Betting Guide: Practical Example

Now, imagine there’s an event to bet on, let’s say the Liverpool versus Tottenham. If you put your original £5 deposit on Liverpool to win and another £5 lay bet on Liverpool to not win with another bookmaker at the same odds, you’ll have hedged your bet and canceled out the risk so, whatever the outcome of the match, you’ll break even. This is your qualifying bet.

Through this process, you’ll have unlocked a free bet of £20 with which to repeat the process. Use your free £20 bet to back an outcome and match that with a lay bet on the opposite outcome with another bookmaker and again you’ll break even, but this time, because one of the bets was made with free money, you’re guaranteed a profit, regardless of the outcome. This is your free bet or your profit bet. Pretty cool, right?

Types of Matched Betting

This is matched betting in its simplest form and it’s important to remember that there are different types of matched betting which involve different methods. Let’s take a brief look at them:

  • Welcome offers

    This is the type of matched betting mentioned above and it’s probably the most popular method if you’re new to the game. Welcome offers require you to a new bookmaker and making your first deposit, you’ll make yourself eligible to receive free credit to play with. Place a bet using your free money and then place a ‘lay’ bet with another bookmaker – that is to bet against your free bet – and you’re guaranteed a profit.

  • Reload offers

    You’re only going to be able to use welcome offers for a limited amount of time because there’s a finite number of online bookmakers offering this type of promotion. Most bookies will have some form of reward scheme of free bet scheme for members or account holders who deposit a qualifying amount each month. These free bets can be used in exactly the same way as your welcome offers and guarantee an extra profit.

There are plenty of other types of matched betting out there such as accumulator offers, when you bet on multiple outcomes, for example, a combination of results in the Premier League. This combination of results massively increases the odds but also makes it more complex. In this guide, we’ll be focussing on the easiest, quickest, and all-around best ways to make your first £1000 using matched betting.

Benefits of Matched Betting – Why Would You do it?

It’s a fair question and one which you need to ask yourself before embarking on your matched betting journey. For me personally, it was an easy means of supplementing my income with little effort during my free time – you can do it from your laptop, smartphone or tablet on the sofa, during your commute or wherever you want really. Here’s a quick rundown of the main benefits of matched betting and potential motives for getting involved:

  • Earn a side income

    Like I said, this was my main motivation for starting matched betting. Whether you’re looking to save for a new car or a holiday, extra tax-free money at the end of the month is going to allow you to achieve your financial goals.

  • Beat the bookies

    Ok, not everyone is going to get this one, but I soon found I had a competitive edge when I started matched betting and getting one over on a system that’s historically been stacked against you is weirdly satisfying!

  • It makes you a better money saver

    It’s true – since I started matched betting, I’ve become much more financially sensible. By keeping a keen eye on the smaller details involved in the process, you’ll soon find yourself managing your money in a more controlled way – and you’ll have more of it to manage which can only be a good thing.

  • Can be done by anyone over the age of 18

    From students to pensioners and everyone in between, matched betting is a great scheme for making an extra income on the side. Honestly, you don’t need to be some kind of math genius or computer wizard to start taking advantage of the bookies; it’s really very simple. All you need is a bank account and an internet connection. It may seem a bit odd when you start out, but once you know the methodology, it’s a simple case of rinse and repeat – you’ll be a master before you know it.

  • Resources to aid and guide you in matched betting.

    Once I got a bit deeper into matched betting I discovered that there’s a whole world of matched betters out there and they’re not shy about sharing their knowledge. Matched betting has its own uniquely friendly and open community that provides information, online tools, and resources to aid each other, so everybody benefits. From online odds calculators to matched betting spreadsheets, you’ll be able to find everything you need to help you make money.

6 Steps to Banking Profit

Now you’ve got a fairly good understanding of what matched betting consists of and the reasons for doing it, let’s look at the steps you’ll need to follow to start generating profit.

  • Step 1 – Understand the concept of matched betting.

    Okay, I know I’ve explained a little bit about matched betting already in this guide, but there’s a bit more to it than that. You’re going to need to familiarise yourself with the methodology and the terminology so as to avoid confusion. Understanding the difference between a back bet and a lay bet is a good place to begin as once you have a grasp of this, you’ll understand the nature of placing risk-free bets.

    It’s also incredibly important that you know the difference between a bookmaker and a betting exchange. In a nutshell, a bookmaker is where you would traditionally place bets on the outcome of an event, or a back bet. A betting exchange, on the other hand is where you will place you lay bets.

  • Step 2 – Have some money to invest and know how much to put in.

    It takes money to make money, so you’ll need money to invest into your matched betting venture. This guide serves to aid you in making up to £1000 and to do that you’re going to need a minimum of £100 to get going. It might seem like a large investment at first, but before you know it, you’ll see a profit with your first foray into matched betting and remember, it’s risk free. 

  • Step 3 Understand matched betting tools and software

    One of the great advantages of matched betting is the amount of online resources available to help you be successful. Of course, you can take the solo road and try your hand at matched betting without the aid of anyone or anything, but it will be definitely worth your while to check out and gain an understanding of the tools designed to make matched betting easier and more accessible.

    Matched betting software, or an oddsmatcher as they are commonly known, can be the perfect tool for locating the best bets to back. There are plenty of options to choose from and I cover them in more depth here…

  • Step 4 – Open your account with an online bookmaker and place your qualifying bet

    You’ll need to register with an online bookmaker to start the process and deposit the minimum required bet fee to qualify for your free bet. Place your stake on an event with your chosen bookmaker and be sure to ‘match’ it by placing a lay bet with your preferred betting exchange.

    Whether you’re using your preferred matched betting software to help, or going at it alone, choosing your bets is an important step. Don’t just bet on the first thing you see – take your time and choose wisely. As I’ve mentioned previously, the only chance of anything going wrong is through human error, so being cautious and calculated is going to eliminate any chance of this.

  • Step 5 – Activate your free bet

    Now you’ve placed your qualifying bet, you’ll be eligible to use your free bet and carry out the process again, but this time at the bookie’s expense!

  • Step 6 – Repeat the process & cash out!

    Now you’ve got that all-important initial bet out of the way, you’re ready to crack on and start earning. It really is that simple. Once that first bet is out of the way and the methodology is proven, you’ll have the confidence and ability to keep going and search out all of the other promotions out there waiting to be cashed in on.

5 Important Tips To Remember When Matched Betting…

  • #1 – Be prepared

    It’s crucial that you’re well prepared before you start matched betting. Do your research, join a matched betting forum for tips, choose the right software that suits you and only start when you feel ready.

  • #2 – Set goals

    As with any investment, you need to be pragmatic. Remember, this isn’t gambling and we’re not aiming to hit some kind of jackpot or roll the dice. Set yourself a target and a timeframe and don’t get carried away.

  • #3 – Start slow

    As a newcomer to the game, you’re going to want to start off nice and easy. This might mean small gains for the first few weeks or so but there’s no shame in that. Starting off slowly will allow you to gain the experience that you need without risking losing anything through your own mistakes. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint and then see where you stand at the end of the first month – you won’t be disappointed.

  • #4 – Keep on top of your bets

    Try to keep a record of what you’re doing. While you can use a notebook or a spreadsheet. I’d highly recommend using either OddsMonkey or Profit Accumulator’s built-in tracking sheets within their respective software. It makes everything A LOT easier. Having a solid idea of where your money lies is really important. Money is going to be sitting in a number of different places from bank accounts to your online bookmaker wallets and betting exchanges and it’s going to be constantly moving between them.

  • #5 – Bet sensibly

    If you need to set yourself a limit, make sure you do so. You’ll need a small pot to start with and you don’t want to risk it all by making mistakes. This process does guarantee results, but it needs to be respected and taken seriously. Signing up to multiple online bookmakers is going to result in a lot of junk mail with plenty of promotions – don’t get sucked in and stick to your safe bets with a guaranteed profit.