What is Matched Betting? Is it

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Matched Betting

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It’s time that you learnt about Matched Betting. This post is the one thing that’s standing in the way of you earning hundreds of pounds, every single month… completely risk free. We’ve helped thousands of people learn about Matched Betting, which has huge financial benefits.

This Matched betting guide is going to cover absolutely everything about Matched Betting. It’s my aim to make the most comprehensive guides online & this will be the tutorial that helps you.

I’ve recently surpassed £96,500 profit from Matched Betting, which is absolutely unbelievable. 5 years ago, I started with £500 and a handful of scepticism. I didn’t understand matched betting. Now, I worship it.

You’ll most likely recall Matched Betting Forums started out offering it’s own service, completely free of charge. However, I couldn’t compete with the huge sites such as Profit Accumulator & Oddsmonkey, so I decided instead to write articles & resources which could help people understand matched betting.

The only affiliate links that you’ll find on this site, will be for services that I use myself. There’s no links with bookmakers, they’d refuse us anyway! (They don’t tend to co-operate with bonus abusers!).

I genuinely believe that this post could start your journey towards financial freedom. It sounds false, or like an upsell, but there’s no upsell here. Just a Matched Betting Guide.

I understand fully that you may not believe in Matched Betting, or maybe don’t understand it. I’ve had many conversations with friends and family members, who refuse to see it as anything other than gambling.

I couldn’t help them, but I am hoping that I can help you. Afterall, you did search for Matched Betting, so you must be aware of it’s potential.

There’s no better time to start matched betting than right now, we don’t know how long Matched Betting will last as it’s become very popular recently. Your profit is waiting.

Let’s get into this guide & teach you about Matched Betting then!

My Matched Betting Results

Matched Betting For:5 & Half Years
Did I use Oddsmonkey?Yes
Time Per Day30 Minutes – 2 hours.
Should you start Matched Betting?Without a doubt.
How can I start?Read Our Beginner Guides!

What is Matched Betting?

What is matched betting?

Matched Betting is a technique which is used by individuals to turn a Free bet or alternate incentive into risk free cash. Matched Bettors apply a specialist technique to ensure that there’s no risk attached to their bets.

To ensure there’s no risk, every single possible outcome is covered.

This method is commonly referred to as ‘No Risk Matched Betting’, ‘Bonus Hunting’ or ‘Arbing’. It’s not actually arbing, that’s another technique!

Using the above techniques, matched bettors can lock in a profit, from every single bookmaker promotion that’s available.

What makes this even more attractive, is the fact that there’s always new promotions to attack, allowing you to build quite the pot of profit!

You may thing that the maths involved to cover every single event is difficult, not to worry, there’s a Matched Betting Calculator which simplifies everything. This calculator can even tell you exactly how much profit you’re going to make. Right to the very penny.

We are going to run through an example later, so we can cover that then.

If you haven’t started Matched Betting yet, or haven’t worked out how to earn hundreds every single month, I highly advise that you take a look at Oddsmonkey. Use your free mentoring session & increase your profits.

Backing & Laying Bets for Profit

For you to succeed at matched betting, there’s two key terms to understand. These two terms are what stands in the way of not knowing about matched betting, and being able to earn sustainable profits, month after month.

The terms that we need to discuss are; Back Bets and Lay Bets

What is a Back Bet?

If you have ever placed a bet with a bookmaker, you already know what a back bet is. It’s the most traditional form of bet available, where you are betting that your selection will win.

If you add Anthony Joshua to your betslip on Sky Bet, you are placing a back bet, for him to win.

If Anthony Joshua wins, or should I say when, then your bet is paid out as a winner. Sky Bet would pay you out, and you’ve made money.

A back bet doesn’t have to be a single bet, it can be a double, treble or even an accumulator. As long as you’re betting for it, it’s a back bet.

What is a lay bet?

This tends to be harder to understand, It stopped me from Matched Betting for over 3 months as I couldn’t fully understand it.

If you’ve ever heard of Betfair Exchange, Smarkets or BetDaq, you might know what a lay bet is already.

A Lay bet is the exact opposite to a back bet.

In the same scenario above, if you were to LAY Anthony Joshua, you would be placing a bet for AJ not to win. As long as he doesn’t win the fight, the lay bet will be settled as a winner.

The fight could end up as a draw, and the lay bet would still win.

As long as AJ doesn’t win, your lay bet will win.

A Lay Bet can be classed as a ‘Bet Against a specific outcome’. In this instance, a bet against AJ winning the fight.

How does Matched Betting Work?

Using the example above, we can make an example of a Matched Betting offer.

First, let me explain fully how Matched betting works.

Using both process above, Backing and Laying bets, we can cover all outcomes and remove any risk from the bets. If you were to place a back bet and a lay bet on AJ, there’s no outcome that will cause you to lose.

  • If AJ wins, the back bet wins at the bookmakers, meaning the lay bet loses on the betting exchange.
  • If AJ loses, the back bet loses at the bookmakers, but the Lay bet will win on the betting exchange.
  • If AJ draws, the back bet loses at the bookmakers, with the lay bet winning, as your bet against covers the draw.

Understanding the draw counts as the lay was tricky for me at first, but it’s easier to understand if you learn that Lay betting Aj means any result but AJ winning.

Following that above example, we have completed our first matched bet. We will do another one a short while later, which will contain a bit more information.

However, this is the process that we would follow when placing our matched bets in the future.

You will be signing up at various bookmakers, to claim their Free Bets, deposit bonuses or other promotional offers. Today, we are only going to focus on free bets, as that’s 95% of the profit potential.

When you register, you’ll typically have to place a bet, to be able to receive a free bet. There will be some instances where you’re given a free bet just for signing up, but most of the time you’ll need to unlock your free bets.

The signing process has three stages, Qualifying Bet, Free Bet & Withdraw.

Qualifying Bet

The qualifying bet is the first bet that you’ll place when you sign up to the bookmaker. This is the bet which will eventually unlock your free bet, once this one has been settled.

You won’t make any money during this stage, instead you may actually lose between 10 and 20 pence. That’s standard practice though, and will put your account in a good position moving forward.

I’ll let you in on a little secret; don’t try and make money from the qualifying bets. It’s possible, but heavily avoidable. This is the point at which the bookmakers are monitoring your accounts, trying to work out what sort of punter you are.

As soon the qualifying bet settles, you will receive your free bet from the bookmaker. It’s usually favourable that the bet wins into the betting exchange, as this means that you are building up your ‘lay’ pot. It also means your bookmaker bets are losing, which they’ll look kindly towards.

Free Bet

For the free bet, we are going to use the exact same method, backing and laying an event.

Profit is extracted from the free bet, because instead of funding the back and lay bet yourself (like in the qualifier), you’re playing with the bookmakers money for the back bet.

Instead of losing a few pence this time, you’ll be earning around 90% of the Free bet token value.

There’s absolutely no risk, regardless of the sporting event that you’re placing your matched bets on.

What’s so great about Matched Betting is that these free bets are on offer every day.

The next terms we are going to discuss are; Liability, Lay Commission & Arbitrage.


Liability is the amount of money that you need in your betting exchange, to cover the lay bet.

For example, if you placed a £10 bet at odds of 4/1 (5.0 decimal), you would stand to win £40 profit.

As we are matched betting, we need to cover this bet on the betting exchange, to profit from our free bets.

This means that for the same bet, we would need £40 of liability in our betting exchange account.

The easiest way to think of Liability, is to think of it as the amount required in your betting exchanges.

It’s also important to remember that, when backing and laying, you’re taking advantage of the bookmakers bonuses and it’s 100% risk free. You aren’t gambling.

Lay Commission

Betting Exchanges don’t charge you a monthly fee to use them. Instead, when you lay a bet with their software, you’ll pay a very small fee, from your winnings.

This acts as a commission for the betting exchange. Smarkets tends to be the cheapest at 2%, but there are other betting exchanges. Betfair is popular, but charges 5%. Oddsmonkey members receive 0% commission, as a special offer. However, they charge £17.99 per month, so you need to work out how much you pay in commission, to see if that’s a good deal for you.


I have to mention arbitrage. This is something you should avoid, if you want to be profiting from bookmaker bonuses in years to come.

Arbitrage is where you take advantage of slow moving odds with the bookmakers, making a profit from them. There’s no betting offers attached to this, and it’s a sure-fire way to get banned from promotions moving forward.

We don’t like online bookmakers, but we need to ensure that we stay under the radar.

I’d certainly rather take £500 over 3 months, instead of £30 in one day. Slowly slowly.

How to do a Matched Betting Offer

I remember the first matched betting offer I completed. It felt quite scary at first, and it took me around 25 minutes. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, but 25 minutes does seem a bit excessive. I can get about 15 bets placed in 25 minutes, now!

When something is new, it always does seem a bit scary I suppose. This is why I am going to run through a matched betting offer with you now.

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s now the go-to option for students, single parents & people who are trying to top up their wages with a nice little side income. What’s better than easy money afterall?

Let’s complete a matched betting offer.

I’ve updated this part recently, to show a real bookmaker. Why make up a pretend one, when I can help you complete a real offer?

Betfred offer a £30 free bet, when you deposit and place a £10 bet. Nice.

Deposit and Find a Match

Sign up, depositing the £10 from your bank account.

We then need to find something to bet on, which is where the oddsmatcher can help us out. It finds something for us to use. It will save you lots of time, guaranteed.

The oddsmatcher will display your results & it will advise how much exactly that you need to lay.

In this example, let’s suggest that we are betting on Liverpool, with back odds of EVENS (2.0 decimal). At this point, I would suggest you switch your betting account to show decimals, it’s very easy & helps you read the odds quicker.

The lay odds for Liverpool are 2.06.

Place your £10 bet on Liverpool on Betfreds bookmaker website.

Your next step will be to fire up the Matched Betting Calculator, which will give you the figures that you require.

Input into the calculator all of the figures that you have already found:

  • The Back Stake is £10
  • The Back odds are 2.0
  • The Lay odds are 2.06
  • The commission is 2% on Smarkets.

The calculator will then populate the figures that you need, for the next step.

It tells us; You should lay £9.80, which will take a liability of £10.39.

After this bet, you’ll have lost £0.39, but will receive a £30 free bet.

We should lay £9.80, which means that we type in £9.80 into the lay field. The liability is £10.39, which means that we need at least £10.39 in our betting exchange, to place the lay bet.

Next, we need to access the exchange, either Smarkets or Betfair, & LAY Liverpool.

To place your lay bet, use the:

  • Pink column on Betfair Exchange
  • Blue Column on Smarkets

These are the colours for the lay markets. Place your lay bets, using the figures from the calculator.

What are the possible outcomes?

We are guaranteed to lose £0.39 in this qualifying bet.

If Liverpool win, our Betfred account will have WON £10 Profit, but our Smarkets account will have lost £10.39.

If Liverpool DON’T win, Betfred will have lost the £10 bet, but smarkets will have won £9.61.

This is our qualifying loss. However, we now have a £30 Free Bet, to do the exact same thing again.

Why have I lost money?

We need to make a small qualifying loss, in order to unlock the free bet.

The qualifying loss is a tiny amount of money to lose, normally between 1%-5% of the initial stake.

If you think of the qualifying loss as an investment for the Free bet to be rewarded, you’ll be able to understand this easier.

It’s correct, at the moment we’ve lost £0.39. However, we are about to eclipse these losses when we use our £30 Free Bet.

We are going to repeat the same process, using the Oddsmatcher to find us a bet with slightly higher odds. The main reasons we use higher odds are so that:

  • We can lock in more profit
  • There’s a reduced chance of it winning into the bookmakers
  • It can help us build up a bigger pot in our exchanges.

This time, we are going to place a bet on Arsenal. They’re away to Bayern Munich & don’t have much fun there. They’re 4/1 (5.0) on Betfred & on Smarkets you can lay them at 5.4 odds. That’s close enough for us.

We go back to the Matched Betting Calculator once more, but this time, we turn the calculator into the Free Bet Mode.

We input all of the information that we’ve already found;

  • £30 Stake
  • 5.0 Back odds
  • 5.4 Lay odds
  • 2% Commission

Using the figures in the calculator, place the lay bet with your chosen exchange.

The calculator has now updated & is showing us a profit figure. That’s right, we’ve just made £21.88 in around 5-10 minutes.

If Arsenal manage to overcome Bayern Munich, you’ll win £120 into your Betfred Account. You’ll lose just under £100 from the exchange account, leaving you with £21.88 profit.

If Arsenal lose, your £30 free bet will have lost, but it was never your money anyway. When you look into your exchange, you’ll notice that the Lay has won, which will leave you with £21.88 profit in the exchange.

Regardless of the outcome of the match, you’re guaranteed profit. Providing you follow the instructions and the figures in the calculator, you can’t lose. You won’t lose.

£21 profit doesn’t seem like it’s something to shout from the rooftops about, but there’s over 60 bookmakers that offer free bets, some bookmakers also offer £200 free bets.

Stick with it, the profit will continue to snowball. The average figure people make from the signups alone is £2,500.

What are the next steps?

We’ve completed a test offer together, it’s now time for you to begin your attack on the bookmakers, earning lots of money in the process.

Without making this guide like a sales pitch, I will advise you now, that there are some benefits of signing up with Oddsmonkey:

  • You can receive a personal mentoring session with the Oddsmonkey Gurus, who will help you with your matched betting queries. You can literally ask them anything, run through another offer with them, or just get further explanation of what matched betting is.
  • You will also qualify for 0% commission when you join up, which will save you considerable amounts of money in the long run.
  • You’ll also get all of the software, such as the Oddsmatchers and other Calculators.
  • Extra benefits such as the community etc, full access to the reload offers.
  • There’s no necessity to sign up at Oddsmonkey, but you can read our review here.

Matched Betting FAQ’s

What’s the Matched Betting Automatcher?

The automatcher is software that will make your experience easier, as it finds all the things for you to bet on. There’s no manual work required, it evens advises you of how much you need to bet.

The oddsmonkey automatcher also places the lay bets for you, which minimises the time you need to spend doing the boring stuff like bet matching.

Is Matched Betting a Scam?

Matched betting is completely legit. When I first heard of it, I didn’t believe it myself. It’s easy to write something off when you don’t understand it, it’s the natural thing that your brain does.

There’s quite a few websites offering matched betting services now, which further tells you that this is no scam. There’s over 100,000 that’s signed up to a matched betting service, making hundreds of pound every single month.

The way that you lock in profit is completely risk free, you’ve got everything to gain.

How long does it take to do?

Most people spend around 1 hour a day on Matched Betting. You don’t have to sacrifice 3-4 hours every day, it can be done very easily & within time constraints.

I’ve placed bets myself in the past, whilst waiting for Mrs Matched Betting Forums to put her shoes on!

I’d try and dedicate 20 minutes each day, so you can login, plan your attack & earn some money!

Is Matched Betting Legit?

Matched Betting is 100% legit, I’ve been doing it for almost 6 years & there’s people that have been doing it for 10+!

Why do Bookmakers allow Matched Betting?

There’s a problem for bookmakers, it’s pretty difficult for them to determine who’s exploiting the bonuses. This is one of the reasons we advise that you don’t take the best matches.

The longer you can stay under the radar, the more promotions that you’ll be able to exploit.

Bookmakers have to continually send promotions out, to gain more customers. It even helps their current customers to start depositing.

We are one of them customers, or at least blending into the background!

One day, they may well find you. I’ve been caught out by many, but I earned so much money & I have no regrets about the way I acted!

How quick can I learn Matched Betting?

Matched Betting is easy. Your first matched bet may take 10-15 minutes, as you’re worried about losing your real money. However, once you realise how the process works, you’ll be able to match bets in around 60 seconds.

How much can I make?

I came so close to making 6 figures from matched betting. However, I haven’t made anywhere near the amount that some of the matched betting community have. The figures I’ve seen are astounding.

The most I know that someone made was just over £500,000. I’m going to be realistic and state that you probably won’t earn this amount.

But you can earn £500 a month. Which I found acceptable.

Then I landed a jackpot.

How much money do I need to start Matched Betting?

I started with £500, but you can start with around £200 and easily build that up to £2000 from Sign Up offers alone.

The more you have, the more bets you can place at once, meaning that you’ll be able to rinse the profits even faster.

Do I pay tax on matched betting earnings?

Matched Betting is completely tax free. It always will be.

It’s classed as gambling, although it isn’t. This makes it a win-win, as all of the profit is ours.

What are the risks with Matched Betting?

Providing you follow the guides, there’s absolutely no risks at all.

The only thing that we can’t control, is whether the bookmakers ban us. There’s always more bookmakers, though!

Can I do Matched Betting abroad?

Matched Betting can only be practiced in the United Kingdom. The services that we use only show offers for the United Kingdom, so we can’t advise on foreign territories.

How can I use my Free Bets?

Your free bets usually get credited after the qualifying bets settle. You’ll see them in your account, simply add a bet to the betslip, where you’ll be able to select it.

If you don’t see it, you need to wait for it to be credited.

Should I use a Fresh bank account for Matched Betting?

I would advise to get a new bank account setup, yes. This will allow you to use a dedicated bank, where you’ll be less inclined to spend your winnings on a new pair of trainers, or just eat!

You need to treat Matched Betting like a business, re-invest those profits & complete those sign up offers with ease.

Is Matched Betting Dead?

We hear this quite frequently. I worried about this when I was 6 months in, as people were saying that there’s not half the offers now, that there were before.

However, you need to realise that the people saying this have likely been banned from bookmakers, denying them any further profits.

5 years after hearing matched betting was dead, I’m still seeing fresh offers bought to the table, such as the mega profitable 2UP Matched Betting offer. Then there’s casino offers, which have revitalised the industry.

Can Matched Betting go wrong?

Matched Betting is risk-free providing you follow the guides. It’s potential to deviate from the instructions though & make a mistake.

If you’re new to matched betting, make sure to take your time to familiarise yourself & you’ll be just fine.

Enjoy those risk free profits & smash the bookies!

Further Reading Material - Master Your Game

Below you will find other useful guides which will help level up your understanding of Matched Betting . Use these guides to increase your knowledge & profitability.

Matched Betting Hub

The Matched Betting hub contains some guides which you’ll be able to use for night-time reading. 


Matched Betting Blog

Our Matched Betting Blog also contains the latest posts & updates about Matched Betting. 

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