Since quitting my job to be a full time Mum and keep up with the kids medical appointments I’ve been looking for ways I could keep my household spending to a minimum. I’d been comping for a while but one day whilst browsing the web I spotted an article about matched betting
I’ve actually known about matched betting since I was 21 as i read about it on moneysavingexpert.com. After reading the info at the time I still didn’t fully grasp it. I didn’t wish to do something I didn’t fully understand. So 13 years later my interest piqued after reading about other people’s success stories. I decided to do some more research and try it myself, 5 months and £3k profit later I’m so pleased I took the time to do it, and I’ve decided to share my experiences with you .
So what is matched betting?
Direct from the ever knowledgable Wikipedia, matched betting is described as
a betting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance
I don’t think I could have described it any better myself!
I do feel it’s important to write an extra disclaimer giving the nature of this blog post. Matched betting is a system that allows you to place bets (ie using a gambling site) to guarantee a profit to yourself. Matched betting does need some caution and you must be able to follow quite strict rules. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of betting in general or feel you may not follow the system then don’t do it. That being said there is quite a lot of money out there waiting for you to claim just be sitting at home using your computer!
The following is my own personal story using matched betting. Any links I am giving are for your reference only. I’m not being paid or sponsored for any of these links or posts. I just want to share my success with others and maybe some of you reading will give it a go too.
Is this legal?
Yes, its completley legal, William Hill are quoted on Wikipedia saying that they do not have an issue with the use of free bets by matched betters. It’s worth noting that not all bookies are keen on people constantly just deriving free bets from them and some bookies are quite quick to ‘gub’ your account. This is a matched betting term that means you are no longer able to take part in their promotions. Any money you earn from matched betting in the UK is classed as money from is tax-free after Gordon Brown abolished the betting tax back in 2002
Quite simply the way it works is by utilising the many free promotional bets bookies want to give out to their customers. All the major high street bookies have an online face who offer free bets, as well as a whole host of internet only bookies too. The simplest way to gain a large amount of money from matched betting is just to take part in all the sign up offers. You’re probably wondering how you get the money though from the free bets though.
First you need to find a bookie who is doing a sign up offer, such as Betfred. The Betfred sign up offer grants us £30 worth of free bets when we place a £10 bet with them. We can use some careful maths to turn that into roughly £23 total profit! Now if you hate maths don’t worry there are a veritable plethora of free to use calculators available on-line to do the work for you.
The Nitty Gritty
- We open an account and place a BACK bet at the bookies, we are backing a certain outcome to happen, let’s say we back Liverpool to win against another team with our qualifying £10 bet.
- Then we have to use something called an exchange (there are quite a few available) but in this example we’re going to use Betfair which is the largest exchange currently in trading. An exchange allows you to act as a traditional bookmaker yourself rather than as a punter. It allows you to do something called LAY a bet. Laying a bet means you are saying you don’t think something will happen
- As we have BACKED Liverpool at the bookies we then need to place a LAY bet on Liverpool at the exchange. We use an online calculator to work out exactly how much we need to place as our lay bet
- If Liverpool win the game we will win the money into the bookies. If the game is a draw or Liverpool loses then we will lose at the bookies BUT we win at the exchange. We’ve effectively cancelled out the effect of these two bets. You will likely depending on the difference between the odds made a small loss of around 20p at this point. That’s ok though because Betfred will now have awarded our account with £30 worth of free bets!
- We repeat the same steps with our free bet but this time we will end up with a return of about 80% of the free bet amount.
Sound complicated? don’t worry if it does, I didn’t have clue when I was first reading up about it but the above process would now only take me 5 minutes to do.
How much does it cost to get started?
There’s a few ways you can go about doing your matched betting, the first is a free option which simply involves using calculators found online for free. I chose not to do this as I really didn’t understand what i was doing. I decided to use a service that you pay a monthly fee too instead. This option will basically hold your hand and tell you how to do everything step by step. The latter option will also help you find the best matches and sports events to bet on.
Assisted Matched Betting
There’s two main contenders in the world of assisted matched betting and they are Profit Accumulator and Oddsmonkey. There are Pros and Cons to both of them which i will set out below. If you are interested in a free option than my first stop would be the newbie section at matchedbettingblog.com. Both Profit Accumulator (PA) and Oddsmonkey do offer free trials though and I highly recommend signing up to both of those and watching all their free videos and their free offer examples. This gives you the opportunity to see if matched betting is right for you.
PA is the more expensive monthly option of the two assisted matched betting services, they are who I first started with. If i was to start my journey all over again I would still use PA as my first choice when opting for an assisted service. The reason for this is
- A well laid out clear and easy to understand website
- Easy to follow videos that break everything down to bite size pieces to understand what you have to do
- Videos showing full worked examples of how to find bets to place and how to place them
- A very large forum with many active members who will quickly assist you if you have any questions
The main downside to PA for me was the price. There are two price options for their basic (platinum) service. You can either pay £22.99 a month or £150 for an annual subscription. The monthly option is paid via your paypal and you can cancel at any point from within your paypal account.
An enhanced service with other matched betting tools for an extra monthly payment of £15.99 is also available. This is not necessary whilst you are doing the bookies sign up offers.
Oddsmonkey is a much cheaper option at only £15 a month. This includes all the extra features that PA charge an additional fee for. Instructions provided are well written to get started but I was disappointed by the lack of videos. This made it harder to understand what I was doing when I first started out.
After placing a few back and lay bets I found I felt confident in what I was doing. I then decided to switch to Oddsmonkey. This keeps my monthly costs down and I can make use of their extra features.
You could of course go freelance and attempt to work it out yourself using online calculators. I personally felt happy paying a monthly fee for a service that gave me all the tools and knowledge i needed to make some money.
My Top Tips for starting your matched betting journey
- You can start your journey with as little as £60 in your bank for your first set of offers, the more money you have in your ‘bank roll’ the quicker you can complete the sign up offers
- Grab a free Gmail or Hotmail account. Bookies will be sending you promotional emails. Sometimes offers that are not available simply on the website so you don’t want to miss them.
- Sign up for free and do both of the free trials at Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator. Watch all the videos you can and get your head round the back and lay system
- When you first start double or even triple check everything. This is how you avoid making expensive mistakes whilst you’re still learning. A decimal point in the wrong place is not good!
If after this you’ve decided you want to make some more free money then go ahead and sign up for one of their services. PA would be my choice as a new starter and then switch to Oddsmonkey once you feel more confident. I even set up a new dedicated bank account just to keep all my matched betting earnings separate to my normal bank account.
Can I earn money long-term from matched betting?
If you manage to make your way through all of the sign up offers, congratulations you’ve just made some easy money! You may be wondering how do i carry on making money? The answer to this is something called reload offers. Reload offers are ongoing weekly or monthly special offers the bookies offer out. There’s plenty available and most people I know who do matched betting make between £300 to £1000 a month. I currently average £500 a month with just reload offers.
Long term though you also need to be aware of something called ‘gubbing’. This is when a bookmaker decides you’ve taken too much value from them. The bookmakers then stop you from receiving promotional offers from them or sometimes restrict the stakes you can place. To avoid your accounts being gubbed there are various strategies you can take. However slowly but surely I’ve found a few of my accounts are no longer eligible to receive free bets. This hasn’t stopped me from earning roughly £500 a month but I do eventually see it becoming more difficult to maintain this if i lose more accounts
Can me and my partner do it?
Most bookies will only allow one person, per household, per IP address to take their promotions. This means that you can’t sign both you and your partner up to take the offers unfortunatley.
I’m hoping to write a follow-up article to this with more information about reloads offers and how they work. I’d love to hear if any of you are going to take up matched betting, or do a free trial. Let me know if there’s any other questions you’d like answered about matched betting from a current users perspective too!