What Is Matched Betting?
Published on 18/10/17
Matched betting is a strategy used by bettors, and allows them to take full advantage of the free bonuses and offers that are provided by various bookmakers to make a profit that is relatively minimal risk. In this guide we will explain what this strategy is and what you must do to place a matched bet.
What Is Matched Betting?
Almost every bookie offers sign up incentives and reload bonuses to its customers, in an attempt to persuade potential customers to sign up with them and continue to use their service. Sometimes, exclusive offers are also available to current customers on popular mega events in many various sports.
With matched betting you aren’t required to predict an outcome, you simply just back both outcomes. So, for example, there may be an offer available on a champions league group game.
How To Make A Matched Bet?
Once you have made your qualifying bet, you will be rewarded with your free bet, which you can then use to generate a guaranteed profit. It is important to double check the terms and conditions as many different bookmakers offer different offers.
We will now provide a step-by-step guide on how to make a matched bet.
1. Sign up to a Betting Exchange, for example Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq.
These betting exchanges are where you can lay your backed bets that you have placed at the bookies, which will cancel out any risk of losing.
2. Sign up to a Bookmaker that are offering a sign-up offer, e.g. Bet365, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, William Hill, etc.
There will be many bookies out there that are on offer, so be sure to sign up with the one with the best offer, or you can simply sign up to as many as possible and use the same matched bet with them all.
Some bookmakers tell you whether or not the free bet is rewarded to you with your winnings, but this is quite rare.
Place the required deposit amount, which can range from £5 to £200.
3. Switch to decimal odds, instead of fractional
When logged into your bookmaker account, simply change the odds display from fractions to decimals, so that you can compare easily between the betting exchange and bookmaker.
4. Place your qualifying bet
In order to place the matched bet, you will need to qualify for it. This is where you will have to make a qualifying bet before you get a ‘free bet’ from the bookmaker. This is where the profit comes in. An example could be ‘Get £50 when you stake £20’, and you want to bet on a premier league game. Simple find a game, and back a team through the bookie, then lay the very same team through a betting exchange.
It is vital to qualify for the free bet, or bonus, as if you don’t then you may lose money. Make sure that you read the small print attached to the offer/bonus prior to placing any bets, so you know exactly what to do to meet all the requirements. It is also important that you make your bets on outcomes which have close back and lay odds, which will optimise profits and reduce any qualifying losses that you may incur. Sometimes, free bets are not available straight away, so you’ll need to be patient.
5. Claim your free bet
You may have chosen to place the qualifying matched bet on Tottenham vs Arsenal, backing Tottenham to win on your bookmaker account, and then laying them on your betting exchange account. If Tottenham lose the game 2-0, then you will win money from the betting exchange, and lose the bet from the bookie. However, you will now have claimed your free bet.
6. Find a new bet and stake your ‘free’ bet on it
Now it’s time to repeat the ‘qualifying bet’ stage, but using the bet that you have qualified for on a different game.
Try and find greater odds for this stage, so your profits can be maximised.
7. Sit back and relax
Remember that there are no risks, and you’ll be getting a profit regardless of the result, so relax and enjoy the process.
8. Claim your profits
As mentioned above, you will win the profit no matter the outcome of the game. Once the game has finished, your winnings will be credited to either the bookie or betting exchange account, where you will be able to cash out!
You will now be able to go off by yourself and place a matched bet! Hopefully this guide has made it easy to understand the simplicity of matched betting. Once you have taken full advantage of the sign up offers, you can begin to use matched betting on the bonuses and offers which are provided by the bookie to incentivise you.
With betting exchanges, they will normally charge a commission fee on everything that you win, with Betfair this means typically means that you get to keep 95% of the profit, with Smarkets you retain 98% of the profit. However, it is important to remember that winnings that you generate from the gambling industry are tax free.