08 Aug Is it possible that Matched Betting can make you Rich?
Our in-depth guide to matched betting below will teach you the best known betting strategy to earning free money from online free bets and bonus offers.
Matched betting is a proven betting strategy that will earn you free money from free bets offered by online bookmakers and betting exchanges alike.
Matched betting can be achieved on any sports event and you can start off with as little as £50 of your own funds (assuming you start out on the £10 free bets!).
Matched betting does not take to fools lightly and if you’re a gambler looking to ‘get rich quick’ then matched betting may not be for you as matched betting is a methodical process of extracting free cash from introductory bookmaker offers and needs to be done slowly as to not introduce any risk.
Betfair and other betting exchanges are crucial to implement matched betting successfully. Joining a betting exchange will allow you to cancel out the risk which you’ll encounter later when you make your first bet at a bookmaker.
A betting exchange offers a service allowing you to set your own odds for a particular outcome of a sports event. Treat a betting exchange as a place which allows you to act as both the punter and the bookmaker. If you think that a result of a sports event will NOT happen then you can ‘Lay’ odds to those who think it will happen (this is exactly what a traditional bookmaker does all day every day).
Recommended Betting Exchanges
We recommend that the first action you take is to sign up to Betfair or Betdaq to understand how to place a ‘Back’ or ‘Lay’ bet (they both offer excellent tutorials which are free for beginners to follow).
As of May 2014, the current free bet amount on offer at Betfair is a £25 free bet. First, you must open an account with Betfair and ‘Lay’ or ‘Risk’ the equivalent of £25 of your own money.
Most who try matched betting start off by depositing £50 to £200 in Betfair as this will allow you to ‘Lay’ bets as if you were a bookmaker at competitive odds. Pick a sports event that has ‘Lay’ odds close to ‘Evens’ on Betfair as this is the easiest to calculate for newcomers to matched betting. You will also need to ‘Lay’ less money at Betfair if you can ‘Lay’ at odds of ‘Evens’ or less – in comparison to say odds of 10/1 which may require you to ‘Lay’ or ‘Risk’ as much as £250.
That’s a potential £25 earnt via Matched Betting but first you must place a bet at a bookmaker to a) cancel out the risk at Betfair and b) extract an equivalent £25 free bet offer at a bookmaker. So before we confirm our ‘Lay’ bet at Betfair we must find a ‘Back’ bet at a bookmakers. So, in the words of Mark Crossfield, “Lets get stuck in!”.
Free bets often range from £10 to £50 but don’t be surprised to see free bets go up to £100 or even £250 in some instances. It is your responsibility to extract all such incentives without falling for the lure of gambling.
To extract a free bet so that it transforms into actual money in your bank account you will typically need to make two separate bets sequentially. The first bet is known as a qualifying bet and the second is known as a free bet. It is best to wait until the result of the first ‘qualifying’ bet has settled so that you can confidently go into the ‘free bet’ knowing that the result of the qualifying bet cannot be overturned.
As you learn to match bet you’ll come across two types of free bets that are available – these are called Stake Returned and Stake Not Returned. The most popular free bets are Stake Returned Free Bets (SR) offered by the likes of Betdaq, Betfair, Coral, Eurobet, Jaxx and Sportingbet.
Having signed up to Betfair the next step is to grab the £25 free bet on offer with the bookmaker Jaxx (for example). Similar to the sign up process with Betfair, click through to Jaxx then read the terms and conditions of the £25 free bet offer. Complete the sign up process then deposit the amount specified. Find the sports event that you are about to ‘Lay’ at Betfair and, assuming that the odds to ‘Back’ are close to Evens, you’ll be in great shape to place your bets. If your chosen sports event does not have ‘Lay’ odds at Betfair and ‘Back’ odds at Jaxx then keep searching until you find an alternative sports event that does.
TIP: You could use a Matched Betting Calculator to input your ‘Lay’ and ‘Back’ odds to determine how much you stand to risk or win.
Once you’ve placed your qualifying bet you will receive a free £25 bet to use at Jaxx .
Bookmakers in the UK use fractional odds (e.g. 3/1). A punter who accepts odds of 3/1 means they are prepared to risk £1 to win £3 from the bookmaker. When you win with fractional odds you also receive back your stake. So, if you risked £1 at odds of 3/1, and then win, you will receive £3 plus your original £1 stake. That’s a total of £4 a bookmaker gives back to the winning punter (at fractional odds of 3/1).
On the other hand, betting exchanges prefer to use decimal odds as they are easier for most people to understand. Decimal odds differ because they include your original stake as part of your winnings. Fractional odds of 3/1 represent 4 in decimal odds. To calculate your winnings you just multiply your original stake (£1) by the decimal odds (4). That’s a total of £4 a bookmaker on the betting exchange gives back to the winning punter (at decimal odds of 4).
The advantage of decimal odds is that they are much easier to compare quickly. Which would you prefer to use… fractional odds of 3/1 and 11/10 or decimal odds of 4 and 2.1?
Example Matched Bet
Manchester United are to play Arsenal and you have decided in advance to find best odds to Matched Bet with on this sports event. The latest odds show that Jaxx are offering Manchester United to win at 2/1 (3 in decimal odds). For matched betting to work you must now find lay odds on Betfair which are less than or as close to 3 as possible. The final task is to scan for the latest Betfair odds for Manchester United to lose. You find lay odds of 9/5 (2.8 in decimal odds) being offered and you decide this is your best chance to matched bet.
Double check with a Matched Betting Calculator to check you’ve found the correct odds to match bet. Inputting the above example would result in a qualifying bet which results in a £0.91 profit – irrespective of the Manchester United/Arsenal result. Once satisfied you have found reasonable odds you are now ready to place a qualifying bet to extract the £25 free bet on offer at Jaxx.
Place a qualifying bet first in order to receive the free bet offer from the bookmaker. Qualifying bets are put in place by bookmakers and betting exchanges alike to ensure that you are a genuine punter. Qualifying bets are also seen as the first test of your patience and determination to extract the free bet incentives.
The qualifying bet
Using the Manchester United/Arsenal match odds, first place a £25 bet at Jaxx.com accepting odds of 2/1 on Manchester United to win using the £25 you deposited at the time of sign up. Second, place a £27.27 lay at Betfair accepting odds of 2.8 on Manchester United. This equates to risking £49.09 (£27.27 x 1.8) of the £200 you deposited at the time of signing up to Betfair.
Congratulations, that’s your qualifying bet done. You have just covered all possible outcomes of the Manchester United/Arsenal match!! Sit back and enjoy the game knowing that you’re going to win irrespective of the result.
The potential outcomes
If Manchester United win… you will win £75 (including your £25 stake returned) from Jaxx but lose (-) £49.09 at Betfair (End result equals £0.91 profit plus a £25 free bet from Jaxx and a £25 free bet from Betfair).
If Manchester United draw or lose.. you will lose (-) £25 at Jaxx.com and win £27.27 at Betfair less (-) 5% commission at £1.36 (End result equals £0.91 profit plus a £25 free bet from Jaxx and a £25 free bet from Betfair).
For the purposes of this guide it is assumed that the Manchester United/Arsenal match resulted in a draw. Your Jaxx balance now stands at £0 but you will have a £25 free bet credited to your account. Your Betfair balance now stands at £225.91 as you made £25.91 from your winning lay bet.
The end result of this qualifying bet was a £0.91 profit and to receive two £25 free bets – one from Jaxx and one from Betfair. This was achieved knowing that a guaranteed profit would occur irrespective of the Manchester United/Arsenal result. The last steps are to match bet your free bets from Jaxx and Betfair and to extract your winnings into a bank account of your choice.
Free bets are the Matched Bettors reward for their patience and determination. Similar to qualifying bets, free bets must be completed by: adhering to the terms and conditions of the free bet, finding the best odds, placing a back bet then placing a lay bet. However, it is important to calculate the correct back and lay amounts before placing your free bet.
To achieve this you must update our free matched betting calculato to denote whether you are using a Stake Returned free bet or Stake Not Returned free bet. As Jaxx and Betfair are both Stake Returned you’ll enter £50 in the ‘Of which free :’ cell (if the free bets were Stake Not Returned you would need to enter the approriate amount in the ‘Stake forfeit :’ cell instead).
Chelsea are to play Tottenham in the FA Cup and you have decided in advance to find best odds to match bet your Jaxx £25 free bet on this sports event. The latest odds show that Jaxx are offering Chelsea at 5/1 to win 1-0 (6 in decimal odds). For matched betting to work you must now find lay odds on Betfair which are less than or as close to 6 as possible (i.e. Chelsea NOT to win 1-0). You also find lay odds of 5/1 (6 in decimal odds) being offered and you decide this is your best chance to match bet your free bet.
The free bet
Using the Chelsea/Tottenham FA cup match odds, first place your £25 free bet at Jaxx accepting odds of 5/1 on Chelsea to win 1-0. Second, place a £25.21 lay at Betfair accepting odds of 6 on Chelsea to win 1-0. This equates to risking £126.05 (£23.95 x 5) from your Betfair account – £25 of which is free remember!
Congratulations, that’s your 2 x £25 free bets done. You have just covered all possible outcomes of the Chelsea/Tottenham FA cup match.
The potential outcomes
If Chelsea win 1-0… you will win £150 from Jaxx but lose (-) £101.05 at Betfair (End result equals £48.95 profit).
If Chelsea do not win 1-0 you will lose nothing at Jaxx and win £25.51 at Betfair (plus your £25 free cash) less (-) 5% commission at £1.26 (End result equals £48.95 profit).
Having found the best odds on this sports event, placed your £25 free bet at Jaxx and placed an appropriate lay bet at Betfair the end result will always be the same – you will have covered every possible outcome of the sports event and will stand to make a profit.
For the purposes of this guide it is assumed that the Chelsea/Tottenham match resulted in a 2-0 win to Chelsea. Your Jaxx balance now stands at £0. Your Betfair balance stands at £274.86 as you made £48.95 from your winning lay bet (having had a prior balance of £225.91).
Congratulations on achieving your first full matched bet! You are now ready to collect your deserved winnings.
You have earnt the following:
- £0.91 profit from a qualifying bet, plus
- £23.95 winnings from a £25 free bet at Jaxx, plus
- £25 winnings from a £25 free bet at Betfair.
That makes a total profit of £49.86. You made profits of £0.91 from the qualifying bet, £23.95 from the £25 free bet at Jaxx and £25 from the free bet at Betfair. You started off originally with a float of £25 in Jaxx and £200 in Betfair. Your Jaxx balance after placing the free bet is £0 but your Betfair balance is now £274.86.
Failure to understand the steps required to match free bets could result in the loss of your hard earned money so please ensure that you read (and then re-read!) through our matched betting guide as to fully understand the matched betting process.