Matched Betting Tutorial
Matched Betting is a proven betting strategy that will earn you free money from free bets offered by online bookmakers and betting exchanges alike.
Whether you're looking to earn some additional money or are simply interested in "beating the bookies" then this Matched Betting tutorial might just be the most valuable article you’ll ever read.
Let's take a quick look at the high level concept of Matched Betting and then we’ll get into more detail a little later on.
Find a Free Bet offer available at one of the many online Bookmakers.
Place a BACK BET (using your own money) with that particular Bookmaker (making sure you adhere to the terms and conditions) on a Sports Event of your choice.
This "Qualifying" bet will unlock the Free Bet offer which we'll use a little later.
Place a corresponding LAY BET at a Betting Exchange to cancel out the element of risk by Laying (What is a Lay bet?) the exact same outcome. You'll need our Matched Betting Calculator to determine how much you need to Lay but when done correctly you'll have bet on all outcomes of the same Sporting Event.
Upon completion of the sports event you'll be rewarded with a Free Bet by the Bookmaker and this will be unlocked and made available via your online account. Repeat steps 2 and 3 by placing a separate BACK BET (this time using your Free Bet amount) and a corresponding LAY BET on the same outcome of a different Sports Event.
Done correctly, you'll end up winning a large chunk of the free bet amount. You'll then be free to cash your winnings out into a bank account of your choice.
Rinse and repeat the process at as many bookmakers as you can find!
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). Football matches are often the simplest sports events to begin with as there are only three possible outcomes.
Matched Betting is a methodical process of extracting free cash from introductory bookmaker offers. If you already have online accounts with all the major Bookmakers then you'll struggle to be offered "Introductory" free bets due to stringent security measures. Nether the less, existing account holders are often offered free bets throughout the year so our Matched Betting Tutorial video will still be of value if you are seeking to PROFIT from such offers.
Matching a bet must be done so that as much 'Risk' is eliminated as possible. Obviously, risk is known to be inherent and deeply linked with gamblers and gambling alike. The concept of gambling – backing one result and praying that it'll occur – will statistically leave you poor over time. Matched Betting, however, attempts to eliminate as much risk as possible. This is achieved by finding sports events where the odds make it possible to bet on all possible outcomes (using the bookmakers free bet amount instead of our own money) which ultimately makes the final result of the sports event highly profitable yet equally highly irrelevant.
Matched Betting takes a certain amount of discipline and failure to understand the steps required to match free bets could result in the loss of your hard earned money. Please ensure that you read (and then re-read!) this Matched Betting Tutorial as to fully understand the Matched Betting process.
Lets start our Matched Betting journey with what is known as the "Qualifying Bet". A Qualifying Bet is put in place by bookmakers so that you don’t just sign up, win their money (by betting on a dead cert for example) and never return! A Qualifying Bet must be placed first so that we can unlock the Free Bet amount on offer. Once this Free Bet is unlocked we can make some real PROFIT from Matched Betting.
Hypothetically, lets imagine that we’ve searched the Internet and found a £10 Free Bet at Coral bookmakers for example. Reading through the terms and conditions of the free bet we're informed that we have to first stake £10 (at odds of 2.0 or greater) before they'll unlock/make available a £10 Free Bet into our online account.
Reading deeper, the T&C's state that this free bet amount will be treated as "Stake Returned". These are the best type of Free Bets to profit from as Stake Returned means that the bookmaker will treat the unlocked free bet amount as if it were your own real money rather than a "Bonus Credit" which is typically non-withdraw able and offered as part of "Stake Not Returned" free bet offers.
Our next step is to find a sports event that has close odds (both at Coral and at a Betting Exchange – such as Betfair). Close odds might take 10 to 15 minutes to find at first but this will take less time in future once you have more experiencing navigating both websites.
An example of where close odds occurred can be seen on the Notts County versus Bradford football match which took place on Saturday 14th March 2015. The odds for an Away win at Coral were 2.5 and the odds at Betfair were 2.54 (these odds are to "Lay" an Away win).
Next, we need to physically place the BACK BET.
This is quite a simple process but it is important to not rush into this without double checking everything about your BACK BET is correct. For instance, make sure that you have chosen the correct sports event, the correct outcome (Away win) and input the correct stake amount (£10) before confirming your bet with the bookmaker.
There have been examples where two teams are playing each other in a cup match mid-week and then again in a league game the following weekend. Although rare, it can be an easy mistake to make a BACK BET on the midweek cup match and accidentally lay the weekend league game! Therefore, it’s advisable to double check and thoroughly ensure that you are betting and laying on the exact same sports event so that you are not exposed to any risk.
Next, we must minimise any risk which we are now exposed to having placed the BACK BET previously.
Matched bettors (as opposed to Gamblers) do this by Laying the corresponding outcome at a Betting Exchange (in our scenario we want to Lay the Away Win). Now, this is where most ordinary punters struggle to understand the mathematics and potential outcomes behind a LAY BET – unless of course your day job is as a Bookmaker! The simplest approach here is to put yourself in the shoes of a Bookie. Essentially, by laying an outcome of a sports event, you’ve just become a bookmaker and, instead of hoping for an Away Win, you’ll now be hoping for a Home Win or a Draw in order to PROFIT from the bet.
Now, the amount that you need to Lay needs to be determined. Truthfully, this is where our Matched Betting Calculator comes in handy and you’ll find a link to one in the description below. It’s worth spending a few minutes getting familiar with the Calculator and to input some random odds and stake amounts so you get a better feel for potential back/lay amounts as well as potential profit/loss from each bet type.
But for the purpose of the example on screen lets walk through the necessary Lay amount.
First, take your Lay Odds (2.54) and subtract the Betfair commission percentage (currently 0.05 – equivalent to 5%) .. this sum equals 2.49. Next, divide your potential return at the Bookmaker (£10 x 2.50 = £25) by 2.49 which leaves you with the exact Lay amount (£10.04). If you stand to win £10.04 upon a Home Win or a Draw occurrence then you’ll actually need to risk £15.46 in case an Away Win occurs. We calculate this number by subtracting 1 from the current Lay odds (2.54) and then multiplying this by the Lay amount of £10.04 (to give us £15.46).
Lay Odds (2.54) – 5% Commission (0.05) = 2.49
Back return (£25) / 2.49 = £10.04
2.54 – 1 = 1.54 x £10.04 = £15.46
If all that Maths makes you a little confused (it always will do first time around!) then here is a quick walk through of the figures we put into our Matched Betting Calculator given our pre match odds.
Qualifying Bet - Matched Betting Calculator
Below, you'll see the actual calculations input into our Matched Betting Calculator shortly prior to kick off.
The calculator only has seven cells (one blue, six white) which need to be filled, and, better still, two of these cells (the "Back Commission %" and "Lay Commission %") will hardly ever need modifying so that leaves us with just 5 cells which need data input.
In the first cell ("Back Stake") we input our initial stake amount of £10. Leave the next two cells ("Of which free" and "Stake Forfeit") blank as these are used only ever modified when a Free Bet is being used.
The "Back Return" (£25), "Lay Risk" (£15.46), "Back Profit" (£9.54) and "Lay Profit" (£9.54) are automatically calculated for your convenience.
The "Lay Stake" (£10.04) is calculated and this figure is what must be input at Betfair when you go to Lay the corresponding BACK BET.
Finally, the "Net Profit/Loss" (-£0.46) for this particular bet is calculated.
After reading this article it is recommended that you input some figures into the calculator to see for yourself how changing the Back or Lay Odds affects the Net Profit/Loss. You'll soon see that the closer your Back Odds and Lay Odds are the more PROFIT you'll earn from the initial Qualifying Bet.
Coming up, we'll review all the potential outcomes (Home Win, Draw, Away Win) and see how much Profit/Loss we'll receive given our scenario of having just placed our Qualifying Bet.
Qualifying Bet - Potential Outcomes
Previously, we've understood that we have to first place a Qualifying Bet (in order to unlock the Free Bet amount) and then place a corresponding Matched Bet (also known as a LAY BET) so that we reduce any Risk (by effectively having bets placed on all three outcomes) and maximise our eventual winnings.
Let's now take a look in detail at how our example Qualifying Bet, and all the possible outcomes, could pan out.
Given that we’ve picked a Football match as our chosen sports event we’ve already limited the number of these outcomes down to just three (Home Win, Draw or Away Win).
Referring back to our free bet terms and conditions we accepted that we must place a BACK BET at the bookmakers at odds of 2.0 (Evans if dig Fractional) or greater and stake at least £10 of our own money.
This BACK BET is captured within the first row of the table on screen. The £10 amount is our own money and once the BACK BET is placed at the Bookmaker we cannot get it back unless an Away Win occurs.
If an Away Win occurs then we'll win £15 plus our initial stake amount of £10 .. making a total of £25 returned to us by the Bookie. If a Home Win or a Draw occurs then we lose our £10 at the Bookie and never see it again. However, all is not lost! This is where the beauty of Lay Betting comes to the fore.
As we've mentioned previously, shortly after placing the BACK BET we placed a corresponding Lay Bet at Betfair to cancel out our Risk.
Laying £10.04 at odds of 2.54 (and factoring in the subtraction of any commission Betfair will request upon completion of a winning bet (£0.50 in our example)) will result in a net win of £9.54 IF the outcome is either a Home Win or a Draw.
Having successfully "Matched" our BACK BET with a corresponding LAY BET we can sit back and watch the outcome of the sports event unfold.
The next step is to sum up each column. In this example, we actually end up with a net loss of 46 pence.
However! We have now unlocked the £10 Free Bet amount. Only once we bet with the actual Free Bet can we start to make some serious PROFIT (along with clawing back any small loses from our Qualifying Bets).
Also, in this particular example the actual result was a 1:1 Draw.
Stick with us as we'll now explain how to use the free bet amount which, upon completion, can be withdrawn into a bank account of your choice.
Hopefully the concept of a Qualifying Bet makes sense. If not, please feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll respond to any queries.
OK, let’s crack on and make some actual money from our Free Bet!
We are now in a position to make the most of our "Free Bet". A Free Bet is your reward for meeting all of the terms and conditions of the Qualifying Bet.
Now that this Free Bet is unlocked we can make some real PROFIT from Matched Betting (and make back any small loses we may have made from our original Qualifying Bet). The beauty of a Free Bet is that we are now able to make a BACK BET without using any of our own money.
This time we found close odds prior to the Swansea versus Liverpool football match which took place on Monday 16th March 2015. The odds for a Draw were 3.6 at Coral and the odds at Betfair (to Lay the Draw) were also 3.6.
Next, we need to physically place the BACK BET.
As before, it is important to not rush into this without double checking everything about your BACK BET is correct. For instance, instead of betting with any of your own money please ensure that you use the appropriate Free Bet amount instead. Typically, this is available within the betting slip as a selective option (tick box/drop down menu) .. other bookmakers might request that you input a valid Free Bet offer code instead.
Again, double check that you are betting and laying on the exact sports event so that you are not exposed to any risk.
We now need to Lay the Draw at Betfair.
Now, the amount that you need to Lay needs to be determined. Again, this is where our Matched Betting Calculator comes in handy but for the purpose of the example on screen lets walk through the necessary Lay amount.
First, take your Lay Odds (3.6) and subtract the Betfair commission percentage (currently 0.05 – equivalent to 5%) .. this sum equals 3.55. Next, divide your potential return at the Bookmaker (£10 x 3.6 = £36) by 3.55 which leaves you with the exact Lay amount (£10.14). If you stand to win £10.14 upon a Home Win or an Away Win occurrence then you’ll actually need to risk £26.37 (rounded up) in case a Draw occurs. We calculate this number by subtracting 1 from the current Lay odds (3.6) and then multiplying this by the Lay amount of £10.14 (to give us £26.37).
Lay Odds (3.6) – 5% Commission (0.05) = 3.55
Back return (£36) / 3.55 = £10.14
3.6 – 1 = 2.6 x £10.14 = £26.37 (rounded up)
Coming up ... we’ll review all the potential outcomes (Home Win, Draw, Away Win) and see how much Profit/Loss we’ll receive given our scenario.
Free Bet Pre Match Odds
Free Bet - Matched Betting Calculator
Below you'll see the actual calculations input into our Matched Betting Calculator shortly prior to kick off.
In the first cell (“Back Stake”) we input our initial stake amount of £10.
Now, this is where we input £10 into the “Of which free” cell. This is because Coral gave us a £10 free bet and this is what we want to use this time around (instead of our own money). The “Stake Forfeit” cell can remain blank given our example as this cell is only ever modified when a “Stake Not Returned” Free Bet is being used at this stage. If, for example, you had a £25 Stake Not Returned Free Bet then at this point in the process you would input £25 into the “Stake Forfeit” cell.
The “Back Return” (£36), “Lay Risk” (£26.37), “Back Profit” (£9.63) and “Lay Profit” (£9.63) are automatically calculated for your convenience.
The “Lay Stake” (£10.14) is calculated and this figure is what must be input at Betfair when you go to Lay the corresponding BACK BET.
Finally, the “Net Profit/Loss” (£9.63) for this particular bet is calculated.
Coming up ... we’ll review all the potential outcomes (Home Win, Draw, Away Win) and see how much Profit/Loss we’ll receive given our scenario of having just placed our Free Bet.
Free Bet - Potential Outcomes
Let’s now take a look in detail at how our example Free Bet, and all the possible outcomes, could pan out.
Our BACK BET is captured within the first row of the table on screen. The £10 amount is not actually our own money and once the BACK BET is placed at the Bookmaker they accept to pay us real money if a Draw occurs!
If a Draw occurs then we’ll win £36 and this will be returned to us (via our online account) by the Bookie. If a Home Win or an Away Win occurs then we lose nothing .. zilch .. nadda.
As we’ve mentioned previously, shortly after placing the BACK BET we placed a corresponding LAY BET at Betfair to cancel out our Risk.
Laying £10.14 at odds of 3.6 (and factoring in the subtracting of any commission Betfair will request upon completion of a winning bet (£0.50 in our example)) will result in a net win of £9.63 IF the outcome is either a Home Win or an Away Win.
Having successfully “Matched” our BACK BET with a corresponding LAY BET we can sit back and watch the outcome of the sports event unfold.
The next step is to sum up each column. In this example, we end up with a GROSS PROFIT of £9.63.
However! We must remember that we made a small lose of 46 pence with our Qualifying Bet so taking that into account our NET PROFIT equals £9.17.
Also, in this particular example the actual result was a 0:1 Away Win.
And there you have it. If you have hung around till now you’ll be £9.17 richer just from this £10 Free Bet offer alone. Your winnings can be legally withdrawn into a bank account of your choice and you’ll be free to buy us a beer now!
Don’t forget, there are many hundreds of free bet offers available – typically ranging from £10 to £100 and of varying difficulty due to their terms and conditions. Extract 90% of the free bet amount from each and you too could easily make £400 from matched betting in just 4 weeks.
Match Bet in 15 minutes by watching our Matched Betting Tutorial video.
Find a Free Bet offer, follow the T&C's to unlock the Free Bet and place a Qualifying Bet.
Place a corresponding Lay Bet to minimise the associated Risk. Receive your Free Bet.
Place another BET and LAY using the Free Bet – not your own money.