Profiting from Matched Betting

9 min

The old adage states that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but nobody told the betting industry. The fact is you can take full advantage of free bets and sign-up incentives that bookmakers dangle under the noses of potential customers like juicy carrots to make risk free profits “if you understand what matched betting is.

By matching bets you make on a bookmaker site with opposing bets using a betting exchange like Matchbook, you can use these free bets to make a guaranteed profit. This relatively straightforward, risk-free backing and laying strategy is known as matched betting, and here is what you need to do.

Finding the Free Offers

Pay a visit to an odds comparison site like Oddschecker and click the link for any of the featured markets on the homepage. Above the long row of bookie logos you’ll find a smorgasbord of free bet offers for those willing to open a new account.

Picking one from random, you decide to create an account with Paddy Power. The Irish firm’s offer is free bets worth £30 when you bet £10. The T&Cs state that the initial £10 stake has to be wagered at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or above while stakes aren’t returned on the free bets. It’s all pretty standard stuff. Now we need to find a market to bet on.

Making Your First Bet

Ideally you want a selection fairly close to odds of 1.5. Looking around, Arsenal versus Swansea City in the Premier League meets our requirement. The home side’s odds are 4/7, or 1.57 in decimal odds. Therefore, you choose to bet £10 on the Gunners at 1.57, giving you a potential profit of £5.70.

Now for the next really important bit. First off, you’ll have to create an account with Matchbook and make a deposit. It doesn’t have to be huge; £10 will suffice initially. Once that’s done, you then lay Arsenal, effectively making the opposite or “matched” bet to the bet placed on the bookmaker’s site, for £10 at 1.60. The liability on this bet is £6. In other words, you stand to lose £6 if Arsenal win.

Results and Next Steps

In the end, Arsenal produce an unconvincing 1-0 victory. So we’ve pocketed £15.70 including our stake with the bookmaker bet, but lost £6 from the lay bet. We are down 30p overall. But not to worry – we now get to play with the free £30 bet from Paddy Power, which was the aim from the outset.

We weren’t trying to win from this bet, but minimise our losses so we can use the free bets to make money.

If you find your account has been credited with three free £10 bets then simply stake all three bets on the next selection. The Paddy Power account should now stand at £45.70. This stage of the process will require additional funds to be deposited into the exchange account, say £100. But don’t worry, you will get that back and more.

Making a Profit

For the next wager, it’s recommended that you identify a bet with longer odds than the first in order to maximise profits. And it’s also best to find markets where the lay prices are as near as possible to the bookmaker site’s odds, so use a site like Oddschecker to quickly find the best options. Football’s bet-win-draw (1X2) markets are usually good bets.

Glancing over that night’s football markets, you find Wolfsburg are priced up as 4.5 underdogs away to runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage of the Champions League. While the unfancied German side are 4.5 with Paddy Power, the lay price on the exchange is 4.7. That’s close enough for our mission.

Free and Easy

Now, you back Wolfsburg at 4.5 with the free £30 (or three separate £10 bets) the potential profit is £105. Remember, stakes aren’t returned with free bet winnings. Next comes the important part: selecting a lay amount that will lead to an equal profit regardless of the match result.

Luckily, this useful tool does all the calculations for you. Simply head here and punch in the numbers and you will find your potential risk free profit in seconds. In this instance, if you lay a stake of £22.39 (with a liability of £82.84) you make a guaranteed profit of £22.16. Not bad eh?

In the Black

To explain how this works, let’s say the game finishes 0-0. So the £30 bookie wager lost, but the lay bet was successful on this occasion. The bookmaker bets have lost, but the exchange lay bet won and your account has been credited with £22.16 (after commission). That £22.16 is pure profit. And at no point was your money at risk.

The result above would be the same if PSG had won, but say for example Wolfsburg won and your lay bet lost costing you £82.84. In this instance your bookmaker bet would have won, netting you £105. So your overall profit is still £22.16. Sure, it’s not a life-changing sum of money, but it’s still a profit. And risk-free, tax-free profits are not to be sniffed at.

Rinse and Repeat

Once the accounts were set up it only took a few minutes to place the matched bets. You can now withdraw both balances and repeat the process over and over again with the dozens of other bookmakers out there enticing new customers with tasty offers.

You can make hundreds of pounds, risk-free, using this strategy. So get out there, sign-up to Matchbook and get winning. And make sure you read our guide to benefitting from existing customer bonuses here so you can keep topping up those accounts.