Matched Betting for Dummies

Forgive the title, but I wanted to create a glossary of terms and basic beginners guide to matched betting. 

The betting industry in general and matched betting in particular has an awful lot of its own unique jargon and is filled with TLA’s (Three letter abbreviations) so I thought it would be useful to have this section on the website. If you haven’t already read the full section on Matched Betting it would be better to do that first here as this guide is like a glossary of terms not a full explanation of Matched betting.

So from now on every-time I write an article for this website that has some terms in it that people new to matched betting may not have heard I thought it would be a good idea to put an explanation of it here.



Back Bet v Lay Bet

A “back bet” as the name suggest means you are backing something/someone to win. So if you back Ronnie O’Sullivan to win a snooker match and he does then you will show a profit as your bet has won. A “lay bet” is the opposite, where you are “Laying” odds that Ronnie O’Sullivan wont win.

Pre-Internet days you could as a punter only “back” something with a traditional bookmaker, but since the introduction of “Exchange Markets” like Betfair and Smarkets you can now effectively be the bookmaker online.

So if you believe the favourite in a horse race won’t win then you can “lay” the horse. If it loses, as you predicted, then you make a profit because whoever backed it with you will have lost. Of course if the horse does win then you will have to payout the punter who bet on it.

If you try “Matched Betting” (which you should if you haven’t already) then the strategy works because you back both outcomes using a Free Bet so you are guaranteed to make a profit. For example you’d “back” Liverpool to win with a bookmaker using a free bet and “lay” Liverpool not to win (draw or lose) on an exchange.

If you want to give Matched Betting a try with no obligation you can sign up to OddsMonkey via their Free Trial here .





Bookmakers are not registered charities. They are trying to make a profit and for that to happen they cannot afford to have “punters”  who keep winning all the time. They don’t really want anyone who has the first clue to be honest. So people who shop around for the best prices all the time are proving to the bookie that they know what they’re doing. They don’t want your business, they want idiots. So they will severely restrict how much you can bet with them. So when you log on and try and place a £30 bet on a horse they’ll pop a message up saying something like, restricted to a max bet of £2.55 p. They won’t close your account and admit defeat but they will make it clear you’re not wanted. So what can you do about it? See Mug Betting below.


Mug Betting

If you plan on making a full time living or a steady part time income from matched betting and utilising free bets, then you should think long term sustainability not about making a fast buck. So to avoid being gubbed you need to not make it look like you’re a normal mug punter.

This means that certainly for the best online bookmakers that offer the best ongoing re-load deals you should occasionally bet with them when they are not offering the best prices and the best free bet offers. This will avoid you betting patterns raising red flags with the bookmaker.

Something mug punters do is “Bet in Play” a sure sign of a degenerate gambler! Also cashing out is something that matched betters never need to do, as it doesn’t matter who wins when you’ve backed both outcomes. So therefore you should do a small bet from time to time and cash it out.

Most mug punters bet on what they know and like. So if they like football they will almost always bet on football and normally on the premier league or UK main leagues. Most bookmakers will be able to tell you which football team a mug punter supports. You can try to disguise yourself by backing one team more than any other if possible. 

A matched better is just looking for closely matched odds so they don’t care if its a tennis match in Azerbaijan between two players they’ve never heard of, if the price is right they’ll back it. 

So try to avoid betting on obscure markets. For example, lets say you can make £16.50 profit from a £20 free bet by backing/laying Man United in the premier league versus Arsenal when there will be millions being wagered on it. Or you can make £17.50 backing/laying Radomiak Radom v Leczna  in the Polish 2nd division when there is very little money on it, take the Man Utd bet. (unless your Polish) 

Always best to be betting on events in your country or the country of your birth.

Understanding the Lingo: Get to grips with the Jargon and Terminology

When you start matched betting, there’s some new terminology to get to grips with, particularly if you participate in a forum. Here is a list of abbreviations and terms used, along with definitions.


General Terms

EV – Expected Value

FB- A Free Bet.

ARB- Arbitrage Bet

FS- Free Spins

MBing or MB- Matched Betting

QB- A Qualifying Bet

QL- A Qualifying Loss.

RF- A Risk-Free Bet

SNR- Stake Not Returned

SR- Stake Returned (can also mean Stake Restricted sometimes)

There is also a variety terms which are specific to certain types of sports, particularly for football and horseracing but are easy to understand and follow.


Football Betting Terminollgy

BTTS. Both teams to score. So if you back this then both team in the match have to score at least one goal each.