Matched Betting

With this proven method you can beat the bookies with risk free bets earning tax free cash, whilst working from home.

The concept of matched betting can seem complicated and daunting at first but trust me, if I can do it then you can.

I have created this guide to help you get your head around the idea. Throughout this guide I may well mention terms that you’re not yet familiar with but to go alongside this guide I’ve created a “Glossary” or as I call it a “Matched Betting for Dummies” guide. So if I use jargon type words then I often put them in “inverted commas” or “quotation marks” this means that they are something I’ve put in the dummies guide. Alternatively contact me via email with any questions and I’ll happily answer them if I can.

It’s a long article but I believe it will be worth your time reading it all carefully if you are interested in starting to make money via the matched betting method.

I aim to outline what matched betting is, explain how you can make money using this technique and introduce you to some of the software used in the matched betting community. I’ll also show you where you can get access to all the best matched betting tools you’ll need.

I will also share some ideas and tactics that will help you maximise your profits and enable you to earn money via matched betting for the long term.

This means not just making money by taking on “New Account Offers“, but having longevity by applying these techniques to recurring “Existing Customer Offers“.

I hope this article demystifies making money via free bets for you so that you can begin your own enjoyable and profitable matched betting journey.


Special Offer on Odds Monkey

Here is a link to try the “OddsMonkey Matched Betting Software” (it’s the one I use) on a free trial to see if you like it. You don’t have to give any payment details it’s totally free.





Matched Betting: What is it?

Matched betting is where you “back” and “lay” on the same event. See a fuller explanation of “Back Bet” v “Lay Bet” in our glossary guide here. It’s a method of betting that enables you to make a guaranteed profit from free bets. In case you’re wondering every online bookmaker offers free bets to entice new players to their website and to incentivise their existing ones.

In its simplest form if you imagine wagering on a coin flip. It’s like betting £20 on the fact it will come down heads with a bookmaker but “laying against” that outcome on a “Betting Exchange.”(so £20 that it will not be heads)

Now doing that you’ll only ever break even, but what if the £20 you bet on heads is a free bet? Then you will be able to make a guaranteed profit. It’s slightly more complicated than that when the prices on the sporting events are uneven (not 50/50) but when you sign up to a matched betting website such as Profit Accumulator or OddsMonkey they will provide a “matched betting calculator” so all you need to do is input the odds and it does all the sums for you.

They also provide something called an “OddsMatcher” which searches hundreds of sporting events in real time to find a suitable sporting event for you to place the qualifying bet on. Basically it will list the better/closer matched odds at the top of the list for us because we want an event where the odds are close. (like the 50/50 coin flip) 


An Example Scenario

Let’s say that Corals are offering £20 in free bets (It’s actually 4 x £5 free bets) to anyone opening a new account. However they stipulate that to qualify you have to place a £5 bet of your own first. This is known as a “Qualifying Bet” (QB).

So what you want to do is try to break even or lose the absolute minimum when you place your qualifying bet, but then make as much as possible when you place the free bets.

So what I do is look for a close match in the “Oddsmatcher” see below.


So for example I’d be looking to place my £5 bet via Corals at odds of 1.5 on the West Ham v Arsenal game.

NB: Matched betting is always done with decimal odds not fractions, 1.5 equates to 1/2 in fraction odds.

If I click on the i button on the Oddsmatcher I get a bit more detail .


The bet in this example is “BTTS” which means “both teams to score”. 

But I need to also “lay” against both teams scoring at odds of 1.52 via the exchange on Betfair.

The OddsMonkey Calculator will tell you how much to “lay” on the Betfair Exchange, all you have to do is input the odds and the bet size, see below.


So the calculator has worked out that to “match” by Corals bet I need to “lay” with a potential liability on Betfair is £2.60p. This means I’m saying on the exchange that both teams won’t score and someone on there is betting me £5 they will. I’ll have to pay that person £2.60p if they do.

The profit breakdown in the image above shows you that I lose 10p regardless of whether the bet wins or loses with Corals.


Now the Fun Part

So now you’ve done the QB you get the £20 in free bets. Let me show you this.

I look for bigger prices now because you will win more. Please be aware though that with bigger prices your liability will be higher at Betfair which is why its helpful to have a bigger bankroll. I talk about bankroll, which is the money you set aside to do your betting with in a paragraph lower down this page.

So above I’ve found a horse to back in the 4.00 pm race at Newcastle at odds of 6 and at a lay price of 5.9. The calculator shows me what to do but MOST IMPORTANTLY I have to change the Bet Type at the top of the calculator from “Normal”, where I’m using my own money, to “Free Bet”. (see image below).

This is the crucial aspect to matched betting, having the free bets. The reason being that when we bet on the original QB we were laying enough to protect our stake money. Now though we don’t need to protect the £20 free bet because it’s not our money! We therefore lay to protect less and this means we are guaranteed to make a profit. 


You can see with the free bet in play I will either get £100 returned to me at Corals from my £20 free bet if the horse wins but lose £83.35 via the exchange for a net profit of £16.65.

Alternatively I win £16.67 if the result goes the other way. (Lose at Corals win on the exchange)

Don’t forget though that we lost 10p on our qualifying bet. You can see though with this example you’d have made a minimum of £16.55 by just placing the QB and the free bet.  It takes no time at all to place the bets once you’ve done it a few times.


It’s Mathematics 

Matched betting is risk-free if done correctly, as it’s just based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than luck. The good news is the OddsMatcher will find all the best (closely matched prices) events to bet on and the Odds Calculator does all the sums for you once you’ve input the bet size and whether it’s a QB or a Free Bet (FB).

Using this method consistently guarantees you will make money from all free bets and bonuses from bookies in future!

Typically, a matched bet’s yield can realise around 80% of the free bet amount, so a £50 free bet should earn you £40. 

Some of the very best free bet amounts are offered only to new customers but all bookmakers offer smaller regular bonuses and free bets as incentives to existing customers so you can make an income from this method long term.

This type of offer is known as a reload offer. Reload offers make it possible to generate significant long term tax free income from matched betting. I’ve personally been doing it for 4 years but others have done it for a lot longer that that. 


Matched Betting: Is it Legal?

This is completely legal. What’s more, anyone who can open and access a betting account online can benefit from this technique. You must be over 18 and a UK resident for most UK bookmakers but I believe if you live in Ireland you can also access most online UK based bookmakers. This technique is becoming steadily more popular as people start to trust it, and begin to see what can be done with this new concept. It has had some positive write ups in the UK press over the years and its becoming more mainstream.


A Word of Warning

Accounts of frequent winners can be closed or restricted by a bookmaker. This is called being “gubbed” by the bookies but there are strategies you can use such as “mug betting” that will reduce the likelihood of that happening. People in the matched betting community share advice on this topic to help each others accounts to stay open and active. I’ve also covered this topic in the “Matched Betting for Dummies guide”.


Bankroll (Your Cash Float)

You will need a float or as poker players call it a “bankroll” set aside for you to do your matched betting with. This cash is so that you can use it to make the qualifying bets and have enough money in the “Betting Exchange” to be able to pay out on “Lay Bets”.

You get this money back of course but you need some fluidity to be able to place the bets in the first place. You could start with just a spare £50 but that just makes it harder as you will have to slowly build up your bankroll before you can do some of the bigger offers.  You will also have to do just one at a time also. If you have £200 – £500 as a float to start with that would make the whole thing so much easier for you. You would be able to do more than one offer at a time and have several bets “layed” in your Betfair account at once. 

Personally I started off with just £250 to try it but as I got into it I actually raised my float to £1,000 quite quickly because on a Saturday I’d be backing and laying so many football matches and horse races (the ITV races on TV on Saturdays always have big free bets on offer) and I wanted to take full advantage of the best bets available. Now my float is is even bigger than that and it just means I can take advantage of bigger bets at bigger prices because I have the money to cover the exchange liabilities for several events happening at the same time.

I doubt if any full time matched betters have a bankroll of less than £2,500 but don’t worry it’s very rare to start off with a bankroll that big. If you only have a small amount to start with, just build up slowly until you get confident with it and use your profits to build up your bankroll as you go along.

If you make £100 profit in your first week and need to take money out to help with bills etc, try and just take half the profit and leave the other half in. If you can do that it will quickly build your bankroll allowing you to place more bets and take advantage of more free offers. That way you can start to make £200 per week and so on, so you’ll have a £1,000 in your bankroll in no time.

You should look at your bankroll like a plumber looks at his tool bag. He can’t work without it and neither can a matched better. 

It also helps to have a separate bank account dedicated to matched betting which makes it easier to track the movement of your money, and keeps your betting bankroll separate. It may also help you to think of matched betting as a business, which if you do it consistently it is.  Setting up an email that you only use for matched betting is also a good idea, as it keeps everything you need in one place without other distracting emails filling up your inbox.


What can you make?

This is almost entirely dependent on you. Like most things in life the more time and effort you put in to it the more you’ll get out of it.

Generally speaking people’s time and effort falls into 2 or 3 main categories.

  1. Less motivated people (lazy buggers) are the type of people who once they’ve done all the easy “New Account sign up offers” just sort of play at it and only put some effort in during big sporting events when there are loads of free bets on offer.  Any big sporting event such as the Cheltenham Festival, The Grand National, Wimbledon Tennis, FA Cup Final, Open Golf those sort of things always have big free bet offers available. These less motivated people generally average out at £200 – £300 per month.
  2. Steady part timers. These are people who maybe have a full time job or other business interests but they still put some regular time and effort in. They will log in and place bets for at least 30 mins each day at least 4 or 5 days a week. These will generally average between £400 – £800 per month depending on what type of bets they are doing and how selective they are. 
  3. Full timers. There are a surprising number of people who do this as a full time living. Obviously they go on to do more advanced techniques, which I won’t share here in this beginners guide, and they work hard at it. Maybe 3 or 4 hours a day 7 days a week or 4 or 5 hours a day 5 days a week. I’m not going to make any grand claims about how much some of these people are earning but trust me the top earners are doing very well. 


My Advice Regarding Earnings

Give it a try and see how you get on. Do the free trial at OddsMonkey it won’t cost you anything and you will just need a float/bankroll of £50 for the first 2 offers you will be given access to. Then when you’ve done the first two free bet offers (which should make you £40-£50 in profit) you can sign up to the paid subscription . (£17.99 per month) At the end of that month you’ll have an idea of the potential earnings you can make. At that point you can decide to carry on or cancel the subscription. There is no contract you are free to stop it anytime.

Sign Up to OddsMonkey Free Trial Here*



Is Gambling Expertise Required?

No, you don’t need to be an expert on gambling because matched betting isn’t gambling. You don’t even have to have the slightest interest in the sporting event you’re betting on. This betting method really just requires you to follow the instructions. It is as popular with parents who stay at home, and students, as it is with sports fans, all using it to make some extra cash.

It is one of the best ways of making a profit online. As I said above, what you can make varies according to the time you spend on it. I’m confident though that if you do it correctly then you will be making a terrific hourly rate out of it.


What Software do you need to start?

You don’t need much to begin with other than a computer with internet access. However, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. 

You will need to sign up with one of the two main UK matched betting websites either OddsMonkey or Profit Accumulator.  Both charge about the same monthly fee (around £18 pm) but offer a free trial that allows you to try before you buy.

They will provide all the resources and tools you’ll ever need, such as Oddsmatcher to find the best bets and the calculators to work out the lay amounts etc.

Both companies also offer tutorials including full instructions on how to complete each offer. This includes videos you can watch to follow everything through step by step. 

They offer profit trackers so you can keep tabs on your money and a large forum where you can get help and advice from other members of the matched betting community. They really are a mine of information and the vast majority are only to happy to answer questions from new members. 


How to Start your Matched Betting Journey

Start slowly by only doing the offers you can understand. The more offers you do, the more confident you will become, which will be helpful when you attempt the more complex ones. Never treat matched betting as a way to make a lot of money quickly. You should take the time to learn the process properly. 

You should also always keep track of your money across different accounts to make the most of it.  It’s easy to forget what amounts of money you have where. You should also keep lists of your usernames and passwords in a safe and secure place. This will make the process faster when you’re regularly logging in to your betting accounts.

You can also speed up the process by bookmarking all of your bookies’ accounts on your PC’s toolbar. You can also use the auto-fill function to complete registration forms faster. Crucially, don’t be afraid to seek advice when you feel you need to.

You need to be 18 or over and live in the UK to begin matched betting. You will need a bank account with a debit card and I’d advise you to start a spreadsheet recording your bets/profits etc.

If you’re patient and put in the time and effort needed, you can easily earn a decent 2nd/part time income from it. Whether you end up as a full timer only time and your own personal circumstances will tell.


Matched Betting: Final Tips

Try to be a regular matched bettor, in order to take advantage of the many free bets and bonuses on offer. Place plenty of mug bets so that you will be regularly offered bonuses, free bets and promotions. Use all your free bets before they expire to make the most profit possible. Above all, remember to enjoy it.  After all, how many other ways can you make £20 of legal, tax-free cash in in less than 10 minutes? So, enjoy the ride!



In this article I’ve just covered some of the basics of matched betting, outlined what matched betting is and how you can make money using this technique. I’ve introduced you to some of the software used in the matched betting and shared some tips and tricks with you on how you can succeed.

If nothing else I hope I’ve excited you about the possibilities of making a good second income whilst working from home.

Check out the rest of the website for more information and great free bet offers.


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Feel free to email me to ask any questions.


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