Full guide to Matched Betting


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If you are reading this article, there is a high chance that you have been following our betting university area for a while. There we aim to publish many educational articles that help our members explore the betting industry and make more informed decisions. Because we have a high dedication to our customers, we are always listening to them and appreciate their feedback. Recently, we received a few inquiries with requests to examine and explain an interesting betting strategy.


Its name is Matched Betting, and in this guide, you will receive an easy explanation of what it means and how it works.


We will be happy if this guide helps you in your future betting activities. If you have any additional feedback, feel free to email us.


What is Matched Betting?


Let's start talking about Matched Betting in details. This strategy is related to the free bet offers provided by the bookmakers and is a technique, which guarantees you winnings.  When you apply the Matched Betting strategy, you are able to make risk free profit from the bookmakers. In recent times Matched Betting gets more and more popular, and many punters want to benefit from it.


This system requires placing more than one bet to remove the risk that you have when you are normally betting. In the end, you have a profit, regardless of the outcome of the event, you betted on. Please make sure you do not confuse matched betting with arbitrage betting.


Matched Betting’s main concept is that you should place one bet in the bookmaker that has entitled you a welcome bonus, free bet, special offer etc. and then lay the exact same bet in the exchange. In order to be able to benefit from matched betting, you have to open a various account with bookmakers and support exchange account with the major betting exchanges – Betfair, Smarkets, Matchbook.  


If we have to explain it at its simplest, matched betting is a clever way to make the most of the bookmaker promotions by hedging the risk in the betting exchange. To start with your matched betting endeavour is easy, and the first step is to open multiple bookmaker accounts and deposit money in your exchange account. Once you open an account with XYZ bookmaker, you should deposit some funds depending on the bonus you want to get. In most of the bookies, you can deposit as little as £10, and you will likely receive free bets worth £30. Then, you should carefully look for an event that has odds in the bookmaker that you can match on the exchange, once you find this event and place your bet in the bookie you should head to the exchange and lay the same selection. By the way for the once that do not know we have already covered that in our “full guide to lay betting” article. However, in short, lay bet means that you have to bet against the team that you have chosen at first. By using the right amount of funds through lay betting, you secure a profit regardless of the outcome of the event you wagered on.


In order to find what amount you have to stake for your lay bets, you can use our Matched Betting calculator, which will also, show you the potential profit or use some fully automated software that will do most of the work for you.


Matched Betting example


When you decide to use this strategy, you have to follow a few rules:


Let's assume that you already have an account with a betting exchange like Betfair. Then, you will need a free bet offer in order to place your no-risk bet.


1.  If you open an account, for example, with 888sport and take advantage of its welcome offer (Bet £10 Get £40 in free bets), you have to deposit £10 and place your first bet in order to unlock the free bets.


2. For example, you are placing a £10 bet on Manchester United to beat Barcelona in 888sport at odds of 2.50, and then you are laying the bet at Betfair at odds of 1.60. Our calculations are showing that we have to place lay bet with a stake of £16.13 in order to make an overall profit, which will be £5.32 (including 5% Betfair commission).


3. If Manchester United wins, you will have £25 plus £40 in free bets. If Manchester United makes a draw or loses from Barcelona, you will have £40 in free bets in your bookmaker account, plus a profit of £6.13 in the betting exchange. Either way, you will win more than the staked £26.13.




This example is done with the help of our Matched betting calculator, which calculates the lay bet stake and potential profit. Nevertheless, if I have to be completely honest, there are some other software that has specialised in the matched betting automation and if you are looking to follow a matched betting strategy on a regular basis they will be a better solution than our calculator.


Top 5 Matched Betting tips


1. Choose your betting exchange for lay bets


When you are choosing your betting exchange, keep in mind that you have to know their commissions. Make sure to always include the commission in your potential winning calculations.


Smarkets – 2%

Betdaq – 2%

Betfair – 5%


If you think that the commissions are looking similar, calculate the percentage in the long term. If you win every month £1000 at the betting exchange, after a year, you will have around an extra £360 in your account only because you decided to go with Smarkets and not Betfair for example.


Make sure you carefully follow what is the available liquidity in the exchanges, one exchange may offer lower commission rates but lack liquidity which is from fundamental importance for you.


2. Inform yourself before you start


If you are about to start Matched Betting, you can help yourself with different software, calculators, and internet blogs. Just do your research on the web for Matched Betting, and you will find dozens of free and helpful strategies, tutorials, and tools that will increase your chances of succeeding.


3. Verify and confirm every step at least two times


When you do Matched Betting, make sure that you double-check everything. Read the terms and conditions of each bookie carefully, how you can qualify for the free bets, minimum withdrawals, etc.


When you start with betting, be sure that everything is accurate. Keep an eye on the stakes you place and double-check the matched betting calculator in order to avoid any typo errors.


4. Open accounts with various bookmakers


The betting industry offers a significant number of bookmaker promotions. When you are doing Matched Betting, the offers are crucial for you so you should stay on the top of the industry and always now the latest offers and bonuses. The bookmakers are providing deals on a daily basis, so make sure that you have a registration with as many as possible bookmakers’ websites in order to have more opportunities and increase your profit. Find a comprehensive list with all licensed and verified bookmakers on our special page.


5. Make it simple


Managing many accounts across different bookmakers’ websites is not an easy task. That's why we strongly advise you to make a file (for example, in Google Drive) with your usernames, passwords, and security questions. Make sure you do not share your log in details with anyone.


Another important thing on which you need to keep an eye is your bankroll management. The best way to track your bets, to check your performance, and to know everything about your betting bank is to use tracking automated tools and certainly, there is no better option than Bettingmetrics for that. With all of them, you will be sure what amount of money you have in each bookmaker and exchange accounts, you can analyse your bets, and keep everything in one place – nice and simple.


The best bookmakers for Matched Betting


We create a list of bookies In order to help you with the best betting websites for Matched Betting:


Bet365 - one of the most popular players at the betting scene provides a big number of offers for its new and existing customers. Additionally, the bookmaker would not close your account after one big win on an event with longer odds.


William Hill - The biggest UK bookmaker offers daily promotions and bonuses for its customers and the Matched bettors highly like the website.


PaddyPower - Although the bookmaker does not provide the highest odds, it runs a big number of daily promotions, which can be used for Matched Betting.


Betfair sportsbook - It offers promotions, which can help you to accomplish your Matched Betting strategy.


Betway -  If you open an account with the bookie, you will be frequently supported with bonuses and promotions to enhance your betting.


Common Matched Betting issues


* Efforts - Matched betting is a strategy that can make you some money, but we have to admit it is very time-consuming. If you are a newbie to the betting world, it may seem strange and hard to understand. However, once you read more about it, you will be able to start enjoying Matched Betting, and eventually gaining profits. Regardless whether you understand good or not the concept of matched betting you will have to spend a lot of time finding the right events to place your bet.


It is not only about finding the right event and odds. You should also keep up with all new bookmaker bonuses and promotions which indeed will take a lot of time. If you want to save time finds the latest bookmaker offers feel welcome to visit our bookmaker bonuses page.


* Betting bank - You will need funds in order to start with Matched Betting. You have to deposit money both in your bookmaker and betting exchange accounts and have enough resource to cover your liability in the exchange. Of course, you can start with a small amount and build your betting bank but that will take a lot of time.


* Geolocations - You have to make sure that Matched Betting is not prohibited in your country before you start with it. In most of the cases, if the betting is legal in your country, you will not have any problems with Matched Betting. If you are a resident of the UK, it is 100% legal, and it is TAX-FREE!


* Deposit methods - In order to take advantage of all bookmakers’ offers, you may need to open an E-wallet account. While some bookmakers will allow you to use a debit card for deposits and withdrawals, others will support only an e-wallet.


* Limitation - If you start with Matched Betting you will need a big number of bookmaker accounts. However, don't start opening directly without reading the terms and conditions because you risk account limitations. Some of the bookmakers don't allow Matched betting, and if they suspect it, you will be limited very shortly.


* Expectations - Many people who start the Matched Betting have unreal expectations about the amount that they can win. This is not a get rich quick type of scheme, it requires hard work, discipline and patience. To avoid disappointments, don't be like them and set possible goals before you start applying the strategy. Our researches show that an income between £400 - £800 per month is completely possible (of course if you follow the right formula).


* Sports knowledge - You need to have good sports knowledge and the ability to recognise the suitable odds and events for Matched Betting. If you don't have the needed experience, don't worry, you can find software, which can help you by listing the appropriate events for Matched Betting.


* Wagering requirements - Most of the bookmakers’ offers have withdrawals requirements. Make sure to read the terms and conditions, in order to be fully aware of how many times you have to wager your free bets before being able to place any withdraws.


Matched Betting in short


Matched Betting strategy gets more and more popular among the punters along with the world as it is a very low-risk betting strategy and will help you make some pocket money. That's why we created this guide, in order to help you join the ever-growing community of matched betting enthusiasts and avoid any potential issues with it. This guide is for those who want to make a profit from Matched Betting and have the patience to accomplish their goal.


Remember that you do Matched Betting not gambling, and you should avoid any gambling habits. You can’t make £15000 from only one £15 bet through this strategy, so make sure you understand. When you use Matched Betting, your profit will grow during the time, and in the long term, you will realise the value of this strategy.


We hope that you liked our Matched Betting guide and any feedback is welcome. If you need more educational articles, please visit our Betting Knowledge section.


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