5 Matched Betting Tips: How to Win Regularly…

Matched Betting Tips

Love it or hate it, matched betting has become extremely popular in recent years. For a determined handful, it’s a solid first step toward trading sports too.

If you’ve tried it before or not, we’ve put together one simple super-post!

It’s got it all; showing you what matched betting is, how it works and where to get started along with the best matched betting tips.

Enjoy, it’s a cracker…

What is Matched Betting?

You might have heard claims that matched betting is a completely risk-free method of betting for profit. Whilst that’s not entirely true (there is a degree of risk to everything), it’s close enough.

In a nutshell, matched betting is a way of profiting from the free bets and bonuses that bookmakers give out as promotions.

Top matched betting tip: Sign Up For a FREE Premium Account Here!

If you’ve ever signed up for a bookmaker account or even watched the TV once in a while, you’ll have come across free bets and bonuses being advertised by bookmakers and casinos around the world. They don’t just do this because they have so much money that they feel like they need to give it away… They do it to attract new customers.

There are thousands of bookmakers and the market is extremely competitive. It’s very often the bookmaker that gives away the largest bonuses that win.

Whilst the average customer will use this free bet on whatever takes their fancy, matched bettors can use it in a way that will guarantee profits, whatever the outcome. For example, they may back a horse to win a race using a free bet and still come out with a profit, even if the horse loses the race.

They do this by matching their bets on another sportsbook or exchange, so they have effectively hedged their bet. This is why it’s called “Matched Betting”.

How Matched Betting Works:

Matched Betting works by milking bookmaker offers through a three-step process. It’s very simple.

It goes a little like this:

  1. Find a bookmakers offer. For example: Open an account, Bet £10 to receive a £30 free bet.
  2. Next, you need to qualify, whilst dumping the first bets liability on the exchange (preferably at the same price).
  3. Finally, repeat the process with the free offer – levelling your profit in the process.

For clarity, a hypothetical example…

Let’s assume Betfair are offering a £30 free bet for a new account that bets £10 on their sportsbook (step 1 complete).

  • We start by opening an account on Betfair and placing a £10 bet on Redrum in the 2.30 race at 3/1.
  • To dump the liability this bet offers we lay Redrum in the 2.30 race on Smarkets at 4.0 (also 3/1).

Because we have laid off the same bet, we don’t win but neither do we lose! (possibly a few pence commission depending on which bet wins).

…but now we have a free £30 bet to play with! (step 2 complete).

All we have to do is repeat the process once more, with the free bet. So assuming that Dobbin runs in the next race at 3/1 also, we are free to do the following:

  • Back Dobbin on Betfair at 3/1 for £30 free bet.
  • Lay Dobbin on Smarkets at 4.0 (3/1) for £22.61

Either way, we win £22.16 after commission (step 3 complete).

Why? Because the free bet wins us £90, but we lose £67.83 on Smarkets, whereas if Dobbin should lose; we lose our free bet but win £22.16 on Smarkets. Pretty cool huh?

Easy. But that’s how matched betting works – and why so many have made money from it!

Matched Betting Process

If you didn’t quite follow the previous example, there’s a high-quality video example below. Just click play and follow it along, step-by-step.

It’s worth paying attention to as there’s some high-quality info shared in a short amount of time.

The strongest tip is to be efficient and methodical in your approach. Setting aside some time before you start to ensure you’re doing everything in a productive manner will allow profits to compound faster.

But before we get stuck into some matched betting tips, let’s look at three of the most common questions matched betting newbies ask…

Is Matched Betting a Scam?

Make no mistake about it, the “industry” is full of dodgy-looking websites and stories that seem far too good to be true. But in its essence, matched betting is not a scam.

Where you’ll need to be careful is in the dozens of paid groups that ‘review’ and promise to help you with your matched betting. Some are genuinely helpful, without a doubt. However, some are just there to take your cash, offering very little. Just be sure to do your homework first.

Most calculators, spreadsheet templates and other tools can be found for free online in most cases.

Matched Betting Tools

Is Matched Betting Legal?

By its definition, matched betting is not illegal. It is, however, against almost all bookmakers’ terms and conditions. This means that in most cases, you will be banned or “gubbed,” which basically means they will no longer offer you free bets and bonuses, and possibly close your account.

In essence, matched betting is similar to going shopping with a wallet full of coupons. They are promotions that the shop (or bookmaker in our case) has willingly distributed. You are just making the most of them, but this isn’t the reason they gave them out…

If Tesco gives you a voucher for a free pizza, are you a crook for making the most out of it? Nope. Just being smart!

In summary; matched betting is 100% legal.

Understanding Laying Off For Profit On Exchanges.

Many people who sign up for matched betting, aren’t typical bettors. It’s so easy anyone can do it. However, understanding exchanges at first are quite difficult for the less betting savvy amongst us. If you’re matched betting, you’ll need to lay bets. This can appear a little tricky at first.

Laying on Exchanges is basically becoming a bookmaker.

So, for example:

If you back a 3/1 shot for £10 you win £30. However; the bookmaker losses £30 if the horse wins and wins, and £10 if the horse loses. So; if you’re new to matched betting “becoming the bookmaker on exchanges” is the easiest way to understand laying fast. It’s surprising how quickly you can pick it up!

…it won’t take long for that pink button to become your best friend. 

Matched Betting Tips: 1# Organise (Common Mistake)

Once you’ve grasped the basic principles of matched betting, your main challenge is going to be organised.

Organisation may sound dullest matched betting tip, but there are many stories of people forgetting about thousands of pounds in old accounts. Better organisation solves this issue and helps you keep track of progress.

Another all-to-often heard story is when matched bettors lay or back the wrong football team or horse, all because they didn’t keep up to date records. Flashscore.com is probably the best place to keep up to date with all of the current sporting results.

Putting it simply, if you want to move on to the more advanced matched betting strategies such as accumulator betting and even high-risk casino offers, you won’t stand a chance without a bunch of solid, up to date spreadsheets.

With free versions of Microsoft Excel such as Google Sheets, there’s no excuse not to start recording every back and lay bet you make. Consider recording at least the following bits of information for each bet you make:

Excel Google Sheets

  • Stakes used
  • Back or lay
  • Type of bet (a qualifying bet, free bet, risk-free etc)
  • Profit/loss
  • Time taken to complete

You should also be keeping some overall data points such as:

  • Monthly profit/loss
  • Total funds (in bookie accounts/bank/e-wallet)

Added to that, you’ll be lost without some way of keeping track of all the bookmaker accounts you have open. After a year or so of matched betting, you’ll probably have over 100 bookmaker accounts and in an ideal world, you should have unique, secure passwords for each of them.

There are plenty of tools on the market such as LastPass that will keep your passwords safe and secure. Most of them have free versions, a top matched betting tip!

Keeping records, mostly likely via Excel, is so important when matched betting. Working in these area’s will show you what the most effective use of your time is.

Top tip: Sign Up For Your FREE Account Here!

Tip #2 Basic Rules for Success:

You’ll no doubt have heard plenty of people brag about how matched betting has given others the chance to be “free” with finances, time and generally love being their own boss.

The problem is, most people are terrible at being their own boss.

Rules don’t exist to spoil the fun or remind you of life in high school, they exist to make you the maximum amount of profit possible.

So, what do you need rules for and why?

A schedule is extremely helpful in keeping you on track, making the most of your time and keeping your other half happy! Decide how much time you can dedicate to matched betting each week and stick to it. Will you check the offers each evening at 7 pm after tea for an hour? It doesn’t really matter how much or when just do what works for you.

Failing to stick to a schedule will likely mean you don’t make the most out of certain offers, waste time on low EV (expected value) offers or more importantly, miss out on family time because William Hill is offering 5 free spins!

Keep A Diary is another very helpful tip. This can be a simple desk calendar or you could even keep track of this on your phone. Pencil in the key dates coming up in the Sporting Calendar – when bookmakers are more than likely to post new, very lucrative offers. An example of these could be the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, Wimbledon or the Champions League Final. Bookmakers will target these events and a successful matched bettor should too.

Bank and staking rules are crucial if you want to survive for more than a week in this game. Although a casino offer as an EV of £20, doesn’t mean you are in a position to risk your £40 for it. Consider how much money you have dedicated to matched betting and how much you are willing to risk on each kind of offer.

Free bets on sports are often much less risky than certain casino offers, but that doesn’t mean you are completely safe. You could make a mistake placing the bet, have your account frozen or in the worst-case scenario, the bookmaker could go bust and take your money with it. This has happened multiple times and could happen to you too. Stake within your means. Always.

Betfair Offer

What other rules could you create to keep you on the right path and maximise your profit? Print them out and frame them if you need to! Having a physical print-out is always a good tip, you simply can’t ignore something when it’s there in front of you constantly…

Another very simple tip is to get a small desk area that is just for you. This way you can keep everything in the one place and it will have the ‘feel’ of being at work. You’ll be surprised how much more successful you can be once you act more Professional and get organised. There’s a lot of backs, lays and free bets to keep track of. Take it seriously.

3# Persistence Pays Off

Like any income source, matched betting has its ups and downs. High-risk casino offers can result in huge wins and bigger losses. Some weeks seem to be full of free bet opportunities whilst other weeks have very little.

If you let your emotions get the best of you and give up when the going gets tough, you’ll never see the full potential. This is true in all walks of life and especially so with matched betting.

Higher risk casino offers can result in loss after loss and if you’re not ready for it, you’ll be throwing the towel in before you know it. It may just be that the big win is just around the corner, ready to balance out your EV chart!

After a week of £20 free bets being thrown around, it can seem like £5 free bets are not worth bothering with. But like anything, they soon add up. Little wins matter just as much, the best matched betting profits come through consistency. It doesn’t sound appealing I know, but it’s the most powerful of matched betting tips. The only person you are competing against is yourself so get busy and get consistent.

The key with matched betting is to take action and scoop up any value you possibly can. So long as it is within the reach of your bank and staking rules (see point #2).

#4 Don’t Miss Out…

Your email inbox will soon be overflowing with offers from every bookie known to man. There will no doubt be some great offers in those emails, but sometimes you need to be in the loop to hear about the best value grabbing opportunities.

There are a few options here. You can join online communities, talk to others on Twitter or even just your mate at the pub. So long as you are in regular contact with other matched bettors, you’ll be sure to hear about the big offers before they are gone.

As a prime example of this, sometimes there are loopholes that only stick around for a matter of hours. A few years ago, Sky Casino ran a promotion where if you bet £20 on roulette, they would give you a £5 bonus. The EV of this offer is somewhere around £4.50.

Fortunately for a select few matched bettors, they noticed that Sky was giving away £5 every time you bet £20 for an infinite amount of times. This was in spite of the “1 bonus per customer” clause in their T&C’s. This resulted in a few matched bettors walking away with £1,000’s in cash for just a few hours works, before the loophole was closed.

The point is, if you don’t know about offers or loopholes like that, you can’t make the most out of them. Don’t rely on emails from bookies. Use your network to stay in the loop.

#5 Avoid Mug Betting (Dangerous)

The title says it all really. Don’t be a mug and throw money back at the bookies.

Mug betting has caused a fair amount of debate within the matched betting community. Some people swear that placing regular bets with the aim of appearing like a normal bettor will keep your accounts open for longer.

The fact of the matter is, this is simply not true.

Bookmakers and casinos have and will ban users after placing just one bet and sometimes none at all!

If you’re taking value bets from bookmakers and they are losing money, or they simply think they may lose money with you, they will kick you out. Placing mug bets here and there will only give back the hard-earned value you have taken from them before they eventually ban you anyway.

The Best Matched Betting Strategy:

There are dozens of routes you can take with matched betting. Some are naturally easier than others. Some are more profitable but may carry more risk. Here are just a few different kinds of matched betting strategies:

  • Arbitrage Betting
  • 2 Up Offers (large payouts)
  • Accumulator Matched Betting
  • Shop Arbing (known as sharbing)
  • Low-Risk Casino Offers
  • High-Risk Casino Offers
  • Free Daily Games

Ultimately, the best matched betting strategy is one that suits you. This will depend on how much time you have free, how much money you have in your bank balance and your tolerance to risk.

For example, if you’re a fan of keeping things simple and can rarely dedicate a specific time of day to do matched betting, accumulators probably aren’t best suited to you. If your bank balance is small and you can’t take the emotional ups and downs, it’s best to stay clear of high-risk casino offers.

The top matched betting tip is to protect your bank. Use the tools that help you speed up, whilst letting probability do its thing. Make a conscious effort to structure your matched betting and you will be rewarded, I guarantee it. 

Anyone can do it and especially so if you follow the advice in this article; you just have to put the time in!

Recent Release: Profit Rush Review | FREE Matched Betting

34 thoughts on “5 Matched Betting Tips: How to Win Regularly…

  1. One tip I could give with this would be make good use of the big sign up offers it is a lot harder after they are gone. Pleasant to see a balanced view of matched betting. Greetings.

  2. Thank you for sharing such an informative article. It will surely help people to make money online through Matched Betting

    1. Thanks Charles, no problem. A lot of our readers have or have had an interest in Matched Betting so it just made sense to create such an article. Obviously it’s very different to trading on the machine but there is a little overlap in how things work!


  3. Hi Caan, this is a very good article. You do not beat about the bush as I have read your trading book too. How I like it getting straight to the point! a very good summary of matched betting and how it works. Do you think it is still possible to do this for a living? Regards, Scott

    1. Hi Scott, it would depend on what you deem ‘a living’. There is certainly regular money to be made. For those on a low income its an attractive proposition. However, the glory days of full time matched betting for £5,000+ a month are probably gone.
      Personally I spent my years trading and only done a few bonuses as I thought were very easy and obvious. The very large bonuses of £100 at Cheltenham are rarer now.

  4. Matched betting has certainly changed in the last few years since it became mass market.

    How do you see matched betting evolving over the next few years Caan?

    1. It can’t go anywhere can it, unless bookies stop offering bonuses. However, the high end days are less frequent. A great long term option for those who want some beer tokens and money on the side. That’s my true view!

  5. Hi guys, i’m a complete noob to this but I noticed many of the casinos e.g if they give you a free £20 bet they only pay out once youve deposited x5 this into your account. How does this affect matched betting?

  6. Great article Caan. I was a match bettor for 18 months and earned decent money doing so. There’s still 1 offer which is lucrative to me but I’ve been restricted by most bookies. My advice to newbies would be to join a community. Pooled knowledge is a god send for some of the offers. Well worth the subscription fee. (Not sure if I am allowed to name who I used)

    1. Hi Dave, thanks for the comment. Not against naming others at all, although I / we have noticed those others make an effort to censor and stop members from mentioning others services on their forums and affiliated communities. At the moment Profit Rush is up and coming, and pretty much on par with the big services (will have the same bookies very shortly). It’s also 100% FREE.
      Check it out at profitrush.com

  7. Hi Caan
    This may be a little unrelated but i want to know what the sentence below means
    “I matched my $2 lay bet for 2.72”
    Please leave a reply in my email (as well, please)

    1. Hello caan, was like a fresh water poored on me on a very hot day as I read your article on marched betting though ibhavent headed of it before. I’m in south Africa and please how can I do marched betting with casinos offering like up to 500% on initial or any other deposits. Thanks

  8. Interesting read Caan I started out in matched betting and it gave me a rudimentary understanding on betting markets which I found useful when I started trading as well leading me to trade. One thing though “Mug bets” can be a good idea if you back and lay those bets too, as well as exercising common sense, smaller bookmakers will probably block you if the even slightly suspect that your a matched better but it can work with big bookmakers as it did with me. If your lucky enough to have the time to pursue trading full time guys, its a great way to earn money while you learn.

    1. Sure its something people do, but with technology and algorithms, I think its largely a mistake to think you can trick artificial intelligence with large datasets (Bookies have this).

  9. Great article Caan, I have been matched betting for around 18 months and was so super skepitcal when I started. I dont do it as much as I should but that does stop me from getting gubbed. I probably make around £200 a month but know full well I could make £500 or more if I put more effort in. I also have to give the forums a shout as they have really helped me out.

  10. Cracking article about matched betting. I have been doing it on the side for a year now to top up on some treats but running out of accounts now do you have any advice for how you can keep accounts open longer?

    From what I hear matched betting was the golden goose a few years ago with people losing jobs and buying new cars off the profits! Sods law I missed that one. JJ.

    1. Its all a numbers game. Keep them open longer? Don’t win so quickly?

      … better off looking it at like getting value for your time, target the high-value offers. Hit them hard and fast and don’t get upset when restricted.

  11. Hi Caan I’m interested to hear you thoughts on lay to lose/minimum bet guarantee, lot of guys make decent returns on this by arbing and underlying but obviously speed is key and I would assume a good understanding of the market would also be a massive advantage. I’m interested in your thoughts on how you would you go about make the back and lay process as quick and efficient as possible.



    1. Hey Rich, you’re right that with arbing and underlay/overlay you make much better returns, and I’d say it’s worth doing on top of your matched betting efforts.

      Re speed, this can be achieved by having an alert system hooked up to your mobile phone, so you can put on the exact back and lay instantly. I’ve been Matched Betting for a few years now and found this to be the best set up.

  12. I’ve been matched betting on and off for a while now, whenever I have time, and I’ve almost made £1000. You’re right about keeping a diary- putting everything in a word document has made things a lot easier.

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