Matched Betting Strategies

Betting Strategies Introduction is a blog dedicated to educating people on various betting strategies and techniques, particularly those that are matched betting related.


What Is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a betting strategy or process used by matched bettors to convert the bookmaker free bets and promotions into withdrawable cash. It’s used by thousands of people in the UK to create a second risk free income stream. The bookmaker industry is a competitive one, and bookmakers are fighting for new customers. One of the popular methods they use to entice new customers is by offering free bets, and of course, why not, everyone loves something for free, right?!


Extracting Profits from the Free Bets

The problem with ordinary or standard betting (gambling) is that you are risking your own funds. Most of the free bets offered by bookmakers as an incentive require you to place a bet with your own money first.

This is risky, your bet could lose.

What if there was a way you could place a bet, unlocking the free bet, but also protect yourself from any risk?

This is the thinking behind matched betting. Every bet you place with a bookmaker is “matched” by placing an opposite bet (lay bet) on a betting exchange such as Smarkets or Betfair.


Bookmakers and Matched Betting in More Detail

Match betting is risk free, does not involve gambling of any sort, but uses mathematics to cash out the sign up and regular promotions that online bookmakers offer as incentives.

A typical sign up offer from an online bookmaker would be to bet £10 and get £30. Under normal betting circumstances a gambler would have to risk their own £10 to unlock the £30 free bet. However with Matched Betting, an additional bet is placed to protect against the first bet losing.

Matched betting has a slight learning curve, but the process is made so much easier over at Oddsmonkey with their professional matched betting service.


Is Gambling Involved? Does it Carry any Risk?

Not at all, matched betting uses a simple betting strategy to not only make sure it’s risk free, but also to guarantee the profits no matter the outcome of the bets.


If we take the example bookmaker promotion above, bet £10 to unlock a £30 free bet, a normal punter would be risking their initial £10, which is against matched betting principles. The way the free £30 bet would be unlocked by matched betting is to place an opposite bet on the same event.

Matched betting can return some brilliant profits. Completely risk free
An example of winnings you can easily make with Matched Betting

Let’s say that Germany was playing Brazil in the World Cup final. To unlock the £30 free bet, you would place a £10 bet with the bookmaker for Germany to win, but on a betting exchange you would place a £10 for Brazil to win. You can see that you will not win anything, but you will not lose anything either. More importantly, after the match has finished, you will have received a free £30 bet from a few minutes work.


This might appear to be complicated at first, but the software at Oddsmonkey covers all of this for you. They have an odds calculator, which does all of the hard work for you. All that is required by you is to simply place the bets and cash out the profits!


Does it Involve Anything More than Placing Bets?

Matched betting in the community doesn’t just refer to placing bets at the bookmakers to cash out the free sports offers. Commonly you will see that online casinos offer similar promotions for roulette and blackjack, as an example. These offers can offer huge profits, but are not as regular as the profits you can make from match betting.


How Easy is Matched Betting?

Match betting involves an initial learning curve and a bit of number crunching, but there are tools and websites available to help you with the process. The good news is that once you’ve understood the basics then cashing out a free bet literally takes a few moments. In fact, it’s quite exciting understanding the ability to convert say a £50 free bet into profit within a couple of minutes.

The major learning curve with this betting strategy is understanding the lay bet, which we’ll cover in a different article to come soon (as at 14th October 2017). We will explain just how a lay bet works, and how betting exchanges such as Smarkets and Betfair help.


Can You Lose With Matched Betting?


As long as you follow the guides exactly as they are laid out, you may lose a few pence on the qualifying bet (the bet that unlocks the free bet), but you will usually make between £10 – £200 on the free bet that you receive.

Human error can come into play with matched betting, which is why it’s a little important to take your time with getting the basics right. But once you’ve covered the main areas of match betting, it’s quite straight forward and you will sail through the majority of the bets.

What About Casino and Vegas Offers?

Whilst these bookmakers offers strictly don’t come under the umbrella term of matched betting, these forms of offers are often carried out by many matched bettors. The problem is that they are not risk free, but instead give you a calculated edge. For example, slots on bookmakers websites have an average return to player (RTP) of anything between 80 and 98%. This means that under normal play, and over a long period of time and spins, your financial return will be between 80% and 98%. Some games have a higher RTP than others.

Some casino and games offers actually push the RTP higher above 100%, which means that on average you have the edge. But you could still lose money. Sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose, but overtime you will find yourself on the positive side of the scale.

The good news is that there are many casino offers that actually give you free credit just for signing up and without requiring you to deposit any money, so some of these offers are still well worth looking into.


How Sustainable is Matched Betting?

Not as sustainable as it used to be!

Bookmakers can usually spot a matched bettor from a mile away. They have software systems that recognise users signing up and only betting to cash out the free bets. The good news is that you can trick their software into thinking you’re an ordinary gambler by placing mug bets. Mug bets are placed periodically on your betting accounts with no offers attached to them. Yes, you will lose a few pence placing these and laying the bets off on the exchange, but they are necessary to keep your account in order.

Take a normal gambler for example, they will probably bet on their favourite team week in / week out without fail. They will have their favourite types of bets, and will have consistent activities. If you compare this with someone who only bets to cash out certain offers then they will see you coming a mile off. If you continue to cash out the bookmakers offers, and they believe you are taking too much value (i.e. matched betting), then they will “gub” you.

What is Gubbing?

Gubbing is essentially a term used to explain a bookmaker updating your betting account and restricting you from any future free bets. For the majority of matched betting, it pretty much renders the account useless from that moment on. 99% of bookmakers will not lift this restriction and you can be certain that they will never offer you anymore free bets.

But, for normal matched betting it might be useless, but there are other methods to profit from these accounts, such as Each-Way arbs. These are quite complicated bets which we will cover later, but are brilliant for maximising betting profits.


What is the Law Concerning Matched Betting?

Match betting is completely legal, but even better; any profits are also Tax Free. This is because HMRC view any earnings from bookmakers to be free from Income Tax. HMRC actually cover gambling activities as Capital Gains, but you can read more about the Tax treatment here (it’s Tax free income!)

Matched Betting has been covered and endorsed by many other publishers and newspapers, including:

  • The Telegraph
  • Huffington Post
  • The Guardian


Discover the Strategy of Matched Betting

Check out our matched betting tutorials to find more information on matched betting, and how to get started.

Alternatively, Oddsmonkey have a free trial that shows you how to cash out two bookmaker offers where you can earn £45 and learn the basics of Matched Betting.