Affiliate banner

What is matched betting? Beginners guide to matched betting in 2020

By January 12, 2020Matched Betting
Matched betting 2020

These days everyone seems to have one goal in mind!

Make more money…

That’s what most people are after, right?

Whether it’s paying for that dream holiday or just to make ends meet, 99% of people would say they want to make more money each month.

Make money matched betting

Nowadays most individuals head online to make more money. One such method is matched betting.

Match betting is based on taking advantage of bookmakers promotions and it’s proven to be very popular over the last few years.

I’ve talked about it before, but today I want to dive deeper into what matched betting actually is, how it works and what’s in it for you.

Plus much more…

So let’s get into my matched betting guide. Ready?

Matched betting definition

The best definition of what matched betting is can be found on OddsMonkey’s website:

“Matched betting is a way to turn the free bets offered by online bookmakers into real money.”

As you may know, the bookies offer a huge range of free bets and other promotions to punters on a regular basis.

Here’s a great example from Betdaq, one of the leading betting exchanges. They offer new customers a £10 free bet.

Betdaq signup offer

It’s these type of free bets that matched bettors can make a guaranteed profit from on a regular basis.

However, with so many promotions out there, it’s tricky to know which offers to complete first and which are the most profitable.

To make things easy, bettors split bookmakers free bets into two main categories:

  • Sign up offers
  • Reload offers

Let’s check out each of these in more detail below.

OddsMonkey Betfair Integration

Sign up offers

Sign up offers, as the name suggests, are for customers who register a new account.

These offers are used to incentivise punters to open an account and they work incredibly well!

Most online bookmakers offer some kind of sign up promotion meaning there’s plenty of profit to be made with matched betting in 2020.

Here’s a typical example. Betconnect offers new customers up to £50 in free bets.

Betconnect £50 free bet

Using match betting, it’s possible to make a guaranteed profit from free bets like the Betdaq and Betconnect examples above.

If you’re wondering what happens when you’ve created accounts with most bookmakers and used up all the sign up offers, it’s time to move on to reload offers which we’ll look at next.

Reload offers

Reload offers are free bets and promotions for existing customers and this is where the long term income is made with matched betting (more on this later in the article).

Bettors can take advantage of most of these promotions, but initially it’s important to focus on sign up offers as they’re the easiest for beginners to understand.

So we know matched betting takes advantage of bookmakers free bets, but how does the process work?

Bet £10, Get £10 - BETDAQ

How does matched betting work?

At this stage, you’re probably wondering how matched betting works.

To make things easy, we can split the process down into 6 easy steps which you can check out in our matched betting infographic below.

    1. Find a free bet
    2. Place a qualifying bet
    3. Place an opposite bet
    4. Use free bet
    5. Place another lay bet
    6. Make guaranteed profit

6 steps to matched betting

Let’s check out each step in more detail.

Step #1 – Find a free bet

The first step of the matched betting process involves finding a free bet to take advantage of.

Initially, you should look at sign up offers for new customers and register with a new bookmaker.

As we looked at earlier, there are plenty of free bets available in 2020. At the time of writing there is over £1200 worth of free bets for new customers alone.

Free bets in matched betting

Here are some of the best and easiest free bets to take advantage of right now:

Step #2 – Place a qualifying bet

The second step is to place a qualifying bet to activate your free bet or bonus.

Unfortunately, the bookies don’t just hand out free bets to anyone. They want something in return and that usually means depositing and placing a bet or two.

With this bet, you are effectively triggering or unlocking your free bet within your account.

If you’re not sure what market to place your bets on, you can use OddsMonkey’s Odds Matcher software to help you out.

They show you exactly what bets to place and how much to wager etc.

OddsMonkey Betfair Integration

Step #3 – Place an opposite bet

The third step is vital to matched betting as it makes your qualifying bet (step 2) completely risk free.

You need to place an opposite bet at a betting exchange (more on exchanges below) to cancel out your initial bet.

This process is called back and lay betting.

Step #4 – Use free bet

Now for the exciting bit, using your free bet!

First up, you should double-check that your free bet has been credited in your account. If not, get in touch with your chosen bookmakers’ support and they should be able to help you out.

Once you’ve activated and unlocked your free bet, you need to repeat the same process as above, only this time you’ll make a guaranteed profit.

Guaranteed profit with matched betting

Find another market to place your bet. Once again, I suggest you use OddsMonkey’s software to help you pick the best market.

Step #5 – Place another lay bet

The fifth step requires you to place another lay bet at the betting exchange. Use the matched betting calculator to work out the correct stakes.

Step #6 – Make guaranteed profit

Congratulations, you’ve completed your first offer.

Rinse and repeat the 6 steps above and you’re well on the way to making a great second income online.

Obviously, there’s a bit more to it, but that should give you an idea of how no risk match betting works.

So now you understand the basics, let’s look at back and lay betting in more detail.

Bet £10, Get £10 - BETDAQ

Back and lay betting

What’s this nonsense about risk-free betting I sense you thinking… Let me explain.

As I mentioned earlier, bettors use a method called back and lay betting which cancels out any risk from your bets.

The maths is such that no matter the outcome of your bets, you’re guaranteed to make a profit.

In matched betting you always place two bets:

Bet 1 – A back bet
Bet 2 – A lay bet

You place these two bets at different betting companies on opposite outcomes. Here’s an example to help explain.

Let’s say you placed bet 1 (the back bet) on Manchester City beating Watford at a bookmaker like Ladbrokes.

Man City football

To ensure your first bet is risk-free, you’d also place bet 2 (the lay bet) on Manchester City NOT beating Watford at a betting exchange like Betdaq.

Note: it’s not the same as betting on Watford to beat Man City.

No matter what the outcome of the game is, one bet will win and the other will lose meaning your two bets cancel each other out.

All in all, this leaves you where you started.

However, this allows you to make a guaranteed profit when using bookmakers free bets.

Betting exchanges

Let’s check out betting exchanges and how they fit into matched betting.

As I mentioned earlier, bettors place one bet a traditional bookmaker like Ladbrokes or Coral and the other bet at a betting exchange.

A betting exchange might be a new phrase to some of you. But in simple terms, an exchange is an online betting platform that matches gamblers together.

The most popular exchange platforms are Betfair, Betdaq and Smarkets.

Betfair and Smarkets in 2020

Betting exchanges don’t take on any bets as a traditional bookmaker does. They simply charge a commission on players net winnings.

Check out this article for more information on betting exchanges and how they work.

Bettors use back bets to back a certain outcome and then lay those bets off by betting against that outcome.

So now you know more about what matched betting is and how it works, let’s look at what’s in it for you.

How much can you make from matched betting in 2020?

The question everyone wants to know the answer to: how much money can you make from matched betting?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to work out exactly how much you will earn from matched betting (and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise!).

Everyone’s results vary!

What I can tell you is the average earnings of individuals who take part.

So, how much can you make from matched betting?

On average, matched bettors make around £500 per month. However, individuals who learn more advanced techniques, dedicate more time and use sites such as OddsMonkey can earn upwards of £1000 a month.

How awesome is that!

Legally, I’m required to state that there’s no guarantee of specific results each month. The amount that you earn will vary depending on the amount of time and effort you invest.

Right, disclaimers done…

Make money with matched betting

Just think what you could do with an extra £1000 each month… It’s a great way to bolster your bank balance, pay for that dream holiday or just provide you with an awesome second income.

What’s more, no risk matched betting is completely tax free.

Everything you earn, you keep – nothing is given to the taxman thanks to zero tax on betting winnings.

So matched betting is both risk and tax free, surely there isn’t a better way to make money in your free time than that?

So is matched betting for you?

Who’s matched betting for?

We know matched betting in 2020 is still worthwhile, but is it right for you?

As with most things, it’s not for everyone.

However, if you’re interested in making a risk free guaranteed profit, matched betting is probably right up your street.

To get started you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a UK address – for those interested in matched betting outside the UK or matched betting in the USA check out our specific articles.
  • You need to have access to a computer/laptop and a reliable internet connection.
  • You’ll also need a personal form of payment – preferably a debit or credit card.

If you meet the above criteria, great news you can start matched betting today and join bettors that come from all walks of life such as:

  • Students
  • Stay at home parents
  • Hardcore matched betting fans

This just goes to show how popular and versatile match betting is meaning you can fit it around your busy work schedule.

Students matched betting in 2019

As you can tell, matched betting works for anyone looking to increase their earnings online.

I’m new to betting

Never placed a bet before or you don’t follow sporting events?

Not to worry, you’re not alone! I get asked these questions all the time…

Whilst matched betting may seem challenging at first, you’ll soon get the hang of it. Especially with help from specialist matched betting sites.

If you’re just getting started, I thoroughly recommend you sign up to a matched betting service like OddsMonkey.

They walk you through the entire matched betting process hand in hand and show you the exact bets you need to place. As a premium member, you even get 1-to-1 support.

Bet £10, Get £10 - BETDAQ

So if you don’t know how to place a bet or create a new bookmaker account, you’ll be in safe hands.

Speaking of OddsMonkey, let’s check out other benefits of using their platform.

Using OddsMonkey to maximise your profit

Whilst it’s not essential to use a site like OddsMonkey, I thoroughly recommend you do.

There are numerous benefits which we’ll look at below.

As I mentioned earlier, OddsMonkey walks you through everything hand in hand with tutorials, videos and other guides along with expert support.

OddsMonkey dashboard

This allows you to start earning instantly. It won’t be long before you’re placing your first profitable matched bets.

Below are some of the key benefits of joining OddsMonkey:

  • Tutorials designed with beginners in mind allowing you get get up and running as quickly as possible
  • Matched betting offers updated on a daily basis along with tutorials guiding you through the whole process
  • The latest matched betting tools and software allowing you to maximise your income in 2020

And loads more…

Whether you’re using matched betting to make money in your free time or you’re using it as a full-time income, OddsMonkey will allow you to maximise your profit.

Changing landscape of the betting industry

With all the changing regulations in the betting industry and the uncertainty around the future of free bets and promotions, is matched betting in 2020 still worth it?

As I’ve mentioned in this guide, free bets and other promotions are vital to match betting.

Without them, there would be no risk-free bets or guaranteed profit. Matched bettors rely on bookmakers to provide them with these promotions.

However, it’s no secret that the betting industry is evolving. The Gambling Commission, along with anti-gambling organisations, are piling on the pressure to ensure the industry moves in a more transparent way in 2020 and beyond.

Gambling Commission in 2019

It’s fair to say that the betting industry has taken advantage of far too many people over the past few years. MPs and other organisations want this to change.

This is bringing significant changes to the way bookmakers incentivise customers and therefore how bettors can profit using match betting.

Investigations into bookmakers free bets

Back in February 2018, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) conducted an investigation with the Gambling Commission, looking into the way bookies offer free bets and promotions.

They were specifically looking into wagering requirements and how punters have to complete multiple bets before being able to withdraw their funds.

Ladbrokes and William Hill

The outcome was that firms must stop misleading customers and make their terms and conditions much clearer and easy to understand.

As any bettor knows, bookies terms and conditions are incredibly long-winded. One of the most time consuming and tedious parts of no risk matched betting is reading through these T&Cs, making sure that you qualify for a bonus.

That’s one of the reasons I suggest you sign up with a matched betting service like OddsMonkey.

In the wake of this investigation, a number of bookmakers reconsidered and altered their marketing promotions. William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment are just three of the major bookies that made such changes at the start of 2018.

Since 2018, it’s fair to say a lot of bookmakers have simplified their promotions and bonuses. Ultimately this made match betting easier allowing bettors to make more profit.

More bookies to follow suit?

Since the investigation into bookies’ promotions, the CMA and Gambling Commission concluded that all bookies must ‘promptly adopt similar changes’ to that of William Hill, Ladbrokes and co.

Since this investigation, more and more bookies continue to make changes to their marketing strategies and specifically aim to simplify their terms and conditions in an effort to please the CMA and Gambling Commission.

If operators don’t follow these guidelines, more fines and restrictions are likely to be handed out, a move that all bookies will try incredibly hard to avoid in 2020. Especially after the record fines and penalties firms received in 2019.


How this affects matched betting

So the real question is how this will affect matched bettors?

These changes will undoubtedly have a significant impact on matched betting in 2020 and beyond. Sceptics are starting to say that matched betting doesn’t work and it’s not worth it anymore.

However, this is far from the truth…

Free bet promotions are still the most popular way for bookies to incentivise new customers. Just take a look at the number of sign up bonuses available at new bookmakers.

In my view, we’re unlikely to see operators cutting promotions from their marketing strategies. Rather, they’ll just alter the type of promotion.

However, you’ll still have the same, if not more opportunity to profit using matched betting in 2020.

In the next section of our matched betting 2020 guide, we’ll look at different types of promotion you can take advantage of.

OddsMonkey Betfair Integration

Make money from matched betting in 2020

These methods worked incredibly well in 2019 so you can be sure they’ll work even better in 2020…

Due to popular demand, the bookmakers are continually inventing new ways to make betting more exciting for punters. It’s these new and innovative methods of betting that we’re going to see more of in the coming years.

For example, such things as #RequestABet and Best Odds Guaranteed have been hugely successful for bookmakers.

In terms of matched betting, as long as there’s a lay market available at the betting exchange, you can still profit from a lot of these new-style promotions.

Advanced matched betting strategies to use in 2020

Free bets are a key part of any matched betting strategy and will continue to be that way in 2020.

However, they’re not the be all and end all. There are more advanced matched betting techniques that don’t require the use of free bets.

As you gain more experience, you can include these strategies to increase your profit.

To name a few, such things as price boosts and each-way bets are worth considering. Let’s have a look at these in more detail and find out how much you can make.

Price boosts

Price boosts are a brilliant way to make money from match betting and they are one of the best ways to increase your overall profit each month (and you don’t need to use a free bet).

To incentivise punters to stake money on a certain market, the bookies may boost the odds, meaning a greater potential return for gamblers.

Here’s an example of a typical price boost:

Skybet price boost - matched betting

Skybet are boosting the price for Tottenham, Man City and Newcastle all to win from 3/1 (4.0) to 5/1 (6.0).

It’s possible to make a guaranteed profit from this price boost. Here’s how:

In matched betting, if the back odds are higher than the lay odds, you can make a risk free profit regardless of the outcome of your bets. So, using the example above you’d want the lay market to be below the boosted back odds of 6.0.

How easy is that…

Typically the lay odds remain around the original back odds (4.0 in this example) so there’s plenty of profit to be made with price boosts.

This is just one of the methods you can use to take advantage of price boosts. You can find out about other techniques in our price boosts guide.

There are plenty of these promotions available each week which means there’s plenty of profit to be made.

The tricky bit is finding all these price boosts. With so many online bookmakers to keep tabs on, it’s difficult to spot all the promotions and work out which ones are worth it.

Right, that’s price boosts done, let’s look at another type of promotion you can take advantage of.

Bet £10, Get £10 - BETDAQ

Each way bets

Another advanced technique to add to your betting repertoire are each way bets which are available on horse racing events.

These offers are a little more challenging but are still well worth the effort.

One successful each way bet can be very profitable and set you well on your way to your monthly match betting target.

We won’t go into the specific details of how each way bets work as we’ll save that for another article. All you need to know is that you take advantage of an extra place promotion on a horse race.

What are extra place promotions you’re probably thinking?

Instead of paying out the top 5 places on a horse race, a bookie may pay out the top 6 places. That is, if your horse finishes in the top 6, the bookie will pay you thanks to the extra place. The bookies use these promotions to incentivise punters by offering greater value.

How much can you make from matched betting?

Using back and lay betting you can potentially make a great profit if results go your way.

With each way bets, your outcome is not guaranteed, however, it’s still risk free. You’ll never end up losing any money with matched betting.

Overall, each way bets are definitely a technique to add to your matched betting 2020 strategy, once you’re a more confident bettor.

Is matched betting worth it?

In short, yes matched betting is worth it.

Match betting in 2020 does work and it’s still incredibly profitable and worthwhile – the numbers speak for themselves.

Whilst matched betting has changed over the last few years, the competition in the betting industry has intensified meaning more promotions for new customers.

Furthermore, despite clampdowns from The Gmabling Commission, we’ve seen more promotions than ever, especially during the Football World Cup in 2018.

With the UEFA Euro 2020 taking place this year, you can be sure it will be another great year for matched betting.

So there’s plenty of opportunity in terms of how much you can make from matched betting.

3 top tips to maximise your matched betting 2020

Below are three of my top tips to get the most out of your matched betting in 2020. Check out this article for more matched betting tips.

Tip #1 – Complete latest offers

As with all money making opportunities, your matched betting profit doesn’t just end up in your account. You’ve got to put the effort in.

My matched betting 2020 number one tip is to complete as many offers as possible. The more you complete, the more money you’ll make.

It seems like common sense but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who don’t or can’t complete all the offers. These matched bettors are leaving so much money on the table.

Don't turn to gambling in 2019

You can do this by opening more new bookmaker accounts and taking advantage of sign up bonuses.

Tip #2 – Avoid being gubbed

You’re probably wondering what gubbed means, so here’s a short introduction. It refers to when a bookmaker bans or restricts your account in some way.

As you can imagine, the bookmakers aren’t interested in customers who continually take advantage of free bets and promotions. They want something in return.

If the bookies think you’re just in it for free bets, they may close or restrict your account in some way – a process matched bettors call gubbing.

To make matched betting a viable long term income you need to complete as many matched betting offers as possible. To achieve this, you need a large number of bookmaker accounts open. It’s useless having your accounts gubbed or restricted.

Not to worry though, there are a number of methods you can use to prevent this happening. For more information check out our guide to gubbing.

Tip #3 – Assisted matched betting

Our third tip is to use assisted matched betting in 2020.

This is arguably the most important tip in our guide.

When you first start out with matched betting, it can be quite challenging. There are a number of new concepts and methods you’ll need to get your head around before you can place any bets and start making a profit.

That’s why it’s important to get some help from matched betting experts. OddsMonkey does a brilliant job of helping you get started.

OddsMonkey Betfair Integration

Matched betting 2020

Match betting is one of the most popular ways to make money online and it’s incredibly profitable once you know what you’re doing.

Despite all the changes in the betting industry, it’s still a great time to get started with matched betting. There are more offers than ever meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to profit.

As matched bettors, it’s important to move with the times. Matched betting in 2020 is very different to what it was five years ago.

Whilst free bets still play an important role in the eyes of the bookmaker, they are unlikely to be around forever. It’s important you find and utilise new ways to profit from match betting.

As I mentioned earlier, there are more advanced strategies available and these will likely become a major part of your matched betting strategy in the future.

In the meantime, continue as you were and implement the tips above to maximise your profit in 2020.

Overall matched betting in 2020 is still incredibly profitable and definitely worth it if you’re thinking about getting started.

Once again, sign up with OddsMonkey and you’ll start earning very quickly.

Happy matched betting in 2020 🙂

What are your thoughts on matched betting in 2020? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Free betting tips

Get access to the latest betting tips and tricks right now.

About Charles

Charles is the founder of The Sure Bettor. He built the company with the aim of 'getting the word out' about matched betting.


  • Matthew Woodward says:

    This is great stuff. Thank you so much for sharing man.

  • Rizwan says:

    I have done almost 36 offers available on OddsMonkey and it made me around £500 which is nice but I have only 32 more offers to go through and it would make maybe another £500 but after that reload offers aren’t that great. Not sure how one can make £500 a month consistently unless using other people’s details.

    • Charles says:

      Hi Rizwan,

      Thanks for the comment. The initial ‘bang for your buck’ with matched betting is brilliant and the reload offers do take more time and effort. Looking for reload offers during big sporting tournaments is a great tip.

      Good luck


  • Jon says:

    Looks like an amazing way to make a 2nd income from home!

  • Ross Charters says:

    Really interested in this idea as I need to find an extra income from somewhere and really like the idea of taking some of my money back from the bookies!!
    My main question would be how do you make money from me? Am I expected to give you a percentage or is it a monthly fee?

    • Charles says:

      Hi Ross, thanks for the comment. Matched betting is certainly one of the best ways to make money from the bookmakers on a consistent basis. We make money via monthly subscriptions and product sales. I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply