By Charles Hopewell | Last updated October 24, 2018
What is matched betting? Read our definitive match betting guide and find out how you can start making up to £1000 each month risk and tax free.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about matched betting: what is matched betting, how does it work and is it right for you, plus we share our top matched betting tips that will help you maximise your income in 2019 and beyond.
Let’s dive in!
What is matched betting?
Matched betting – you’ve possibly heard the term – it’s probably why you’re here…
But what exactly is match betting?
For those of you who aren’t sure here’s a simple explanation:
Matched betting (or double betting as it’s sometimes called) is a risk free betting technique that takes advantage of bookmakers’ free bets and promotions to make a guaranteed profit.
With a growing number of people wanting a way to earn extra cash that fits around their busy lifestyle, matched betting is proving to be the number one method of making money online.
There are thousands of people already using this technique to great success and I’m sure you’ll want to join them by the end of this article.
Competitive betting industry
When did match betting become a thing?
As you may or may not know, the betting industry is incredibly competitive and has been since the internet started to take hold roughly 10 years ago.
The barriers to entry were severely reduced which encouraged new companies to get in on the action and take a piece of the increasingly lucrative gambling sector.
Enter Bet365, Betfair, 888Sport and many others. These are now some of the world’s largest and most profitable betting companies.
It then became incredibly tough for any bookie to gain and keep new customers as there was so much choice in the market.
Arguably the more traditional bookies like Ladbrokes and Coral found it the most difficult.
To get an edge, bookmakers continually offer promotions and offers to incentivise new and existing customers to place bets with them rather than their competitors.
They must do everything in their power to gain an advantage over the competition.
According to Ben Cleminson, company director at Square in the Air, some of the larger betting companies spend up to £300 to gain a new client.
A ridiculous amount it may seem, but one that matched bettors can benefit from!
This budget usually goes straight into free bets and other promotions that matched bettors profit from on a daily basis.
Overall, the explosion in popularity of online bookmakers (and in particular, their promotions and offers) has been a key driver for the uptake in matched betting.
What do promotions look like?
Below is an example of a Ladbrokes sign up offer:
Ladbrokes offer a £20 free bet when you sign up and bet £5.
This is a typical offer matched bettors can make a guaranteed profit from, both risk and tax free.
You’re probably thinking this all sounds too good to be true. How on earth can you make a guaranteed profit when betting is involved?
Well, I’m here to tell you it’s entirely possible with no risk matched betting…
Before you read the full lowdown on match betting, I suggest you watch our video below and see how you can profit from this awesome risk free betting technique.
How does match betting work?
Now you know more about what no risk matched betting is, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how matched betting works.
An introduction to back and lay betting
The first and arguably the most important concept you need to understand is back and lay betting.
This is the main concept behind match betting. By using this method you can calculate the outcome of your bets rather than basing them on chance.
This is a proven strategy we follow to ensure we know the exact outcome of our bets before an event has even started.
So, what’s the difference between back and lay betting?
This is your traditional type of bet – you are simply backing an outcome to happen.
So you might bet that Chelsea will beat Man United in their next game.
If Chelsea win the game, your back bet wins.
Lay bets are the opposite of back bets and they’re relatively new in the betting world.
Using the previous example we now bet that Chelsea will NOT beat Man United.
Note: this is not the same as betting Man United will win
If Chelsea DO NOT win the game, your lay bet wins. In the case of a draw your lay bet would also win.
In essence, lay bets allow you to act as the bookmaker and sell a bet if you think an outcome is unlikely to happen.
You can place lay bets only at a betting exchange – more on these later.
Back and lay betting in matched betting
In no risk matched betting, we place both a back AND a lay bet on the same event.
So continuing on from our example above, we place a back bet and a lay bet on Chelsea to beat Man United. This way, our two bets cancel each other out.
What’s the reason for this you’re probably asking.
Let me explain.
Unfortunately for matched bettors, the bookies don’t casually hand out free bets and other promotions to everyone who asks nicely.
There is normally qualifying criteria that we must fulfil before we can trigger the free bet or bonus. This is usually in the form of a bet.
The bookmakers generally want something in return for giving out promotions.
So an offer might look something like this:
Bet £10 and get a £20 free bet.
So to trigger the £20 free bet, we first must place a £10 qualifying bet.
To complete the qualifying criteria without risking any of our money we use the back and lay betting method mentioned above.
The whole process should start to become a little clearer now.
Stuck with any terminology? For more explanation on the key terms involved with matched betting check out this article.
Betting exchanges are incredibly important for matched betting as we use them to place our lay bets and make this entire process risk free
As we mentioned above, lay bets can only be placed at a betting exchange. But what are betting exchanges and how do they work?
A betting exchange is an online marketplace which matches gamblers looking to place opposite bets. They allow individuals to bet for an outcome (back bet) or against an outcome (lay bet).
As you may know, this is different from your typical bookie where you can only back an outcome.
A betting exchange charges a commission on players’ net winnings whereas traditional bookies make money by offering less efficient odds to the gambler.
This commission rate varies depending on which betting exchange you’re using. However, it ranges from 1.5% to 5%.
Here’s a short list of the most popular betting exchanges and their commission rates:
- Smarkets – 2%
- Betfair – 5%
- Betdaq – 5%
- Matchbook – 1.5%
All in all, it’s vital you understand what betting exchanges are and how they work. At the end of the day, they make matched betting a possibility.
For more explanation, check out our in depth betting exchange guide.
An overview of the matched betting process
Here’s an overview of how matched betting works.
- Find an offer or free bet from a bookmaker (e.g. our £20 free bet from Ladbrokes above)
- To trigger our £20 free bet, we need to place a £5 qualifying bet. For most free bets and promotions there is usually some kind of qualifying criteria that we must complete.
- We place two opposite bets. This process is called back and lay betting which cancels out the risk involved with normal gambling. So we bet £20 on horse A to win at the bookmaker (the back bet)…
- and… £20 against horse A to win at a betting exchange (the lay bet). Our bets cancel each other out and we end up where we started. One of our bets will win and one will lose, no matter what the outcome is.
- We now have a £20 free bet to use. We repeat the process with our free bet and…
- …make a guaranteed profit!
Matched betting is really that simple!
However, if you’re still not sure how the process works, read our step by step matched betting guide.
Matched betting offers
Now you know more about the process behind match betting, let’s look at some of the different matched betting offers available, where you can find them and what to do if you run out.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are 100s of offers available for matched bettors to take advantage of.
To make things easier, we split the offers into two main categories; Sign up offers and reload offers.
Sign up offers
These offers are for new betting customers only and almost every bookie runs one of these promotions, so there’s plenty of profit to be made.
Currently there’s around £1200 worth of free bets for matched bettors to profit from. Read on to find out where you can find these offers.
What if I already have betting accounts open?
It’s quite common for individuals to have existing accounts with some of the larger betting firms like Bet365 and Coral etc.
Unfortunately, once you’ve registered an account, you can’t use the sign up offer again.
However, don’t let this put you off matched betting.
Although you may have used the free bet, this is not a problem and can sometimes be beneficial when getting started.
Individuals who already have betting accounts open generally understand how bookies work and how to place bets, making it easier to get started with matched betting.
Those with bookie accounts already open can also take advantage of reload offers.
You would have thought, once a customer is registered they’ll stick with that bookie.
Many punters have accounts with a number of different bookies meaning customers won’t necessarily return unless there’s some kind of incentive.
Enter reload offers
The bookies run these promotions to keep existing customers betting.
It’s much easier for bookies to retain existing customers rather than finding new ones which is why reload offers are so effective.
Thankfully for matched bettors, there are a huge range of these offers available each week and this is where the ongoing, long term profit is made from matched betting.
Where can I find the latest match betting offers?
One of the hardest parts of matched betting is finding the latest promotions to take advantage of.
There are hundreds of bookies, all offering different promotions at different times as you can see from the image below.
Manually searching for these offers becomes incredibly time consuming which is why we do it for you here at The Sure Bettor.
We understand your time is best spent completing the latest offers rather than finding them.
Therefore we have a team of experts constantly scouring the web for the best offers. We then upload them to our members area along with a brilliant matched betting guide explaining how to maximise your profit from the offer.
Our aim is to make no risk matched betting as easy as possible for both beginners and those with a little more experience.
I’m out of offers – Can you do matched betting without free bets?
There may come a time when you’ve taken advantage of most of the free bets available.
Thankfully for those looking to continue matched betting long term, there are a number of methods you can implement without the use of free bets:
- Price boosts
- Extra place offers
- Casino offers
- Bingo offers
When it comes to matched betting without free bets, keep an open mind and think outside the box.
If you see an offer, think ‘can I make money from this?’ and ask around in our matched betting forum to see if anyone else has the same idea.
Is matched betting legal?
You’re probably thinking this all sounds great, but is matched betting legal?
All we’re doing is using the free bets given to us by the bookies and offsetting them with another betting company to make a guaranteed profit.
Arguably, we’re actually bringing more customers to the betting companies in the first place.
Here’s what Graham Sharpe, from William Hill, said about matched betting:
‘There’s no illegal element. It’s a free bet and you can do what you like.’
But as you can imagine, most bookies aren’t such big fans of matched bettors simply because they don’t like losing money.
They specifically don’t like punters who just take advantage of promotions all the time.
If the bookies catch you doing this, you’re likely to have your account gubbed (a matched betting term meaning restricted or banned).
In either outcome, this is bad news. You need as many accounts open as possible to maximise your profit.
Furthermore, there are a number of ways you can avoid this happening.
See our comprehensive article on placing mug bets for more information.
Is no risk matched betting for me?
In this section we’ll look at who can benefit from matched betting and how much money you can make.
Who is matched betting for?
Matched betting is for literally anyone who wants to make money online, including those who are tired of the bookies continually taking their hard earned cash.
Isn’t it nice to know that the house doesn’t always have to win in the end!
Below are the few requirements before starting match betting:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You’ll need a valid UK proof of address
- Have your own payment method (preferably a bank account)
- And have access to a reliable internet connection
For those looking to start matched betting outside the UK, check out our relevant article.
Whilst it’s not isolated to these individuals, students and stay at home parents typically find matched betting very effective.
How much time do I need?
Time is at a premium these days and we understand you guys don’t want to spend hours completing the latest matched betting offers – even though it is incredibly rewarding.
That’s why we do all the hard work for you.
As we mentioned earlier, the best matched betting sites, like The Sure Bettor, have dedicated teams constantly on the lookout for new offers.
As soon as we spot one, we’ll add it to our premium member dashboard straight away (where you’ll also find a brilliant tutorial to walk you through the whole process).
If you’re using a dedicated matched betting site we recommend members spend 30 minutes to an hour each day completing some of the latest offers.
On weekends, when there are more sporting events on, there will be a few more offers to complete.
However, it really is a simple time = money investment…
The more time you invest, the more offers you complete (and the more money you’ll make).
I’ve never placed a bet!
Never placed a bet before? Not to worry!
Many of our members begin their match betting journey without any prior knowledge of the betting industry or even knowing how to place a bet.
There is a process we follow for each offer and we walk you through the exact steps needed for you to make a guaranteed profit.
For beginners completing your first few offers, you can literally copy the exact steps we take in our walk through videos including how to place a bet.
If you’re not happy, one of our team will personally help you through the process, ensuring you make a profit.
You’ll soon get the hang of matched betting with our expert tutorials and support.
I’m not a gambler
Neither are we!
Matched betting is NOT gambling. We place opposite bets at different betting companies, therefore our bets cancel each other out.
There is no risk involved with this betting technique.
There are many matched bettors who would certainly not consider themselves a gambler in the true sense of the meaning.
Furthermore, we know the exact outcome before an event has even started. We work this out using our awesome matched betting calculator.
How much money can you make?
Last and certainly not least…
The most important question for a lot of people – how much can you make matched betting?
Matched betting is a very profitable technique that has the potential to earn you a very nice second income. As with anything, earnings vary with the amount of time you invest.
However, many of our members make around £500 each month with some, more experienced matched bettors making a lot more.
If you really invest in matched betting you’ll be able to make up to £1000 each and every month.
How awesome is that…!
It’s important to remember that our matched betting winnings are completely tax free – so more money in your pocket.
There are few, if any, easier methods to make money online than matched betting.
Have more questions about matched betting? Why not check out our matched betting FAQs page.
Here are two of our top matched betting tips that will help you increase your earnings in 2018 and beyond.
- Use a matched betting site
- Double check everything
Why use a matched betting site?
One of the most important aspects of a successful matched betting strategy in 2018 is using a dedicated matched betting site.
This is arguably our most important tip and here’s why…
Over the years and as the number of people taking part in no risk matched betting has grown, so has the need for services like The Sure Bettor.
This process can be quite challenging at times which makes it all the more important to summon the help from experts in the field.
Furthermore, mistakes can be costly meaning beginners are more at risk.
We’ve created a short list with just some of the benefits of using a matched betting site:
- Hundreds of in depth tutorials covering everything in matched betting
- Access to the latest matched betting offers updated every day
- Tools and software that greatly increase your profitability
- Advanced methods to maximise your income
And much more…
As you can see, it’s certainly worth signing up to a matched betting service like The Sure Bettor.
Double check everything
Carrying on from a point I made in the last section, it’s important to double check everything to do with matched betting as mistakes can considerably damage your profitability.
Here are some of the things I recommend you continuously check:
- The bookies terms and conditions for the offer
- Your bets before you place them
- Your bets after you’ve placed them
Get started with matched betting
So you’ve decided you want to start matched betting. You’ve made a great decision.
I hope this what is matched betting article has given you a comprehensive overview of match betting and why it’s so effective in 2018.
We’ll see you on the inside very soon.
If you have any questions or just have something to say, leave a comment below and one of us will get back to you.
Learn more about matched betting
For those of you who want to learn more about matched betting, below are just some of the brilliant articles and guides written by our experts here at The Sure Bettor:
Alternatively, you can head over to the matched betting blog.