If you’ve been looking for quick ways to make money online over years, you may well have come across something called matched betting. If you know anything about betting and gambling, you’ll likely know that it’s a game of chance. Or is it?
There are reports after reports after reports of people online making serious money from smarter betting. If you want to add hundreds of pounds to your monthly income, it could be a good money-spinner for you. However, it’s going to take some time to get into, and a lot of time to perfect.
This matched betting guide is for true beginners – those who might be interested in making money this way, but who may be a bit puzzled on how to start. While it might be time-consuming in the long run, understanding the basics is actually pretty straightforward.
So – enough waffle – what is matched betting, and how could it net you some serious extra cash?
What is Matched Betting?
Matched betting is less about making the right bets and is more about taking advantage of free deals. If you’ve ever been to an online bookmaker before, you’ll normally find that there’s a welcome offer or two for new punters.
Matched betting takes advantage of a simple formula – you make sure to bet on all odds and outcomes of a given event, so that you are guaranteed to get money back. But how do you make a profit?
The best matched betting sites will help you hit the ground running pretty quickly. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to make a back bet and a lay bet. Your back bet is money you put on an event you want to happen. For example, you might put a back bet on Arsenal to beat Liverpool at home.
A lay bet, meanwhile, goes the opposite way. Using a betting exchange, you place money on the opposite coming true – that Liverpool wins, or that there’s a draw.
But where do welcome bonuses come into all of this? Don’t worry – I’m getting to that bit shortly!
Is Matched Betting Legal?
Before I do, however, let’s address a big question. Is matched betting legal? The short answer is yes. While matched betting does involve you taking advantage of welcome deals, it’s clear that even the biggest names in online bookmaking have few concerns over matched betting strategies.
It is, after all, a strategy. However, you may find that some bookmakers take a dim view of people who use welcome bonuses and freebies too often. It’s therefore worth making sure you read through any available small print before you get started.
But how does matched betting work in practice? How do you know that you’re necessarily signing up for the best deals and offers? Don’t worry – we’re almost there.
How Does Matched Betting Work & How Easy is it?
Matched betting is surprisingly easy, though you will need to take your time looking for the best deals and offers for the strategy to pull off in practice. Perhaps the best way to go about this is to break it all down into steps.
- You’ll start by looking for an online bookmaker with a welcome deal. This shouldn’t be too hard, as most of them have freebies on offer.
- The majority of these deals are likely to be cash matching bonuses. This means that you will get a matched bonus from the site based on how much you put in. For example, Ladbrokes might offer you £20 free if you bet £10. Most of the time, you’ll get this credit in free bets.
- To start matched betting, you’ll need to stake that first £10. Make sure to do this through the site with the freebie deal. This is your qualifying bet, and it’s also your back bet.
- As mentioned, your back bet is your positive bet. You’re going to bet on an outcome to win, or to go in your favour. For example, let’s say you bet £10 on Arsenal to win.
- You’ll then need to match this bet with a £10 lay bet at an exchange. An exchange will let you bet on the opposite outcome, i.e., Liverpool winning the match.
- Then, regardless what happens, you should claim back money from your bet, as well as the freebie from the initial bookmaker.
This means you can now use your free bets to try and win even more money on different markets! The idea of matched betting revolves around paying in a small amount and claiming back free bets. You can then use your free bets to follow the same process again, therefore potentially making a fair amount of money back in the bargain.
It’s easy to see why people enjoy matched betting. A lot of people see it as ‘no-risk’. However, it’s safe to say that it will take a little more effort than just putting a bit of money down and hoping for the best. Ultimately, there’s no real way for you to ‘game the system’, however, there are ways for you to take advantage of opposing markets.
If you’re still with me, great – matched betting can be a lot of fun. However, don’t let any of the finer points bamboozle you!
How To Get Started with Matched Betting
Anyone confident that they can make a stack of cash out of matched betting might want to get straight into it. Why not? If you’re already au fait with betting and gaming online, it might be something you take to fairly quickly. However, it’s probably going to be easier on you if you find a matched betting guide or two to help you on your way.
Before you start with matched betting, think about the sports you want to bet on. It does help if you have an interest in what you’re placing money on, as then you’ll also be able to apply a little of your own knowledge along the way. Avid punters will also tell you that learning form, in any sport you bet on, is crucial. This means you’re going to need to keep an eye on what some teams and sportspeople do, so that you can make firmer predictions.
However, matched betting rather takes this element away. It’s safer betting, as you’re virtually guaranteed to get money back. To get a profit back, however, you’re going to need to be really careful about the odds and markets you choose. You’re going to need a matched betting calculator.
What is a Matched Betting Calculator?
A matched bet calculator takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process. If you’re just getting started with this type of system, it makes sense to download a program, or to sign up for an online system. You can use calculators and guides to work out which odds are going to be most profitable for you.
Even if you like betting on sports and events a lot, finding the best odds can get very tricky! Therefore, make sure you use a calculator, or software of sorts, to sift through the pack. Otherwise, you’re going to risk losing money in the bargain.
If you don’t want to use a calculator, and you’re confident in your odd-spotting abilities, then you can go right ahead and get started! However, if I were you, I’d at least take a look at a few matched betting sites before you throw yourself in at the deep end. I’ll look at a few of the better ones a bit further down.
How Much Can I Earn From Matched Betting?
That’s a good question, and as you can imagine, it’s honestly going to vary. In theory, you’ll likely end up with more than 90% of the amount you’ll get from your free bets. It’s not unheard of that you’ll make a little bit of a loss when getting started, depending on the odds you choose, but you’ll be able to make money back once your free bets come in.
The amount you could make from matched betting all depends on the money you put in, the free deals you choose, and how often you take part. These variables might mean you add thousands to your yearly income. However, as I mentioned above, that’s all going to depend on what you’re willing to get out of matched betting.
Therefore, if a matched betting guide or website tells you it’s going to guarantee you a fixed amount of money per month, it’s either estimating, or it’s lying. Be sure to take these figures with a hefty pinch of salt and keep an open mind. Also check out any testimonials from existing matched bettors.
What Are the Best Matched Betting Sites?
Naturally, if you’re interested in getting started in matched betting, you’re probably going to want to find the best matched betting sites. There are a fair few to pick from, with some that are fairer and more comprehensive than others. Therefore, I’ve rounded up a handful of what I believe to be the best matched betting sites online, and why.
Profit Accumulator is known as one of the ‘big two’ as far as the best matched betting sites are concerned. There are plenty of reasons for this. They’ve recently reduced their monthly subscription to £17.99 and seem to have removed additional charges along the way. Not only that, but new joiners can take advantage of the premium service for seven days for £1. It’s one of the best matched betting sites around for the fact that there are plenty of tutorial videos, and specific guides for specific types of bet and event.
Oddsmonkey is a very popular matched betting site for a pretty simple reason – it’s simple. It’s a great beginner’s resource, as well as a solid platform for working out the best odds and the best chances for you to make a profit. You’ll need to pay around £17.99 per month (at the time of writing) for the privilege, but with some sites expecting you to pay extra fees along the way, I think it’s more than worth it. If you’re likely to get into matched betting regularly, Oddsmonkey more than pays for itself.
Team Profit is a newer site on the block, but it should be appealing to those looking to avoid spending monthly fees. It’s completely free. Like the above two sites, it’s also a good repository for learning how to matched bet. It might not be as in-depth as the paid sites, and it does have varying reviews, but if you really want to try the whole thing out for free, you can do without any risk on your side.
MatchedBets offers a nice in-between option in that it’s £15 per month. It tends to offer a slimmer scope than Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator, but the fact that you can join their forum for free is a definite plus. There’s also a nice section here for casino games, meaning that if you’d prefer to take advantage of free casino bonuses rather than sportsbook bonuses, this is the site to look for.
Is Matched Betting Still Worth It?
‘No risk matched betting’ does still carry a couple of risks. That’s because, to begin with, you might make a couple of mistakes. However, this shouldn’t put you off. Most matched betting tips guides will tell you that you are going to go through a period of transition. This is where you’re going to need to fine-tune the way you bet on markets, and what you bet on.
I should also add that I can’t condone gambling to make money in any way – matched betting is different in that you’re evening out the playing field. Providing you’re fully aware of the risks.
Is matched betting worth it? Yes – providing you put the time in, and providing you use the best sites and calculators to help you along the way.