Matched Betting Guide

I’ve never been a keen gambler, but in just 2 months alone I made enough cash from online bookmaker’s offers to pay for a return ticket to South East Asia and still had some cash left over.

How, by following the exact steps I’m about to outline in this complete guide to matched betting, complete with a real time matched bet example that you can place at the end.

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a completely legal method of betting, it works on the principles of basic mathematics, allowing any matched betting user to turn the tables on online bookmakers and extract their free bet offers for guaranteed profits.

We won’t make any exceptions for the length of this guide, although simple, matched betting does require some patience to understand the concept but the learning curve is quick. In fact in just 30 minutes of reading this guide you should have all the knowledge required to place your first matched bet, netting you around £18 profit, all assisted of course with our pioneering matched betting software, AutoMatcher.

We have always adopted the same philosophy, to provide a free impartial service, all’s we ask in return is that you read our matched betting guide carefully and make sure you understand everything fully before parting with your cash.

Click below to see what Guardian newspaper has to say about matched betting and our website.

How does Matched Betting Work?

Matched betting is the method of turning online bookmaker’s free bets into guaranteed profit. Practically all online bookmakers now offer these free bet offers, as an incentive to attract new customers to sign up and bet with them.

You know the sort of thing “Bet £25 with us and get a £25 free bet”

Anyone can place matched bets, even if you have no understanding of online betting or its terminology. However to make sure you carry it out correctly, its fundamental that you have a basic understanding of the two different types of bets that need to be placed in order for matched betting to work. Please click the links throughout the guide for more detailed info

The ‘Back’ bet

Backing is the traditional type of bet, where you bet on a certain outcome to occur i.e. a horse to win a race, or your favourite football team to win. If the outcome occurs, you win the bet, if not, you lose your stake. Back bets can be placed at all online bookmakers, for example, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfred and Coral ect. However lay bets can only be placed at betting exchanges …

The ‘Lay’ Bet

Unlike the traditional bet, laying is when you bet on a certain outcome NOT to occur i.e I bet that horse won’t win, I bet that England won’t win. If the particular outcome doesn’t occur i.e. it’s a draw or the other team wins, you win your bet, if it does occur i.e England win, you lose your bet. You’ve probably been unconsciously laying bets with friends your whole lifetime i.e I bet your team won’t win, I bet you’ll lose this game of pool ect. Lay bets can only be placed on a betting exchange, for example Betfair.

Matched betting works by removing all of the risk attached to traditional betting, you effectively cancel any risk from your back bet in the bookmaker by betting against yourself at the same odds in a betting exchange (i.e laying a bet). Hence you are matching your own bet i.e matched betting.

Following the placement of your first ‘qualifying bet’, you’ll be credited with a free bet from the bookmaker. It’s this free bet that allows profit to be made. Now here’s the clever part, on your 2nd bet, you use your free bet in the bookmaker instead of your own cash and again bet against yourself in the exchange. Since half of the matched bet is free cash i.e the bookies money and not yours, regardless of the result you make a guaranteed profit at this stage (We’ll highlight exactly how in more detail below).

It’s then simply a case of rinse and repeat, moving onto the next bookmaker that’s offering a free bet, until all free bets and bookmakers have been exhausted. And believe us there’s a lot!

How much profit can I expect to make?

For every matched bet placed, you will make around 80% of the free bet amount as profit. Due to the slight difference in odds on each site you should also expect to incur a small loss on your qualifying bet i.e the bet you place to qualify for your free bet. This is normal and you will recoup this loss from the profit made when you use your free bet.

In the live example below we’ll show how to how to profit from a current £25 free bet offer using real time odds. Repeat this process with over £2000 in free bets and you can quickly see how the profits start to add up. From experience I’ve personally made over £1100 profit from matched betting in just 3 months alone.

Let’s not forget to mention that gambling profits are also tax free.

What’s the catch and is there any risk?

Anyone can learn matched betting, it just takes a little bit of patience and there really is no catch since all risk is removed. One may argue the only catch is that mistakes can be made; easily avoided however if you read this guide thoroughly, and then read it again if you’re still not sure.

It’s worth mentioning that matched betting can only be carried out once, once every bookmaker’s offers been used, that’s it to some extent, although many members do still continue to profit from ongoing existing customer offers, which seem to be getting more common.

If you follow the steps as outlined, you can continue to profit from matched betting over and over again, repeating the process with any bookmakers free bet offers until all free bets have been used.

How to place your First Matched Bet?

There’s a lot of info online that fails to mention vital points when matched betting, often resulting in costly mistakes for newbies. This simple hold-your-hand style of guide will walk you through all the necessary steps required to place your first match bet using the current Totesport free bet offer. If you follow this matched betting example exactly you literally can’t go wrong. In fact we’ll refund your stake if you follow our advice and it does. Please leave any questions or comments at the bottom of the guide and we’ll do our best to assist you.

1. Sign up to Betfair

A Betfair account is a must have for any matched bettor …

Betfair is a betting exchange where you can ‘lay’ bets to cancel out your risk at the bookmakers. Unlike a traditional bookmaker, Betfair allows you to place bets against other people and of course yourself i.e it’s what makes matched betting possible

Click here to go to Betfair to open your new account

2. Sign up to Totesport

In our opinion Totesport are currently offering one of the best free bets for matched betting newbies, offering a £25 free bet when you sign up and bet just £25 (remember all bets will be matched). Like the majority of free bets, the Totesport free bet stake is not returned with winnings, don’t worry this is perfectly normal and we’ll still be making a decent profit from this offer, around 70 – 80% of the free bet value to be precise.

Click here to go to Totesport to open your new account

Upon Sign Up to Totesport, you’ll need to make a deposit of £25 to cover your qualifying bet.

Sign up for totesport.com and when you place your first bet, we'll match your stake with a free bet up to £25!

Sign up for totesport.com and when you place your first bet, we'll match your stake with a free bet up to £25!

Note - If given the choice always select decimal odds for your odds display preference when opening your bookmaker accounts.

3. Always select decimal odds

If you weren’t given the option during sign up, you can change your odds format from fractions to decimal on the Totesport left hand side at the bottom of the page. We always select decimal odds when matched betting as it makes it easy to compare odds between Betfair and the bookmaker. Remember always choose decimal if given the option!

4. Placing your qualifying bet

At this stage we need to find the closest back odds in Totesport in comparison to the lay odds shown in Betfair.

Check out the live matched betting example below, it shows a current matched bet for Totesport with real live, up-to-date odds. To qualify for Totesports free bet, Totesport terms state that your first bet must be at odds of 2.00 or greater, don’t worry our software takes this all into account

To assist you, you will find live screenshots of the betting screens for both Betfair and "Totesport, showing exactly what selection to bet on and what odds to bet at. The screen shots for both sites are updated in real-time and replicate the betting odds you will actually find on both betting sites.

The Betfair lay odds are shown in the pink boxes, make sure you’re on the Betfair Exchange and not the sportsbook in order to view these.

The Match - EA Guingamp v OSC Lille Sunday March 8th @ 17:00:00

Step 1 – Deposit funds

Click here to go to Totesport, open an account and deposit £25

Click here to go to Betfair, open an account and deposit £46

Step 2 – Obtain the Free Bet without risk

In Totesport navigate to the France - Ligue 1 2014/2015 matches on the left hand football menu and locate the EA Guingamp v OSC Lille match. You will then see the betting screen below. Click the box showing odds of 2.80 corresponding to EA Guingamp.

Find and select the football team to bet on

In the betting slip, stake £25 as highlighted in the red circle below backing EA Guingamp to win, and then click 'Place Bet'.

Enter your stake and press Place Bet

Lay the bet in Betfair to cover all the outcomes and make the bet risk free

To cover all the event outcomes and make the bet risk free, you will need to lay the same selection in Betfair that you backed in Totesport i.e.EA Guingamp . To find the correct market in Betfair, go to the exchange page and on the left hand menu, navigate to: Football Fixtures > Fixtures 08 March > EA Guingamp v OSC Lille > Match Odds.

Now lay EA Guingamp to win (this means you are betting on EA Guingamp NOT to win). To do this click the PINK box corresponding to EA Guingamp, showing odds of 2.76 as highlighted in the red circle below:

The betfair lay screen

The betting slip will appear on the right. Stake £25.83 laying EA Guingamp to win, the liability will be £45.46 and will appear on the right of the slip. Click submit and make sure you confirm your bet. Remember when you lay a bet the stake is the amount you want to win and the liability is the amount you stand to lose.

That’s it, your qualifying bet has now been placed. In the next section we’ll show you how to convert the free bet into guaranteed profit.

Outcomes for the initial, qualifying bet

  • If EA Guingamp wins the match, you will make £45.00 profit in Totesport and lose the £45.46 liability in Betfair, leaving you with an acceptable loss of £-0.46.
  • If OSC Lille wins or the match is a draw, you will make £24.54 profit in Betfair (your £25.83 lay stake minus 5% commission) and lose the £25 in Totesport, leaving you with an acceptable loss of £-0.46.

The Follow up Bet

Now that you have your free bet, we will now place a bet to turn it into guaranteed cash. Note: it doesn't matter if the bet in step 2 (above) has changed from the one that originally you placed, since you are now placing a new follow up bet using your free bet.

After placing this bet, once settled, you will be able to withdraw all funds along with your profit made.

The Match - Queens Park Rangers FC v Tottenham Hotspur Saturday March 7th @ 16:00:00

Step 1 – Deposit funds

You need no funds in Totesport as you’ll be using your free bet. Please withdraw any funds in your Totesport account.

You will need £58 in your Betfair account to place this bet, please make another deposit if necessary

Step 2 – Convert Free Bet into Profit

In Totesport navigate to the England - Premier League 2014/2015 via the left hand football menu and locate the Queens Park Rangers FC v Tottenham Hotspur v match. Click the box showing odds of 4.00 corresponding to Draw (as shown below)

Find and select the football team to bet on

In the betting slip, type your stake of £25 as highlighted in the red circle below backing Draw to win. Now tick the box stating 'Use Free Bet Amount'. Check the bet slip is correct then click 'Place Bet'.

Enter your stake and press Place Bet

Lay the bet in Betfair to cover all the outcomes and make the bet risk free

To cover all the event outcomes and make the bet risk free, you will again need to lay the same selection in Betfair that you backed with the free bet in Totesport i.e. Draw. To find the correct market in Betfair, go to the exchange page and on the left hand menu, navigate to: Football Fixtures > Fixtures 07 March > Queens Park Rangers FC v Tottenham Hotspur > Match Odds.

Now lay Draw to win (remember this means that you are betting on Draw NOT to win). To do this click the PINK box corresponding to Draw, showing odds of 4.10 as highlighted in the red circle below.

The betfair lay screen

The betting slip will appear on the right. Stake £18.52 laying Draw to win, the liability will be £57.41 and will appear on the right hand side. Click submit and make sure you confirm your bet. Remember when you lay a bet the stake is the amount you want to win and the liability is the amount you stand to lose.

That’s it, your follow up bet has now been placed, once settled all profit can be withdrawn.

Outcomes for the follow up bet

  • If Draw wins the match, you will make £75.00 profit in Totesport (the £100.00 free bet winnings minus the £100.00 free bet stake) and lose the £57.41 liability in Betfair, leaving you with an overall profit of £17.59.
  • If wins or the match is a draw, you will make £17.59 profit in Betfair (your £18.52 lay stake minus 5% commission) and lose nothing in Totesport as you used your free bet, leaving you with an overall profit of £17.59.

To find more risk free bets for other bookies listed on our site, please join freebets4all for free here. Alternatively you can use our pioneering matched betting software, AutoMatcher, however we recommend you join the site to take full advantage of our features.

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