An Introduction To Matched Betting

Guest post by Darren Hall from Bet72

As bookmakers look to attract new customers, many will offer free bets and bonuses as an incentive for people to sign up with them.  You know the sort of thing: “Bet £50, receive a free £50 bet” when opening a new account. OK, that is good news you may be think, well in fact this is great news, as using a technique called Matched Betting, it is possible to convert virtually any such offer into genuine risk free profit.

Matched Betting is a simple technique whereby you back an outcome at a bookmaker and lay the same outcome on a betting exchange. By both backing and laying the same outcome the bet is risk free regardless of the result and when you then use stake money provided by the bookmaker, in the form of a free bet or bonus, that risk free bet becomes, risk free profit.

The process typically involves two stages:

  1. Obtain the free bet or bonus for the lowest possible cost by BACKing a selection with the bookmaker and LAYing the same selection on a betting exchange.
  2. Cash out the free bet for risk free profit by using the freebie as your stake money to BACK a selection and again LAY the same selection on the betting exchange. This not only makes the bet risk free but as you are not staking with your own money at the bookmaker you have now generated some risk free profit, regardless of the outcome of the event.

There are currently over £2000 in standard free bets offers being advertised with well known online bookmakers.  Now when you consider that the average risk free profit on a free bet or bonus can be anything from 65% – 85% of its value, possibly higher, that is well over £1500, that can be made from sign up offers alone and, the beauty is, using the technique above, it can all be secured risk free.

Even once you have joined a particular bookmaker then the opportunities don’t stop there. We continue to see many offers for existing customers, as bookmakers are looking for repeat business and also to reward customer loyalty. A lot of these offers will be centred around particular events or key sporting fixtures, and with this being a football World Cup year, we are set to see a record number of offers being available.

Some offers for existing users might appear small or of little value but often they are quick and easy to do and these can quickly accumulate into a steady stream of income over the month.  Also you can apply the same technique to telephone / mobile account offers that you see advertised.  Some bookmakers will also allow a second member of the same household to sign up and get a free bet bonus too, so in effect, double bubble bonuses!

So let’s look at the process in a little more detail to see how it is actually done.

We have selected bookmaker X, who we like the look of and who currently offer a free £50 bet for new customers, who sign up and place an initial £50 bet. And let’s assume we already have an account with a betting exchange so we can lay any bet we make off to make the bet risk free.
Step One – Obtaining a free bet

Place a £50 bet at bookmaker X to obtain the free bet and LAY the same selection on the betting exchange to obtain the free bet for the lowest cost.

Here we have selected a football match but the process can be applied to any sporting market that can be found both at the bookmaker and betting exchange, provided the market rules for that particular match or even is the same.

BACK TEAM A at bookmaker X with £50 at odds of 2.00

LAY TEAM A at the betting exchange with £50 at odds of 2.05 (you will need £52.50 in your betting exchange account to cover the liability of this bet)

If TEAM A wins we win £50 at the bookmaker and lose £52.50 at the betting exchange for a net loss of £2.50

If TEAM A does not win (i.e. they draw or lose) we lose the £50 at the bookmaker but win (assuming a rate of 5% commission) £47.50 at the betting exchange.  Again a net loss of £2.50

A small loss is perfectly ok, as, if you think about it, we have now gained a £50 bet or £50 of stake money to play with for just £2.50

Right, we now have our free bet credited so now to cash it out for some risk free profit.

Step Two – Cashing out a free bet for risk free profit

The process is identical to step one, but now we place a bet with the selected bookmaker using the FREE bet as our stake, remembering to LAY this selection on a betting exchange. Now as we are using free stake money and we LAY the bet off to guarantee a return whatever the outcome then we will generate risk free profit.

Free bets generally fall into two categories, where either the value of the free bet is included or not included in the returns of a winning bet.  Hence the offers are categorised as either Stake Returned (SR) or Stake Not Returned (SNR).

If you consider a Stake Not Returned (SNR) offer, it would be no good just backing a 1/100 (1.01) shot as that would only return a maximum of 50p as the free bet stake is not included in the winnings of such offer. So we have to aim a little higher with our odds selection to generate more liquidity in the bet to get more overall profit back. Whereas a Stake Returned (SR) free bet, is just like placing a normal bet, if the bet wins then the winnings plus the stake money are returned, so effectively we can bet at any odds, as long as there are acceptable for the terms and conditions of the offer.

Whilst we are on the subject on Terms and Conditions.  Always read any site’s set of Terms and Conditions, and then, when you have done that, read them again. It is vital to understand what any offer is all about before you can even think about making a risk free profit from it.

OK back to our free bet.  So let’s assume our free bet is a typical Stake Not Returned (SNR) offer.  We have our free £50 so we can lock in our risk free profit using the calculations below….

BACK TEAM A at bookmaker X with the FREE £50 bet at odds of 4.35

LAY TEAM A at the betting exchange with £36.02 at odds of 4.7 (you will need £133.28 in your betting exchange account to cover the liability of this bet)

If TEAM A wins we win £167.50 (£50 x 4.35 minus the £50 free bet stake) at the bookmaker and lose £133.28 at the betting exchange for a £34.22 profit

If TEAM A does not win (i.e. they draw or lose) we lose £0 at the bookmaker (as the FREE bet was our stake) but win (assuming a rate of 5% commission) £34.22 at the betting exchange

So that is just over a 68% return from our free £50 bet and even accounting for the £2.50 we lost to obtain the free bet, that is £31.72 overall profit, still a over a 63% return on investment (and these are very conservative figures using a stake not returned offer) !

And this is just the tip of a very, very large iceberg!

Please don’t be put off by all the maths you see here, help is at hand in the form of online and offline calculators and spreadsheets that we provide. Also we have our own free software, Oddsmatcher, which will not only find the best bets to use automatically, it even calculates everything for you and presents these in a step by step manner for you to use.

So from now on every time you see a free bet or bonus on offer from a bookmaker, just think one thing, risk free profit.

Happy Matched Betting!

Darren Hall provides the best resource for matched betting on the internet at Bet72. All the tools required to successfully make a profit from this risk-free betting process are available as well as the latest free bets and how to take advantage of them.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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