Risk Free Betting

The Number 1 Ultimate Guide

This is the most comprehensive guide to risk free betting that you’re ever going to find. In it you’ll find everything you need to know about risk free betting, from whether it’s possible to how to do it, to what some people call risk free betting.

Every day, more and more people are searching for a way to make a profit from their betting completely risk free, without really knowing if it’s even possible.

I’m going to go through all the details, miss-conceptions and mistakes that are made by 99% of people when they begin trying to place risk free bets.

About The Author

My name is Michael Wilding, and I’m writing this blog post because over a decade since I created the Race Advisor, I get daily emails asking me if it’s possible to place risk free bets.

At the Race Advisor we have our own low-risk betting strategy, which is about as low risk as I think it’s possible to get, but more on types of risk later. If you want to make regular profits with very low risk, then you can check it out here.

Having been writing about horse racing betting for nearly fifteen years, and the creator of the Race Advisor, I’ve seen pretty much every type of betting system, betting strategy and betting plan come across my doorstep.

This includes a lot of those which claim to show you how to take advantage of risk free betting. It puts me in a unique position of having tested huge amounts of approaches to profitable betting, and discovered what works for most people, and what works for very few.

If you’ve been looking for the answer to whether risk free betting is possible for years, then this guide is for you. Or maybe you’ve just begun your journey into betting and have heard of types of risk free betting like matched betting and horse racing trading, and aren’t sure whether it’s legitimate, then this guide is for you.

Whatever walk of life you’re from, if you’ve ever wondered if there is such a thing as risk free betting, then this ultimate guide is not just going to answer the question. It’s going to rip it apart, it’s going to analyse it, it’s going to look at what people claim is risk free betting, and it’s going to uncover the truth.

CHAPTER 1: Risk Free Betting… Is It Real?

It makes sense for us to start at the beginning, which means determining whether there is such a thing as risk free betting, or if it’s something fabricated by marketers to enable them to sell more products.

In order for us to decipher whether it’s real, I’d like to begin with a definition of “risk free”. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, it is defined as:

Used to describe something that does not involve any risk

When we translate that into betting it means that we can place our bets and walk away at worst with zero loss, but most importantly, don’t expose ourselves to any risk during the placement of the bet.

This is where the use of the phrase “risk free” begins to become a bit blurred.

There is no such thing, in betting, as a risk free bet.

Nice though the concept sounds, it’s impossible.

Yes, there’s low risk betting strategies, but that’s not the same as risk free.

In any situation to place what is often considered as a risk free bet, you have to place two bets. If you have to place two bets, whether it’s with one bookmaker or betting exchange, or multiple, it means that there will be a gap of a few seconds in between the two bets. With any form if a gap between bets, it’s possible that the odds could move.

If the odds can move, then they could move the wrong way!

Which means that there is no such thing as risk free betting in sports betting.

However, there is such a thing as low risk betting, which is what we’re going to be looking into further.

CHAPTER 2: What Types Of Low Risk Betting Are There?

Before you can decide whether low risk betting is something that’s going to suit you, we want to first look at the different types that are out there, what risk they involve, and what time commitment they may require.

The following list has the lowest risk betting strategy first, with the risk slightly increasing as you move down the list.

1. Matched Betting

Matched betting is about as close to risk free betting that you’re ever going to get. The definition from Wikipedia is:

Mаtched bеtting is a bеtting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.

There are two parts to matched betting, they are:

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  • Sign-Up & Regular Bonuses
  • Arbitrage


Bookmakers incentivise you to register with them by offering you sign-up bonuses. For example, Bet365 are currently offering this…

They’re giving you up to £100 to bet with when you join. The concept of matched betting is to use these “free” bets to walk away with a profit.  This is done by taking advantage of having more money to bet with in your account than you have deposited. You can use either your “free” sign-up bets or their regular bonuses to increase this profit.

Different bookmakers have different terms and conditions on their bonuses, you should always read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what you need to do in order to be able to cash out that free bet.

As well as bonuses, matched betting also works using arbitrage.

Arbitrage is the process of placing a bet on all possible outcomes of an event, across multiple bookmakers.

(please note I won’t be putting arbitrage into it’s own section as it’s covered here)

For example…

In a football match you would place a bet on the home team to win, the away team to win and a draw happening.

How’s this possible?

Because different bookmakers offer different odds, it’s possible to find a situation where you can place a bet on all the outcomes, and still walk away with a profit.

Usually the profit is somewhere between 3% and 10% of your stake size.

Sounds pretty awesome. Which begs the question… what’s the catch?

Well, there are two major catches with both these approaches. The first is being gubbed. If you get gubbed, then the bookmaker has shut your account down, meaning you won’t be able to place any more bets, and often meaning they keep any winnings.

The second is you have to watch the markets. Or more specifically, you have to watch some software that follows all the bookmakers odds for you, and picks out the opportunities to make these bets.

Yes, there are hundreds a day, but only if you’re watching for them all day. They don’t last very long because guess who else is also looking for them? Yup… the bookmakers.

This means it’s an approach that you need to be available to do throughout the day.

2. Sports Trading

Yes, you can trade on sports in the same way others trade on forex and stocks.

Although there are plenty of websites giving lengthy explanations of how, and what, trading is. Here is my, one sentence summary.

Trading is buying low, selling high and taking the cut between

That’s it. You can make it as complex as you like, but IMHO that’s the summary.

In sports trading that means that you place a win bet at higher odds than you place a lay bet.

It doesn’t matter which gets placed first, as long as the lay bet has lower odds than the back bet.

In the example above, you can see that I’ve put a bet of £100 to win on Misty Bloom at odds of 4.8, and a bet of £100 to lose on Misty Bloom at odds of 4.7. By backing high and laying lower, there’s a no-risk profit on this horse of £10.

This is how trading works.

Of course, there are options of hedging out your bet, which would spread the £10 profit across every horse in the race, so you made a smaller profit but made a profit whatever happened in the race.

And there are different ways of trading, you have swing trading for bigger movements and scalping for jumping in and out of a market very quickly with small movements.

You can trade on different sports, this example is in horse racing (but hey that’s our specialism!) but you can do this in any sport.

The possibilities are endless.

So what’s the downside?

Again there are two primary downsides to sports trading. They are:

  1. You need to use software which connects to the Betfair API for fast odds and bet placement
  2. You need to be available to watch the market during the events you are trading

At this point I feel I should point out that any method will require you to practice and work at to be successful. Despite receiving many emails from people saying that this is a downside, I have to disagree. If you want to be successful at anything, from cooking to betting, you’re going to need to practice it.

So yes… sports trading will require some practice and work, but hey that’s part of learning a new skill.

3. The Hybrid

You can probably tell by the title that I wasn’t quite sure what to call this model, so I went with the imaginatively titled ‘hybrid’ model.

It doesn’t take much guesswork to determine what this means. It means that we’re using a combination of trading and matched betting to find selections.

The two main issues with the above models are:

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  • Needing to be available all day to watch for trades
  • Having your bookmaker accounts shut down


By using a hybrid model we can try and get around these two issues. However, by doing this we’re also increasing our risk slightly. Unfortunately there is always a payoff for making changes, and it betting it is most often an increase in risk levels.

The principle is to use a selection process to find horses (or teams/people in other events) which are likely to move in the market, or which are regularly priced wrong by bookmakers. These selection processes could be purely based on the market odds, or they could be based on form, or a combination of information.

Once you’ve found this, it is possible to trade them or use arbitrage to make a profit.

Of course, the difficulty is in creating the strategy that reliably does this.

There are a number of sites which claim to have solved this problem using one, or a variety, of methods. Since I haven’t tested them specifically, I am not in a position to make a comment as to whether they work or don’t.

Here at the Race Advisor we have one solution to this problem, so that’s what I’m going to use as an example.

As you would expect, our approach is focused on purely on horse racing. After all, this is the sport we know the best, and are lucky to have some incredible people working with us on our strategies.

So what did we do?

One of our team members discovered that an event was happening which caused the market to move in a reliable way, every single day.

Yes, it can be that simple!

The realisation of something like this can lead to incredible profits. In our case a profit of £9,384.75 in twenty one months (at the time of writing).

Of course, that piece of information wasn’t enough in itself to make a profit. But with the realisation that the market was moving in a particular way, and reliably, every single day, meant it was worth investigating further.

This investigation led to an understanding of why the market was doing this. And… once you understand why something is happening, there’s only one job left!

Find a method of profitably selecting the horses which this happens to.

You may think that this part is the hardest, but in fact once you have uncovered an event, and once you understand why it is happening, then the finding of the selections is the easiest part because you know exactly what you’re looking for.

This results in…

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  • Having just a few selections a day
  • Knowing exactly when they’re going to race, so you don’t need to be available all day
  • Allows you to use Betfair only so you don’t get shut down


This solved all of the problems that we faced, and our team now use this approach every day, even when we’re out and about.

You can learn more about it by entering your email below:

CHAPTER 3: Will Low Risk Betting Suit You?

Very few bettors ever ask themselves if a particular style of betting is going to suit them. Yet, this is probably the single most important question that you could ask yourself!

If the style of betting doesn’t suit you, then you’re never going to be able to make it work, your brain simply won’t let you.

With low risk betting this means you need to be comfortable with:

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  • Learning a new betting strategy
  • Practising the strategy
  • Making a small return on each bet
  • Being available for at least half an hour of the day


Depending on the type of approach you’re going to take, you may need to be available for a lot more of the day than just half an hour.

All forms of low risk betting, and in fact any profitable betting, requires you to learn new approaches and practice them. Nobody learns a new skill overnight, and betting is no different. You need to educate yourself in the approach, and once you’ve done that you need to become good at it.

Which means you should approach it with the expectation that it may take a few weeks, or even a couple of months, for you to become good at it.

If you’re expecting to be the best in the planet in one day, then this type of betting is definitely not for you.

But… if you are comfortable with all the four points above, and you are happy to learn something new, then you can find out more about our personal approach by entering your details above.


In short, there is no such thing as risk free betting. Whatever type of betting you do, there will always be a risk associated with it. If you’re not comfortable with the possibility that you could lose your stake money, then you shouldn’t place the bet.

However, it is possible to minimise the risk of betting. Doing this will normally mean you get smaller returns and spend more time both learning the approach and implementing it. But the payoff is a low-risk, low-stress strategy which will steadily increase your bankroll.

Personally I sometimes use low-risk approaches and sometimes I don’t. It’s all dependent on what’s happening that day, and my availability. But… the key is I can use them when I am available and the opportunity arises because I’ve learned how to.

Never forget that if you have a profitable approach, it low risk or high risk, you don’t have to place a bet every single day. If you’re not available to work one day, then you just leave it and come back. There’s no urgency and there’s no rush. Every day has horse racing. Every day has opportunities for profit. Don’t get stressed trying to get a bet on because the strategy you use has one for the day. When you do that, you start to gamble, and that’s when you stop following your approach and begin to lose.

Do you like low risk betting? Or does low risk betting not appeal to you because of the smaller returns?

I’d love to know if you’re a fan of any of the methods above, if you hate low risk betting then I’d love to know why, and if you have a low-risk approach I haven’t included then please tell me.

Please leave me a comment below to let me know.

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.


      1. As a very experienced “matched bettor” and “arber” who is now gubbed just about everywhere as a result, I have joined this site specifically to find low risk horse strategies particularly on exchanges. I have looked into trading and would second your comments about the importance of investing a lot of time in practising the techniques and the time commitment involved in doing it successfully. I developed my skills enough to make it work but eventually realised that I didn’t want the time investment it needed. I have many other things I would rather be doing than staring at figures moving on a computer screen for hours on end! Oh and I quickly discovered that arbing in play tennis and football between mainstream bookies and exchanges is a very good way to quickly lose the high street accounts. The traders seriously dislike you taking the mickey out of them 🙂 If you are doing say a 5 X £10 in play football bets to get a £10 freebet type offer, just content yourself with taking a near arb at half time, don’t go in for anything flashy.

  1. The trouble with following Tipsters is that there will be a lot of others doing the SAME thing which alerts the Bookies/Exchange so the Advantage disappears rapidly By doing it by yourself admittedly over quite a few years of observation ( & losses ) & possible laughter at your methods from “successful” punters means that even though the Markets change/evolve over time —-Look at Betfair delays on Football used to be 5 seconds now it ranges from 5 to a near impossible 12 seconds ( IF you are Trading ) & also you can also evolve your methods By NOT following the Heard then you are more likely to fly under the Radar & be able to get decent Trades I agree that IF there is nothing there that day then leave it alone there ARE ALWAYS more bets/trades on football /Horse racing etc in the future

  2. Another “nail on the head” article! Coming from a Matched Betting background , it nicely highlights the issues with Matched Betting ( namely it burns out bookies like crazy (well the ones with decent offers anyway!). The changing face of the UK bookie landscape is also making MB a lot harder (not helped by its increasing popularity…). Nothing wrong in having to work on new skills either, it’s part of life! To not learn, progress and move forward effectively means you are going backwards ….(oh dear that sounds like one of those lifestyle video course thingys…..!). Thanks again Micheal.

  3. Hey, Michael, what a skank!!! Opened the email, thinking “ooh, further insights into an area of betting I’ve been looking at for a while now ( I have emailed you before about the subject)” What do I find?? A reprint! A REPRINT!!! Wh-aa-at??!??!! I did, in fairness, think after the first paragraph, “hang on, déjà vu or what”, but plugged on regardless (hoping against hope that the next leap would be the leap home…) but no, nothing new. Nothing! Oh, Michael!! Keep up the good work, I’ll forgive you this time… but only this time

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