Matched Betting – How To Guide

Matched betting at its very core is simply taking a free bet offered my a bookie website and turning it into real money. Most people are nervous of anything on the internet claiming to be able to help them to make money easily, and to be fair with the amount of scams and frauds out there that is very understandable. As a past victim of many of these scams I can honestly assure you that matched betting is not even related to a scam. I know many of you will still be doubtful that matched betting is not a scam, but I urge you to just read on a little more to understand how it works before you make up your mind. Before we begin I really must reiterate, matched betting is not a scam.

To place a matched bet simply means betting money on something to happen while at the same time betting on the same thing not to happen (this is known as laying off the bet). When you place a bet a bookie – in our case this will be online bookie sites, etc. –  will offer odds on something to happen. This can be for a soccer team to win a match or a horse to win a race or just about anything really.

 What are odds?

The odds are a fraction or decimal which represent the chance of that thing to happen. So when you place your bet, if it wins your stake(the amount you bet) will be multiplied by the odds and this will be the amount you win (in the case of fractional odds your winnings will be your (stake X odds)+ your stake.) – see here for more on odds formats and how betting online works.

What is meant by lay betting or laying off bets?

Lay betting is essentially the opposite of regular betting. A lay bet wins when your selection doesn’t win. This means when you place a lay bet your bet will win if the selection you place the bet on doesn’t win, for example if you place a lay bet on Man Utd. and they lose or draw, your bet will win. But if Man Utd. win your bet will lose. Lay bets are placed with what is known as a betting exchange.  Betfair, Betdaq, Matchbook & Smarkets are all examples of betting exchanges.

With lay bets the odds work in the opposite way to regular bets. When you place a lay bet you will be charged a liability to place the bet. The liability is simply the amount you want to stake multiplied by the odds (in fractional format). For example, if you had a horse with odds of 10/1 (ten to one) and you wanted to place a lay bet on that horse at a stake of €10 it would cost you a liability of €100 to place the bet. Then if the horse lost i.e if the lay bet won, you would get your €100 liability returned along with a profit of €10(your stake) so you would get back €110. So to describe it simply, with a lay bet your stake is the amount you will win if the lay bet comes off and your liability is the amount it costs to lay the bet. If you are still unsure how lay betting works I explain it in more detail here.

 How do we make risk free profit from all this?

So anyway hopefully now you are fairly well familiar with how betting and lay betting works. So now on to how matched betting works and how you can use it to increase your income. To make a profit from matched betting you simply place two pairs of bets (each pair consists of one regular back bet and one lay bet on the same thing). There are two steps in making a profit from a matched bet, the first step being the qualifying bet. The purpose of this bet is not to make a profit but to qualify you for a free bet.

A free bet is simply a promotion offered by bookmakers and an example would be “sign up with Coral, bet £/€5 and get £/€20 in free bets”. This simply means that when you sign up with Coral and place a €5 bet with them, you will be given €20  worth of free bets to use on another bet. So to continue to use this example the qualifying bet would be the initial bet of €5.


Now as a matched bettor you will not care what you are betting on but instead what the odds are. So you will sign up with Coral and place a bet of €5  on anything with low odds – the promotion will usually have minimum odds probably of 1.5  or 1/2 in fractional. You will then lay off this bet for odds as close to 1.5 as possible. Starting off Betfair is probably the easiest to use. For this example we will say that the lay bet odds are 1.52. Now you will go to a lay betting calculator to see how much you need to lay (how much your lay stake will be). I use the profit accumulator calculator as I now use this site to find offers and expand profiting techniques but an excellent free calculator is the trickybet calculator. In this you will select “Normal Bet” on top, enter €/£5 as the bet stake, 1.5 as the bet odds and 1.52 as the lay odds. The lay commission is 5% as this is what Betfair charge. Under “Standard match” you will see the lay stake is €/£5.10. You then enter this as your stake on the lay bet in Betfair. (for more information on using betfair read this post here) This will have a liability of €/£2.65. This is how much the lay bet will cost you.

You will also see on the trickybet calculator that the outcome of these bets is -€0.15/-€0.16. This means that between both bets, regardless of the outcome you will make a maximum loss of -€0.16. This is ok though because when this bet settles you will be credited with 4x free €/£5 bets. For the profit bet you then repeat this process but using the €5 free bet to place your bet, this time at as high odds as possible depending on the amount you have to use (this maximises profit). As you are starting off we will presume you haven’t much of a bank to work with so we will place this bet at odds(decimal) of 4.o or 3/1 – this is the best balance between a low liability and high profit from the bet.

When entering data into the trickybet calculator to find out your lay stake this time you will click Free Bet SNR.  Assuming you have lay odds of 4.1, your lay stake will be €/£14.81 and your liability will be €45.91 but now regardless of the outcome of your bet you will have made a profit of at least €14.07 on the profit(free) bet, and overall a profit of €/£13.91 (14.07 – 0.16) completely risk free. And depending on how much you could afford, if you had chosen a selection with even higher odds you would have made even more.

This seems much more complicated than it is and I explain this all much more simply and in dept in this example here. This is simply to prove to you that matched betting is a genuine risk free method to make money easily and immediately from the start.

 Is it worth the effort?

In that example above, once you understand the process of matched betting it will only take you ten to fifteen minutes to place those bets and in that time you will have made a risk free profit of €13.91 in fifteen minutes of work. Flesh this out and that equates to over €55 per hour if you do it with four different offers.

 The question you all want to ask, how much can you realistically make? 

When I started this, I began with just over €70 and since February I stayed putting the winnings back into my betting bank (the amount I have to use for matched betting) and now I have this up to over €7000 to use monthly and from this I am now up to making over €1100 profit monthly, and each month this increases as my betting bank grows.

I only spend a couple of hours each evening and the weekend placing matched bets and I am easily making over €1000 per month. Time is my main constriction and I just wish I had discovered matched betting in college! Seriously though, there are plenty of people that I am aware of making upwards of €/£5000 per month but to be fair are doing matched betting full time.

Surely I will eventually run out of sign up offers?

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have exhausted these offers and now use reload offers. There are a huge amount of these that are available each & every week and it is because of these that a consistent profit can be made year round. At the beginning I used offers that I found for free myself on bookie websites but I have since signed up to This is a site which provides daily offers, a lay calculator and oddsmatching software to easily find the bets with the most suitable and high value odds at whatever value that you need. I would highly recommend this site as it offers a free trial which consists of €/£45 worth of profit in free bets. It is also an excellent way to learn matched betting as there is a video tutorial for each type of bet and lessons for anyone from people to absolutely no betting experience to people who are already experienced matched bettors.

Could I make this much each month on my own?

Realistically no, if you want to use matched betting to make €1000 to €2000 you will need to become a member with or a similar site as you won’t have the time to manually find daily offers and then find the most suitable bets. The cost of being a full member of profit accumulator is £22.99 or €32.63 monthly but once you are up and running at this it will only take you a few minutes to make this back and depending on how much time you put into it make another €500 to €2000 per month on top of this.

From my experience Profit Accumulator is leagues ahead of any other matched betting tool out there. As well as proving you with daily offers, PA has oddsmatching software which will instantly show you the bets required odds for every market with every bookie. They also provide training on how to make risk free profit on countless different types of  gambling offers. These even include casino and bingo games (I have personally made over €150 on many casino offer which would have taken about 15 minutes to complete)

How much could I make with very limited free time?

A general rule of thumb would be if you wanted to make €500 per month you would want to be putting 30 mins each day into placing bets, for €1000 p/m you would want to spend on average 1 hour per day and for €2000 p/m you should put in about an average of 2 hours a day. I myself spend very little time during the week instead using reload offers on Channel 4 horse racing on a Saturday to make my profits – many Saturdays I have made in excess of €500 between 9 a.m and 4 p.m.

How long will my earnings be tied up in the betting accounts?

Whatever you do with your profits is completely up to you. You can withdraw your profits at any time you wish and it usually takes 3-5 days for the bank to process the withdrawal. However if you wish to continue this long term, I would urge you to keep them in your betting bank and build it to €/£6000 or €/£7000 before you start spending as the more you have in your bank the quicker it will be to build as you won’t need to wait on withdrawals to make other bets.

I have done this myself and because I am also working full time I just use matched betting to build savings to go travelling next year and just use my wages for day to day expenses. I really find it amazing that everybody is not doing matched betting because as I have said, since February of this year I have turned €170 (i added €100 in March to get two bets on at the same time) into about €7380 with just a few hours placing risk free bets on a Saturday afternoon and a couple of hours in the evenings, while being able to spend my entire wages without having to take any out for savings.