What is a Qualifying Bet?

A qualifying bet is the very first step of your ‘matched bet’.  It’s going to be important when reading these guides that you have a full understanding on all terms, so if there is anything you need to learn, or re-read please visit the New starters guide. If you are confident, then read on!

A qualifying bet is when you place a bet in order to qualify for another free bet, or offer specific refund.

The most popular offers bookmakers promote are Bet £Y and get £Z, the letters abbreviating how generous a bookmaker is feeling! With these, you simply back and lay a selection, making a small loss on the Qualifying bet before extracting maximum profit from the free bet that you have qualified for. The £Y is the qualifier and the £Z is the free, as without placing the £Y bet you would not have received the £Z.

It is vital when Matched Betting that the qualifying losses are kept to a minimum, as they will affect your profits! Keeping costs as low as possible means the returns are as high as can be.

I will run through signing up with the bookmaker and placing the Qualifying bet now.

This example is done with William Hill, one of the most reputable bookmakers and longest running!

The Will Hill sign up offer requires us to create an account and Deposit £25. Note, for this offer we need to make sure we quote code F25 on the sign-up screen. There aren’t many bookmakers that have ‘code’ requirements.

Min odds for us to get the free bet are 1/2 (1.5 decimal), so we need to make sure the bet is over this to qualify for the free bet. ( I check the terms for all bets before posting new offers on the Forum so I can see what the requirements are)

The Stake is £25, click place bets and triple check the bet has been accepted.

Placing The Qualifying Bet

I have found a bet to back, using as low odds as close to the minimum for multiple reasons:

If it’s a close match, bookmakers won’t mind as they expect you to bet on the favourite (being a mug punter)
Uses less liability – it means you tie up as little money as possible, giving you more money for other bets!
You simply click on the team you want to bet on, in this instance Borussia M’Gladbach at 1.67 odds.

Using The Calculator

The calculator is a vital tool when matched betting, as it allows you to calculate the losses you will make, so you can ensure they’re as low as you are comfortable with.

» Ensure Qualifying / Normal mode is set on the calculator.
» Set the back stake to £25 (as this is for the William Hill £25 offer)
» Enter the William Hill odds, in this instance 1.67
» Enter the Smarkets/Betfair Lay odds.
» Enter the commission, 2% Smarkets or 5% Betfair.
» This will now show you a loss. All qualifying bets will show a loss, as it’s the free bets where we make the money.

» In this instance, we are losing £0.64 to receive a £25 Free bet! Not bad going!

» This is certainly acceptable, so we can go ahead and place the lay bet.

Placing the Lay Bet

When first looking at this, it can seem a little tricky. However, we are only interested in the Blue boxes on the website.

The Green boxes are for ‘backing’ a team, which we will never want to do, as we only back with bookmakers.

The Blue boxes are for ‘Laying’, betting against that result.

It’s very easy to lay, but you need to understand the values in the calculator above.

The calculator states ‘your lay stake is £24.85, Liability is £17.39.

The lay stake is the amount that you type in the box on smarkets, whereas the Liability is simply the amount of cash needed to place this bet.

Click the Blue box on Borussia M’Gladbach to initiate the lay bet, enter £24.85 in the box and press place bet.
It will confirm liability is £17.39, so ensure you have this amount in Smarkets or you won’t be able to confirm the bet.
You have now completed your qualifying bet, regardless of the result (Win, Draw or Lose) you have only lost £0.64! Plus you are awaiting a £25 Free bet!

Qualifying Bet Tips:

  • If you have a smaller bank / betting pot, place your bets using odds as close to the minimum required. This will reduce the Liability required in Smarkets.
  • Minimise your losses. This is so we can make as much money as possible!
  • Most qualifying bets are Normal, but some are SNR for the first bet. Be sure to check the Forum for individual instructions for each offer.
  • You want to be making a loss on your qualifying bets, if you are making profit on them the bookies may close you down. This is known as arbitrage.

Calculator Tips

  • Only ever use the BLUE boxes on Smarkets! (The markets do have ‘Bet Against’ along the top.
  • Terms can be confusing on betting exchanges. The two that causes most confusion are Stake & Liability.
  • Lay/Stake – This is the amount to type in to the blue box on Smarkets, for example Lay/Stake £15 at odds of 4.0.
  • Liability – This is the amount of money you need in your account to cover the bet. For example, laying £15 at odds of 4.0 would require £45 of liability. So if you have under £45 in your account, you wouldn’t be able to place that bet.