How Does It Work?

How does it work?

This one takes a bit of explaining but read this section through a couple of times and you’ll be ready. Here’s a quick example, but we’ll also take you through a real offer step-by-step in a minute:

How matched betting works

There’s an offer to ‘Bet £10, Get £30’. To get the £30 bet from the bookmaker, you have to stake £10 of your own money. This is known as the ‘qualifying bet’.

QUALIFYING BET: The first bet you have to place at the bookmaker in order to qualify for and unlock the advertised free bet amount. In matched betting, you’re not aiming to make any money from this bet. That comes from the free bet itself.

Place a £10 ‘back bet’ at the bookmaker on England to win a game.

BACK BET: A type of bet placed at the bookmaker. When you ‘back’ something, you are betting ‘for’ the team (or horse, or player, etc) to win. Another way to think of it is that you believe it will happen.

With matched betting, you match this at the betting exchange by placing a ‘lay bet’. In this example, a £10 bet that says that England won’t win. This covers both a loss and a draw:

LAY BET: Just a complicated way of saying you’re ‘betting against’ something. Lay bets are placed at the betting exchange and are the opposite of back bets. If you ‘lay’ England to win, then you’re saying that you don’t think they will. Again, this covers both a loss and draw outcome.

Now, because you’ve placed two bets which cover all possible outcomes, you won’t win any money. The important thing is: you won’t lose any either – the two bets cancel each other out. So where does the money come from, then? It comes from the £30 free bet, which you’ve unlocked by doing the qualifying bet.

FREE BET: The type of bet often ‘given away’ by bookmakers. In gambling, you’ll have to risk some of your own money in order to unlock the free bet, but with matched betting, you can unlock it and protect your own money at the same time.

How does matched betting work?

5 steps to making a profit from matched betting
In this section, we’ll go through the bare bones of how matched betting works.

#1. Sign up with a bookmaker

Find one offering a welcome bonus and deposit some money into the new account. Check the T&Cs of the offer to make sure you’re meeting the criteria.

#2. Open an account with a betting exchange

…and deposit some money. You’ll need to put in more than you did in the bookmaker account to cover something called ‘liability’.

LIABILITY: This is probably one of the most confusing things you’ll come across when you’re starting out matched betting. But stick with us. In traditional betting, liability is the amount of money that the person you’re betting against with Betfair stands to win from you. However, it’s different with matched betting. Don’t worry if they win it from you because you’ll win the same amount from the bookmaker. You won’t lose the liability amount.
The liability of a lay bet depends on the odds taken when you placed the bet. If you’re into the maths side of things, this formula shows how to calculate your liability: Liability = (Decimal Odds -1) x Stake.
Here’s a quick example: if you were to place a lay bet using £10 stake with decimal odds 6.5 your liability would be:
Liability = (6.5-1) x £10
= 5.5 x £10
= £55

#3. Use OddsMatcher to find an event to bet on

The original odds matching software sources and sorts the best odds for you. Use the filters to finds matched betting opportunities which fall within the T&Cs of the offer you’re doing and use the built-in calculator to work out how much you’ll need to back and lay, as well as how much money you’ll make.

#4. Complete your qualifying bet

Find and place your back bet at the bookmaker and do the same for your lay bet at the betting exchange. Don’t worry – we’ll show you exactly how to do this. Sign up for Free now and get the guides for two sign up offers! Once the event you’ve bet on has taken place, the bookmaker will credit your account with the free bet. Depending on the bookmaker, this could take up to 48 hours.

#5. Complete your free bet

In matched betting, you’re looking to keep around 75% and 80% of the free bet amount. For a £20 free bet, this is around £15 to £16. Using almost exactly the same method you’ve just completed the qualifying bet with, find and place the back and lay parts of your free bet. Again, we’ll show you exactly how to do this with written and video guides.