What is matched betting & how do you do it

What Is Matched Betting & How Do You Do It? [2019 Guide]

Welcome to the biggest & best ‘no-risk’ matched betting guide on this planet.

I’ll cover absolutely all of the basics & ensure you walk away knowing more than you would from any other beginner tutorial (that’s fighting talk!).

I’m going to show you, step-by-step, the strategy I’ve used to make over £75,000 in the easiest profits I could have imagined.

Who am I? I’m Luke, founder of Beating Betting.

I’ve taught thousands of people how to matched bet right here on the site and via the Beating Betting YouTube channel, which has thousands of active subscribers.

The next few minutes could change your life:

I’m not exaggerating.

This strategy won’t be around forever, so count yourself lucky that you’ve found it today.

Everything here is free, so make use of it!

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a low risk form of gambling, typically on sporting events. This is also commonly referred to as ‘bonus hunting’ or ‘no-risk betting’. By using free bets and other promotions, matched bettors guarantee profits by having all outcomes of a match or an event covered.

Whilst people think that free bets are in limited supply, with so-called no-risk matched betting you can ensure they keep coming in day after day.

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

The definition above makes things seem a little complicated, so let’s try and describe it in a way that you can easily understand:

It is a ‘no risk’ betting strategy that guarantees profits by using a simple calculator, along with bookmaker free bets and other promotions.


The Basics of Backing & Laying

There are some finer details that you’ll need to learn in order to achieve really significant long-term profits — keep reading for those — but the most simple thing you need to know to do this is the difference between back bets and lay bets:

The ‘Back’ Bet

The back bet is the most traditional form of bet, essentially you’re saying “I think this will win”.

If your team, horse, or whatever else you bet on wins, then you’ll win your bet and the profit along with it.

The ‘Lay’ Bet

The lay bet is something made popular with the rise of online betting exchanges such as Betfair.

This is the exact opposite to a back bet, where you are now saying “I don’t think this will win”.

If the team that you bet on don’t win the match, you win your lay bet.

And yes, if the result is a draw, that means your lay bet also wins (because they didn’t win the match).


How Matched Betting Works

Matched betting works by using lay bets to cancel out any risk that a back bet poses.

You back and lay against the same result in order to remove all risk. You cannot lose your bet because you have every outcome covered.

This part isn’t where you make your money though:

You will go on to make a profit from a bookmaker’s free bet.

Your first bet is known as a ‘qualifying’ bet — it is what qualifies you to earn a free bet.

Once you have this free bet from the bookmaker, you can guarantee profits by covering all outcomes again with the same back and lay method.

This removes all risk and guarantees you an easy profit, regardless of the result of any sporting event.

And no, the free bets don’t stop coming once you’ve completed all of the sign-up offers.

With matched betting, you’ll find ways to constantly keep earning the free bets that will become your bread and butter income.


How to Do Matched Betting

Matched betting seems scary and difficult at first, but it really, really isn’t.

It’s becoming the go-to choice of stay-at-home mums and hardworking students to earn a living online — how hard can it be if ladies can do it whilst juggling all of the challenges that come with parenting newborns, or whilst young adults are combining it with study and excessive drinking?

With just one or two days of getting into the swing of things you will be well on your way to that super-sweet risk-free betting profit.

Let’s get into a real example right now:


Real Matched Betting Example

Fake bookmaker

FAKE-BOOKMAKER.comwho we’ve invented for the purpose of this post, are promising you a £25 free bet if you deposit and place a bet of the same £25 stake with their site.

You sign up, deposit the £25, and bet on Manchester United to win at odds of EVENS, or 2.0 (as matched bettors always use decimal odds).

Note: You can easily switch between fractional and decimal odds on all bookmakers, usually on any page – or your account settings if not.

You then go onto Betfair Exchange, and LAY Manchester United (that’s betting on Manchester United to NOT WIN) whose lay odds are 2.02:

Lay bets on Betfair

To place a lay bet on the exchange, we simply use the odds in the red/pink ‘lay’ column.

You don’t need to worry about all the other numbers right now, they’re just there to confuse and worry you as a beginner! I joke, but really, you don’t need to use them any time soon.

How do we know how much to lay?

Using a lay betting calculator (we have a free one on Beating Betting), we simply input the information we already have to calculate what our lay stake should be:

Matched betting lay stake calculation

Again, this might look slightly complicated but it’s really straightforward and only takes a couple of goes to get used to it.

All I’ve added to the calculator is information we already know: our stake of £25, our back odds of 2.0 and our lay odds of 2.02. The commission is 5% on Betfair Exchange.

As we can see from the calculation, ‘you could lay £25.38’ – meaning: your lay stake is £25.38.

It also says that your liability will be £25.89 – liability is a fancy word for the money you can lose from the exchange if the result goes against you, but remember, if you lose at the exchange then you win at the bookmaker. We therefore need at least £25.38 in our exchange to lay the qualifying bet in this example, and we’ll need more for the free bet – where we extract the profits.

The possible outcomes from the game are as follows:

If Manchester United win, you’ll win £25 profit on FAKE-BOOKMAKER and lose £25.89 on Betfair.

If Manchester United draw or lose, you’ll lose £25 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but win £24.11 profit on Betfair (your lay stake, minus commission).

Either way, you’ll lose the tiny amount of 89p.

This is called a ‘qualifying loss’.

A qualifying loss is the small investment you make to extract a large amount of profit from the next step:

You will now be credited with a free bet from FAKE-BOOKMAKER worth £25.

You decide to place this bet on Watford to win at odds of 5.0. The lay odds happen to be 5.2.

Again using the matched betting calculator, we now change the mode from ‘Normal’ (which is used for qualifying bets) to ‘Free Bet (SNR)’.

You’ll put in your free bet stake of £25 as well as your odds, and calculate the stake you need to LAY against Watford.

Again, this may seem complicated but it’s extremely straightforward once you’ve done it two or three times.

Matched betting free bet calculation

If Watford WIN, you’ll win £100 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but lose £81.56 on Betfair, meaning you’ve made an overall profit of £18.44.

If Watford draw or lose, you’ll fail to win with your free bet on FAKE-BOOKMAKER, but you’ll win your lay of £19.42 on Betfair.

Remember, Betfair take 5% commission, so either way you’ll have won £18.44 on this  matched bet.

It doesn’t matter what the result is of the Manchester United game for the qualifying bet, you’ve broken even — or will have lost a few pence after commission.

It doesn’t matter what the result is of the free bet you choose, you’ve made £18 profit (or slightly more).

The result of either game doesn’t matter, the profit is guaranteed as long as you follow the instructions of a specific offer correctly.

Whilst £18 profit may not sound like much (or maybe it does!) you can repeat this multiple times every day once you have built up your bankroll a bit — which doesn’t take long at all.

Now, we invented these games and odds at random.

So how do you know which teams you’re supposed to be betting on when it’s not just an example?

We use software to find matches with the best odds for you, and we’ll get to that shortly.


How Long Does Matched Betting Take?

Most people spend between 15-60 minutes on matched betting per day. You’re under no pressure to put in any time you don’t want to. The more time you put in, the more you earn.

Generally speaking, you probably need around 15 minutes to get one bet on.

Let’s say the average profit from offers you complete is £8. This means you’re earning £32-an-hour, tax-free.

A great idea is to track the time you put in and the profit you make at the end of the month and then work out your own hourly rate.

The more practice you have, the more efficient you’ll become and the higher your hourly rate will likely become.


Why is Matched Betting So Popular Now?

Matched betting is not necessarily a new thing, but demand in recent times has well-and-truly gone through the roof, with no signs of slowing down.

Not convinced?

Here’s proof:

Demand for matched betting
Searches for the term “matched betting” in Google, 2007-present.

There are now over 12,500 people searching for the term “matched betting” in Google, in the UK, every single month.

So, despite being around for a good number of years, why has it soared in popularity so suddenly?

There are a few simple reasons for this, and I’ve highlighted them in the answers below.


Why do Bookmakers Allow it?

Firstly, there is a rise in competition between bookmakers. There’s a huge ‘bookmaker boom’ right now and it means they’re all scrambling for your custom.

These bookmakers such as William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power and many more run promotions in order to try to attract both new and repeat business.

These promotions prove to be profitable for them, so they’re constantly adding more and more to their sites each month.

Promotions are easily exploited for guaranteed profits with the tactics matched bettors use, as seen in the example later in this post.

The more promotions there are, the more profitable matched betting becomes.

However, bookmakers don’t ‘allow’ it, they just can’t stop you doing it until one day they decide they’ll know longer take your bets – I’m now banned by almost every bookmaker and casino in the country, but I earned a lot of easy profit whilst doing it!


Is it a Scam?

The majority of people are skeptical when they first hear of matched betting.

It’s easy to understand why — everyone that does it was skeptical once.

Let’s be honest, I know it sounds like a scam!

Thanks to an increase in sites and services becoming available, many are learning the power of it the easy (and cheap) way.

As more and more people try it out, more people learn how profitable it is and go on to tell their friends and family about it, spreading the word at rapid rates.

This helps more people to become educated about the process and its legitimacy via word of mouth.

I bet you wish you had a friend or family member to vouch for it before you jump into it, right?

If you sign up today, I guarantee you’ll be the one vouching for it in a week’s time.

If you are wanting to try it out but you’re having doubts, you can get a free trial of Oddsmonkey, who post hundreds of matched betting offers and give step-by-step instructions for each one, by signing up through this link.

You’ll make up to £45 profit, which can be earned in a matter of hours.

There are currently tens of thousands of people in the UK matched betting in order to get themselves a better life, free from debt and enjoying treats that wouldn’t otherwise have been affordable.


Is it Legal?

Matched betting has been quite a well kept secret when you consider the amount of money that can be made doing it.

However, there’s no need for it to seem like some sort of shady underground operation.

It is is entirely legal.

In fact, a spokesman for William Hill has even said in the past that the gambling industry is happy for people to do it:

“There’s no illegal element [to matched betting]. It’s a free bet and you can do what you like.” [Source: The Telegraph]


Is it Risky?

Unlike regular gambling, there’s a reason this thing is also known as ‘no-risk betting’.

You may have been brought up to believe there’s no such thing as a “dead cert” when gambling or betting — we all were!

However, with matched betting everything really is virtually guaranteed.


Because it doesn’t matter which team wins or loses, or which horse crosses the finishing line first.

Matched bettors make a profit regardless of the outcome of any sporting event.

In an era of government spending cuts, guaranteed extra income of thousands of pounds each year cannot be sniffed at.

The only risks are human error, so ensure you follow instructions and double check your stakes at all times, and gubbings.


How Quick is it to Learn?

It might seem complicated at first, but it’s actually extremely straightforward.

No one is able to magically wrap their heads around all of this in an instant.

However, most people learn the process in just a day or two.

If you need proof of how simple it can be — in my first ever month of matched betting, where I learned the process entirely from scratch, I made £1,113.15 profit.

Snapshot of matched betting spreadsheet
My first ever day of matched betting, showing £70.06 profit from just two free bets and a price boost, and the total end profit for the month of £1,113.15. And yes, the first version of my spreadsheet was terrible!

It couldn’t be easier to learn matched betting when following a video or reading a post that tells you exactly what bets to place and where to place them.

Just look at my first spreadsheet pictured above – the way I tracked my bets back then might have been a bit rubbish, but earning those profits was the easiest money I’ve ever made!

That’s why I’ve continued to matched bet every month since that day.


What do You Need to Do It?

Who wouldn’t want to earn £1,000+ extra each month from the comfort of their own homes?

All you need is access to the internet and you’re away.

It’s this reason alone that matched betting is extremely popular with students, many of whom are paying off their entire student loan debts before they even leave university.


Do You Have to Pay Tax on Profits?

This is probably music to many of your ears; match betting is completely tax-free in the UK.

This is because it falls under the category of ‘gambling’, and even though there is very little risk involved it still classes as being 100% free from tax.



How Much Money Do You Need to Start Matched Betting?

Matched betting works best when you are able to invest in completing multiple offers at once.

This comes once you have built up your bankroll.

However, the vast majority of people don’t have a lot of money set aside for such investments, and therefore tend to start with a very small budget of £100-£200.

The smallest figure you can probably start with is £80, but I really would recommend trying to have at least £100.

This level of budget allows you to complete one or two offers at a time, and you can easily turn this into a £10,000 bankroll in a few months time just like many others (including us) have done before you.

Personally, I was confident in my finances and had become convinced of the method, so I started off with about £400, before investing a little more (from my overdraft — although I wouldn’t recommend that!) once I realised how much I could earn.


What’s the Risk with Matched Betting?

It may seem too good to be true, but there is absolutely no risk involved in matched betting when done correctly.

There are a couple of things you need to be careful of, however:

Firstly, ensure that you follow instructions and enter the stakes that the calculator tells you to bet carefully.

Small mistakes can happen quite frequently when starting out and they’re never usually too costly, but always keep an eye out and triple check everything is as it should be.

Secondly, and this is the biggest drawback, bookmakers can remove your access to promotions and free bets if you’re seen to abusing bonuses.

This is known in the betting industry as being ‘gubbed’.

To ensure you don’t abuse the promotions too hard, refrain from betting on too many offers in a short space of time with the same bookmaker.

Also, place some regular-looking bets too known as ‘mug bets’, which you can of course also lay off at a betting exchange — but they won’t qualify for offers.

Looking like a mug punter to a bookmaker is essential for long-term profits.


How do You do it Outside of the UK?

Unfortunately, I can’t provide tailored lessons and advice to every country in the world. Therefore, I only teach those based in the UK.

However, you can do the same ‘back and lay’ approach, as described throughout this post, in any country that has access to betting exchanges.

If you don’t have access to these, you need to look into something called dutching.


The Next Step

The next stage of this is to do it for real and earn yourself your first matched betting profits!

Scared to make the jump?

I know exactly how you feel — I was there once myself.

I felt a mixture of confusion and apprehension before starting, but it’s well worth it.

And you can start almost for free…


Step 1

Sign up for OddsMonkey (free version here).

Oddsmonkey post hundreds of matched betting offers and opportunities each week.

Sign up offers

These offers include video tutorials and written guides that will help you get your offers done — you’ll learn how to do matched betting in a matter of minutes with these!

Not only this, but they have all the software you’ll need; an ‘oddsmatcher’ to find the best bets for you to place, and a whole range of other (more advanced) tools that you’ll learn to use as you increase your ability and profit levels.

You’ll also get some customer support for if you get stuck with anything.

In my first month of matching my bets — despite having never learnt about it previously — I made enough profit for over seven years worth of membership.


Step 2

The second step is to work your way through the sign-up offers on the site.

All of these offers are written in extreme detail, meaning it’s almost impossible for you to go wrong as long as you’re following them carefully.

There are a small number of offers listed on the free trial, and then significantly more (usually 50+) on the premium version.

Many people worry that because they’ve already signed up to several bookmakers, they won’t be able to do matched betting.

This is absolutely NOT the case!

You CAN do matched betting even if you’re already signed up to bookies.

In fact, it will help prevent you from having your account restricted (or being ‘gubbed’) as you have historic account health through mug bets.

For starters, there are over 40 different bookmakers to complete sign-up offers on.

For most people, these will be worth over £1,000 profit alone.


Step 3

After you’ve completed the sign-up offers — which depending on your initial investment can take a few days or a few weeks, based on half an hour per day — you can move onto reload offers.

It’s these reload offers that allow us, even those that think they’re signed up to all bookmakers already (which is unlikely), to be able to make consistent long-term profits.

It’s how all of us experienced matched bettors make our risk-free income every single day.

With these three steps, you’ll be able to learn how to do matched betting in no time.

I’m talking literally a few days at most.



When I was being told about all of this, I couldn’t get my head around it at all.

However, once I started placing the bets for myself and tracking the profit, everything fell into place straight away.

It’s been exactly the same for everyone else I’ve introduced to the technique, and I’m sure it will be the same for you too. Just get stuck in and you everything will start to become clear.

If you have any concerns or questions at all, simply get in touch with me via the contact page.

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20 thoughts on “What Is Matched Betting & How Do You Do It? [2019 Guide]

  1. I believe the laws in the Netherlands are a bit stricter than in the UK, and there are fewer options of betting websites. Is it still possible to do matched betting in the Netherlands?

  2. Hi Luke Thanks for this great guide. You mention in the post “I’m now banned by almost every bookmaker and casino in the country” and this relates to my biggest fear of this method – does it have a shelf life? Does this mean that you can no longer do matched betting as much or make as much money?

    1. Hi Jody, I was doing this for many years before this outcome. But yes, it does have a shelf life. I have some strategies to keep it possible to earn extra money out of accounts that are gubbed.

  3. Hey Luke,

    Thanks for all the information on matched betting. Great stuff.

    I am an Indian staying in INDIA, Can I take advantage of matched betting and profit.

    Awaiting your response.

  4. Hi Luke, thank you for your information, on some betting sites they state that you need a minimum deposit, or bet amount placed to be able to withdraw your funds. How do you work around this ???

  5. Hi there,
    Is it necessary to use a betting exchange (e.g. Betfair) or can you lay bet by using any bookmaker.
    For example if my back bet is over 2.5 with B365, can I then have my lay bet of under 2.5 with paddy power? Thanks

    1. That’s a perfectly fine strategy known as ‘dutching’. You can do it, but it’s nowhere near as profitable as backing and laying.

        1. Because bookmakers make money via their overrounds, e.g. meaning they have unfair odds across all selections so that they guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome. When you’re dutching, you have two overrounds to contend with. Sometimes you can find good matches between two bookmakers, but it’s much easier when you have one bookmaker and the exchange. Hope this helps!

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