The Top Matched Betting Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

man lose in betting

If you’re looking to get into matched betting the potential of earning a tax-free second income probably sounds very appealing. 

That’s because it is. Matched betting represents an easy way to earn money with very little or no risk. 

As experienced matched bettors ourselves we feel it’s important we pass on everything we wish we knew when we first started. 

Even if you’ve been doing it for a while this article is worth a read. Just because we’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean you have to!

We’re going to run through the most common matched betting mistakes and what you can do to avoid them. 

Wrong Calculator Setting

There are a few reasons that make matched betting a successful system. One of these is that it is backed up by solid mathematics. 

Luckily, we have lay calculators to do the hard work for us. Calculators like the one above are likely to become your best friend as you navigate into the world of matched betting. 

It seems simple, just enter all of the information and away you go. However, it’s important that you remember to distinguish between the three different settings – normal, free bet SNR and free bet SR.

Normal should be used for all of your qualifying bets. These are bets you use to trigger free bets. This is usually the standard-setting, so the problem occurs when you don’t switch it out of normal.

Free bet stake not returned is the format bookmakers usually use when paying out free bets. By placing your free bets in the normal setting instead of this one will eat into your profits! 

You’ll probably come to realise a lot of the mistakes you make are silly ones that come from not paying attention.

By making you aware of them hopefully, it will stick in your mind to double check before you place your bets. 

Placing the Bets in the Wrong Order

The back bet should always be placed first. 

Sometimes you might be laying something off in the exchange and think it will save you time to place the lay bet before opening the bookmaker’s webpage. From experience, it’s not worth the hassle.

Everything works off the odds of the back bet. It’s a lot easier if the lay odds shorten than if the back odds shorten. It will cost you more money if the price of the back bet changes. 

We also do this to make sure the full amount we’re betting goes through.

You don’t want to place a lay bet without a bookmaker’s bet being confirmed. Getting left with a lay bet in the exchange could cost us more due to the liability. 

Lay Bet Liability

As you get into the swing of matched betting you are going to be firing off bet after bet.

When you are placing lay bets you will want to check the liability. An exchange will only let you risk as much money as is deposited in your account at that time. 

You’ll want to make sure that you have enough of a balance to place the bet. This is particularly true if you are betting on higher odds. 

If you are just starting out it might be beneficial to avoid bets at higher odds, to begin with. 

It’s always best to undertake these checks even before the back bet goes in. 

Unmatched Bets

This is something everyone is probably going to face. The way an exchange works requires bets to be matched, meaning someone needs to take the opposing point of view on the event you’re betting on. 

It’s difficult because it’s something that’s not fully in your control but there are steps you can take to minimise the risk.

You need to make sure the market is liquid enough, that there is enough money being placed to give your bet the best chance of being matched.

A fast-moving market can be more difficult to get matched because the odds are moving so much it might go against you.

To prevent this we shouldn’t really be placing bets close to the start time. Particularly in horse racing where a lot of money come into the market in the ten minutes before the off. 

Sometimes your bet will get partially matched, some of the stake will go through while the other waits.

Usually, the rest will get matched in the next few moments. If it doesn’t or you notice the price moving away you should lay for the closest available price.

This is also applicable for bets that don’t get matched. You don’t want to be leaving back bets in the market hoping they win. This is gambling, the opposite of matched betting. 

It is always better to take a small loss or less profit rather than being caught out and losing all of your back stake. If you have to take a loss, ensuring it’s as small as possible will keep the profit high. 

Not Tracking Results

Getting your head around when and where you placed your bets can cause you to waste valuable time. 

It’s important that you use some sort of tracking to keep a written note of where your money is. If you are starting out with a smaller bankroll this is especially important as you will probably need to move money around. 

We recommend using an oddsmatcher like Oddsmonkey as it does it for you. It’s software that we continue to use to this day.

Although we recognise that everyone might not be able to use software. That shouldn’t deter you as it’s possible to create a spreadsheet or text document for free.

A spreadsheet is probably the best, as it’s already in a table format. Some people are put off by using spreadsheets because they think it requires technical knowledge.

This is not the case for something like this.

You can probably even find templates that other people have made. We’ve knocked up an example – it took us 5 minutes!

You could even add a profit column to keep track of how much you’re making. 


People are always trying to look for a get rich quick scheme. If you have found one let us know because nothing makes you a living overnight…unfortunately. 

However, matched betting, in our opinion, represents the best way to make money online. Once you get into the swing of things it is incredibly easy and requires no sporting or technical knowledge. 

What it does require is your commitment. If you enter into it knowing this and dedicate a few hours a week to it the profit will start building nicely. 

The best part is you will be rewarded with a consistent return because if you follow the steps outlined on this site it is virtually risk-free. 

Learn How I Increased My Matched Betting Profits by 600%+ Every Month
We'll send you 5 advanced tips to take your matched betting to the next level.
About the Author

This post was written by Max. Max has been writing and editing for Beating Betting since August 2019. He's a massive sports fan and got into matched betting a few years ago.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *