How would you feel if you could make a (tax-free) £1,000 per month side income, working from home on evenings and weekends?
No – this isn’t a multi-level marketing scam. It’s called matched betting and thousands of ordinary people, young and old, male and female, are doing it. Once you learn how to spot the opportunities and how to take them, it will open your eyes to an entire world of easy money.
What is matched betting?
Simply put, matched betting is betting on an event to happen on a betting website, and then betting against it to happen on another website, taking a guaranteed profit. Here, I’m going to share my personal matched betting experience and tips, detailing how I consistently generate over £1,000 per month from risk free matched betting.
Although you’ll be frustrated with yourself that you didn’t start matched betting years ago, there isn’t a better time to start. The competition between betting websites is fierce and their offers are generous, with some of the loopholes in their markets still not filled. But be quick – matched betting might not last forever.
*Tip: It is important to note before you start that, if not done properly, mistakes can cost hundreds of pounds. Do not attempt matched betting until you have trained carefully. I recommend you attempt the first couple of offers under the guidance of a website called Profit Accumulator, which is free to do and takes you through what to do at a much slower pace than I outline in this article.
When I started, I used Profit Accumulator which among other things, provides some excellent training videos, a handy oddsmatching tool and useful forum where a community of over 20,000 matched bettors share their tips and experience with you. It equipped me with the skills for life which means I never need to worry about money again.
There are 4 key ways to make consistent and steady profits from matched betting online, and I will outline them below, starting with the easiest and finishing with the most difficult.
1. Betting welcome offers
Most online bookmakers give welcome bonuses and free bets to new members.
The example below shows the welcome offer I did with BetVictor. On this occasion, BetVictor were running an offer whereby if you bet £25 with them, they give you a £25 free bet.
Here’s what I did:
1. On 14 June 2016 I deposited £25 with BetVictor and placed a £25 bet on Russia to beat Slovakia at odds of 2.375.
*Tip: Always convert to decimal odds – it makes your calculations much simpler.
2. Using a simple calculator, found on Profit Accumulator, I then layed a bet of £24.54 against Russia to win on the betting exchange, Smarkets, at odds of 2.44.
*Tip: Learning how to lay corresponding bets against events happening using a betting exchange such as Btefair or Smarkets is the central tenet of matched betting. It is what makes everything a matched bettor does, risk free. Take some time to absorb how the odds work on Smarkets and do a sense check every time you place a bet and lay it off on an exchange. Profit Accumulator walks you through how to do this.
Regardless of whether Russia wins or loses, I lose 96p, but will have a £25 free bet to come from the welcome offer.
This 96p is called a qualifying loss, because it’s a loss that I bear to qualify for the free bet offer.
3. Russia didn’t win, so I lost my bet with BetVictor, but won on Smarkets. So, at this point, I have deposited £25 with BetVictor, which I lost, but I have an extra £24.04 in my Smarkets account (£24.54, less Smarkets’ 2% commission), so a net loss of 96p, as the calculator showed.
4. The next thing I did was place my £25 free bet credited by BetVictor, on Germany to beat Poland at odds of 8.5. I changed the bet type on my Profit Accumulator calculator to Free Bet (SNR), which told me I needed to lay £21.36 against Poland at odds of 8.8, in order to lock in the guaranteed maximum amount of profit.
5. Whatever the outcome of the match, I end up with either £20.89 or £20.93 profit. I actually decided to lay £21.43 on Smarkets so that I ended up with a nice round £21 profit if my bet lost, which it did.
The net profit
Let’s review. I lost 96p from making my first bet, but then won £21 from the free bet, giving a net, risk-free profit of £20.04 from this offer.
There are more bookmakers out there than you think. Here’s a list of the welcome offers I’ve completed:
- Stan James
- William Hill
- Paddy Power
- Comeon (not for beginners this one – probably avoid)
- Tonybet (avoid this one – they delayed when I withdrew my winnings)
*Tip: It’s important to read the terms and conditions before starting a welcome offer as some of the terms, (especially for the lesser known betting websites) can be complicated. Profit Accumulator provides detailed guidance on how to tackle each offer safely.
If you complete all of the above welcome offers like I did, you should expect to make over £1,000 profit.
It can be a bit of a slog opening all of the accounts, but once the accounts are set up, they will provide you with quick and consistent profits, which I detail below.
2. Free bet fishing
In addition to welcome offers, betting websites run promotions which will pay you a free bet if certain criteria are hit.
In the example below, Betfair Sportsbook were running an offer during the European Football Championships whereby if you back a player to score first, and he goes on to score again, they treble your odds, awarded as free bets.
Here’s how I tackled this offer.
1. I placed £10 on Antoine Griezmann to score first against Germany at odds of 7.5.
2. Using my Profit Accumulator calculator, I placed a lay bet of £8.95 against Antoine Griezmann to score first on Smarkets at odds of 8.4.
Whatever happens, I would make a qualifying loss of £1.23.
3. As it happened, Griezmann did score first and I won my bet with Betfair, and was credited with £75 there.
I therefore lost my bet against Griezmann to score with Smarkets, losing £66.26. So, from my initial £10 stake, I lost £1.26, as my calculator told me (£75 – £66.26).
4. Griezmann then went on to score again and I was then credited with £130 in free bets from Betfair.
5. Using the £130 in free bets, I bet on horses to win on Betfair and using the Profit Accumulator calculator, lay bets against the horses to win on Smarkets. Here’s what I did at the 18:20 at Chester:
As you can see, I placed £40 of my free bets on 3 different horses, all of which lost on Betfair – but my bets against them to win on Smarkets won, giving me a guaranteed £31.87 profit into my Smarkets account.
6. I actually lost all of my free bets on horses on Betfair and won all of my bets against them to win on Smarkets.
Overall, I converted about 80% of the £130 free bets into cash, making £104 from the free bets.
Minus the £1.26 loss I made when I initially made the bet, this equated to a profit of around £102.74 from this offer. (This was in the early days of my matched betting – I’d be able to make more from free bets now by finding arbs – read more below).
These free bet offers can always be found
There are always free bets and risk free bets to fish for.
Some of the most consistent profits can come from Bet365’s Feature Race 4/1 offer, where they give you a £50 risk free bet if you back a winning horse at 4/1 or more on certain races; or similarly Betfair’s 3/1 horse racing offer where they give you a £25 free bet if you back a winner at odds of 3/1 or more.
Finding arbs to maximise your profits
For the Betfair 3/1 horse racing offer, you’re just looking to back and lay at as close odds as possible and hope your horse wins. Here, I placed £25 on the horse “Get Knotted” to win at odds of 12.0:
Remember though, that everything I do is risk free – I’m not going to risk £25 of my own money! I bet against Get Knotted on Smarkets at odds of 11.5:
Note that the odds that I bet against Get Knotted on Smarkets are lower than the odds that I bet for Get Knotted to win on Betfair Sportbook.
I bet £25 at odds of 12 to win £300, and bet £26.13 against Get Knotted at odds of 11.5, to potentially lose £274.21. Whatever happened, even before the horse had run, I had locked in a guaranteed profit, as calculated by my Profit Accumulator calculator:
This is called an arb and they can be found using the Profit Accumulator oddsmatching software or on fast moving horse odds, close to the race start time.
As Get Knotted won, I also won a £25 free bet, which I used to guarantee a profit of £22 using the same method used above.
Beware of gubbings
I should mention that I have used Betfair Sportsbook and BetVictor as real examples because I no longer care about those accounts. They have stopped me from receiving offers and bonuses from them as they realise that I will cost them money. Here is the email I received from Betfair Sportsbook, notifying me that I was no longer eligible for their promotional offers:
Being restricted from receiving promotions is bad enough, but other betting websites will restrict your stakes too. On my BetVictor and Coral accounts, I can no longer place any bets at all. Here is the email I received from BetVictor:
This is an unfortunate reality of matched betting.
Whilst disappointing to receive such emails, known as gubbings, I still have lots of betting accounts which generate me a lot of profit. I’d like to keep it that way though, so won’t be revealing my identity or any specific bets I’ve placed with bookies I still hold accounts with.
You can still make money
Even after having free bets and special offers withdrawn, as has happened to me, you can still make huge profits from these betting accounts.
The betting techniques below are a little more technical and were only bets I began placing when I had a comprehensive understanding around the principles of matched betting and was fully confident of calculating, placing and laying bets on Smarkets at speed.
I recommend you only attempt the below techniques when you have completed the training available on Profit Accumulator, have done all available welcome offers and have had some practice at hitting horse racing free bet and risk free bet offers.
3. Each-way arbing
For most experienced matched bettors, each-way arbing is the most consistently profitable matched betting technique.
Arbing on horses to win can be profitable in itself and there are many bookies, such as Bet365, which are slow to update their horse racing odds, which can move quickly on Smarkets close to the start time. However, each-way arbing not only provides the biggest profits, but also seems to go relatively unnoticed by betting websites – which means you can avoid the dreaded stake restrictions and account closures which will inevitably come with simply arbing the horse to win.
An each-way bet explained
An each-way bet is two bets in one. One bet on the horse to win and another bet on the horse to place. So, if you stake a total of £50 on an each way bet, you’re betting £25 on the horse to win and £25 on the horse to place.
Most of the time, there is little value in placing an each-way bet – it is a bet placed by a typical mug punter. However, there are a particular set of circumstances which throw up huge profits for matched bettors. There are usually at least one or two races every day of this type.
*Tip: In particular, races with 8-10 runners and a strong odds-on favourite distort the each-way market and make it very profitable for a matched bettor.
Here, I use the example of the 4:30 at Redcar on Monday afternoon in October to illustrate those circumstances:
I have circled the fact that Bet365 are paying 1/5 odds on the first 3 places – this is important.
How bookmakers make their profits
Betting websites make their profits by applying what is called an over-round. They price the market in their favour to make a profit. Using excel, I have converted the above win odds into percentages to demonstrate:
Bet365 have therefore priced this market with an over-round of 119%. This means that if I was to place £119 of my money evenly across all of the horses, I would receive £100 back, with Bet365 taking £19 profit.
*Tip: Don’t just bet on one website. Use Oddschecker to find the betting websites offering the best prices on the race you’re betting on.
The each-way market
To work out the each way odds on your selection using decimals, you take the win odds, minus 1, divide by 5, and then add 1. I have converted the each way odds into percentages below:
The each way book therefore has an over-round of 253%.
As 3 horses have to place, the book should be priced at a minimum of 300% (3 x 100%) for the bookmaker to make a profit – so we know the bookmaker expects to lose money on its each-way market on this race.
If I was to place £253 of my money evenly across all of the horses on the each way market, I would get £300 back, making a profit of £47 (and the bookie losing £47).
However, this is not the most expedient way to extract profit from this race. In practice, we would execute an each-way arb(s) on this race, something like this.
1. I place £50 each way (£100 total) on Blue Cliffs at odds of 9.
2. Using my Profit Accumulator calculator, I lay a bet of £49.02 against Blue Cliffs to win at odds of 9.2 on Smarkets. I therefore lose £1.96 on the win part of my bet, whatever happens.
3. The odds on Blue Cliffs to place are (9-1)/5+1 = 2.6.
I scroll down to the top 3 market on Smarkets and using my Profit Accumulator calculator, I lay a bet of £73.03 against Blue Cliffs to finish in the top 3 at odds of 1.8 on Smarkets – a sizeable arb.
4. This means, that, whatever happens I make a profit of £21.57 on the place part of my each way bet.
5. Subtracting the loss on the win part of my bet of £1.96, this makes a net profit on this horse of £19.61. Not bad for 2 minutes work.
*Tip: Bet on multiple horses spread across multiple betting websites – this will maximise your profits, lower your commission on Smarkets and avoid attracting attention from one particular bookmaker.
The only thing limiting your profits using this method is the size of your bankroll, the liquidity in Smarkets and any stake restrictions on your betting accounts.
*Tip: I tend to underlay the each-way part of my horse bets, meaning that I lay just enough to break even if the horse doesn’t place, but make more money if it does, as I tend to find I win more bets than I lose. To play around with the different options, simply select “Advanced” on your Profit Accumulator calculator.
Once you’ve confidently learned how to place and lay each-way bets, you’re ready to attempt the next technique, which can make huge (although not guaranteed) profits.
4. Extra place hunting
Matched betting, by and large, is about making methodical, slow and steady gains. However, extra place offers provide a matched bettor with the opportunity to land a big win.
On high-profile horse races and golf tournaments, such as the Grand National, bookies will sometimes offer extra places.
Using the same methodology we used when executing each-way arbs, the strategy here is to place your each-way bet and then lay a bet against both the win and the place part of your bet on Smarkets at tight odds. In practice, it works follows:
1. I place a £50 each way bet (£100 in total) on the horse “Ucello Conti” in the Grand National at odds of 26.0 with BetVictor, who are paying 6 places in the Grand National at ¼ odds.
2. I lay a bet of £50.04 against the win part of my each-way bet at odds of 26.0, losing a guaranteed £1.00, as shown by my Profit Accumulator calculator below:
3. I then place a lay bet of £46.59 on Smarkets against Ucello Conti to finish in the top 4. I lay this bet at odds of 7.8 locking in a loss of £4.34.
4. So, in addition to my win bet, I have locked in a guaranteed loss of £5.34.
5. However, remember my BetVictor bet pays out if Ucello Conti finishes in the top 6, and I only lose my lay bet on Smarkets if Ucello Conti finishes in the top 4.
That means if Ucello Conti finishes either 5th or 6th I win both my bet with BetVictor and my lay bet on Smarkets, giving me a huge profit.
6. Ucello Conti did finish 6th. Here’s what happened with my bets:
6.1. The £50 win part of my each-way bet lost with BetVictor, but won on Smarkets giving me £49.04 of my £50 stake back – a loss of 96p.
6.2. The each-way part of my bet with BetVictor won. The each-way odds were 7.25, winning me £362.50 with BetVictor (£50 x 7.25 = £362.50).
6.3. My bet on Smarkets against Ucello Conti to finish in the top 4 also won, winning me a further £45.66.
So, my total profit from this bet would be -96p + 362.50 + 45.66 = £409.12.
*Tip: Of course there is a lot of luck involved in hitting the 5th or 6th place, so try to get on as many horses as possible at the tightest odds possible to minimise qualifying losses.
Don’t forget Best Odds Guaranteed
Even when not hitting the extra place, I find that my qualifying losses are offset by “Best Odds Guaranteed”.
This is a great offer promoted by all of the major bookmakers, which pay you out at the Starting Price (SP) if it is bigger than the price you placed your bet at.
On quiet evenings when I have nothing much to do, I will just underlay horse arbs on my phone and hope the price drifts and the horses that I bet on win and I get paid out under Best Odds Guaranteed. I have made many hundreds of pounds doing just that alone.
What are you waiting for?
Using the above techniques, I have slowly generated enough money to now put down a deposit on a house. I enjoy the challenge of matched betting and it feels good to know you’re hurting the bottom lines of despicable betting websites.
When I try to explain how much money I make from betting, a common response from people is “that’s gambling” or “why isn’t everyone doing it”. Well, I’ve shown you here that it’s not gambling and I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing it – some people won’t take the time to understand something or will always find an excuse not to do something, I suppose.
Profit Accumulator is a great place to start learning about matched betting – it is how I started and I feel comfortable recommending it.
Bear in mind that the welcome offers are just the start. It may seem like a chore at first, opening all of the accounts, but once you’re up and running, the only thing stopping you making consistent, steady income from betting is when the bookies see what you’re up to and ban you before they lose too much money!
Start making your side income with Profit Accumulator now.