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’. 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 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:
How Matched Betting Works
There are some finer details that you’ll need to learn in order to achieve even greater long-term profits, keep reading for those tips, but the main bulk of what you will need to learn is this:
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).
Laying Back and Making Money
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.
Keep reading for a real match betting example a little later in this post!
Rise in Demand
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.
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:
Firstly, there is the rise in competition between bookmakers.
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 easier matched betting becomes.
More People ‘In-The-Know’
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 trial at Profit Squad 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.
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.”
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.
Ease of Access
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.
It’s also a booming industry for mothers of newborns; whilst the babies are in bed, mummy can earn enough to pay for nappies, food and put some money away for University fees!
That’s probably music to many of your ears; match betting is completely tax-free.
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.
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 — but they won’t qualify for offers.
Looking like a mug punter to a bookmaker is essential for long-term profits.
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 to earn a living online — how hard can it be if these ladies can do it whilst juggling all of the challenges that come with parenting newborns.
With just one or two days of getting into the swing of things you could be well on your way to that super-sweet risk-free betting profit.
Real-World Matched Betting Example
FAKE-BOOKMAKER.com, who 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).
You then go onto Betfair, and LAY Manchester United (that’s betting on Manchester United to NOT WIN) also at 2.0, for £25 liability (a fancy word for the money you can lose if the result goes against you).
The possible outcomes from the game are as follows:
If Manchester United win, you’ll win £25 profit on FAKE-BOOKMAKER and lose £25 on Betfair.
If Manchester United draw or lose, you’ll lose £25 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but win £25 profit on Betfair.
Either way, you break even.
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 4.0 (that’s 3/1). This means you can win £75 from nothing, as the bet was free.
You then use a matched betting calculator choosing ‘Stake Not Returned (SNR)’, putting 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.
The lay odds on Betfair are also 4.0, and the calculator tells you to lay £19 against Watford. The liability on this bet (that’s the money you can lose if Watford win) is £57.
If Watford WIN, you’ll win £75 on FAKE-BOOKMAKER but lose £57 on Betfair, meaning you’ve made an overall profit from both bets of £18.
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 on Betfair.
Betfair take 5% commission, so you’ll have won £18.05 on this result after commission is taken from your £19 lay.
It doesn’t matter what the result is of the Manchester United game, you’ve broken even — or will have lost a few pence after commission.
It doesn’t matter what the result is of the Watford game, you’ve made £18 profit or slightly more.
The result of either game doesn’t matter, the profit is guaranteed.
Now, we’ve picked these games and odds at random for the purpose of this example, but when you’re signed up to a matched betting site you will be able to use their software to find matches with the best odds for you.
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.
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…
Sign up for ProfitSquad's free trial
With this, you’ll never have to pay if you don’t want to — no awkward cancelling after a certain amount of days or anything like that.
You’ll have limited access to the site, but you’ll get a couple of offers that will enable you to earn up to £45 virtually risk-free profit whilst trying out their tools.
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!
You’ll also get some customer support for if you get stuck with anything.
Personally, I went straight in for the platinum option and did three offers on my first day.
These three offers paid for not just the one month but for over three months worth of membership!
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.
Although I can think of some better ways to spend £1,000+ profit!
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 being gubbed as you have historic account health through mug bets.
For starters, there are over 40 different bookmakers (and counting) to complete sign-up offers on.
For most people, these will be worth around £1,500 profit alone.
After you’ve completed the sign-up offers – which depending on your initial investment can take a bit of time — 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.
Being ‘gubbed’ in matched betting: Everything you need to know about account restrictions
As you work your way through the offers given out by the majority of UK bookmakers, you’ll quickly discover that they really don’t like losing. And betting account restrictions are popular. As a matched bettor, you’re not their favourite type of person. Why? Because you’re using their free bets against them (or, at least, that’s what they think).
Bookies are used to being the only winners and when that’s not the case, they take steps to turn things back in their favour…The most extreme action they can take, is to close your account and ban you from placing bets. If this happens, your account is useless and you’ve unfortunately lost one of your money-making avenues. Other – less final – steps bookies often take include limiting the size of the bet you can place (your stake) or banning you from taking part in promotions.
What are betting account restrictions?
And what does a restricted account mean for your matched betting activity? A restricted account can make it harder for you to reach your target profits as you’ll either only be able to stake small amounts or you’ll no longer receive any freebies at all. This can be a major roadblock for matched betting, as free bets are our main source of income.
However, don’t worry if you have restricted accounts: there are still ways to do matched betting without free bets.
Why do betting account restrictions happen?
There are lots of theories about how bookmakers make the decision to restrict accounts. Let’s take a look at one: when you sign up to a bookie, you’re given a rating between 0 and 100 (0 meaning you have no chance of being gubbed and 100 meaning you’re banned from promotional offers). Based on your betting activity, this rating can go up and down. Although once it reaches the top, there’s no going back.
Bookmakers employ traders to look for patterns of behaviour which DON’T follow those of the ‘normal punter’. If they decide that’s you, they’ll notify the bookmaker, who’ll make a decision. Unfortunately, the bookmaker’s decision is usually final, so it’s best to try and look after your accounts from the off.
What does it mean to be ‘gubbed’?
If you’re a member of a matched betting forum, like OddsMonkey’s Community, you might see the word ‘gubbed’ flying around. Sounds painful…but what does it mean? This is just another way of saying ‘restricted’ or ‘limited’.
Gubbings are placed on sports betting accounts. This means that you’ll normally still be able to take part in casino games and bingo offers with that same bookmaker. Betting exchanges, like Betfair and Smarkets, rarely gub – although it’s worth keeping an eye on your Betfair Sportsbook account.
How will I know I’ve been restricted?
Sometimes you won’t know anything’s changed until you go to put a bet on and find out that you can’t. Confirm via live chat, if you’re in any doubt.
Usually though, you’ll receive an email, telling you that you’ll no longer be able to take part in promotions or offers. Spoil sports! The content of the email will vary from bookie to bookie.
It’s important to note that if your account has been restricted, you should be able to withdraw any funds you have in there. Your money should not be in danger.
There have been a couple of instances where lesser-known bookies have folded and customers have lost money. This is why it’s super important to research a bookmaker and make sure you’re comfortable depositing with them before you do.
Is there anything I can do to lift the restrictions?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal you can do if you are gubbed, other than take it on the chin. There’ve been a few times where people have logged into their account, months after receiving their ban, and the account has been “ungubbed”. But this is extremely rare and not something you should bet on. Pardon the pun…
Remember, you’re usually still eligible for all other bonuses from the bookmaker. It’s normally just the sportsbook side of things.
Top tips to avoid being gubbed
Stick to what you know
Stick to well-known or high-profile events. Premier League, Champions League, Masters Golf, Grand National. (Remember – that obscure Russian 2nd Division football match with the team’s whose names you can’t pronounce may just catch the bookmaker’s eye.
Try mug betting
Where matched betting relies on bookies’ promotional offers, mug betting doesn’t. Instead, mug bets are made on selections without using free bets or bonus. However, the matched betting process is still used, so back and lay bets are still placed. The aim is to imitate a regular bettor and their betting pattern.
Mug bets are placed at low odds or on selections where the back odds are closely matched to the lay price at the betting exchange. Another example of mug betting is backing and laying a particular football team to win every time they play. This makes it look like you’re betting on your team. Remember: always lay a mug bet off.
You stand to make a small loss by doing this, but you’ll be making your account look more like that of a mug punter, which is really who the bookies want as customers.
Change things up
Don’t always bet the lowest qualifying amount. Notorious gubber, BetVictor, offers a ‘£30 free bet when you place your first £10 bet’. As matched bettors, we’d usually deposit and bet £10 to get our £30 free bet. However, information suggests this could spark a trigger with this particular bookmaker. By depositing and betting a different amount – maybe £20 or £30 – we might be able to stay under the radar and keep our account from suspicion.
Timing is everything
Try and place your qualifying bets on the day of the offer, ideally just before the event starts. This helps give the impression that you’ve just found the offer and it wasn’t on a ‘to do’ list.
Put yourself about a bit
Use other parts of the bookmaker’s site. A few spins in a casino or playing bingo using a small amount of your profit will go a long way to convincing them you are a genuine customer.
Don’t bet odd amounts
If you’re dutching and the stake is £28.56, round it to the nearest pound or even the nearest £5 to be safe. This isn’t necessary on the betting exchanges but can stand out at the bookmakers.
Don't Withdraw Funds
If you don’t need to withdraw funds, just leave the money in the bookie account. This is obviously based upon personal circumstances, but withdrawing sometimes draws attention, putting your activity under scrutiny.
Always think, ‘what would a bookmaker think of this bet’? For instance, always betting on the closest match might draw attention to a betting pattern. Maybe look for a match lower down on the OddsMatcher at times.
Be aware though, that no matter what theories you believe or advice you choose to follow, there’ll be times when it looks like you’ve been gubbed for no reason at all. The truth is, some bookies seem to restrict accounts without there being an obvious or plausible explanation. Current examples of bookmakers that can be extremely quick to hit with the gubbing stick are Stan James and Boylesports.
Remember: even if you’re super careful, you might still see your accounts restricted. Sometimes, there’s no rhyme nor reason to gubbings.
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