Matched Betting

Find out how thousands of people are making hundreds of pounds a month from free bets – with no risk

If you are student, or simply want to enjoy some extra money then matched betting is for you. We explain how, by using free bets you are able to make a guaranteed return with no risk to your money. It is possible to earn as much as £200 a week, from the comfort of your own home. This page features the guide showing you how to do this. The guide may appear long at first, but given a read, it is written fully and clearly explains the system.

What you need to start

In order to start making money,you don’t require a knowledge of betting.You don’t need a knowledge of sports. You don’t even need to be good at maths. A few things are essential though.

  • Time and patience. You’ve already noticed the guide is quite long. We expect our readers to read it through a few times before understanding it. We have explained it to a fair few of our friends now, and only one or two have understood it straight away.
  • 18 and legal to bet online. In order to start making money, you need to the age of 18 and a citizen of a country in which online gambling is legal. Sorry US citizens…
  • A friend or two. You don’t need a friend to make money with, but it makes a lot of sense.You can both do it, but involving a friend has a lot of advantages. In trying to understand the system, you can bounce ideas off each other and get a better grasp.
  • A little money. And we mean a little amount of money. As you read through the guide, you’ll start to understand how there is no risk to your money, but you’ll also understand why you will need some. How much you need will depend on how much you want to earn. Read the guide to discover more.
  • A hot beverage. Ok,this isn’t the most important requirement, but hey! It’s going to make understanding the system a hell of a lot more enjoyable!

About Free Bets

Bookies offer free bets to encourage new customers. Given how profitable the industry is, these can range from £10 to as much as £100. It is with these free bets that we are able to generate money at no risk. Bookies don’t simply give away £50 for someone to gamble though. Firstly bookies will require you to make a bet to qualify for the free bet. We’ll shows you firstly how to make a £50 bet for example and only lose £2 at most. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t, keep reading. We’ll then shows you how to use the same procedure to make a guanteed return on the free bet you have just unlocked! Easy! First, we’ll give you a introduction to ‘backing and laying a bet’.

An Introduction to ‘Backing and Laying’ a bet

This part of the guide introduces you to betting. It doesn’t go into a lot of depth, but enough to understand the system. This forms the general knowledge for understanding the guide. If you follow this part, then you are in a great position.

Under conventional betting you may back an event to happen, at say 4/1. This means, if the event happens, let’s say a horse wins, then for every £1 you put down, you will win £4. With this in mind, there are two possibilities to occur when betting:

Possibility A: The horse wins. If you are backing a horse £5 to win, then you will win £20, plus your original stake of £5, totalling £25.

Possibility B: The horse loses and you lose your £5 stake.

Now imagine you could do the opposite and play the bookie. New online ‘betting exchanges’ allow you to do just this. This is known as ‘laying’ a bet, and you are essentially betting on an event to not happen. We’ll use the example provided in the previous paragraph to illustrate this. If you are playing the bookie, there are the following possibilities:

Possibility A: The horse wins. As you are playing the bookie, you have to pay the customer their £20 winnings.

Possibility B: The horse loses and the customer has lost. You keep their £5 stake money.

Both ‘backing’ and ‘laying’ events

Having understood the difference between backing and laying a bet, you are now ready to learn how to use that knowledge for making money. What will possibly strike you as you as odd is that when you both back and lay a bet, you end up with exactly the same amount of money that you had when you started. This is brilliant and later on you’ll discover why it’s so great. Back to the example. Remember we are both backing and laying a bet. Using the continuing example of the horse at 4/1, let’s see what happens.

Possibility A: The horse wins. You bet £5 at 4/1 so you win £20. However, because you also ‘layed’ the horse winning, i.e. betting against it not happening, you acting as a bookie on Betfair have to pay out £20. The result of this possibility is £0.

Possibility B: The horse loses. You lose your £5 bet. However, because you ‘layed’ the bet, you win £5 on Betfair. The result of this possibility is £0.

This example demonstrates that you can bet £5 and regardless of the outcome, end up with no profit, or no loss. You still have your £5. Of course, in this example, we have used £5 as it is a low, easy to follow figure. However, regardless of how much you bet, £5 or £50, the outcome will always be the same. You will end up with no profit, and no loss.

Set your mind back to the beginning ofthe guide. Remember when you read about free bets that bookies requireyou to bet X amount before you get a free bet? We’ve just demonstrated how you can bet X amount with no profit or loss. Let’s say a bookie have this offer: “Bet £50 and we’ll give you a free £50 bet’. Using Betfair, we have just shown how you can bet that £50 required to qualify for a free bet without losing anything! If you understand this,then you understand the basic premise for the entire system and you are almost there!

Odds as decimals

Currently we have been displaying odds as fractions, i.e. 4/1. There is an alternative method to displaying odds that we will use from now on. Decimals allow much greater variation in odds, and you’ll understand why this is necessary when you start betting. They will appear as “3.0” or “4.2” to give examples. 4/1 as a fraction would be 5.00 as decimal. To calculate how much money as bet in decimals will make you, simply subtract the decimal by 1 and the figure is how much each £1 bet will win you. The decimal of 5.00 will win you £4 profit for every £1 for you bet.

Qualifying for a free bet

Now that you have an understanding of how the system works, we’ll talk you through a typical bet. You may remember from the introduction that the first stage is to make a bet to qualify for a free bet. This is the stage we will talk about now.

You back on the bookie, and lay on Betfair. This means you would have selected a bookie and free offer, and registered. In the example we provided earlier, for simplicity we assumed that the backing odds would be identical to that of the laying odds. In reality, this is rarely the case. It is certainly possible to find events where the odds are the same, but more often than not there will be minor margin in odds, i.e. back of 2.10 and lay of 2.15. This isn’t really a problem though. You will lose about £2/£2.50 on the bet, but we usually settle for this versus spending more time looking for equal odds. You lose £2 but you have unlocked a free £50 bet in the process. So effectively, you are paying £2 for a free £50 free bet!

Having found an event where the odds are pretty similar, it’s time to place the bets. How much you have to back with depends on the bookie and the offer, but for this guide, we’ll assume it to be £50. Place the £50 backing the event to happen. It’s not quite as simple as laying £50 unfortunately. Sometimes this will vary. Great thing is though that we provide you a spreadsheet that calculates for you exactly how much you have to lay. Download the spreadsheet here. The image below shows the spreadsheet and that the lay is £50. Make sure you are laying the correct event. I.e. if you are backing a horse to win, then make sure you are laying it not to win. Betfair have an excellent range of videos showing you how to lay bets if you do not know how to.

Matched Betting Spreadsheet

he above screenshot shows a typical bet. You have bet £50. The backing odds are 2.00 and the laying odds are 2.05. You have layed £50 on the event too. The spreadsheet has calculated, that regardless out of the outcome, you will have a return of £47.50. So if the horse wins, you get £47.50 of your money back, and if the horse loses, you get £47.50 of your money back.

You are £2.50 down at this stage, but now you have been credited a free £50 bet from the bookie. We will now use this free bet you have been credited to make some money!

Making Money using the Free bet

Things are a little different for when repeating the procedure for the free bet, but the basic premise remains the same. With the free bet offers, bookies will frequently not return your stake back with your winnings. That means that you have to look for odds about 6.00 or 7.00. Using previously low odds of about 2.00 will not give you much of a return. So using your free bet, back an event with odds of about 6 or 7. The below screenshot will show you what the spreadsheet will look like in this circumstance.

Example used in spreadsheet

Note that the cell next to the text “Stake Not Returned” has £50 inserted. This is the amount of the stake that is not returned. In this case, none of the original stake is returned. The screenshot of the spreadsheet shows that the amount required to be layed is £42.50. It also shows that £40.38 profit has been made. We are at the end of the walk through, but let’s just go through the possibilities and demonstrate how you have just made £40.38.

Possibility A: The horse wins. You have won £275 on the bookie, but have to pay out £234.62 on Betfair. This leaves you with a profit of £40.38.

Possibility B: The horse loses. You lost you backing bet, but that doesn’t matter as it was free and you didn’t pay for it. You however win £42.50 on Betfair. Betfair take their 5% commission on winnings, leaving you with £40.38.

That’s it! Hopefully you have a good understanding of the main guide now. Keep reading through the guide until you are 100% sure that you understand it. With your first bet or two, you may wish check over them, by simply figuring out all the math on paper. Good luck, and be sure to let us know how you get on. We love hearing from people!

Getting Started

  1. Open a Betfair Account. (They currently have an offer where you receive a free £25 bet when you open an account, as seen here.)
  2. Choose a free bet from a bookie to start with. We have tons on
  3. Start making money to spend on whatever you like 🙂