The first time I heard about it several years ago.
My initial thoughts were that matched betting had to be a scam.
I mean – when was the last time you saw a poor bookie?!
Well, fast-forward to the present day and I’ve since earned £1,000s upon £1,000s in tax-free profits thanks to matched betting.
And even though most of my online money making activities are now focused on affiliate marketing.
I’ve still done pretty well with matched betting over the last few months.
Banking just over £1,700 in profit from the bookmakers’ ongoing offers and free bets:
Is Matched Betting a Scam?
Matched betting is a mathematically proven process that allows you to convert the online bookmakers’ free bets into real money.
This is an absolute fact.
And when I say ‘free bets’, I’m talking about the ‘bonuses’ that come from online bookmaker promotions like this:
What you’re looking at there is a situation where if you bet £10 of your own money with William Hill.
You’ll get £30 in free bets.
I know what your next question is going to be. 🙂
Is Matched Betting Gambling?
The real attraction of matched betting is that it does NOT involve gambling.
You see, by using a special type of website called the Betfair Exchange, you can bet against your bookmaker bets to cover you when they lose.
If you head over to Betfair and click the ‘Exchange’ tab, you’ll see an interface that looks a bit like this:
Looks confusing, doesn’t it!
Well basically, the blue squares allow you to bet on something to WIN – like you would with a normal bookmaker.
We don’t really need those for matched betting.
Instead, we are more interested in the pink squares.
Because they allow us to ‘lay off’ our bookmaker bets.
For example, if you ‘lay’ Brighton at ‘lay odds’ of 3.3 using the associated pink square.
Your lay bet would be successful if the game is a draw or if Wolves win.
What is a Matched Bet?
A ‘matched bet’ is a bet with the bookmaker and bet with the Betfair Exchange on the SAME selection.
Thus covering all outcomes to ensure that no money is lost.
For example, a £10 ‘back bet’ on Brighton with William Hill could be ‘hedged’ by a £10 ‘lay bet’ on Brighton with the Betfair Exchange.
- If Brighton win – William Hill pays you.
- If Brighton don’t win – the Betfair Exchange pays you.
There are no other options (the draw is covered by the Betfair Exchange).
And in either case, the winnings from one bet will cancel out the deficit created by the losing bet.
Meaning that you’ll break even no matter what happens.
What’s the Point of Placing a Matched Bet?
Remember the ‘bet £10 get £30 in free bets’ offer from William Hill above?
Well, if you place a £10 ‘matched bet’ you can get the £30 worth of free bets without risking your initial £10 back bet.
And this is where the fun begins.
Because you can then lock in a ‘guaranteed’ profit from the £30 in free bets.
How is a Guaranteed Profit Made?
By sizing your Betfair Exchange bet so that the equity of the free bet is distributed evenly across all possible outcomes.
Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense.
Because you can use a matched betting calculator to quickly tell you how much to bet on Betfair to make a ‘guaranteed’ profit.
For example here, the calculator is telling me that if I’m placing a £30 free bet with William Hill, a £23.76 lay bet will result in a profit of £22.57 no matter if the free bet wins or loses:
Is Matched Betting Too Good to Be True?
The matched betting process is 100% legitimate.
I can personally attest to that.
So why isn’t everyone just quitting their jobs to do matched betting?
Well many people who do matched betting with multiple accounts do.
But I strongly advise that you stay away from that.
The reason why most folks can’t do matched betting full time is because after a while – the bookmakers will ‘gub’ you.
Getting ‘gubbed’ means that the bookmaker has banned you from receiving further free bets.
And without free bets.
Basic matched betting can’t be done.
Why Do the Bookmakers Ban Matched Bettors?
Because it costs them money.
There’s some archaic quote floating around from around 10 years ago when a ‘William Hill spokesperson’ said that they ‘had no problem’ with the use of free bets for matched betting.
Well, I – and any other experienced matched bettor – will tell you that they most certainly do have a problem with matched betting!
To the tune of £20 million per MONTH.
Bookmaking is a zero-sum game.
Which means that in order for the bookmaker to make money – YOU have to lose it.
And because a bookmaker will never profit from a free bet in a vacuum.
They will only ever bleed money to folks who just sign up, claim the free bets, and never gamble with their own money outside the offers.
Bookmakers HATE matched bettors.
Just take a look at this recent ‘gubbing email’ I got from Ladbrokes:
And just to make sure.
They also limited my stakes sizes to £0.25 on football:
What Happens Once You’ve Been Gubbed?
The next step is to exploit the bookmakers’ pricing mistakes.
This is basically like doing matched betting without free bets.
I’ll say no more about this here because we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. 🙂
Is Matched Betting Illegal?
Although the bookmakers don’t like matched betting.
There are no actual laws that prevent you from cashing out a free bet for a profit.
The only ‘sticky’ area is if you decide to start opening multiple bookmaker accounts with other peoples names.
Although this is probably only really against the bookmakers’ terms (assuming you have the other person’s permission and you’ve not just nicked a load of IDs!).
It can get problematic when you factor in moving money around from different bank accounts.
This opens up a whole can of worms.
And you can end up having your bank accounts frozen for ‘money laundering’.
Just do matched betting with your own details and you’ll be ok.
Can You Lose Money With Matched Betting?
If you place the wrong combination of bets, you could lose money because not all outcomes will have been covered to make the bet ‘risk-free’.
Because of this risk.
I suggest learning matched betting with a reputable matched betting service.
The video and written instructionals will help you get to grips with the process with greater fluidity.
This will reduce the chance of making a mistake during the initial learning phase.
Can You Learn Matched Betting For Free?
There are loads of free matched betting forums, blogs, and Facebook groups that will show you how to matched bet for free.
However, you need to be careful that you don’t end up following bad advice on a forum that’s full of novices.
If you want to learn matched betting for free.
Check out Team Profit.
They are one of the best that I’ve used.
Here’s a video that explains how Team Profit approaches matched betting:
Video credit: Team Profit.
Could a Matched Betting Service Scam You?
However, just to stay on the safe side.
I’d recommend sticking to the following matched betting services because they are legit (I’ve tried them all):
What’s the Best Way to Get Started With Matched Betting?
I suggest taking a look at my Complete Matched Betting Guide for Beginners.
Where I’ll walk you through the exact process of cashing out a free bet for a profit.
Alternatively, if you’re already sold on the idea of matched betting and want to get started right away.
Then check out my Matched Betting Made Easy Guide.
And once you’re up and running.
Make use of my Top 37 Matched Betting Tips to make life a bit easier.
Got a Question About Matched Betting?
Then simply leave it in the comments section below.
I’m pretty experienced in matched betting.
So I’ll probably be able to help you out. 🙂