What is Matched Betting? The Complete Guide
Matched betting is a way to turn the free bets offered by online bookmakers into real money. Cover all of the potential outcomes of a sporting event by placing more than one bet. That way, you can unlock value and look to make a profit every time because the result of the event becomes irrelevant.
This guide will show you the matched betting process from start to finish, including easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Find out if matched betting is for you, thanks to this complete overview.
Matched betting still works in the UK in 2019. It’s not a con, it’s not a scam and it’s definitely not dead — it’s completely legal and an effective way to make money. You don’t even need to know anything about gambling or sports to get started.
This matched betting guide covers everything beginners need to know:
The idea is to match your lay bet odds to your back bet odds, so that you cancel out the risk — hence the term ‘matched betting’. You also place your bets on sites offering ‘free bet’ deals so that you can repeat the process without spending any of your own money and therefore increase your profits.
Here’s an example of how matched betting works, step by step:
You can do matched betting yourself, but the maths can be complicated and it’s easy to go wrong. That’s why most people use software like OddsMatcher, which will keep you on the right track. It finds, sorts and ranks the best odds for you, and its built-in calculator works out how much you’ll need to bet in order to make money.
One of the major stumbling blocks a lot of people have to getting started with matched betting is understand liability. At a betting exchange like Betfair when we place a lay bet the amount of money we are risking is called liability.
At the bookmaker, we are risking our stake but at the exchange, we are risking the liability. Of course with matched betting these 2 things cancel each other out so there’s no need to worry about it but here’s a video that explains how liability works.
How much money you can make from matched betting depends how much time you put into it, as well as the deals offered by bookmakers. These matched betting stories show that every OddsMonkey member has a different lifestyle, goals, and amount of time available.
There’s the most opportunity when you first begin matched betting as a new customer, because the majority of bookmakers offer generous sign-up offers. You should be able to make around £1,000–£1,500 quite quickly by taking advantage of these welcome deals through matched betting.
However, matched betting is sustainable and profitable for the long-term. Once you’ve opened all of your bookie accounts, you can make around £500–£700 a month by taking advantage of offers for existing customers. That’ll take around 40 minutes per day. However, members in our forum regularly report making £900+ per month, so it is possible to make a living from matched betting.
Remember: you don’t need to pay any tax on matched betting earnings. That means you can make the equivalent of a £20,000+ salary by spending just a few hours a day!
Our customers certainly think that matched betting is worth it! Our tools and resources make matched betting quick and easy, and all the money you earn is tax-free.
You can certainly earn an impressive hourly rate with matched betting, but whether it’s worth the time investment depends entirely on your circumstances. Read our matched betting success stories.
Matched betting is completely legal in the UK but you do have to be aged 18 or over, just as with any other gambling activity. It is not a scam and it is not a con — it may seem too good to be true, but it’s totally legit!
Bookmakers aren’t huge fans of matched betting, because they’re not making money off you — they sometimes refer to the practice as ‘bonus abuse’. However, it’s by no means illegal and the worst they can do as ‘punishment’ is put restrictions on your account, in a process known as gubbing. Learn more about gubbing and how to avoid it.
Is matched betting safe? What are the risks?
Matched betting is totally safe and risk-free in principle — theoretically, it is guaranteed to generate profits. However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) considers the claim of matched betting being 100% risk-free “misleading because, although theoretically sound, the process was open to human error”.
In other words, there is potential for you to make a human error that will lose you money, so matched betting is not 100% without risk. There is also a small chance that the odds will change in the time between you placing your back bet and lay bet, meaning that the bet is no longer properly matched.
But that’s exactly what OddsMonkey is here for: to offer tools and advice that dramatically reduce the chance of you making a mistake, and give you a plan B if the odds do change at the last second. We also take measures to protect members’ privacy.
You can find out more about matched betting risks in our blog post on matched betting problems.
Is matched betting gambling?
There’s a lot of overlap with matched betting and gambling — you’ll be placing bets and using bookmaker sites, so you do need to be over 18. Matched betting also benefits from the fact that winnings from gambling activities are not taxed in the UK.
However, gambling involves “taking a punt” on the outcome ending up in your favour. If you don’t get lucky, you won’t make any money. On the other hand, the outcome doesn’t matter in matched betting. You don’t guess what will happen and risk your money on it coming true: you back both options so that it’s impossible to lose. So, matched betting is not really gambling in that sense.
What is no-risk matched betting?
No-risk matched betting is a form of matched betting whereby your qualifying bet is effectively free. For example, you might take advantage of “get your money back if your bet loses” deals, free spins on slot games, or no-deposit bonuses. It isn’t always possible because bookmakers offer these generous deals less frequently.
OddsMonkey members can use our risk-free bet calculator to make the most of no-risk matched betting opportunities.
Does matched betting affect your credit rating?
Matched betting does not affect your credit score. Credit rating agency Experian told the Guardian: “It won’t appear on the credit reference radar. You can have as many gaming accounts as you want.”
Betting websites may make a “soft search” on your credit report to make sure you are who you say you are, but they do not perform a proper credit check — after all, you are not applying for credit. Lenders will not be able to see these searches, and there will be no impact on your credit rating.
Will matched betting affect my mortgage application?
If you are concerned that a potential lender will look unfavourably on your mortgage application due to frequent betting activity on your bank statements, it’s a good idea to set up a separate bank account for matched betting or use an e-wallet like Skrill.
Bear in mind that matched betting earnings will not count as an official form of monthly income when applying for your mortgage. In other words, you can’t use matched betting to prove that you’ll be able to afford your future mortgage repayments.