Matched Betting Guide
This guide is here to help you find your way in matched betting. If you have any questions, feel free to visit the FAQ.
How it works
Matched betting is the process of betting with an online bookmakers and laying a bet at a betting exchange to offset any potential losses with the initial bet. This method enables access to the cash available in free bets that are offered by online bookmakers.
It all starts with finding a free bet offer that you're entitled to, you can find the latest offers available in the free bets section.
Once you have found a free bet offer you're interested in and can qualify for, you should check out the restrictions tied to the bet. This is usually in the form of making an initial bet with your own money on a particular sport or event.
If you do need to make a qualifying bet, you should place this bet with the bookmaker on a popular and upcoming event. Making a note of the odds and the amount you have placed with the bookmaker.
The next step is to offset any potential loss with this bet, by laying a bet at a betting exchange such as Smarkets. Simply offer the same bet you just placed with the opposite outcome.
For example; You placed a bet at 4/1 (or 5.0 in decimal odds) on England to win against Germany with the bookmakers. You would lay a bet at the betting exchange of around 4/1 for England to NOT win. It is very important to remember that you're betting against the outcome of your initial bet. So if England were to draw, they would also not have won.
Note: Do not forget to take into account any commission that the betting exchange may charge. This will need implementing into your lay bet to offset the loss from this. The aim is to minimise any loss from the lay bet odds and bet, as this will affect your overall profit. The easiest way to calculate this is by using the matched betting calculator.
Now, you can sit and wait for the outcome of the event (or you could of course repeat the process with other free bets in the mean time). Once the event is complete, you will have either won your bookmaker bet or your lay bet with the betting exchange.
Yep. That's right. You have done all of that and gained absolutely nothing. But the most important point here is that you have also lost absolutely nothing and unlocked your free bet!
Now you simply repeat the process using your free bet with the bookmaker and laying your bet with the betting exchange and by the end of it you will have the amount of your free bet (minus any commission and odds variations) available for withdrawal.