Done correctly, matched betting is as safe as houses, but some things can go wrong if you don’t take care. We will look in detail at some potential pitfalls and how to stay safe. But first, a quick refresher as to what matched betting is all about.
What is matched betting?
Matched betting is a way of exploiting offers made by bookmakers such as free bets as sign-up bonuses and ongoing incentives by betting on both outcomes of an event. You are guaranteed to win, and it’s all 100% legal.
Here is a simple example. A bookmaker is offering a £25 free bet on a sporting event if you bet £25. You bet £25 on team A with the bookmaker and lay a bet on team A with a betting exchange (such as Betfair). The amount you lay will depend on the odds, but you should adjust your bet to return around £25 should team A lose.
Assume team A loses. You lose £25 with the bookmaker, but you gain close to £25 from Betfair. You are likely to lose a small amount of money including the Betfair commission, but you also gain a free £25 bet. If team A won, then your bet with the bookmaker would win, and you would also receive a free bet. You would, of course, have around a £25 loss on Betfair. So, whatever the outcome you have almost broken even and have a free £25 bet.
Now you repeat the process using your free bet with the bookmaker and matching it with a lay bet on the exchange. Whatever the outcome, you will have converted that free bet into profit.
There are some great services like Profit Maximiser which bring together all the offers and show you how to set them up with ease. During our live trial using Profit Maximiser we made £2,469 profit with very little risk, which is pretty much all you can ask for.
So, what can go wrong?
You can keep doing that time after time using the hundreds of free bets offered by bookmakers. So, what could possibly go wrong? Why can’t you keep generating profit every week? Theoretically, you can. Some people claim to make a regular income of up to £600 a month using matched betting. However, two things can go wrong: human error and getting gubbed.
Matched betting is reasonably complicated. If you don’t have a head for basic maths. Then perhaps it isn’t for you. But even if you are good with figures, things can go wrong. We can all lose concentration occasionally and make mistakes. For instance, getting a substantial lay wrong can be very expensive if you fail to fix it in time. The message is DON’T MAKE MISTAKES. Keep a careful track of your bets and lays, preferably documenting everything in a spreadsheet.
Bookmakers don’t like matched betting and will try to stop matched betters in their tracks. Gubbing is having your account limited by the bookmaker. This might take the form of banning you from promotions such as free bets and limiting your maximum stake, often to a derisory amount. And the main reason why people get gubbed is the bookmaker suspects they are using matched betting.
But how do bookmakers know you are matched betting? Every punter’s account is monitored by the bookmaker using algorithms that probably know more about your betting habits than you know yourself. They know precisely how every kind of punter behaves, including matched betters. To avoid being flagged up as a matched better, you should disguise the fact by giving the impression you are a typical everyday punter. This means:
- – Don’t bet exclusively on promotions. Mix your matched betting with ordinary bets. You can lay these at a betting exchange to protect your stake, so you won’t win or lose significant amounts, but you will disguise your real purpose.
- – Don’t focus entirely on high-value bets that are significantly better than lay odds. Again, this is likely to flag you as a matched better.
If you take the precautions we have mentioned, matched betting really is as safe as houses, and there are guaranteed profits to be made. Just be careful and take your time. You will be amazed by how much risk-free money you can make.