Matched betting is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of betting, where you take advantage of ‘free’ bets and bonuses, effectively making the most out of every visit to a betting shop or online site.
It levels the playing field a little, allowing the punter to use all of the available tools to make the most informed and risk-free bets and generate the best return. It’s fair, it’s legal, and it can transform your betting from the occasional flutter into a profitable income with minimal risks.
So what exactly is matched betting?
Matched betting is that Holy Grail of placing a wager – a risk-free method of maximising your profit opportunities by using bookies’ free bet offers and other pot-sweeteners. After all, if a free bet offer is available, why not make the most of it?
You incorporate the use of exchanges to bet against bets you’ve already made as part of the free bet offer provided by the bookie. This ‘matched bet’ then ensures you make a profit while minimising your risk. With so many offers on the table to tempt in punters, there are plenty of free bet opportunities out there to make the most of, whether you’re new to betting or are an experienced punter.
Matched Betting Packages
Matched betting really came into the mainstream thanks to the excellent packages produced by Mike Cruickshank, the “godfather” of matched betting.
His first product, Bonus Bagging, is a good start to matched betting and provides the best and most straightforward free bets to use – mainly the ones you get when opening a new account with a bookie.
Then the real piece de resistance – Profit Maximiser. This is like Bonus Bagging on steroids – hundreds of offers (most of them ongoing offers) from which you can make up to £20,000 per year.
Others have come along over the years and copied what Mike does – such as Profit Accumulator, but Mike continues to lead the pack when it comes to matched betting.
If you want to do some matched betting, then one of these packages is essential.
Originally, you would have to make a like-for-like contribution to get a free bet offer, so for example to get a £25 free bet you’d have to invest £25 of your own money.
What matched betting does is ensure that you make a profit on these free bets, even if they may not be as generous as a straightforward freebie.
Matched betting lets you, quite literally, ‘play the odds’. So for example, say you open an account with an online bookie, and place a £25 bet on Man U to beat Liverpool at 2/1. You then place another bet with, say, Betfair of £25 on Man U to lose on the same odds. If they then win, you’ll have lost £1.25 (you’ve won £50 with your online bookie, but lost £51.25 with Betfair). So your current net position is -£1.25. However, you still have your £25 ‘free’ bet to play with.
So far, so good.
Now you utilise your £25 free bet from your online bookie to place a new bet on another sporting event (a win) at 5/2, and a second ‘lay’ bet of £17.86 with Betfair at similar odds. If your win bet comes through, you get back £62.50 from the winning bet, and a minus figure of £45.54 on the Betfair wager. You’re still ahead by £16.96, so you’ve guaranteed your winnings on the back of a free bet, with no risk at all.
Matched Betting Tips
So what about tips to make the most of matched betting and not get caught out by the bookies?
Here are the key things to bear in mind if you doing matched betting:
Learn the Ropes First
Allow yourself plenty of time to learn matched betting. It is not as straightforward as it might seem. The bookies often have complicated offers which take a bit of time to fully understand so that you don’t come a cropper.
The good news is that there are very helpful video guides supplied with Profit Maximiser and Profit Accumulator, so you are taken through the process step by step.
But the main message is not to try and run before you can walk.
It is vital to keep detailed records of your matched betting activity. There are large numbers of offers to keep track of, which ones you have completed and which ones you are part-way through.
Plus don’t forget to keep a record of your login details (although probably best not to write down your exact passwords for security purposes).
Look Closely at the Offers
As mentioned above, the offers are not all as simple as they seem. Bookies will often have wagering requirements (meaning you have to stake a certain amount and/or play through your winnings a certain number of times), minimum odds to qualify for the free bets and certain events they have to be bet on.
Fear not though, all these details are explained for each offer with Profit Maximiser and you are advised to follow an order of the bets, from the most simple to the more complicated.
Do “Mug Bets”
It is vital if you are doing matched betting long term to throw in some “mug bets.” These are basically bets that the bookies tend to like – for example backing England to win at football or betting on big games like Man Utd v Arsenal. You can lay the bets off at Betfair so that there is no risk, but the bookies will like the fact you are placing these bets and will be a lot less likely to close your betting account.
Certainly you should place some additional bets that aren’t just the offers and free bets – if you just do matched betting then the bookies will close you down very quickly.
Give Yourself Time
It does take time to play through some of the offers so you will need to devote a good number of hours if you want to really reap the rewards.
Certainly if you want to make the kind of sums some people are making out of Profit Maximiser – e.g. £20,000 or even £30,000, you would need to devote a substantial amount of time – maybe even look at it like a full-time job.
Use Matched Betting Software
If you are serious about your matched betting and want to make substantial sums, then some matched betting software will be hugely helpful. You might go as far as to say that it is essential.
Either way, matched betting software will save you hours and hours of searching for bets and will make you a lot of extra money in the long term by finding additional value from the matched bets.
It even includes an in-play feature which helps with a lot of the offers you get these days like Bet 365’s free in play £50 and a tool for the Channel 4 racing offers.
So if you want to take your matched betting to the next level, the matched betting software will be of considerable assistance.
Location Location Location
Matched betting is primarily aimed at those in the UK and Ireland as that is where you can get the free bets. In most other countries there are limited offers available from the bookies, so it would not offer the same potential to make money.
If you are in doubt about the situation in your country, then we recommending contacting Mike Cruickshank at Profit Maximiser at email@example.com
How much can I make from matched bets?
Get into a flow with matched betting and you can realistically make around £500 a month. Treat it like a full-time job and really work the free bets on offer and you could make a career out of it, with a liveable wage. However, to get to that level you would need to quite literally treat it as your full-time occupation, and dedicate a lot of time to hunting down the best online free bet offers to take advantage of.
It looks like matched betting is here to stay, particularly as the industry is constantly trying to attract new punters in with some very tempting free offers. If you play smart, you can certainly make the most of these offers, and again because you’re using the freebies to play the odds, you’re minimising the risk.
Is there a downside?
If something seems too good to be true then it usually is, but the only real down-side to matched betting is that it can be quite time consuming, especially if you’re only looking to make a small monthly return.
It can also turn you into a ‘gambler’ even if you don’t consider yourself to be one. Remember, when the fun stops, stop. If you think that things are spiralling out of control then seek help, particularly from specialist resources like Gambleaware.
Keep an eye on the small print, too. Some of these freebies come with more strings than a puppet show, so be sure you’re not getting forced to play through your winnings, for example, or run the risk of the account being closed on you for just playing the freebies. Some offers may be geographically restrictive too, so again, check the small print before you sign up.