Matched Betting

Matched betting is a relatively new phenomenon which involves utilizing free bets and bonuses from bookmakers and betting sites to create risk-free profit.

Please see below for a full explanation of what matched betting is, how it works and whether it can make you money.

Here at Honest Betting Reviews we have reviewed a number of matched betting products, which you can also view below.

We are constantly on the look out for new products too, so if you have come across one you would like us to review, please drop us a line at

Matched Betting Products

Below are the matched betting products we have tested and fully reviewed. Check out our reviews to see if the product is worth investing in and live up to their promises to make you money.

Profit Graph


Matched betting is a process of using bookies’ free bets and other incentives to create risk-free profit opportunities. It involves the use of exchanges such as Betfair and Smarkets to lay off – or bet against – bets you have made as part of the free bet provided by the bookmaker. Executed in the right fashion, this “matched bet” will ensure that you make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event you have bet on.

In recent years, competition for our custom from the bookmakers has become fierce, with online gambling a multi-billion dollar industry across the globe. 

To attract customers to their company rather than a competitor’s, bookmakers almost all offer “free bets.” When online betting first exploded in the early ‘naughties, these offers were genuinely free bets – you just had to open an account and the bookie would give you a free bet – often these were £50 or more each.

However, it quickly became clear that a large number of people were just opening accounts with the bookmakers so that they could get these free bets – with no intention of ever becoming a regular gambler. So it became uneconomical for bookies to offer such generous incentives for new customers.

So nowadays, almost universally to qualify for a free bet you will have to risk an initial amount of your own money first. For example, you would have to place a £25 bet to qualify for a free £25 bet.

So if you were unlucky, you could lose both your original £25 bet and the £25 free bet and end up out of pocket – not a happy situation.


What matched betting does is allow you to set a free bet up using the betting exchanges so that it is guaranteed to make a profit whatever happens – and make sure these free bets still make us money even though they are not as generous as they used to be.

The betting exchanges allow you to guarantee profits from these free bets because you are betting against other people and can “lay” teams/players/horses – i.e. bet on them to lose. 

Here is an example:

Part One

Open an account with a new bookmaker, place a bet of £25 on Chelsea to beat Arsenal at 3.0 (2/1 in old money).

Then place a lay bet of £25 on Chelsea at 3.05 with Betfair.

If Chelsea win, you will have lost £1.25 (i.e. you will have won £50 with the bookmaker, but lost £51.25 with Betfair, giving a net position of -£1.25)

If Chelsea don’t win, you will also have lost £1.25 (i.e. you will have lost your £25 bet with the bookmaker, but won your £25 lay of Chelsea with Betfair. However, you have to pay 5% commission to Betfair, so 5% of £25 is £1.25).

So in summary, after part one we are £1.25 down but have a £25 free bet to come.

Part Two

Now for the fun bit. This is where you turn that small loss on part one of the “matched bet” into a very nice profit in part two.

The bookmaker gives you a free bet of £25. Use this free bet to place a wager of £25 on Andy Murray to beat Novak Djokovic at 3.5 (5/2 in old money).

Then place a lay bet of £17.86 on Murray on Betfair at odds of 3.55.

If Murray wins,  you win ££16.96 (i.e. £62.50 from the winning bet with the bookie minus £45.54 from the lay bet with Betfair).

If Murray loses, you also win £16.96 (i.e. £0 with the bookie, as that was a free bet, but you have won £17.86 from your lay bet with Betfair, minus 5% commission, which equals £16.97.

Still confused? Here it is in table form:

Bet P/L with Bookie  P/L with Betfair Net profit Commission Total
Back Murray at 3.5 for £25 with bookie  +£62.50  -£45.54  £16.96  £0 £16.96
Lay Murray at 3.55 for £17.86 on Betfair  +£0  +£17.86  £17.86  £0.89 £16.97

Final Outcome

So the final sums are as follows:

Part One: -£1.25

Part Two: +£16.96

TOTAL: +£15.71

So we have made £15.71 with absolutely no risk whatsoever. Pretty cool eh?


Matched betting products bring together all the offers that are out there in one place so you can work your way through them one by one. 

The products tend to include detailed instructions for how to carry out the matched bets, with training videos provided to help you get up to speed. 

They also normally include calculators, so you can work out how much you need to stake on each part of your bet to make a profit. 

And products like Profit Maximiser and Profit Accumulator include details of ongoing offers you can take advantage of once you have rolled through all the introductory offers. These are the offers the bookies make to induce people to carry on betting, but are often very good offers and can give the same kinds of profit as the introductory offers.


You should be able to make at least £1,000 from the introductory offers, but possibly over £2,000, depending on how many betting accounts you already have. Top matched betting products like Profit Maximiser and Profit Accumulator include casino, bingo and spread betting offers as well as bookmaker offers.

Then you can continue making money from the ongoing offers. We would say that £500 per month is realistic if you take the best of the offers each week, but some people claim to be making £25,000 per year from matched betting. Is that possible? Well we would say it probably is given the number of offers that are out there, but you would need to spend a lot of time to make that kind of money, almost like a full-time job.


The advantages of matched betting are that it can make you lots of money without any risk. It can be used by people who are not “gamblers” as such but just want to make an additional income. 

It looks like it is here to stay, as the betting industry is increasingly competitive and bookies always want to attract new customers, so need to offer something in return.


There aren’t many disadvantages to making free money! However, we would say it can be time-consuming if you want to make more than a couple of hundred of quid per month. 

There is also the risk that you might start actually gambling properly when you were not intending to and were not a gambler before. If you feel this is happening to you, please do seek advice. Gambleaware is a helpful resource.


Although matched betting has many advantages and can be a great way to make money, we do think there are a few things to watch out for:

Time – it will take quite a lot of time to firstly learn all the nuisances of matched betting and then to play through all the offers. 

Variability – some of the offers are hugely varied in terms of the value they offer. Some are poor value as they have all kinds of strings attached (like having to play through your winnings 20x plus) and aren’t worth doing. The matched betting products will guide you through which offers are worth doing.

Closed accounts – if you do these offers and nothing else, the bookies will close or limit your accounts pretty quickly. Guess what – they don’t like the idea of people making free money off them! But fear not, there are tricks you can use to keep your accounts open like “mug betting,” which is essentially placing random bets with the bookies that have nothing to do with free bets or bonuses, whilst still laying them off so you are not exposed to risk. You will lose maybe a pound or so each time, but it is worth doing to keep your accounts open long-term.

Geography – some of the offers are open to UK and Ireland residents only, although less so with online casinos and bingo sites etc. If you want to know more, please contact one of the matched betting products like Profit Maximiser and Profit Accumulator.


So there you have it, matched betting is a great way to earn yourself an extra income but there are things to be aware of. It does take a bit of work to understand the nuisances of all the different offers there are and then a good deal of time to play through all the offers to make yourself some free money.

Plus you have to be vigilant in making sure your accounts are not closed by the bookies, or your era of free money will be short.

Other than that though, we can say that matched betting certainly works and recommend it to anyone!

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about matched betting or anything else betting related by dropping us a line at