matched betting

Matched Betting (arbing) is a way of making money for free from claiming bookmakers free bets, it’s not gambling, and is pretty much risk free.

matched betting wi
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Although we are not actually gambling, Matched Betting does involve placing bets. The difference is we are placing bets in an order that guarantees a profit, no matter what the outcome.

Best Matched Betting Systems

Bonus Bagging – £1 Trial
Profit Maximiser – £1 Trial
Profit Accumulator – Free Trial
OddsMonkey – Free Trial
MatchedBets – £1 Trial

The way matched betting works is by leveraging out risk free profits from the bookmakers free bets (the sort you get when you open a new account), and from reload bets (existing customer offers).

Before we start opening bookmakers accounts and using free bets, we need to get ourselves a betting exchange account, as this is imperative to making money from Matched Betting.

Opening A Betting Exchange Account

It’s very important to get things in order when you are using the Matched Betting technique. So you will first need to open an account with one of the betting exchanges. We need a betting exchange account in order to lay our qualifying bets. This ensures that we don’t lose money (this will become clearer as we go along).

The main betting exchanges are…………

Now you’ve opened your betting exchange account, I’m going to show you an example of how matched betting works.

Placing Your Qualifying Bet

Qualifying bets are usually a 100% match up of what will be your free bet. Meaning they are the same amount as your free bet. In this example, I am going to base it on a £10.00 Free Bet.

A lot of bookmakers stipulate that your qualifying (first) bet is placed on an event at odds of a minimum of Even money (2.00) or greater, so for this reason I’m going to base the qualifying bet on this criteria (this is to stop punters placing qualifying bets on New Zealand to beat Tonga at Rugby Union at odds of 1.02, etc).

So after you’ve opened your bookmakers account, you will need to select an event with an outcome at odds of Even money (2.00). I’m going to use a football match for this example.

This is my qualifying bet….

Back Team A @ Even money (2.00) with Bookmaker for £10.00

Lay Team A @ 2.00 (Even money) or nearest price possible on Betting Exchange for roughly £10.00 to get as close as possible of your £50.00 back.

You will find that Team A is probably going to be at odds of 2.02 or 2.04 to lay, so you won’t get exactly £10.00 back. This is why I wrote “roughly £10.00″ above, the chances of you getting an exact match are very slim, so what you do is find odds as close together as possible, this minimises the amount of money you may lose placing your qualifying bet.

If you are claiming a £10.00 free bet, you may lose 50p covering your £10.00. This isn’t unusual, and it certainly isn’t a problem. Think of it as buying yourself a £10.00 Free Bet. I would spend 50p to a pound on a £10.00 Free Bet, why wouldn’t you?

After the match has finished and your bets are all settled and the money is safely back in your respective account, you will receive your free bet to use on another event (in this case another football match).

Using Your Free Bet

This is how I would use the free bet…

Back Team A @ 7.0 (6/1) with Bookmaker for your £10.00 free bet, to win £60.00 (you don’t get your tenner back as it’s a free bet).

Lay Team A @ 7.0 (6/1) on the Betting Exchange for approximately £8.00 to £8.50 (depending on exact odds).

Again, you probably won’t be able to lay at 7.0, it will probably be about 7.2 or 7.4.

The free bet will break down like this.

If Team A wins your bookmaker will give you £60.00 winnings back, but you will lose around £51.50 on the betting exchange from your lay of Team A – a profit of around £8.00 to £8.50.

If Team A loses you get nothing back from your bookmaker (you can’t lose with the bookie as it is a free bet you are using), and you win around £8.00 to £8.50 on the betting exchange.

So either way, you should get a profit of around £8.00 to £8.50, from your free bet, whatever the outcome of the match.

How Much Can I Make From Matched Betting?

The above formula is simply a rough guide. You will be looking for a hell of a long time to find an exact odds match like that. The closer the odds are together (between bookie and betting exchange), the more profits you make.

You will easily find odds in that region though, and even allowing for slightly less profit you should be looking to make around £7.00 to £8.00 profit from every £10.00 free bet you get, call it £7.50 in profit on average.

You will find well over a thousand pounds in new customer offers. This will see you banking roughly £750.00 from the new customer offers alone.

But what do you do after you have cashed in all of the new customer offers? You move onto what is known as Reload Offers, which are free bets for existing customers.

Reload Offers

Finding reload offers is a touch more difficult than simply using new customer free bets. Don’t let that put you off though, as reload opportunities are available every day.

The most common reload offers are getting your money back as a free bet if a certain thing happens. These offers come on a variety of sports, with football and horse racing the most popular.

Daily reload offers on horse racing can be for something random. For example, Paddy Power offer money back as a free bet on a selected horse race every day, if your horse comes 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

While bet365 have a couple of featured races every day. With this offer, if you back a winning horse at 4/1 or greater, you will receive a free bet to the same value on the next race.

bet365 also run their 4/1 offer on every race shown live on TV.

Load of bookmakers have offers similar to these. So that gives you an idea of just how frequent reload offers are.

There are two small problems with reload offers though

  1. You are not guaranteed a free bet
  2. Finding them can take bloody ages

As you need something to happen to receive a free bet, there is no guarantee you will get one. For example, you might use the bet365 4/1 offer on every live TV race on a Saturday afternoon, and not receive one free bet.

As you need a winner at 4/1 or higher, you could back a qualifying horse in every race, and none of them might win. You would be breaking even, as you would be laying your bets to cover any losses.

But then the next Saturday, you might land 3 winners, and subsequently, 3 free bets. Persistence is essential using this method.

It’s a law of averages system. The more qualifying bets you place, the more free bets you will receive over a period of time.

No 2, finding them can take a while. Yes, checking all of the bookmakers every morning to see which races they have the offers on is time consuming.

This is where subscription services come in handy. Yes, the subscription services do all this for you, saving you hours of your precious time.

Every morning they list all of the offers, meaning you don’t have to do it.

The likes of Profit Maximiser, OddsMonkey, MatchedBets, etc, etc, will do this for you. They all have their own dedicated sections to finding these daily reload opportunities.

matched betting

If you stick to the formula of roughly £7.00 profit from every £10.00 free bet, you won’t go wrong. For the next section our matched betting guide, we are going to attempt to answer all your questions.

Can You Make A Living From Matched Betting?

The straight and simple answer to this is, it depends, and most crucially, it depends on your personal circumstances.

To start with, I believe there are enough free bets out there to make a few hundred pounds a week.

But what you need to ask yourself is the following:-

  • How much money do I need to make a living from
  • Can I absorb two or three bad weeks with little income
  • Will my husband, wife, partner stand by me if I decide to take this route
  • Can I handle the uncertainty of matched betting
  • Will I be able to find enough free bets

Try and think of it in the same way you would if you where planning on thinking of quitting a secure job, to go into business on your own. There are so many different scenarios you need to weigh up.

Even if you do decide you want to do it, will you be able to earn enough to make a living? There are a lot of pitfalls.

You could be onto a good thing with two or three bookmakers, and all of a sudden, they decide to shut your accounts.

When using reload offers, you might hit a run without enough free bets. These are just a couple of scenarios.

If you are a youngster living at home with no overheads, by all means give it a go.

On the other hand, if you have a £700.00 mortgage and a missus and a couple of children to feed, it might be better advised to treat matched betting as a second income.

If it’s working, and you’re earning plenty, then think about making that jump.

Matched Betting Calculators

There are plenty of matched betting calculators readily available, and free to use on the internet.

More often than not, I find it’s not the calculators that are the problem, it’s the instructions that accompany them.

Below we have put together a list of free matched betting calculators :-


When using a matched betting calculator, it’s important to fully understand what it is you are doing. There are different phrase boxes like underlay, or SNR, all of which experienced match bettors are well aware of.

If you’re new to the game and looking to do this yourself, these phrases can be very daunting. Below I have put together a list of meanings to go with some of the terms you will see mentioned on the above matched betting calculators:-

  • SNR = Stake Not Returned (with a free bet, there is usually no stake to be returned)
  • SR    = Stake Returned (when you do get the stake money back on a bet)
  • Qualifying Bet =  The original bet you place to qualify for a free bet
  • Overlay =  used to calculate the lay amount required to finish level on the exchange, and alter the win/loss ratio with the bookmaker.
  • Underlay = used to calculate the lay amount required to finish level with the bookmaker, and alter the win/loss ratio with the exchange.