What is Matched Betting?

By Tom Matthews •  Updated: 02/04/22 •  5 min read

What is Matched Betting, How do I Start? Is Matched Betting Legal, Safe and Risk-Free?

Matched betting is an easy way to make money online, without any of the risks associated with gambling!
Entirely legal in the UK, it’s not a scam and it is completely tax-free profits gained through matched betting can be enjoyed however you see fit. To learn more about how it works or if this new idea has caught your fancy then read on…

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is not gambling, which gains profit based upon the outcome of an event, since you know before an event starts how much you will earn, within a few pence, regardless of how the market ends.

Simple matched betting is therefore risk-free when done correctly, but as with anything, if you make errors or mistakes, you could lose money, so when you start, it’s best to double-check your calculations.

Matched betting is an entirely viable way of earning money online.

For as long as bookmakers want to entice in new customers through promotions (which doesn’t seem to change soon), there will be a profit available.

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How do I Start Matched Betting?

You don’t need any specific sports knowledge, outstanding maths or statistical skills to start no risk-matched betting – anyone can do it! But there are two things that will help: attention to detail and an ability to concentrate. By spending just 1 hour per week online you have the potential for tax-free profits in your pocket soon enough so get stuck right into this exciting world of matched betting.

Find out more on how much can you make from matched betting and take a look at our top 10 tips for the beginner.

How to Match the Bet and Receive Profit

To match a bet, after finding the offer from a matched betting service (such as OddsMonkey), you make regular ‘back’ bets with a bookie followed by lay bets using an exchange such as Smarkets or Betfair.

A back bet is betting with a bookmaker that an outcome will occur. The lay bet is simply betting on the opposite, i.e. that the outcome will not happen (for Football, a draw would also count as a win not occurring).

Placing specific bets covering all potential outcomes of an event, such as a sporting fixture, provides guaranteed ways to realise fixed profits.

We place qualifying bets (on a calculator in ‘simple’ or ‘normal’ mode) with bookmakers for their welcome and reload offers, resulting in free bets and when we match them again we receive risk-free profit.

Repeating the way you placed your qualifying bet but now calculated (usually ‘free bet SNR’ mode on the calculator) on another event, this time will give you around 80% of the free bet value.

For a bet of £10, which receives £20 in free bets, you’ll make approximately £15, no matter the outcome of the specific sporting event is!

Sites to Find You the Offers You Need

We list below the options for your next step, which is to sign up to a matched betting site so you can identify the offers you need. See our reviews section for more info, and our summary of the best matched betting sites.

We advise joining through the free trials on offer first so you can see their value before you sign up fully. Also, signing up for an Exchange such as Smarkets is an essential step so that you can lay your bets.

Matched Betting is Risk-Free and Safe

Rather than gambling your free bet on anything and hoping it wins, matched betting is all about guaranteeing yourself a profit without the risks associated with gambling!

A slight risk can come due to human error, which is best avoided (especially when you first start matched betting where our Top 10 Tips can help!) by double-checking everything, so you don’t make errors such as placing the wrong corresponding back bets and lay bets. Using a calculator properly takes a little practice, but it’s not usually overly complicated. Taking some steps to avoid gubbings will also reduce the risk of losing out on free bets.

Final Thoughts

The next most common question after ‘what is matched betting’ tends to be ‘is matched betting illegal’, and the answer is no!

Bookmakers may see matched betting as unsavoury and eventually stop you from gaining any more value from them, but it is entirely legal and safe in the UK.

You can earn a lot of money through matched betting, through the multiple welcome offers, you can earn at least £500 to £1,000 in profits across your first month or so of matched betting. 

Depending on how much time you dedicate to it, you get rewarded with matched betting as an excellent risk-free way to make money online.

Bookmaker welcome offers are the place to start when you are ready, especially bet x, get x offers. But, don’t forget that you can still earn cash after welcome offers!

Why not try the free email matched betting course (see link below).

Happy matched betting. Here is a free guide to £24 of matched betting profit to get you started!

Tom Matthews

Website editor

Matched Betting Questions