Getting Started With Matched Betting
Reading time: 3-4 minutes
You may have been told that matched betting can make you a decent amount of cash risk-free, which has likely left you wondering how you go about getting started with matched betting. Luckily, we are going to walk you through the process here.
We are going to try and keep things simple here for you. Many guides to getting started with matched betting can be somewhat convoluted, so we’ll go through the stages step-by-step. We can assure you that we cover everything you need to know through this brief overview.
Let’s go through the five main steps to getting started with matched betting in 2023 and beyond –
Step 1: Register for a Betting Exchange
Your first job is to register for a betting exchange. This is not the same as an online bookmaker.
At a betting exchange, you are effectively playing the role of a bookie (you are betting against something not happening). Don’t worry. We will explain more about this soon.
Step 2: Register for an Online Bookmaker
Since you are just getting started in the world of matched betting, you will only want to register for one online bookmaker. This bookmaker needs to have a promotion that you can take advantage of.
The bookmaker should be well known and licensed in your country, so you know that you are safe gambling there.
While you could, in theory, matched bet with any promotion, we want to encourage you to look for those promotions that offer free bets. These free bets will be available when you stake real cash (this is known as a qualifying bet)
There is plenty of information on finding the best promotions, so don’t worry about this. As long as you get a free bet, you should be fine. A matched betting site is the best way to find the right offers, and we review the best matched betting sites here.
Step 3: Selecting Your Bets
We recommend that you switch both the betting exchange and the online bookmaker to show decimal odds just because it makes matched betting more straightforward. The exchange may have decimal as default already, but the bookies will probably be displaying traditional odds like 2:1, 4:2 etc.).
Your first job is to look at the terms and conditions of the betting promotion you want to take advantage of, i.e. it will tell you how you qualify for your free bet. The requirements will typically be:
- Betting at specific odds (usually a minimum like 1.5 or 2.0)
- Betting on certain sports/fixtures or competitions
- Betting a certain amount
Once you have this information, you can set about finding the bets you want to place. This means depositing some cash into your online bookmaker account. Make sure it is as low as possible while still qualifying for the free bet.
Now, find a bet that interests you. You want the betting odds to be as close to the required betting odds for your bet too (this will typically be 1.50).
You can also use tools to find bets. Still, we recommend doing everything yourself at the start or starting with a free trial with your preferred matched betting service.
You will want to find the opposite bet on the betting exchange. This is your LAY bet, i.e. you are betting that something won’t happen (as we said, you are acting as a bookmaker here).
If the odds between the bookmaker and the betting exchange aren’t similar, then find another qualifying bet. Keep hunting around until you find bets with similar odds on both the bookmaker and the exchange.
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Step 4: Placing Your Bets
Placing your ‘back’ bet with the bookmaker should be simple. You know what you are supposed to be gambling to unlock the free bet.
The ‘lay’ bet can be a bit more complicated. You have to factor in commissions to the betting exchange, etc.
We suggest that you use an online matched betting calculator matched betting here. It will tell you precisely what stake you need to place. This will generally be fractionally higher than your ‘back’ bet.
Step 5: Using Your Free Bets
Now, you have placed two bets. You are betting on both outcomes for a game. You can’t lose. Well, you may lose a few pence as you can’t get those bets 100% matched, but this is barely anything. The real benefit is the free bets that you have unlocked.
Now you can match your free bets in the same way, but you retain around 70% in profit this time, so when you get £20 in free bets, you can expect to earn about £145 in tax-free profit! You can repeat his process again and again!
Getting Started with Matched Betting -
Getting started in matched betting isn’t as complicated as some people think. Once you understand how it works (backing both potential outcomes in a game), then you are pretty much guaranteed to make cash.
If you are new, we encourage you to take care when placing your bets and read the terms and conditions for promotions, so it is less likely you will make a mistake.