Matched betting is a way of making a guaranteed profit from bookmakers. It is a technique anyone can use, regardless of their experience or understanding of the sport or market they are betting on. It’s also commonly called “bonus hunting” or “arbitrage betting.” Matched betting is not gambling. You are always guaranteed to make a profit or break even with matched betting. This is because you are placing two bets on an event happening (a back bet) and a bet that will not occur (a lay bet). By doing this, you effectively cover all possible outcomes of the event.
The key to making money from matched betting is to find bookmakers that offer generous welcome bonuses and free bets. These bookies will often offer good odds on sporting events, which means that you can make a profit by backing and laying various bets. Here is a step-by-step guide to matched betting:
1. Backing and Lay Bets
The first step is to place a back bet on an event with one bookmaker and a lay bet on the same event with another bookmaker. For example, if you wanted to bet on Manchester United to win their next match, you would back them with one bookmaker and lay them (bet against them) with another. A back bet is the most traditional form of bet where you pick an outcome, and if it happens, you win the bet and get your stake back plus winnings. With a lay bet, you are effectively acting as the bookmaker. So, if you lay Manchester United to win, and they lose or draw, you will win your bet.
2. Finding the Right Odds
To profit from matched betting, you need to find bookmakers offering good odds on the event happening. The Odds Monkey has an OddsMatcher tool that compares the odds of various bookmakers and highlights the ones providing the best value. The best odds for your back bet are the ones that are as close to the lay odds as possible. For example, if the lay odds are 2.0 and the bookmaker’s odds are 2.1, this is a good match.
3. Calculating Your Bets
Once you have placed your bets, it’s time to calculate how much to stake on each one. This is where things can get a little bit complicated, but there are various matched betting calculators online that can do the hard work for you. The amount you need to stake on your back bet will depend on the odds of the event happening, and the amount you need to stake on your lay bet will depend on the odds of the event not happening.
4. Free Bets and Bonuses
Once you have placed your bets and calculated your stakes, you can take advantage of bookmakers’ various free bets and bonuses. The most common type of bonus is a welcome bonus offered to new customers when they sign up. To claim a welcome bonus, you will usually need to place a bet with your own money, and then the bookmaker will match this with a free bet.
5. Withdrawing Your Money
Once you have placed your bets and claimed your bonuses, you can withdraw your money. This is where matched betting comes into its own, as you are guaranteed to make a profit. The best way to withdraw your money is first to use it to place another back bet. Once the event has happened, and you have won the bet, you can withdraw your winnings plus your original stake.
6. Tracking Your Bets
It’s essential to keep track of your bets to know how much money you are making (or losing). There are various ways to do this, but the simplest way is to use a spreadsheet. In your spreadsheet, you should list all of the details of your bet, including the bookmaker, the date, the event, the odds, the back bet stake, the lay bet stake, and the result. This will help you keep track of your progress and ensure that you are making a profit.
7. Tax Implications
Matched betting can be a tax-efficient way of making money, as profits are not taxed. This is because matched betting is classed as gambling, and, as such, any profits are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax. Matched betting can be a great way to make money, but it’s important to remember that some risk is always involved. However, if you follow the steps outlined above, you should be able to make a healthy profit with relatively little risk.
If you’re interested in matched betting, then it’s worth taking the time to learn how it works. It can be a bit complicated to get started, but it’s easy to make a profit once you have reached its hang. Just remember to track your bets and be aware of bookmaker restrictions, and you should be able to make some good money from matched betting.