Matched Betting With Numbers
We’ve already given you the basics of matched betting, so let’s look at it in a bit more detail now. A lot of the information in this post could seem a bit daunting at first…But don’t let this put you off! You won’t need to worry about any of the maths involved, as our calculators do all that for you.
How Matched Betting Works
Matched betting requires us to place 2 bets every time we want to complete an offer. We have the qualifying (back) bet and the lay bet. Let’s take a simple sign up offer as an example: Bet £10 to get a £30 Free Bet.
QUALIFYING BET OR BACK BET:
This is the first bet we have to place at the bookmaker. In our example, this is our £10 bet. We need to place this bet in order to unlock the £30 free bet. Under normal circumstances we would be risking that £10, but with matched betting we’re going to place another bet (the lay bet) to make sure that we don’t lose money, no matter what happen the outcome of the bet is.
For this example we’re going to pretend we’ve placed a £10 bet on Manchester United to beat Chelsea.
This is the second bet we need to place and it’s what cancels out our qualifying bet. In a simplified example, a £10 back bet would be cancelled out by a £10 lay bet.
As we have placed a back bet on Manchester United to beat Chelsea, we now need to place our lay bet against Manchester United beating Chelsea. This means that we’ll have covered all outcomes. If Manchester United win, our back bet wins. However, if they don’t win, then our lay bet wins. A draw would mean our lay bet won, as a draw isn’t a win for Manchester United. So no matter what happens, we win one bet and lose the other. We break even, but we’ve also unlocked our £30 free bet.
Let’s look at this again with some real life odds to give you a real idea of how this works.
Using the OddsMatcher you can find on any of our guides pages, we’ve chosen a bet of Leicester vs Southampton. The selection is a draw.
We can see the back odds in blue and the lay odds in pink.
The first thing we need to do is place our back bet at the bookmaker. So we log in to the bookmaker (which is Betfred in this example) deposit £10 and place a £10 bet on the Leicester vs Southampton game being a draw at odds of 3.6
That’s the easy part out of the way. Now, we need to do a quick calculation on our matched betting calculator to work out the lay bet.
So, as we can see, the back odds and the lay odds are slightly different, which means our lay bet won’t be exactly £10. Plus, we need to take into account that Betfair charges commission of 5% on winning bets. But don’t worry about working all of that out – the calculator does all this for you. Simply enter the odds and your stake.
As you can see on the calculator, we have entered our £10 stake and then the back odds and lay odds, as well as 5% for Betfair’s lay commission.
The calculator tells us we need to place a lay bet on our selection of £9.86. It also tells us that our liability is £26.82. Liability is the amount of money we need in our Betfair account in order to place this lay bet.
Our overall position once this match is complete will either be -0.62p or -0.63p. This small loss is expected but nothing to worry about as we make a much larger profit with the free bet. This is known as the qualifying loss. It’s usually a few pence loss but can sometimes be a few pence profit, depending on the odds.
So we can now head over to the exchange and find our bet. Log in to Betfair and make sure you have enough money to cover the lay bet.
When you find your bet, you’ll see all the betting options as below. We need to click on the pink box in the draw row. We can see the odds of 3.7 (If at this point you see the odds have changed, then simply go back to the calculator and enter the new lay odds to get your new lay stake.)
Once we click that it will be added to our betslip. We enter the stake of £9.86 as advised by the calculator (you will see the liability also matches what it said on the calculator) and click place bet.
We have now placed both our bets and can sit back and wait for this match to finish. At the end of it, no matter what happens, we will win one bet and lose the other. Our money will either go into the bookie or the exchange and in total we will be about 62p down.
Now that is complete, the bookmaker will award us our £30 free bet. This is where we make our profit.
THE FREE BET
Now that we have our free bet, we need to repeat the exact same scenario as above, but this time we’ll be using free money instead. We will still have to use our own money to place the lay bet, but no matter the outcome, we will be in profit.
Using the OddsMatcher on the guide page again we can find a good bet to use our free bet with.
Tottenham v Inter looks good. The selection is Inter.
So we go back to Betfred and place a £30 back bet on Inter to beat Tottenham. Remembering to select the free bet on the bet slip, do not use your own money here.
Now we need to use the calculator again. This time though, we’re going to change the mode on the calculator from ‘Normal’ to ‘Free Bet (SNR). This lets the calculator know we’re using a free bet and adjusts the maths it uses to work out the lay bet accordingly.
Again, we’ve entered our stake (£30) and the odds – remembering to check that commission is 5% and that the Bet Type is now FREE BET (SNR).
The calculator tells us to place a lay bet of £23.76. So again, we head to Betfair and find our selection.
This time, as we’ve backed Inter to win, we need to go to the pink lay box on the Inter row. We can see our odds here are still 5.1
Press 5.1 to add the bet to the betslip, then enter the stake as advised by the calculator. Again the liability matches what the calculator said it would. The liability is a lot higher for this bet as we’re using higher odds and a higher stake. Make sure you have enough in your Betfair account to cover the bet.
Once you’ve placed that bet, we’re done. You have just made easy money from the bookies. No matter the result of the Inter vs Tottenham game we have locked in a profit of £22.58 if Inter win or £22.57 if Inter fail to win. After we deduct or qualifying loss of 67p that leaves us just under £22 in profit.
After reading all of that you might be thinking the process is very long winded to make £22. However, all of this can be done in a few minutes.
Plus, as you can see, you don’t really need to worry about the numbers involved with odds and stakes, as the calculator and guides tell you exactly what you need to bet. All you have to do is choose what you’re going to bet on using the inbuilt odds matching software found on every guide page.
You can now repeat this process over and over again with every bookmaker you can find. We advise following our guides, as the amounts and odds required vary from offer to offer, but the main process is the same. In a few minutes you can use this process to lock in profits over and over again!
A beginner’s guide to lay betting
A ‘lay bet’ is the opposite to a ‘back bet’. When you back something, you think it will win but a lay bet is where you’re betting on something not to win. Back bets are placed at the bookmakers and lay bets are placed at the betting exchange.
Lay betting allows you to take on the role of a bookmaker in that you’re taking the bet that someone else is making. But you don’t actually need to become a bookmaker…
At a betting exchange, such as Betfair or Smarkets, you can find lots of available odds on all sorts of things not to win. In football, a ‘no win’ covers both a loss and a draw.
Another difference between back and lay betting is ‘liability’. Liability is the amount of money you could lose when placing a lay bet. When you back something to win, the most you could lose is your initial stake. However, with a lay bet, you could actually lose more than you stake. (This isn’t the case with matched betting).
For example, if you placed to lay bet 2/1 shot for £20, if it loses then you win £20. But if it wins, then you lose £40 (2 x £20).
How to place a lay bet
Now you know what a lay bet is, it’s time to learn how to place one. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to lay betting:
1. Go to an online betting exchange and find your chosen market
Your market is the thing you’re betting on, such as ‘final score’ or a particular horse in a race. Whichever betting exchange you use, the onscreen layout will be pretty uniform. You’ll see two different coloured boxes sitting side-by-side. The blue boxes show the back odds so you can ignore those ones. It’s the pink ones we’re interested in.
2 Click on the lay box for your chosen selection
In this example, we’re going to show you how to place a lay bet on Liverpool. Remember: this means that we’re betting on Liverpool not to win.
Once you’ve clicked the pink box, your selection will show on your bet slip which is on the right hand side of the screen.
3 Enter your stake
Once you’ve added the selection to your bet slip, you can add the stake. This differs from a back bet, because you’re inputting an amount you want to make available for other punters to bet on. For example, if you imagine you’re the bookmaker, your stake is the amount that the customer is going to hand you to place the bet.
The number circled below is your liability and the potential payout if the person taking your bet wins.
The formula to calculate this liability yourself is:
Stake x (Lay odds – 1) = Liability
So for the below example, that is:
1.44 – 1 = 0.44
£100 (stake) x 0.44 = £44
4 Place your bet
So when you place a lay bet, instead of the money going to the bookmaker, it goes into the market. That way, it’s available for someone else’s bet to match. If someone already has cash in the system and at the same price, the exchange will match your bets immediately. But if they don’t, you’ll just need to wait for someone to take the price you’ve offered.
If your lay bet wins, you’ll receive the £100, minus a commission of 5%. This is how betting exchange’s make their money.
However, if your lay bet loses, you’ll be down your £44 liability.
In this tutorial you’re going to learn about betting exchanges and why they’re important in matched betting. In a nutshell, betting exchanges are the sites used to balance out bets you’ve made at a bookie, so you don’t lose any real money. That might not make much sense right now, but it will soon. Please read on…
The two betting exchanges we recommend you signing up to are Betfair and Smarkets.
In this guide we’ll:
- Show you how to get set up
- Take you around the interface
- Explain how betting exchanges work
So to recap what you’ve learned about matched betting so far: Every matched bet consists of two parts: a BACK bet and a LAY bet.
The bookie is where you’ll put your back bet on and the betting exchange is where you’ll put your lay bet on. This is what makes a matched bet. And a matched bet is a bet that either incurs minimal loss as a qualifier or an actual profit from a free bet!
SIGNING UP TO THE EXCHANGES
Below we’ll show you how to open accounts at Betfair.
- Click on the register buttons below
- Follow the step by step instructions
CURRENT EXCHANGE SIGN UP OFFERS
When you sign up to the exchanges, you also get some welcome offers, which you can take advantage of.
0% COMMISSION UP TO £50
The Betfair offer is super simple. If you win a bet on Betfair, you’ll be charged a small commission on your winnings. Don’t worry – we factor this in to our calculations for matched betting. This offer is a simple refund of commissions of your winnings that you incur in the first 30 days
£50 BONUS AT SMARKETS
We’ll show you how to use the £50 bonus from Smarkets in a different guide, but for now just sign up.
Step 1 – Clicking to the landing page
Once you’ve signed up, click this link and you should come to a page that looks like this:
Step 2 – Filling in the join up form
Click on the ‘join now’ button in the right corner of the screen. A pop up window that looks like this will appear:
Enter your details and fill out the form. In the promo code box, you should be able to see the offer code EXCCOF. If it’s not there, just type it in to get the £50 commission refund offer mentioned above.
Just like that, you’re done and you’ve signed up to one of the main tools you’ll be using for matched betting.
Step 3 – Showing you the deposit screen
At the moment this is just for your info, but here’s what the deposit screen looks like:
On Betfair when you deposit money, it goes into your ‘wallet’. If you win a bet, the money goes in here too. You can top up your wallet using your card or PayPal.
The lowest amount you can deposit is £5.
Note: There’s a small fee if you use credit card.
Step 4 – The Betfair Interface
So you’ve made it this far with me which is GREAT!
Now it’s time to show you the interface. The homepage can seem a bit busy, but the main things to look at right now are:
1. Search box: Super handy if you know exactly what you’re searching for in terms of a specific event. For example, if Manchester United were playing Chelsea you could simply type either of those teams into the search box to find all the events and markets you could bet on featuring just them.
2. Sports Menu: In terms of finding your way around Betfair, this is probably the easiest way but it can be quite a manual process. As with any menu, the top category drills down into further subcategories. For example: Football >> English Football >> Barclay’s Premier League
3. Sport Highlights: Easy-to-scroll access to upcoming sports highlights.
Step 5 – Choosing something to bet on
Click on one of the available football fixtures like the one circled below:
Step 6 – Placing Exchange Bets
The final part to show you is the exchange were you can place bets on Betfair.
This confusing-looking screen isn’t confusing at all once explained!
On the left hand side you can see the outcomes that are selectable – so Rosenborg, Celtic and The Draw. These are ‘things’ you can select to bet on.
The Blue Section (Back Bets)
Next, let’s focus on the blue section – Can you see that it’s called ‘Back’? That simply means if you were to place a bet on using any of the blue tiles you are placing a bet on that particular thing to happen.
The numbers in the blue tile are simple to understand too. The big numbers are the odds for that selection to happen and the small monetary value underneath is the amount of money currently available to bet on that market.
Let’s unpack that a bit shall we? Take Celtic as the example – you could BACK Celtic at odds of 1.65 and the maximum amount of money that is available to bet at these odds is £129. Simply put, you can bet any amount up to £129 for Celtic to win at these odds.
Obviously, you don’t have to bet the maximum amount of £129 so let’s say you bet on Celtic to win the game and you stake a £10 BACK bet on it. If Celtic do win, your return would be £16.50 (stake x decimal odds = return).
However, if Celtic do not win, you’d lose your £10 stake.
The Pink Section (Lay Bets)
On the right hand side, you’ll see that there is a section called Lay, which is the one in pink.
Very important: LAYING is when you’re predicting that something is NOT going to happen.
The numbers in the pink tile mean the same thing as the blue tile. The big numbers are the odds for that selection NOT to happen and the small monetary value underneath is the maximum you can lay on that selection.
It’s much easier to understand with numbers. Let’s take The Draw selection for this example. Notice that you can lay the draw at odds of 4.4. Let’s suppose you lay the draw for £10.
Remember with LAY betting you only win the bet if what you are laying on DOES NOT happen.
If either Celtic or Rosenborg win then that means a Draw didn’t happen, so you would win your bet. Meaning you would win £10!
Slightly more difficult to understand is what happens if you lose. In this example, if the game was a Draw, you would lose. But you wouldn’t just lose £10. Instead, the amount lost would be £34 (stake x (decimal odds-1) = liability).
Automatically you may think that seems like a lot to lose on one bet. Potentially you could lose £34 if your bet loses, but only win £10 if you win. But odds are based on the likelihood of something happening or not. The higher the odds, the less likely. the less likely it is to happen the more likely you are to win your lay bet.
So that’s Betfair in a nutshell. Hopefully this guide will have taken away the mystery of Betfair and what all those tiles mean. A simple way to think of it is the blue tiles you are betting on something to happen, and the pink tiles you are betting on something not to happen.
It’s important you understand these concepts as we will use these in matched betting to unlock real profit without risking your actual money!
What is Matched Betting? An easy guide
Matched betting is a way to turn the free bets offered by online bookmakers into real money that you can actually withdraw from your bank account. With matched betting, you always place 2 bets instead of just 1. When you place a bet on a team to win, you always place a ‘matching’ one on that same team not to win. This may sound a little confusing at first because you’re basically canceling your first bet out…BUT it means you’ve protected your money and taken the gambling out of betting. Keep reading to find out how to make money…
How does matched betting work?
In matched betting, you always place two opposing bets. These are two different kinds of bet:
Back bet: As the name suggests, this is where you put your backing behind an outcome to come true. You’re betting for something (usually to win). Place your back bets at online bookmakers like Coral or Paddy Power.
Lay bet: With a lay bet, you’re doing the opposite and betting against the outcome you bet on before. You’re betting that it won’t come true and effectively canceling out your back bet. Place your lay bets through online betting exchanges like Betfair or Smarkets.
Matched betting uses the free bet offers given out by bookmakers, such as “Bet £5, get a £5 free bet”. There are two parts to that offer: “bet” and “get”. In matched betting, you need to do the first part to be able to unlock the value in the second part. Let’s take a closer look:
Qualifying bet: To qualify for the reward part of the free bet offer, you need to bet at least £5. Remember, matched betting means that you’re not really betting £5 of your own money because you’ll also place a similar lay bet which will effectively cancel the back out.
Free bet: With this second part, just repeat the process from your qualifying bet, which means place another back bet and another lay bet. This time though, use the free bet rather than your own money at the bookmaker. And because of this, you’re able to extract some real money from the free bet.
A quick step-by-step example of matched betting:
Pick a bookmaker who’s offering a free bet like, ‘Bet £10, get £30 in free bets’. Deposit your money and place a back bet of £10 on Liverpool to win their next game. This is the qualifying bet.
Next, place a lay bet (on Liverpool not to win) at a betting exchange. This is your matched bet.
Liverpool play their game and either win, lose or draw. If they win, your back bet wins and if they lose or draw, your lay bet wins. You should have won a similar amount of money as you staked, but you’ll also have unlocked those £30 of free bets which is the important bit! Now it’s time to turn that into real money…
Repeat the back and lay process using your free bets. By doing this, you’re effectively turning them into real cash. You should end up extracting around 75–80% of the free bet amount, so a £30 free bet turns into around £24 profit.
Is matched betting gambling?
No. Matched betting isn’t gambling because the process of matching bets by placing a back and a lay bet on the same event means that both the win and lose options are covered. In gambling, you’re only betting on one outcome, which is why your money is at risk – that bet could lose. However, matched betting takes away that risk.
Matched betting’s a legal way of using the free bet promotions offered by the bookmakers to make money.
How much do I need to start matched betting?
You’ll be able to build your bank more quickly the more money you have, but you can get started with any amount. That’s one of the great things about matched betting: anyone can have a go!
It’s also a good idea to have a separate bank account just for matched betting because it’s easier to keep track of all your transactions.
How to find welcome offers
You’ll find loads of welcome offers right here on matchedbetting.co.uk, along with step-by-step guides on how to make money from them.
Welcome to the Betfair Exchange Guide
We need a Betfair exchange account in order to do any matched betting so if you haven’t already opened an account with them this is the first step you should take on your matched betting journey. Click the button below to sign up. Using the link below gets you 30 days of 0% commission which typically saves you up to £50 over the 30 day period.
- As matched bettors we need to lay our bets off at a betting exchange like Betfair so we are going to be using our Betfair account a lot. We will need it for every offer we do. Betfair charge 5% commission on winning bets, you don’t need to worry about that though as we have already taken it into account in our guides. The calculator on site will automatically default to 5%, although you can change it if you live in a country that charges more than 5%.
- As new customers at Betfair we can enjoy commission free bets for 30 days or up to £500 in savings. Although we are getting 0% we should leave the calculator at 5% for our bets and treat the extra money we get refunded from Betfair as extra profit. They will refund you any commission every Wednesday.
- Now that you have opened your Betfair account you are ready to start your first offer and start making some money!