Thinking of starting matched betting? Then read on…
I started matched betting just over two years ago and have made £1,000s from it. It’s one of the easiest and most profitable UK side hustles out there. So if you are interested in learning more about matched betting, here is my ultimate matching betting blog post. From how to do it, to the nitty gritty of matched betting, it’s covered it below.
Firstly, let me preface this matched betting guide by saying that if you have issues with gambling, I do not recommend looking into matched betting. It’s not considered gambling (I wouldn’t do it myself it was). However, it requires the use of bookie sites and placing bets.
If you have no issues related to gambling/gambling addiction, then it can be a great side hustle.
What is matched betting?
Matched betting is a process of placing bets in order to profit from promotions from betting companies.
To do matched betting as a side hustle, you are simply placing bets that cover all outcomes of the bet. This ‘unlocks’ free bet offers, and you repeat the process to turn the free bet into actual money.
Matched Betting: is it too good to be true? Where do I start? Is it risk free?
These are just some of the questions I’m asked regularly. It seems that so many people are interested in starting, so I wanted to share my experience of matched betting to begin with.
I started matched betting while I was focusing on paying off all of my debt in one year. We wanted to book a holiday, but I didn’t want to pause overpaying my debt to fund it. I had heard matched betting could help me make a lot of money fast, so I looked into it.
Matched betting sounds a bit too good to be true. You can make money very fast, from the comfort of your home. So naturally, I was a bit sceptical.
What persuaded me to start matched betting?
Firstly, I researched the process with reputable blogs and media. If you are thinking of starting matched betting, I recommend this article from The Guardian: Free bets mean you can clean up as bookies meet their match.
I did my research with an open mind and decided to give it a go. I signed up to a site that offered a free trial, and went for it.
That site was Profit Accumulator, the website that I eventually went on to purchase a membership with. They offered a free trial that users should make up to £45 from. With nothing to lose, it was really persuasive.
I completed the free trial and made £27 profit. I was then happy to re-invest my profits back into a £17.99 monthly membership.
Once I was happy that the process was legit, I started completing the sign up offers and went on to make more profit.
So if you are thinking of starting, start with some research. Then, sign up for a free trial and go from there. When you make money, you can re-invest it into a membership if you are happy with it. If not, you know that you can walk away with the profit you make from your free trial.
How much have I made from matched betting?
I’m not a gambler, nor have I any interest in sporting events. But regardless, I’ve made £1,000s from matched betting, without having any prior knowledge of it, or anything to do with it.
To date, I’ve made around £8,000 from matched betting. I started about two years ago. When I started, I treated it as a part time job and dedicated about 15-20 hours per week to it. I was easily making £300-£400 per week from it as a beginner.
Within a few months, matched betting had helped me to fund a holiday to Thailand, which motivated me to start matched betting in the first place. When our holiday was over, I reduced the hours I spent on it, putting in about 10 hours per week until I’d completed the sign up offers. At this point, I made between £150-£200 per week. Some weeks I made a lot more, but it really depended on the offers I was doing. Some offers are higher value than others.
After that, I moved on my long-term matched betting strategy that only takes a few hours per week and makes around £90.
If you are thinking of starting matched betting, the money is very good. Expect to make a lot from the sign up offers, and less, but a consistently good income, when you start to do reload offers (offers from bookies you’ve already signed up with).
There are plenty of people who make an excellent full time income from reload offers though. The Profit Accumulator forum has threads detailing how to make £100, £300 and £1000 per month from matched betting. How much you make depends on how much time you spend on it, the offers you do, and how much money you have to put into it.
How do I actually do matched betting?
Ok, buckle up. I’m about to give you a lot of information at once.
I mentioned earlier that matched betting was the process of taking free bets offered by bookies and turning them into cash. So let’s illustrate how this works with an example.
For example, say a betting agency offers a promotion for a £20 free bet if you place a £5 bet. We are going to use matched betting to make a profit with this offer.
We place the £5 bet. This £5 bet will back a particular outcome, let’s say for example, Liverpool FC to win. In matched betting terms, this is known as a back bet. In matched betting, we do not want to risk losing our £5 if our bet loses.
So, at the same time, we will place another bet. This bet will be for the opposite outcome to our back bet. In our example, this means we bet that Liverpool FC will not win. In matched betting terms, this is known as a lay bet.
This covers all outcomes, meaning we will win one bet and lose another. The funds we lose in our losing bet are cancelled out by the funds we win, so we do not lose our £5 stake.
In placing our £5 bet, we qualify for the free £20 bet.
We repeat the process again, by placing a back and lay bet, and our profit is made.
Ok, so how much profit should I expect to make?
Overall, you can make several thousand pounds per year doing matched betting. Treating it as a part time job, you will make serious money.
For the purpose of this matched betting guide, let me show you how much profit you can make using the above example. So, back to our example that you place a £5 bet in order to qualify for a free £20 bet.
The £5 bet, in matched betting terms, is a qualifying bet. This simply means that it’s the bet you place to qualify for the free bet.
When you place a qualifying bet, you should expect to make a small loss. The loss will occur as a result of the difference in the back odds and lay odds.
In placing your back and lay odds, we cover all outcomes, meaning you should get the majority of your initial stake (£5 in this case) back. Due to the small difference in the odds, you should expect to make a small loss overall. For a bet of £5, this should only be a few pence. This is a qualifying loss (QL).
So really, when you place your back and lay bet, you don’t risk the full £5. Instead, you will get your money back, minus a few pence to place the bet.
At this stage, you will be a few pence down. But you have unlocked a free £20 bet, which you stand to profit from.
Repeating the process of backing and laying your bet, this time using a free £20 instead of your own money, you make your profit. You minus your QL from your profit to get your true profit figure.
On a offer like the one above, I would expect to make a QL of around 20p, a profit of about £14, and an overall profit of about £13.80.
Let me show you how that looks on a matched betting calculator
Matched betting is tough to get your head around. But it’s really very simple. Using the Profit Accumulator site, their guides and calculators help to show the process in practice.
Taking the above ‘bet £5, get a £20 free bet’ as an example, here’s how this would look using the calculator.
So let’s start with your £5 bet. You need to place back and lay bets in order to qualify for the free £20 bet without losing your initial £5 stake. Let’s say your back bet is placed at odds of 4, and the lay bet is placed at odds of 4.2.
Please note: matched betting requires using decimal odds, rather than the traditional fractional odds (10/1, 2/1 etc.). You need to simply change your display settings on bookie websites from fractional to decimal as a result.
Here’s how this would look on the Profit Accumulator calculator:
As you can see, regardless of the outcome, you’ll get your money back, minus 23 or 24p. This is your qualifying loss (QL). Most of the bets that you place to ‘unlock’ a free bet will require a QL. Finding back and lay odds that are as close as possible will minimise your QL.
Therefore, the purpose of this process is to unlock your free bets without actually being out of pocket.
Then you are issued a free bet of £20. You repeat this process again, placing your back bet and your lay bet to cover all outcomes. As you’ve used free bets, this is where you’ll make your profit. Here is how this will look on the calculator:
So taking into account your qualifying loss, you stand to make around £14.
Lay betting explained
While most of us are familiar with regular back betting, lay betting is a whole new concept.
Lay betting takes place on an exchange. They are very similar to bookie websites, with the option to bet against an outcome in addition to traditional back betting.
With lay betting, you place your bet based on the exact opposite outcome to your back bet.
Let’s take the example that you are betting on a Liverpool FC match. Your back bet is for Liverpool FC to win, and your lay bet is for Liverpool FC NOT to win.
Can I just bet for the opposing team to win, rather than bet that a team won’t win?
The short answer here is no.
Let’s say in our bet, Liverpool FC are playing Man UTD. Our lay bet will be that Liverpool FC won’t win, as they could lose, OR draw. So we lay the bet that Liverpool FC will not win to cover both those outcomes.
Your liability is the amount that the exchange will take from your account in order to lay your bet.
If your back bet wins, the money you win will cover the liability you lose. If you lay bet wins, you get your liability back, plus your initial stake which covers your back bet.
A good way to look at your liability figure is that it is roughly the amount that you stand to win if your back bet wins. If your back bet wins, the money you win will cover the liability you lose.
As long as you’ve calculated everything correctly, don’t worry too much about having a thorough understanding of how it works. You can start easily without this, as the Profit Accumulator calculator will do all of the calculations for you. You will build an understanding of liabilities as you go.
What is an exchange?
I wanted to include some information in my matched betting guide about exchanges, as I was unfamiliar with them in the beginning.
Firstly, most of us will be familiar with bookie sites, like Ladbrokes and Bet365.
Less of us know about exchanges.
They work in exactly the same way as bookie sites; you source and place your bet. In addition to traditional back betting, where your bet will back a particular outcome, they also offer the option to bet against an outcome. It’s that easy.
The most well-known exchange is Betfair, but there are several. The exchange site I use most is Smarkets, as they regularly offer 0% commission offers for Profit Accumulator users.
Is matched betting gambling?
With gambling, you do it with the risk that will lose your money.
Matched betting is not gambling, as we will always lay our bets.
You will, however, use gambling sites to do matched betting, so please be aware of that when considering starting. If you have issues with gambling, I would not advise that you start matched betting.
Is it risk-free?
There is a lot of information out there that states matched betting is risk free, so is it?
With anything that you put your money into, there are risks. You could potentially make an error that will affect the outcome of your bet.
My advice is to start with lower value bets and work your way up as your confidence grows. Input your figures carefully, and double check them. Doing this, you will help to keep the risk to a minimum.
Is it legal? And tax free?
Yes and yes!
It all sounds a bit too good to be true… What are the downsides?
I hate those ads that scream FREE MONEY! Once I see them, I immediately see a red flag.
Matched betting sounds a bit like that. You are paid to work from home. And the money is great. It seems too good to be true.
My experience of matched betting is that it comes with downsides. You need to stump up your own money in the beginning. To build up the funds that you will use, some of your profits can be tied up in bets.
Matched betting is also work.
The process itself is easy, but you’ll work hard and fast to place bets. The Profit Accumulator site sources bets for you, while you just have to place the bets. But it can be nerve-wrecking and fast paced.
Ultimately, to make real money from it, you need to treat it as a part time job. It’s a great way to make good money, but remember that it’s a job. So rather than being too good to be true, you will have to work for your money, plus learn as you go. But the good news is that you’ll get a great rate of pay for your time.
Is Profit Accumulator worth the money?
I can’t state it enough: Profit Accumulator is worth it. As a beginner, you won’t be able to do matched betting without the aid of a matched betting site. I have only ever used Profit Accumulator, so I can’t comment on the others out there. But the reason I’ve stuck with Profit Accumulator is that they’ve consistently helped me to make money with matched betting, and I was happy to stick with them.
As a member, you get a full list of sign up offers that come with video tutorials and a full guide. They send you a weekly email of reload offers. Their forum has several threads to show in real time what offers users are completing to tip them over the monthly £100, £300 and £1000 profit mark.
They also have a dedicated customer support team who are on hand to help with any questions. From experience, they are excellent.
Sign up for the free trial on the Profit Accumulator site if you want to start. Don’t invest any money until you see returns. When you do, they can be re-invested in a paid membership. Use your matched betting profits to fund your membership- see it as an investment that helps you to gain larger profits.
What happens when I complete the sign up offers?
Check out my long-term strategy here, which should make around £90 per week. You can also move into completing bingo and casino offers.
The Profit Accumulator site provides a weekly email to users to show how they can make money from reload offers. They also have a full section dedicated to this on their website.
Once you’ve completed the sign up offers, for which you should expect to make £1000-£2000, this is just the beginning. Most people who do matched betting are in it for the long-term, making consistent month on month profits.
If you’ve made it this far then kudos for getting through my matched betting guide! Now it’s time to start your Profit Accumulator free trial!
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, and I’ll be happy to get back to you.
Is matched betting really that “easy”? I honestly could do SO much with some extra cash, but it honestly scares me to death that i’ll Totally mess up & lose money (that i can’t afford to lose!)… also that I won’t understand it at all? As much as you explained above.. it really sounds like a foreign language to me 🙁
Hey Lindsay, hopefully I have answered your question but I’ll also post here for anyone wondering the same thing! The process is quite tough to get your head around in the beginning but once you understand it, it becomes incredibly simple and fast to do. I think it’s one of those thing you just need to have a go at yourself.
I think the main issue is that it’s stressful parting with your money and having to trust the system but once you see that you’ll get it back (plus profit), it becomes easier. I think some people find it a little nerve wracking placing the bets (myself included from time to time) but I personally think it’s worth it for the money that you make- some people disagree and that’s completely fine- it just comes down to personal preference. Hope it’s all going well!
What level membership do you have or how much per month? Also does it impact on your credit score?
Hi Faye. I have platinum membership which costs £17.99, which is easily absorbed by my profits. But PA offers a free trial that allows you to make some money before committing to membership (which I believe is rolling month on month), which helps to get an idea of what to expect as a member, value for money etc. As far as I know you might get a soft credit search when you open an account with a bookie, but not a hard search.
Thanks for this intro – I’m so dying to have a go!!
I’m jut wondering, is it more profitable to have your back bet against the team? Using the example you’ve given about Liverpool winning, and taking into account liability, is it better for me to back bet Liverpool winning and lay betting Liverpool not to win? As i won’t have to pay the liability? (And Liverpool are flying haha)
Hope I’ve got the right end of the stick!
Thanks for the question. Usually you’d do exactly what you’d said, ie back bet a team to win (or draw) and lay a bet with the exact opposite outcome, ie for the team not to win, or not to draw.
That way you cover either outcome and you’ll lose one bet but win another. I hope this makes sense but let me know if I haven’t interpreted your question correctly!
Thanks again x
I’m going to give this a go for sure, just need my eBay listings to come through and give me my pot of funds to invest.
How much time, on average, do you think you need to invest to see a decent return?
I have been told about a company that do it all for you, you just invest your initial lump sum, however they do take 30% of your profits. I’m just trying to decide if what’s the best way to do this for me.
Thanks for sharing this and all your other great advice and tips.
Thank you so much! The more time you have to invest, the more money you make with it. I used to do a Saturday morning/afternoon and a weeknight (depending on what matches were on) and made about £90 per month on reloads (so you could definitely make more as a newbie). Particularly if you have a decent pot to invest, it will really help to cut down on the time you spend on matched betting as you don’t have to wait for bets to clear to access funds for further bets.
I’d definitely try the free trial before outsourcing it to someone else. Those first few bets are pretty daunting but once you get your head around them, the process is actually really simple and straightforward, and takes very little time to follow. If you make £5000 this year on matched betting, the commission you’d pay for outsourcing will be a massive £1500! Instead, doing it yourself will only cost a small membership fee per month )equating to less than £250 per year), and they more or less give you everything you need in terms of the offers, customer support, and guidance. If you try it, and it’s not for you, then outsourcing might be a better alternative than doing it yourself, but try it and see what you think! And if there are any questions you have, I’m here to help.
Can I ask how much you’d have to put down yourself to make around £1000 back? I’m trying to work out how much to invest. Thank you!
Of course. I started with a small amount (about £60 if I recall correctly) and kept reinvesting my profits, so I didn’t need to put in a huge amount. I was using the money for a holiday so it made sense not to withdraw it. The only issue with reinvesting profits with such a small pot is that your progress can be a little slow. With this in mind, once I was more confident, I invested another £400 to complete larger value bets and then my profits soared. So I would advise that if you are happy to progress at a slower pace, start with a sub £100 pot and let it grow over time. If you are in a hurry to make £1000, you probably need to start with around £300/£400. Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions 🙂