Make money from Matched Betting (full guide)

bag of moneyNow, I'm not a gambler by any means. But I have made enough money from bookmakers in just six months to pay for an £860 flight (return) to Australia. And I've got some company too after walking a good friend through this risk-free technique.

The result is this guide, where I'll share the exact steps with you too, including screenshots and a free tool.

Why should I trust this guide?

What I'm teaching you here is a completely legal, tried-and-tested method called 'matched betting'. It basically allows you to turn the tables on the bookmakers to extract their free bet offers.

Matched betting is legal and a spokesperson for William Hill has indicated that the betting industry does not have a problem with this use of free bets – Wikipedia

student thinking
I've used it myself for several years and have never lost any money doing it, but I have taken my time and been very careful to avoid making mistakes. Do not rush this guide – make sure you understand it 100% before depositing any money, and please ask any questions in the comments if unsure of anything.

I'll be taking you through the 'need-to-knows' then showing you how I made £23 in 30 minutes in a full-blown example.

There are websites out there that charge you handsomely for this information, but you don't need to pay here. Put half an hour aside, read this guide carefully, and you'll have made your first matched bet and up to £30 profit.

Article in the Guardian on matched betting

Piece by The Guardian on making money from free bets

Positive comments

One of many comments on this page by other readers

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a way of squeezing out the many free bets offered by bookmakers. All the bookies promote these offers (especially during big sporting events) to entice new gamblers to place bets with them.

For example, "bet £25 with us and we'll give you a £25 free bet!".

Matched Betting Header

How does it work?

Firstly, you don't need to know all the betting terminology if you follow the steps below, but it's important that you know two types of bet which allow matched betting to work:

A 'back' bet

Betting for a certain outcome to come true. Eg. "I bet England will win" is a backing bet. If it comes true, you win the bet and the winnings. If England lose or draw, you lose your stake. You can place a back bet at any bookmaker, such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes etc.

A 'lay' bet

Betting against a certain outcome to come true. Eg. "I bet England will not win" is a lay bet. If they lose or draw, you win the bet. You can only place a lay bet at a betting exchange such as Betfair.

Matched betting works by cancelling out the risk on the 'back' bet at the online bookies by betting against yourself at the same odds (know as 'laying' a bet) which you can do at a betting exchange. In other words, you are 'matching' your bet.

smiley_faceFollowing your first or 'qualifying' bet, you will then be awarded the free bet by the bookmaker. This is where the profit is made. Quite simply, you repeat the process: bet using the free bet and then lay the bet. Whatever the result you are guaranteed to make a profit (which I'll be demonstrating below).

How much profit can I make?

For each matched bet, you will be left with up to 95% of the free bet amount as profit. This is because betting exchanges usually charge a commission of 5% on winnings. You may also make a very small loss on the qualifying bet due to the minor difference in odds on each website. This is normal, and you will recoup this when you use the free bet.

poundsign_shakyIn the steps below I'll show you how to profit from a £30 free bet using a real life example. Replicate the same steps across the hundreds of free bet offers each year and you can quickly be looking at £1,000s. Personally I have made just over £1,200 in 18 months from matched betting alone.

And it's worth pointing out, earnings from the gambling industry are currently tax-free.

What's the risk?

question_markAnyone can learn how to do matched betting and, in theory, there is no risk involved because you are covering yourself by betting for and against the same event.

However the risk comes when mistakes are made so, once again, you need to double-check everything and follow the steps exactly. On rare occasions free bets do not always come through right away, so just be patient.

Once you've understood the process and been successful by following the steps below, you can then continue matched betting at many other online bookies with free bet offers (see my table at end) which can quite quickly land you a lot of money without risk.

It's also worth knowing that depositing at gambling websites does not affect your credit rating.

I make no apologies for the length of this guide! You'll need some patience and about 30 minutes to spare. Bookmark it if you want to come back later.

Your First Profit in 7 steps

Note: This is literally a step-by-step, hold-your-hand kind of guide. There's lots of fragmented information out there on forums etc, which can often result in costly mistakes for novices. Below I outline exactly the steps I follow, using the practical example of one PaddyPower free bet. So long as you follow word for word, you can't go wrong. I strongly suggest reading through all the steps first before making any bets. Join my free mailing list and leave a comment at the bottom if you need any help.

  1. Sign up for Betfair.com

    Betfair logo whiteBetfair is a betting exchange where you can 'lay' bets to cancel out your risk at the bookmakers.

    Unlike traditional bookmakers, Betfair is a place where you bet against other people.

    They sometimes even offer free bets for new customers too (if you're lucky).

    Register on Betfair.com

  2. Sign up for PaddyPower.com

    Free bet The best offer by far right now is with Paddy Power who are offering £30 free bets on new sign ups when you bet just £10 (don't worry we'll be matching this too). So we'll be using this 'bookie' in this practical example.

    Always check the T&Cs of receiving free bet offers. There may be some restrictions on what you can bet on or an expiry date.

    They will also tell you whether or not the free bet is returned with winnings. In this example and generally speaking it is not, but we'll still be making a nice profit.

    During registration, you will be prompted to make a deposit. Choose one of the many payment types and deposit just £10 (needed to unlock the free bet).

    Register on PaddyPower.com

  3. Use decimal odds

    Once you've logged into PaddyPower.com, change your odds display from fractions to decimal for easy comparison with Betfair. You can do this from the selection in the sidebar across the site. This is essential!

    Choose Decimal Odds

    Found bottom of left sidebar

  4. Find & place your qualifying bet

    Ideally you want to find a sporting bet (I recommend football) which has the closest odds on both PaddyPower.com (the bet to back) and Betfair.com (the lay bet).

    Lay odds on Betfair are the red boxes, not the blue. If you cannot see any red boxes, you need to go to the exchange by clicking the top left link "Go to Exchange" or "Exchange".

    Betfair Exchange

    For this free bet offer, PaddyPower's terms state you must pick odds of 1.5 or greater. It's better to choose a bet with low odds for this step, between 1.5 and 4.0 if possible.

    See my example below then use the automatcher tool which does everything for you!

    My example

    I used the automatcher below which suggested a football match between Everton and West Brom. So I put "Everton v West Brom" in the search boxes on PaddyPower and Betfair, then found the "Win-Draw-Win" market on PaddyPower and "Match Odds" on Betfair.

    I will back Everton to win at PaddyPower.com with odds of 1.61 and lay that same bet on Betfair.com with odds of 1.60.

    Choosing the odds

    In my example bet, the difference is 0.01 which the automatcher calculated as giving me a small acceptable loss of 13p on this qualifying bet.

    Here are my betting slips on both websites for my qualifying bet:

    Matched Bet Betslips

    Automatcher tool (Qualifying bet)

    Use the automatcher tool below (which replaces my spreadsheet). This will save you a LOT of time and maximise your overall profit.

    It fetches live odds from PaddyPower and finds the equivalent lay odds on Betfair for thousands of upcoming football matches.

    The hardest part is also done for you, which is to calculate the best matches for your qualifying bet based on the closest possible odds and smallest loss. Feel free to switch between them and the steps and calculations will be updated (below the table).

    Just click the blue refresh icon to start and then follow the 4 steps.

    Get bonus tips & more free bets

  5. Claim your free bet

    In my Everton v. West Brom game, Everton won 2-1. So my return of £16.16 ended up on my PaddyPower account. Meanwhile I lost the £6.23 (my "Liability") on my Betfair account. The total amount between the accounts is therefore £9.93, which is a loss of 7p (marginally less than the 13p estimate, due to some tiny differences we don't have to worry about).

    Now I have placed and seen through the £10 qualifying bet, I now have a £30 free bet!

    This gives me a total credit of £46.16 in PaddyPower, but I'm only going to use the £30 free bet and will withdraw the rest later. My Betfair account is down to £3.77 (my initial deposit of £10 – £6.23) and will need topping up for the next bet (see below).

    So whatever your outcome, because you matched the bets, you will have close to your £10 back between the 2 websites (minus the small loss we expected).

    The free bet of £30 will be credited to your PaddyPower account.

  6. Find & place a new bet

    We're basically going to repeat the process in step 4, but using the £30 free bet instead of the £10.

    Update: If you receive 3 x £10 free bets, simply place them on the same event but as separate bets.

    This time it's worth picking odds greater than 3.0 to maximise your profit, but just bear in mind that the higher they are the more you'll need to have in your Betfair account to lay it (see the "Liability" amount in the tool below).

    My example

    I used the next step of the automatcher (embedded below) which suggested a football match between Algeria and Ivory Coast. The odds are above 3.0 and have only a 0.1 difference between the websites.

    You'll see below that I am backing Algeria to win on PaddyPower (5.0 odds) and then I'm laying that bet (for Algeria not to win) at Betfair (4.9 odds).

    Choosing the odds again

    On Betfair I already had £3.77 remaining from the first bet, so I deposited £94 to more than cover my calculated Liability (total £97.77).

    Here are my bet slips on both websites for my free bet (I actually placed 3 of the same bet on PaddyPower since they split my £30 free bet into 3 x £10 bets):

    betting slips using free bet

    The automatcher below calculated that I'll make a clear profit of £23.51, whatever happens. Nice :)

    Automatcher tool (Free bet)

    Just click the blue refresh icon to start and then follow the 3 steps.

    Once again, feel free to switch between the matches in the table and the calculations will be updated.

  7. Cash out the profit

    Whatever the outcome, you will now be in profit to the amount calculated in the automatcher. Now it's time to cash out!

    In my example of the Algeria v. Ivory Coast game, the score ended in a draw at 2-2. This means that I lost my £30 free bet on PaddyPower (because I backed Algeria to win) and the winnings of the matched bet totalling £24.74 ended up in Betfair. Once you deduct Betfair's 5% commission on winnings I'm left with £23.51 profit, which is exactly the amount of profit calculated for me by the automatcher.

    My matched betting profit

    After both matched bets, I now have £16.16 in my PaddyPower account and £121.28 in Betfair. I withdrew the balances on both accounts back onto my debit card.

    My total profit from both matched bets, accounting for all factors such as the 7p loss on my £10 qualifying bet, totals £23.44. I spent just under 30 minutes on the whole process, giving me an hourly rate of £46.88 if I move onto the next of many free bets out there (best listed below). Beats stacking shelves…

Please share with your friends!

If you enjoyed and profited from this guide, sharing it is the best thanks you could give. And I'm sure they'll appreciate it too :)


More Free Bets

chart risingIf you are confident enough with the process of matched betting and eager to make much more profit, work through the free bet offers in the table below (ordered by ease).

The same key steps above still apply, and I've written a mini guide for each one. As always, check the terms of each offer.

Important: Unlock ALL free bets

The table below is just the tip of the iceberg. Lots more free bet offers come and go, never making it to this page. Every day I scout around for any new ones, and share them only with those on my free email list.

Expect to make £400-£600 extra every month from these limited-time offers. Don't miss out, join now for free:

 

Current free bet total: £1830

BookieDepositFree betMin. oddsClaim offer
William Hill£10£202.00Claim Now »
Ladbrokes£50£502.00Claim Now »
Coral£5£202.00Claim Now »
Sky Bet£5£202.00Claim Now »
Unibet£50£201.40Claim Now »
188bet£50£501.75Claim Now »
NetBet£100£501.60Claim Now »
Dafabet£30£301.50Claim Now »
Tote Sport£25£251.01Claim Now »
Titanbet£50£501.50Claim Now »
Paddy Power£10£302.00Claim Now »
BoyleSports£10£502.00Claim Now »
Stan James£10£201.80Claim Now »
betway£30£301.75Claim Now »
Betfair£20£201.20Claim Now »
bet-at-home£40£201.70Claim Now »
888sport£10£NA1.01Claim Now »
BETDAQ£100£252.00Claim Now »
bwin£30£301.70Claim Now »
Betfred£10£302.00Claim Now »
bet365£200£2001.50Claim Now »
Smarkets£10£101.01Claim Now »
Marathonbet£60£201.80Claim Now »
10Bet£400£2001.60Claim Now »
ApolloBet£10£52.00Claim Now »
Betsafe£10£201.80Claim Now »
32Red£10£102.00Claim Now »
BetVictor£25£252.00Claim Now »
BetStars£5£201.50Claim Now »
BetBright£30£302.00Claim Now »
Superlenny£25£252.00Claim Now »
TonyBet£200£1001.85Claim Now »
Winner£200£2002.00Claim Now »
Genting Bet£10£102.00Claim Now »
RealDealBet£25£251.60Claim Now »
Mobilbet£50£502.00Claim Now »
Favourit£100£1001.80Claim Now »
Sportingbet£10£501.50Claim Now »

Click for even more free bets »

Note: Although the greatest care is taken and these free bets are researched regularly it's important that you check the full terms and conditions of each free bet offer after clicking through to the bookmaker's site.

Need help? Got a question?

For anything else, please use the comments below and I'll get back to you.

Disclaimer: Please note that neither the author nor this website accept any liability for how you use the advice given on this page. So read it carefully, and if you decide to follow the steps then you use it at your own risk! Gamble Aware.

Leave a comment



1,880 Responses to “Make money from Matched Betting (full guide)”

  1. `Charlotte

    28. Apr, 2016

    I think I am just figuring this out!
    Today i put a £10 bet in paddypower on chelsea v tottenham next week for chelsea to win. then i put in a £20 deposit into betfair by accident but still put a £10.07 bet onto chelsea not winning like it said on here. however on betfair it is a bit confusing.. it says liability 17.92 and my credit balance has gone down to 2.08? did it take more than my £10.07 bet? i really don’t understand how it works but i suppose i will see when the game has happened. i dont know what liability means and also my betfair £30 free bets haven’t appeared?
    so basically i’ve put in £10 into paddy power and £20 into betfair, how much should i be getting out after ive done the free bets, roughly? thank you!

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      29. Apr, 2016

      Hi Charlotte, the £10.07 was your stake but if you lose on Betfair you will lose your liability amount which would leave you with £2.08 (this is why your balance is this much).

      The Betfair free bets are in the sportsbook section of the site and not the exchange unfortunately. As you’ve now already used Betfair (to lay this bet) you won’t be able to get the bonus.

      After the qualifying bet has completed and you go on to match the free bets you could expect around £15 profit.

      Reply
  2. Maria

    28. Apr, 2016

    Ok I have read through the example given above, and I can’t see where the amount of £23.51 comes from, when you had to place £10 on Pddy power, £10 on Betfair (equalling £20 of your own money) and the £30 free bet was also lost. The only money that was recovered was the £94 to top up Betfair. The profit of 23.51 doesn’t take into account the initial £30 put on to the first matched bets. o the profit is only £.51, or am I missing something. Can anyone show me the full calculation of amount put down combined with all profits made?
    I have just put £10 on PP plus £14.21 on Betfair. That’s £24.21 to make back along with anything else I pay out. So where is the profit to be made?

    Reply
    • Rick

      28. Apr, 2016

      A lay bet of stake £10 at odds 1.60 was placed on Betfair, meaning only around £6 was needed in your account.

      The £30 placed with PP was using free bet tokens so there’s no loss from that.

      Your profit will be made from matching the free bets from PP.

      Reply
  3. Maria

    28. Apr, 2016

    I have read the guide many times and understand, just about, the paddy power/betfair example. I think. What I don’t get is how to continue making profits from this method. Do I have to keep finding sites to place bets on, like PP, and then using Betfair to match the bets? and the profit comes from the free bets other sites give you? Is there any way of matching bets as an existing user on a reliable site or do I have to keep placing bets on sites that offer free bets?
    I just don’t have a brain that understands odds and betting very well, I’m sorry.

    Reply
    • Rick

      28. Apr, 2016

      Looks like you’ve understood it pretty well. 🙂

      Yes, yes, and both. You can subscribe to our mailing list for more information about existing customer promotions, as well as working through our sign-up offer table.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    28. Apr, 2016

    Firstly this is a great guide, thanks!

    With the Smarkets lost bet refund I am right that you have to keep betting £10 (accruing small losses as you go by matched betting!) until you lose

    When you lose the £10 is refunded and only then should you proceed to the Free Bet using that £10.

    Finally I guess you can withdraw your initial £20 deposit at any time?

    Reply
    • Rick

      28. Apr, 2016

      With Smarkets I would suggest using the bet refund calculator to lock in a profit. If your bet wins with them then keep repeating until it loses.

      If you withdraw your deposit before claiming the £10 refund then I think this wall cancel the promotion. But yes, you still can if you really need to.

      Reply
  5. Paula

    27. Apr, 2016

    Hello again.

    I’m coming across the ‘lost bet refund’ part of the calculator with some bookies.

    Do you always leave the refund part at £21 (assuming bet is £30)? Any particular reason for this?

    Also, on the dropdown, how do I know if I’m in the qualifying bet part of the lost bet refund or the free bet part as they both refresh and change to ‘lost bet refund’ a second later. Hope that makes sense.

    Reply
    • Rick

      27. Apr, 2016

      For a £30 bet refund offer, a free £30 bet will only be credited if your qualifying bet loses. We’re assuming that you’ll be able to convert the £30 bet token into around £21 via matching it as a SNR bet as you would normally by selecting high odds. Note that the £21 here is an arbitrary value, we’ve pre-filled the refund amount to be £21 as we’re assuming you’ll be able to convert 70% of the bet token value into real funds in one of your account balances.

      For the second question, I think you may be referring to the calculator for a particular bookmaker sign-up offer in our instructions. They’re refreshing to that specific calculator as that’s the one that’s relevant for that bookmaker. You can play around with the other calculators manually if you wish on http://www.savethestudent.org/matched-betting-calculator

      Reply
      • Paula

        27. Apr, 2016

        Hello. I do use this calculator often, especially as I use the method with other sports than football.

        I am still a bit fuzzy with the ‘lost bet’ thing but I’m sure it will come in time. I noticed that when selecting ‘Unibet’ it defaults to £50 stake and £50 refund amount. Should that be adjusted to 70% of whatever I decide to deposit as a back bet?

        Out of curiosity. What happens if you mess with the refund part of the calculator? Does it mean you will likely win less?

        Reply
        • Rick

          28. Apr, 2016

          No with unibet the refund is given as cash, as opposed to a SNR bet.

          Reply
  6. rachel

    26. Apr, 2016

    Hi just spotted on ladbrokes – it seems you only need to place a £5 bet to qualify for the £50 bet, not the £50 bet stated in the table?

    Not sure if this is an oversight on my part but looks like this may need editing?

    Reply
    • Rick

      27. Apr, 2016

      Ladbrokes will give you a free bet equal to your first bet stake up to £50.

      £5 is the minimum deposit needed to qualify for this offer but note you’ll only get a free £5 bet if you do this.

      Reply
  7. Jody

    26. Apr, 2016

    I started yesterday with £45 of my own money (all I had) pretty sure I did it wrong…..

    Placed first qualifying £5 bet, lost on coral won on betfair £5? Aren’t I suppose to lose money (a few pence) the qualifying bet and not gain anything till my free bet has finished?

    I got my free bet offer through and placed another back bet with it and lay bet but the match don’t end till tonight, but think I’m going to be out of pocket with it.

    Reply
    • Rick

      27. Apr, 2016

      No with some bookmakers (such as Coral) the free bet will be credited as soon as you place your qualifying bet.

      Reply
  8. Steve

    26. Apr, 2016

    Please confirm that you can never win more than the value of the free bets without risk.

    Reply
    • Rick

      26. Apr, 2016

      Yes that’s true.

      Reply
  9. Nick

    25. Apr, 2016

    Quick question – for rollover bets, should we be using the 1. Qualifying Bet or 2. Free Bet setting of the Bet Calculator. Or just find our own bets where the bet and lay odds are as close as possible.

    Reply
    • Rick

      26. Apr, 2016

      Use the qualifying bet calculator, trying to minimise the loss as much as manageable.

      Reply
  10. richard

    25. Apr, 2016

    I am totally lost with this! I want to do it but just can’t get my head around it! I want to do it without the free bets because I’m already a member of some of these sites. Will this work if I just use my own money instead of the free offers? Also, betfair exchange totally confuses me! When I select a lay bet I don’t know if I should be selecting Home/Draw or Away/Draw? Does Home/Draw mean that you are betting on The home team to win or draw? Or does it mean that you are betting that the home team don’t win or draw? Cheers.

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      26. Apr, 2016

      Hi Richard, unfortunately you need the free bets in order to make profit. Using your own money will just mean you end up losing money each time. When you are doing a lay bet you are betting on something NOT to happen (eg. if I lay Man Utd to win then I am betting that they won’t win which equals a draw or loss). In your position I would really suggest reading the guide over and over until you have an understanding.

      Reply
  11. Chirag

    25. Apr, 2016

    Is it possible to place more than one matched bet at a time via betfair?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      Yes you can place several bets on Betfair simultaneously if you wish.

      Reply
  12. Emily

    24. Apr, 2016

    Hi I have a question about roll overs and how to make sure you don’t lose any profit as you work through the winnings before being able to withdraw it?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      For every bet you place with the bookmaker in order to complete the required rollover it’s important you match it with the exchange to ensure there’s no chance of the money being lost. Yes there’ll be a small lost from matching this, so it’s important you keep this as small as you possibly can.

      Reply
  13. Paul

    24. Apr, 2016

    I placed the £5 stake on Skybet and my £20 free bet was instantly deposited. So I proceeded to the second ‘free bet’ stage. Does this mean I can cash out my £5 qualifying bet for £4.75 and take a £0.25p loss ?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      Yes if your qualifying bet with Sky has settled then you can withdraw the funds.

      Reply
  14. Dave

    24. Apr, 2016

    My liability on Smarkets is always different to what has been generated when using a calculator.

    For example (with a free bet): If I were to stake £30 on back odds of 4.6 and lay odds of 4.9, at commission of 2%, the calculator generates that the backer’s stake is £22.13 and liability will be £86.31.

    Bu when I go on Smarkets to make the lay bet, when I enter the backer’s stake of £22.13 at 4.9 odds, the liability is £86.29.

    Why is the liability on Smarkets always slightly lower than on a calculator? Is this important at all?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      I wouldn’t pay too much attention to this but I think it’s to do with rounding differences from either the calculator or from Smarkets.

      Reply
  15. Mandy

    24. Apr, 2016

    Hi,
    I’ve done a few of the first few bets listed and have made abit of money but going further down the list, the requirements for each bookie say that you need to rollover the deposit and/or bonus a certain number of times. What I’m finding is you lose all the profit from the free bet by the small losses you make from the difference in odds combined with the fee the betting exchange/bookie takes if you win.
    For example, I have got my bonus from Netbet but need to rollover the deposit and bonus 6 times, however I have lost £10.00 with the first rollover. If I continue with the remaining 5 rollovers, I will have lost approx £10.00 per bet leaving me at no profit.
    Is there something I am doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      Not particularly but what I would suggest is trying to lose as little as you can when matching to ensure you’d be in profit after completing this offer. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Steve

    23. Apr, 2016

    Betfair are offering a £20 free bet for new members. Can I use this for MB’ing at all, eg as my liability?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      Yup you can claim this offer when placing a lay bet but it’s important your liability is over £20 with Betfair. So I’d suggest claiming this when you attempt your first sign-up offer – that way you can get two bonuses. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Chirag

    22. Apr, 2016

    Would it be possible to place more than one bet on different betting sites while placing lay bets on the betfair site?

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      Yup. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Paula

    22. Apr, 2016

    I’m completely lost when it comes to odds and betting. It seems that exchange betting is totally lost on me too. I think having a grasp on odds and gambling might help. Can you point me in the right direction for a guide that explains both? Cheers!

    Reply
    • Rick

      25. Apr, 2016

      We’ve explained in the guide above what the decimal odds represent on the bookmaker sites and how to use the Betfair exchange website – so I’d suggest reading that over a few times and then maybe trying out one of the easier sign-up offers, following our instructions carefully. 🙂

      Reply
  19. Aloz

    15. Apr, 2016

    I made the deposit but i dont find the same match from paddy on betfair what can i do ?

    Reply
    • Rick

      18. Apr, 2016

      Do you mean the odds aren’t the same with the bookmaker as that shown on the Automatcher? If this happens then I’d suggest just using the next best match.

      Reply
  20. Chirag

    15. Apr, 2016

    i recently signed up to one of the free bet offers by William hill however the odds displayed on the automatcher did not resemble the odds on both william Hill and betfair. On top of that Betfair have seemed to have changed the layout to their website, making it confusing when lay betting. How would you go about this situation?

    Reply
    • Rick

      18. Apr, 2016

      If this happens then I’d suggest using then next best match which would hopefully resemble the same odds as WH and exchange. Are you using the correct section on Betfair? The lay bets are placed on the exchange, not the Sportsbook.

      Reply
      • Chirag

        20. Apr, 2016

        Thanks for the help Rick, appreciate it.

        Reply
  21. Josh

    12. Apr, 2016

    How do I make profit on s lost bet refund? If my first back bet wins, happy days, you’ve made profit.

    However, if my first back bet loses, I get it back in free bets, but I lose money overall, don’t I? I have say £17 from the exchange win and a £25 free bet, but I’ve put in £46 in total which is more than I’ve got back.

    If I got the full amount back from the free bet (which is not possible) I’d still have to lay against it and I’d surely end up in the red?

    (This was using a back bet of 13 and a lay of 16 )

    This is melting my brain, if you can help at all. The regular free bets are easy though, so I appreciate all your work 🙂

    Reply
    • Rick

      13. Apr, 2016

      Yup you’re right in thinking that the way it works is that if your bet loses, your stake will be returned to you as a free bet. So what we do is lay the bet less than we normally would because if our bet wins with Betfair then that means our bet has lost with bookmaker – which means there’s more to make from another free bet.

      Just type the back/lay odds as normal using the refund calculator – http://www.savethestudent.org/matched-betting-calculator?bookieid=rfb

      It will work out the required lay stake so that you’ll profit the same amount regardless of whether the bet with the bookmaker wins or loses. If it loses, it assumes you\’ll be able to convert 70% of the free bet into cash.

      Reply
      • Josh

        13. Apr, 2016

        Right, I’m with you now. Sorry for being a bit thick! thank you

        Reply
  22. J

    11. Apr, 2016

    Regarding Bet Victor, according to their terms and conditions, the bonus fund stake is not returned on their deposit £25, get £25 sign up promotion; however, your calculator for part 2 of Bet Victor appears to be including a returned stake in its calculations.

    Perhaps it was a cash bonus before, but now it appears to be just a free bet.

    Reply
    • Rick

      12. Apr, 2016

      Sorry that was a mistake on our behalf – yes you’re right it’s a free £25 bet with the stake not returned. Thanks for letting us know, updated steps. 🙂

      Reply
  23. Jack

    11. Apr, 2016

    What if you already have an account for a lot of bookies? You won’t be able to get the free bets

    Reply
    • Rick

      12. Apr, 2016

      You should be looking to complete as much of our sign-up table above as possible. You can subscribe to our mailing list above for more free bets (i.e. those for existing customers with bookmaker accounts)

      Reply
  24. Hugo

    10. Apr, 2016

    I am having some trouble with this. Can someone please help?

    Here is what I have done so far:

    Back bet – Leicester City vs Sunderland

    Paddypower – I bet £10 that Leicester City will win (odds of 2.25)

    Betfair – I placed a lay bet that Leicester City would not win (odds of 2.30) Liability amount = £12.88.

    Result = Sunderland 0-2 Leicester City

    Paddypower total return – £22.50 plus £10 free bet NOT £30 free bet like the guide says.

    Free bet – Deportivo La Coruna v Las Palmas (tommorow – 11/04/16)

    Paddypower – I used my £10 free bet to bet that it would be a draw (odds of 3.25)

    But according to the guide I should have had a £30 free bet!!

    Why is this?

    Will it still work?

    Should I bet another £20 from my remaining balance to bring it up to £30?

    Thank you

    P.S. None of this is showing up on my online bank account. Why?

    Reply
    • Rick

      12. Apr, 2016

      No don’t bet from your Paddy Power balance. You should have three separate free £10 bet tokens.

      Reply
  25. Matt Newman

    09. Apr, 2016

    Hi,
    I’m looking to follow this guide for the first time using PP and Betfair. My question is, if my back bet (Free Bet) wins on PP, but the winnings are less than £30, how can I cash out? Looking at the cash out rules, it says you need to have won more then the original free bet amount before a withdrawal is allowed?

    Reply
    • Rick

      12. Apr, 2016

      Where does it say that?

      Reply
  26. Davey

    08. Apr, 2016

    “Promo code not valid”
    F20 code for WilliamHill apparently doesn’t work.

    Reply
    • Davey

      11. Apr, 2016

      Ignore that.
      It was one of those days where loads of the bookies didn’t have their welcome promotions up (e.g. WilliamHill, SkyBet, etc). Waited a few days and they were back up.

      Reply
  27. James

    06. Apr, 2016

    William Hill on the Automatcher will only ever give you the qualifying routine. When I put in the free bet option it does not work, it just reverts back to the qualifying bet.

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      06. Apr, 2016

      Working for us this end. I would suggest trying another browser and making sure you aren’t using any ad-blocking software.

      Reply
  28. dom

    05. Apr, 2016

    I ve already placed 5 bets and it seems to work pretty well 🙂
    But I was thinking:
    What if, after the qualifying bet, (so in the free bet step) in the Back bet i increase the stake?
    Let s say Betvictor gives me 25£ bonus.If instead of betting 25£ i bet 50£ ( basically 25£ comes straight from my pocket),
    am I going to increase the profit too?
    Of course the SNR is 25£

    Reply
    • Rick

      06. Apr, 2016

      No if you bet more (and presumably lay more) then your profit can’t increase as the value is in the free bet – or in this case bonus. If anything your profit will be slightly less as you’ll have a slightly larger qualifying loss.

      Reply
  29. Jack

    04. Apr, 2016

    Hi,
    With the offers where you have to roll through a certain amount will you always have to do this or can you hope the lay bet wins and then you can stop? If not what happens if the back bet loses, and is it likely that you’ll need to put in a lot of money before you can withdraw any winnings?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rick

      05. Apr, 2016

      If enough of your lay bets win so that you’ve got no money in the bookmaker balance then you can stop as most of the money should be in the exchange account.

      If the back bet wins you’ll need to keep betting until either you’ve completed the rollover requirements or you’re in a position where all the money is in the exchange as described in the paragraph above.

      Reply
  30. adam

    04. Apr, 2016

    but what happens if your bet doesnt become matched at betfair????

    Reply
    • Rick

      04. Apr, 2016

      Please refer to our FAQs above.

      Reply
  31. Nick

    04. Apr, 2016

    Hi, this is a great guide, but I’ve struggled with a few basic ideas to matched betting.

    First of all, I just don’t understand the liability. If I’m told I have to have £90 in my Betfair account for liability on my free PP bet, and my Backer’s Stake is only £30, how am I liable to lose all of the £90? Does it mean that if I lose on my Betfair I’ll lose the Backer’s Stake AND they’ll deduct extra from my account?

    Also, if I win on my back bet, does that mean that what I get back is equal to, or greater than, the liability? I’m nervous about putting my free bets on because you’ve said that they don’t get returned to you, so if I have a £90 liability in my betfair account and my back bet wins, but I don’t get the £30 cash out from my original £30 free bet, only the profit on the bet itself, then I’ve lost a serious amount of money.

    Can you help me?

    Reply
    • Rick

      04. Apr, 2016

      I think you may be misunderstanding how a lay bet works. Your backer’s stake is how much you stand to win if your lay bets wins. Your liability is how much you stand to lose if your lay bet loses.

      If you win your back bet (I assume you’re talking about the free bet) then yes the amount you’ll win from those winnings will be more than the amount you’ll stand to lose from the liability of the lay bet on Betfair. And vice versa – this is how matched betting works.

      Yes it’s true the stake isn’t returned on the free bet but that’s missing the point. You shouldn’t be deducting £30 from your profit because of this.

      I advise you play around with a few numbers on the calculator (http://www.savethestudent.org/matched-betting-calculator) so you can see how you’ll profit in other instances.

      Reply
  32. Lily

    04. Apr, 2016

    But why the 94 pounds deposit on betfair? What is the liability attached to this

    Reply
    • Rick

      04. Apr, 2016

      As a lay bet of backer’s stake £24.74 was placed with odds of 4.9, the amount that could have been lost (i.e. the liability) is £96.49. As £3.77 was already in the account, a further £93 or so would have been needed to be deposited to cover this liability.

      £94 was instead deposited because it’s a nice round number. 🙂

      Reply
  33. Jacob

    03. Apr, 2016

    So just to get this straight… There is no shitting way in hell I could lose even 1p?

    Reply
    • Mal

      26. Apr, 2016

      You can not lose anything, unless you make a mistake! I lost a bit at one point as I had apparently forgotten to confirm my lay bet, however that was a mistake by me and not in either the bookies site or the system detailed above. I suggest following the instructions to the letter before “going it alone”.

      Reply
    • Rick

      04. Apr, 2016

      Yes that’s correct.

      Reply
  34. ben

    31. Mar, 2016

    Can you place multiple bets with different bookies at the same time? so for instance i use sky bet, ladbrookes and paddy power all at the same time; using betfair to lay these bets

    Reply
    • Rick

      31. Mar, 2016

      Yup. 🙂

      Reply
  35. Es

    28. Mar, 2016

    Hey, I’m new to all this so forgive me. I followed all your instructions but when it got to me placing my lay bet on Bet exchange it said I had insufficient funds. I did backers odd of 2.2 and backers stake of 9.77 with a liability of 11.72. I deposited 11.72 into the account (as suggested) so had the exact right amount. Have I missed something? I decreased the amount by a penny so the backers stake is now 9.76 with a liability of 11:71 and had no trouble with that. Is this still right? Also at what point can I withdraw my free bet? As soon as the match is done? Again, major newbie so sorry if I’m being an idiot! Thanks

    Reply
    • Rick

      29. Mar, 2016

      Sorry but I’ll need more information in order to help you: which bookmaker was this and what lay odds were offered? Looks OK from first glances…although note you can’t really withdraw your ‘free bet’, only the potential winnings generated from it. But generally you should be good to withdraw your money as soon as the bet has settled (subject to no rollover requirements).

      Reply
  36. Stuart

    26. Mar, 2016

    I used this method with Paddy Power and ended up with around £20 profit. I then went to try it with Betway using the method below:

    Qualifying Bet
    Netherlands v France
    Draw Back – 3.4 – £30 stake
    Draw Lay – 3.45 – £30 – Liability £73.50
    Expected lose – £1.50
    France won so I received £30 from Betfair

    Free Bet
    Tranmere V Lincoln
    Tranmere Back – 1.9 £30 Free Bet
    Tranmere Lay – 1.96 – £29.98 Lay – Liability £28.78
    Expected Profit – £28.35 with 5% commission
    Tranmere won so I received £27.27 back from Betway

    When I add it up I get a lose of £3.28, could you look and see what I have done wrong and explain what I’ve done please?

    Reply
    • Rick

      29. Mar, 2016

      I think you forgot to select the ‘free bet’ part on our calculator (i.e. you left it on qualifying bet). From my calculations you should’ve laid off £14.14 rather than £29.98. I suppose there’s not much you can do now, but for future reference keep in mind you want to use your free bet on something with as high as odds as you can find (ideally above 4) to maximise the profit you’ll be getting from the free bet.

      Reply
  37. Jon

    26. Mar, 2016

    I’ve used matched betting for a few weeks now and have made some money off a handful of introductory offers. Has been straightforward enough, but I seem to have overlooked something a few days ago.
    I made a qualifying bet with Betway (Poland v. Serbia – backed Poland to win) and covered it with Betfair. Poland won and I took my winnings from my Betway account. This gave me my £30 free bet from Betway.
    I then backed a draw for the Italy v. Spain game (backing odds 3.10) with my free bet and covered it with Betfair (lay odds 3.30). The game ended in a draw and I won on my Betway account again.
    This is the part that confuses me – my total winnings from Betway are virtually the same as my losses from Betfair (i.e. I’m not ~£30 up as expected). I’m not really sure why this has happened.
    Any ideas as to why this might be the case? And has this happened to anyone else?

    p.s. Big thanks for making this page, it’s massively helpful.

    Reply
    • Rick

      29. Mar, 2016

      How much did you lay off? I suspect you may have laid off the wrong amount by forgetting to click on ‘free bet’ on our calculator for your free bet (i.e. you left it on qualifying bet).

      Reply
  38. JC

    21. Mar, 2016

    I thought this is all very interesting. I have never gamble or bet on anything. I tried to register an account with Betfair. They wouldn’t accept my application so I contacted them on livechat. I received an email shortly afterwards that they have declined my application and it is a non negotiable decision. I have good credit rating and apart from mortgage, do not have any loans.

    Has anyone experience that problem before? I would appreciate some help.

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      22. Mar, 2016

      Did they confirm why they denied your application? Are you in the UK?

      Reply
  39. Matthew

    21. Mar, 2016

    Hi,

    what happens if you place the free bets on the same match as you bet on to qualify for the free bet?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rick

      21. Mar, 2016

      Nothing, but remember to use the qualifying bet calculator for your qualifying bet and then the free bet calculator for the free bet.

      It’s also worth noting that some bookmakers won’t credit you with the free bet until after the qualifying bet has settled – so make sure you read the terms!

      Reply
  40. Josh

    21. Mar, 2016

    I’m confused, I think something messed up. I put £10 on West Brom v Norwich – Draw @ 3.25 and Lay £10 @ 3.35.

    The match was not a draw, so I lost the PP bet and won the BF bet.

    I now have my free bet placed on Italy v Spain – Draw @ 3.20 and Lay £20.30 @ 3.30.

    Have I messed up somewhere, because by my calculation, I’ve put in £47.21; if I win the PP bet I’m up £48.79 but if I win the BF bet I’m down £6.61

    Reply
    • Rick

      21. Mar, 2016

      What was your total free bet stake with Paddy Power?

      As far as I can tell if you put £30 worth of free bets with PP @ 3.2, and laid £20.30 at 3.3, then you should win £66 with them and lose only £46.71 with Betfair (meaning you’d still be up £19.29). And if the PP bet lost then you’d win your lay bet with the exchange which should be again £19.29 after commission.

      Not sure where you got the £47.21 and £6.61 from but looks like you’ve done the right thing.

      Reply
      • Josh

        21. Mar, 2016

        Hi Rick,

        My apologies, I was getting mixed up with the liability. I see that I am going to make a profit, thank you.

        Reply
  41. sean

    20. Mar, 2016

    hello
    I am a bit confused. After messing about with the Ireland v Switzerland game odds surely you can guarantee profit without the use of the free bet anyway? A bet of £100 on the draw on Paddypower returns £320. A lay bet on Betfair of £130 has a liability of £292.50. Surely this means that no matter what money is guaranteed? If the PP bet wins you get £320-£292.50 = £27.50 and if the Betfair wins you’d get £130 – £100 = £30.
    Is it this simple or have I overlooked something?
    Thank you for the help

    Reply
    • Rick

      21. Mar, 2016

      The paddy power bet *returns* £320? As far as I’m aware this means that you’ll get £320 back if your bet wins (including stake) – i.e. you’ll only profit £220.

      So if the match ends in a draw you stand to lose £292.50 on Betfair but will win £220 on PP – meaning you’ll lose £72.50 in total.

      Reply
  42. AL

    20. Mar, 2016

    How do the calculations work for the Lay stake, Lay risk and calculated loss? Because if the stakes change while I am betting and I end up laying a different stake, I want to know what the new estimated loss is.

    Reply
  43. Lee

    19. Mar, 2016

    Hi, I’m new to this so. I have registered with betfair and have registered with ladbrokes, I am depositing £50 in ladbrokes as it states in the automatcher tool above, but where do I deposit it in to, its giving me options of “Main wallet, exchanger, or games and lotto…

    Reply
    • Rick

      21. Mar, 2016

      Main wallet. 🙂

      Reply
  44. Aaron V

    18. Mar, 2016

    Hi

    I’m really interested in doing some of the offers with a bigger free but, but that require the amount to be rolled over 4+ times.

    What would be the easiest way to extract the funds, while losing as little as possible?

    Reply
    • Rick

      21. Mar, 2016

      Make sure you find as close as match as you possibly can to ensure the losses made each time you lay your bet is as small as it can be – i.e. you want to the difference between the back and lay odds to be very little.

      Reply
      • Aaron V

        21. Mar, 2016

        Ok thanks, would a quick way to do it, be to try to picks the odds so that the more unlikely bet is placed on the bookmakers, whilst the more likely outcome is placed on bet fair (so as to get the funds into bet fair rather than the bookies)?

        Reply
  45. Fordy

    18. Mar, 2016

    Hi, I am new to matched betting and have read your guide in full. Your automatcher tool suggested I place my £10.00 qualifying bet with Paddy Power on West Brom vs. Norwich this Saturday. I have done this along with signing up and placing my lay bet with Betfair. Do I now need to wait until the West Brom vs. Norwich match has happened before I move to step 2 or should I place my free bets beforehand?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Emma

      20. Mar, 2016

      You can place your free bets whenever you like (before any expiry date they may have) but make sure you’ve got enough to lay them at the exchange as well

      Reply
  46. Aaron

    13. Mar, 2016

    This is a great scheme. However, how do you keep it going long-term? Surely there is a limit to the number of bookies available to provide free bets on sign-up. Once you’ve signed-up for all of them, how do you find your free stakes?

    Reply
    • Rick

      14. Mar, 2016

      You can use a similar matching strategy for promotions bookmakers regularly offer to their existing customers – you can sign-up to our mailing list for more information about this.

      Reply
  47. Dan Atherton

    13. Mar, 2016

    Hi there! Are there any other companies you can use instead of Betfair?

    Reply
    • Rick

      14. Mar, 2016

      Yes; Smarkets (highly recommended), Matchbook and BETDAQ are some other betting exchanges you could also look at.

      Reply
  48. Aaron

    12. Mar, 2016

    Hi

    I’ve read the whole article, but I had one question with regards to the second bet (using the free bet).

    In the article, you picked two close bets (5.0 & 4.9). Surely to maximise the profits, would it not better, at this stage, to increase the gap between the bets?

    For example, you have a free bet of £20.
    You place the free £20 on a back bet of 7.0 and a lay bet of 3.0 (which requires a £40.27 bet).
    Potential profit here would be £39.46

    If the back bet was 3.1 instead of 7.0, and the lay bet remained the same, the potential profit would only be £13.81

    Is this correct, or am I overlooking something?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Rick

      14. Mar, 2016

      You can’t just ‘pick’ how big the gap is between the back and lay odds. You’re correct theoretically, but in practice you’d rarely find a better match than a 5.0 back and a 4.9 lay.

      Reply
  49. stephen

    12. Mar, 2016

    So ideally you wan to “lose” the free back bet at the bookmakers to avoid rollover conditions, time consuming and will dwindle down the winnings? and win the lay bet at the bet exchange.
    so could you use this for in-game betting? such as somebody losing 2-0 at half time, back them to win and put the lay bet on (unlucky for a comeback) or do the odds not work out that well in this scenario?

    cheers,

    Reply
    • Rick

      14. Mar, 2016

      At half-time it could be a possibility, but it really does depend on the odds offered. Keep in mind you’ll probably need a large bank roll in order to place your lay bet for this.

      Reply
  50. Jason

    08. Mar, 2016

    Hi.
    So i have to have some money in my bank account to start with. To place betts?

    Reply
    • Jamie

      08. Mar, 2016

      Yes. You need to have enough money in your betting account to first get the free bet, and also to cover the liability, but it will be made back using the system. The calculator tells you the exact amount you need so its pretty simple.

      Reply
    • Rick

      08. Mar, 2016

      Yes.

      Reply
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