What is Matched Betting, is it Free, and How Does It Work

what-is-matched-betting What is Matched betting? I have for some time been considering what are the best and easiest ways to make money online? This isn’t always a difficult thing to answer as most methods either come with a lot of inherent risk or require a huge amount of time and effort in order to get started making a profit. Matched betting is different, as I will explain.

One way is taking advantage of something known as matched betting, a simple enough (once you’ve gotten to grips with it) way of betting that guarantees a profit for you every time.

Matched betting has come a long way to arguably one of the biggest and most popular methods of making money online in this day and age. This is mostly down to the fact that as a method of generating an income, matched betting carries much less risk than most methods and takes up a lot less time.

So what is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a method of making money through betting that allows the punter to take full advantage of bookmakers special offers to secure guaranteed income. This is down to the mathematical nature approach that the method applies. In order to employ matched betting, you need two things.

A special offer from a bookmaker and an account with a betting exchange to lay a bet. Whilst many serious gamblers will be familiar with these terms, I accept that not everybody will be but these aren’t complicated concepts to understand.

The special offer from a bookmaker is the easy part and can be anything from free bets when you sign up with the bookies to free bets on a game or your stake back if your bet loses.

A betting exchange is a specialist website where all of the users can essentially bet against each other with the exchange holding the money until an outcome is decided. Laying a bet is simply betting against an outcome happening. I know that a lot of this will probably sound complicated and rather scary however as you become more and more familiar with matched betting, these terms will be second nature to you.

Reasons to Start Today?

  • Start immediately, today if you wanted.
  • Guaranteed profits.
  • Easy to start.
  • No experience required.
  • All done from home.
  • Regular income.
  • 100% legitimate, and used by thousands of people.

Who can use matched betting?

One of the small downsides to matched betting is that in order to make the most out of the opportunities you ideally need to be a UK resident. This is where the focus of a lot of the websites and services lie and it is mainly down to the fact that there aren’t really many laws that infringe on what bookmakers can offer and how people can choose to gamble.


If you are in the UK however, matched betting is an incredibly simple thing to do and realistically, anybody over the age of 18 (the minimum age for gambling in the UK) can easily start to make a second income through the method.

How does matched betting work?

The best way to explain is probably with an example. Let’s say that there is a football game where Arsenal are to play Chelsea. A bookmaker then runs an offer saying that if your bet loses, then you get your initial stake back. You then bet £10 on Arsenal to win at odds of 2/1.

This means that if they win, you get £30 and if they lose you get your initial £10 bet back. You then go on a betting exchange and lay a bet against Arsenal that means if they win, you have to pay out £20 to the person you made a bet with, but if they lose, you win the bet and make £10. This means that if Arsenal win, you make £10 on your bet with the bookmaker, whilst if they lose, you win £10 from the person you made a bet with on the betting exchange.

This creates win/win situations and there are a lot of people who make a rather substantial income through matched betting however it can become rather time consuming to keep on top of where there are opportunities. I should point out as well that the example above is a hugely simplified example and you will rarely find anything this straightforward.

You should also be aware that sometimes you have to lose bets in order to get your free bets depending on the offers available so you will need to have a small amount of money set aside.

You shouldn’t let this put you off though as the fact is that there is plenty of help available and if you use a reputable service then they do a lot of the hard work for you.

What will I need to start?

Really there are four things that you categorically need in order to profit from matched betting. These are as follows:

  • Accounts with as many bookmakers as you possibly can.
  • An account with a betting exchange.
  • A betting bank.
  • An internet connection.
  • An account with a matched betting service (optional but very highly recommended).


It is important to have as many bookmakers accounts as possible for one simple reason. More accounts mean more offers and more offers means more opportunities to make money through matched betting. There are of course the obvious options available such as high street favourites Betfred, William Hill and Ladbrokes.

What about online bookmakers?

There are also online bookmakers like Paddy Power, Bet365 and Sky Bet as well. The important part when signing up is to look for quantity of bookmakers. You should also look at the terms surrounding sign up offers as some will require you to bet several times over the value of the bonus in order before you can withdraw your money.

There are much fewer betting exchanges than there are bookmakers and because of how they work, you should look for the betting exchange with the most liquidity. The biggest one on the internet (and therefore the most likely to get your bets matched) is Betfair.

They were one of the first betting exchanges starting in 2000 and have continued to maintain their position as a market leader.

How do I get started?

I feel that if you are serious about getting started with matched betting, then the first place to go is to a website that specialises in this service. As I’ve mentioned there are a number of free and paid services and whilst everybody will have their own favourite, the important part is that you are getting guidance on what to look for, which bets to cover etc.

For example one blog that I visit lists bets and offers on the front page that highlight how much profit you can potentially earn and how much is guaranteed.

This takes a lot of the guesswork out of which bets to place and it also tells you which offer a bookmaker is providing, what you need to do and explains how each bet will work. That particular website can get a little complicated however and whilst there are forums offering support, they definitely don’t move as quickly as some of the premium offerings.

As I’ve already touched on, the most important aspect of getting started with matched betting is opening as many accounts with bookmakers as you possibly can.

matched betting basics

A lot of services will even go as far as to recommend opening multiple accounts with the same bookmakers to maximise the number of free bets that you can take advantage of. Whilst this is something that is possibly worth considering, it is also important to keep in mind that this is against the terms of service for all bookmakers and so if you are caught you could jeopardise any winnings that you have made so far.

If you do wish to push ahead with opening multiple accounts then there are some ways around this and I would invite you to carry out your own research as coverage of all the methods could be a 10,000 word article in its own rights.

Needless to say I think that it is worth stating once again that this will be considered a breach of the terms and conditions with any bookmaker.

How much will it cost to get started with matched betting?

Your initial betting bank (which is a pool of money that you use exclusively for betting) doesn’t need to be too large with matched betting. Most services will recommend you start out with around £500 which allows you to maximise the deposits and resultantly, the free bets that you are entitled to.

If you want to sign up to a service then there are additional costs involved. Whilst some are free, the best examples you will generally pay for. Whilst some are very reasonable (Mike Cruickshank’s Profit Maximiser costs £97 plus VAT, a service that I will look at in greater detail below) some of the costs are extortionate. I would also steer well clear of any service that tries to charge you monthly as there is simply no need for this – UNLESS there is something unique about their service, which the rest do not offer!

Why bookmakers don’t like matched betting?

And let’s make this clear, bookmakers DO hate matched betting, and the main reason is it literally costs them endless millions of pounds per year in lost income.

For far too long bookmakers have had it all their own way, and before Betfair made an appearance on the betting scene bookmakers could pretty much do as they pleased – they had it very easy for many, many years, and now that has changed.

The problem they have (which is great for those who match bet) is that bookmakers cannot control Betfair, where you can place a reverse outcome bet, so with all these millions of pounds worth of bonus enticements they give, they are losing money almost every time, because all everyone is doing, is using their enticements to match bet, and make money no matter what the outcome.

Upset Bookmakers

What can bookmakers do about it? Not much really, because by the time they have realised you are using your bookmaker accounts just for the bonuses, most users are easily a few thousand pounds up – many tens of thousands up 🙂

Can anything do this, and make it work?

Whilst anybody can use matched betting successfully I feel like I should say that this isn’t necessarily for everybody. Once you are adept with matched betting and fully understand what you need to do to get free bets, how to use betting exchanges etc. then there is hardly anything to it. If you are coming into matched betting with no prior experience of betting at all, then it can be even more difficult (although a good service such as Mike Cruickshank’s will offer you plenty of support in getting started).

If you plan to go at matched betting without the help of any service then you can expect to put a lot of your time into it, simply because you will have to check each bookmaker every day, see what odds they are offering, what (if any) bonuses there are available and what kind of bets you should look at.

One you have hit your stride and presuming you have a service supporting you, you will only need around 10 minutes to half an hour per day to place all of the relevant bets. When you are getting started you may want to give yourself around twice this time to ensure you are doing everything right.

This means that if you can spare around an hour a day at most and you have a little bit of money put aside to invest, then matched betting is almost definitely for you.

What are the pros and cons?


  • Making easy and guaranteed income from your home computer.
  • All that is required to get started is an internet connection and a small initial investment.
  • There is plenty of money to be made and lots of services offering support if you struggle.
  • Using matched betting doesn’t take up much time at all.


  • You may find making money through betting and gambling immoral.
  • If you are using matched betting a lot throughout the day, then it can sometimes become a little tedious.
  • If you want to get started on your own, then matched betting can be complicated.

Is matched betting worthwhile?

Absolutely. There is plenty of money to be made through matched betting and if you take a look at Mike Cruickshank’s Profit Maximiser (link available later in this review) then you can easily see how much some of his customers have made. It doesn’t take up too much in terms of  time either and once you have got to grips with the concept this only gets easier. With all that in mind, I think that matched betting really is a worthwhile option for those who wants to make money online or from home.


 Conclusion on Using Matched Betting Services

Matched betting is a very interesting field for anybody who wishes to make money from home and one that actually comes with very little in the way of downsides (as I have demonstrated already). This is a way of making money that has been proven successful by thousands of people since it first started.

That having been said, it isn’t without problems. Like I touched upon in the pros and cons list, if you are going to sit there all day betting then you may find that it can become a little repetitive. There is also the fact that you realistically need some help to get started however given the multitude of options available this is a problem easily resolved.

When compared to a lot of other methods of making money online, matched betting is not just more affordable but it comes with much less risk, much more potential to profit than most betting methods and there is plenty of help available. Compare this to other betting methods like tipster services which can have long losing streaks and require costly subscription fees and it quickly becomes apparent how much better matched betting is.

What matched betting Services are Available?

You may also want to join a group online that provide you with the latest matched betting opportunities. There are a number of different groups available that specialise in providing their users with varying amounts of information on what kind of offers bookmakers are offering and which bets are the best ones to place.

Some of these are free whilst others are paid services with the quality of information on offer differing massively depending on whether you are willing to pay or not and if so, how much.

We have reviewed some of the matched betting websites, including Profit Accumulator, which was basically a concept taken from the original Bonus Bagging idea, and then we reviewed Profit Genie, which wasn’t the best, and looked very quickly knocked together with a view to making the website owner a quick profit.

There are a number of different websites that you can visit with a quick search on Google bringing up multiple blogs on the subject, all of which vary massively in terms of quality.

recommended matched betting

Recommended Matched Betting Service?

Arguably the most well known and best quality matched betting service comes from a guy called Mike Cruickshank and is now operational under the Profit Maximiser, our review of Mike’s fantastic service can be seen by clicking our review here.

This initially started out as Bonus Bagging which was a long standing and proven service helped to make a lot of people significantly better off financially since it launched. With time Mike Cruickshank expanded his line up and the type of betting opportunities which are available and now looks at a variety of different approaches to matched betting.

Of course you can try to go it alone with matched betting and try to figure things out for yourself but this isn’t just massively time consuming, it can also lead to rather significant losses and I have seen some people set out, even with the help of a professional service, and ultimately lose money because they weren’t following the betting plans properly.

A lot of money to be made in Matched Betting – Take it whilst it is there!! 🙂



One Comment

  • Norman Hillier says:

    Can find no other way of contacting you. Regarding my subscription to Oddsgod. My account is paid up until 16th Jan when another 54 pounds is required. However I have received nothing for 8/9 days,why is this.

    (Edit, Norman contact the vendor directly please, which is not this website!)

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