Matched Betting Guide


Difficulty: Medium Read time: 7 mins

Matched betting is the process of matching back bets with lay bets.

By covering all outcomes of an event, we are able to claim free bets and bonuses for little to no loss. We can then use the same strategy to extract a cash profit from those free bets and bonuses.

I’m now going to show you how to make £15.00 guaranteed profit from the Coral welcome offer. My advice is to read through this guide first and then go through each step at your own pace.

Step 1: Open a Betfair Account

We’re going to need a Betfair account to lay our bets.

Betfair make their money by charging us a small fee on our winning bets, so they absolutely love matched bettors!

Betfair Exchange Welcome Offer

Step 2: Open a Coral account

My advice for all matched betting newbies is to start with the smaller welcome offers. Coral have the perfect welcome offer to get us started. If we sign up and bet just £5.00, they’ll give us £20.00 in free bets!

Coral Welcome Offer

The beauty of starting with an offer like this is that we only need a bankroll of around £50.00. Once we’ve completed our first couple of offers, our confidence will build and so too will our bankroll!

Step 3: Change to decimal odds

Traditionally, bookmakers display their odds as fractions, such as 4/5 and 10/1. Betting exchanges on the other hand, display their odds as decimals.

We therefore need to change the bookmaker odds to decimals, so that we can compare them at a glance. It’s much easier to compare 3.75 and 3.80, than it is to compare their fractional equivalents, 11/4 and 14/5.

Changing fractional odds to decimal odds at each bookmaker is really straightforward…

Changing to Decimal Odds

There is usually an option at the top of the homepage or in the sidebar to change our odds preference to decimals. Failing that, this can usually be changed in the settings of our accounts.

Decimal odds always include our stake. For example, if we place a winning £10.00 back bet at odds of 6.00 (5/1), we would get £60.00 back including our £10.00 stake, so £50.00 profit.

Step 4: Find and place our qualifying bet

Once we’ve signed up to Betfair and Coral, we’re ready to place our first matched bet!

We just need to check the terms and conditions of the Coral offer for any specific requirements. The terms state that our qualifying bet can be placed on any sport but must be placed at odds of 1.50 (1/2) or greater.

The following Oddsmatcher tool does all of the hard work for us by comparing the odds and showing us the best options for placing our bet. Qualifying bets should be placed at low odds and the closer the back and lay odds, the better.

Sign up for free to fetch live odds

I’m required to keep the Oddsmatcher behind a log in, so to use it you’ll need to register with my blog. My blog is completely free to use and registering will also enable you to post on the forum.

So, you just need to select one of the top matches from the Oddsmatcher above.

At the time of writing this guide, the Oddsmatcher highlighted the following matches…

Oddsmatcher for Qualifying Bet

It’s best that we select the most popular match for our bet. With that in mind, we should place it on Swansea v Man Utd.

We now just need to open up the correct markets at Coral and Betfair respectively…

Coral Back Odds

Betfair Lay Odds

We know we need to place £5.00 on Man Utd at Coral. All we need to do now is work out our lay stake for the Betfair bet using the ‘Qualifying Bet’ setting on my matched betting calculator

Select bet type

Back Bet (Bookie)

%

Lay Bet (Betting Exchange)

%
Lay stake required: £
Bookie
Exchange
Cashback
Total
If back (bookie) bet wins
£
£
£
= £
If lay (exchange) bet wins
£
£
£
= £

Total profit: £

As you can see, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £5.07…

Man Utd Lay Betslip

…So, we click on the 1.53 lay button at Betfair and enter our lay stake of £5.07.

It tells us that our liability on this bet is £2.69 and it’s good practice to check this figure against the expected liability on the calculator. As you can see, they’re both the same but for a penny (due to rounding), so we know we have entered the correct lay stake.

We’ll need to deposit enough funds into our Betfair account to cover our £2.69 liability as this is the amount we stand to lose at Betfair if Man Utd win. Don’t worry though, our winnings at Coral will cancel it out, but for a small loss.

Man Utd Lay Bet

As you can see, our potential profit or loss at Betfair for the possible outcomes are shown on the left hand side.

Let’s have a look at our overall potential profit/loss for the possible outcomes…

Outcome Coral Betfair Profit/Loss
Man Utd win + £2.50 – £2.69 £0.19 loss
Man Utd lose or draw – £5.00 + £4.81 (£5.07 minus 5% commission) £0.19 loss

So, regardless of whether Man Utd win, lose or draw, we’ll incur a small loss of £0.19. The good news is that we’ve qualified for £20.00 in free bets!

Step 5: Extract our profit from the free bets

We’ll receive our 4 x £5.00 free bets upon placement of our qualifying bet. It’s now time to extract our profit!

Again, it’s important to check the free bet terms for any specific requirements. As with the vast majority of free bets, our Coral free bets are ‘stake not returned’. This means that each £5.00 free bet will not be returned with any winnings. Our Coral free bets will be valid for 4 days.

The process of extracting profit from a free bet is pretty much the same as the qualifying bet we have just done.

Once again, the Oddsmatcher tool does all of the hard work for us by comparing the odds and showing us the best options for placing our free bets. Free bets should be placed at high odds and as always, the closer the back and lay odds, the better.

Sign up for free to fetch live odds

So, you just need to select one of the top matches from the Oddsmatcher above.

At the time of writing this guide, the Oddsmatcher highlighted the following matches…

OddsMatcher for Free Bet

Again, it’s best that we select the most popular match for our free bets. With that in mind, we should place a free bet on Tottenham v West Ham.

We now just need to open up the correct markets at Coral and Betfair respectively…

Coral Back Odds

Betfair Lay Odds

We know we need to place a £5.00 free bet on West Ham at Coral. All we need to do now is work out our lay stake for the Betfair bet using the ‘Free Bet’ setting on my matched betting calculator

Select bet type

Back Bet (Bookie)

%

Lay Bet (Betting Exchange)

%
Lay stake required: £
Bookie
Exchange
Cashback
Total
If back (bookie) bet wins
£
£
£
= £
If lay (exchange) bet wins
£
£
£
= £

Total profit: £

As you can see, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £3.97…

West Ham Lay Betslip

…So, we click on the 7.6 lay button at Betfair and enter our lay stake of £3.97.

It tells us that our liability on this bet is £26.20 and again it’s good practice to check this figure against the expected liability on the calculator. As you can see, they’re both the same, so we know we have entered the correct lay stake.

We’ll need to deposit enough funds into our Betfair account to cover our £26.20 liability as this is the amount we stand to lose at Betfair if West Ham win. Don’t worry though, our winnings at Coral will more than cover it.

West Ham Lay Bet

As you can see, our potential profit or loss at Betfair for the possible outcomes are shown on the left hand side.

Let’s have a look at our overall potential profit/loss for the possible outcomes…

Outcome Coral Betfair Profit/Loss
West Ham win + £30.00 – £26.20 £3.80 profit
West Ham lose or draw – £5.00 free bet + £3.77 (£3.97 minus 5% commission) £3.77 profit

So, regardless of whether West Ham win, lose or draw, we’ll extract a minimum of £3.77 cash from our £5.00 free bet. Once we’ve repeated the process for our remaining 3 x £5.00 free bets and taken into account our £0.19 qualifying loss, we should be looking at an overall profit of around £15.00 on this Coral welcome offer.

There’s over £1,000.00 to be made from bookmaker’s welcome offers and it’s quite straightforward once you get the hang of things.

Give it a go, you’ll be glad you did!

Next Step
Take Advantage of More Welcome Offers

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Comments


  1. Craig

    Can i ask am I missing some logic here. Does the betting always have to be on gains from free bets… Let’s say theoretically. I bet 1000 on arsenal to beat man utd at 2.30 with Ladbrokes. That’s returns of 2300. Profit of 1300 minus the liability. Which is… odds of 2.42 against which is a lay stake of 541.67. And a liability of 769.24. A return of 1310.91. So if Ladbrokes bet comes in. 1300 minus 769.24 is still a profit of 530.76. And if Ladbrokes loses 1310.91 minus 1000 is a profit of 310.91. This all being your own money. Is that correct?

    On smarkets. Betting say against arsenal.. does that mean if arsenal lose or draw your bet wins?

    1. Matt

      You’re misunderstanding the lay bet Craig. When placing a lay bet, you are effectively the bookmaker. If you lay £541.67 at odds of 2.42, your liability will be £769.24. This means someone will place £541.67 on Arsenal and you are offering odds of 2.42. If Arsenal fail to win, you get to keep the backer’s stake of £541.67. If Arsenal win, you need to pay them their winnings of £769.24. So, to summarise, the lay stake is the amount you stand to win and your liability is the amount you stand to lose.

      Yes, if you lay Arsenal, you need them draw or lose to win your bet.

  2. Andy

    Hi Matt
    I really should know this already but I’m just checking! I’m about to take the Unibet risk free first bet up to £30. Am I right in saying to work out my lay stake and liability I calculate this as stake returned? i.e if the bet wins that’s it done, if it loses I’m onto a SNR free bet?

    Thanks
    Andy

    1. Matt

      Have a read of my Risk-Free Bet Strategy page Andy. We can just use the ‘Risk-Free Bet’ setting on the calculator and enter the amount of ‘cashback’ we expect to extract from the free bet refund should our initial bet lose.

  3. Andy R

    Hi Matt just want to say your blog and new roll over bonus guide is the dogs just wondered if you could explain the red 32 100 % profit boost not sure how to extract the profit if you only get boost if your selection wins cheers in advance keep up the great work £££££££

  4. KATARZYNA GEARON

    Thanks Andy.

  5. Neb_Stark

    Hi Matt, love the blog – very clear! I’m new to this, and had a conceptual question. bet365 have a new customer offer where they match your first deposit in ‘bet credits’ up to £100, as long as you place bets up to the value of that deposit.

    Would the best way to extract profit from this offer be to place £100 in bets laid at low odds on the exchange, and then use the £100 credits to place at high odds?

    Cheers.

    1. Matt

      Yes that would be my preference, qualifying bets placed at low odds and then just treat the bet credits the same way as you would free bets.

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