Matched betting is a simple process of matching back bets with lay bets.
By covering all outcomes, we can qualify for free bets and bonuses for next to nothing. We can then use the same strategy to extract a cash profit.
Step 1: Open an exchange account
Before we can match any bets, we’re going to need a betting exchange account.
I’ll be using Betfair in this guide as I think they’re the best option for matched betting newbies.
They’re also offering new customers 0% commission up to £500.00 for the first 30 days, which is a pretty good offer to get us started…
Step 2: Open a Coral account
My advice for all matched betting newbies is to start with the smaller welcome offers and work our way up.
Coral are offering new customers £20.00 in free bets if we bet just £5.00. It’s a great welcome offer to get us started as we only need a bankroll of around £50.00.
Step 3: Change to decimal odds
Traditionally, bookmakers display their odds as fractions, but we’ll need to change them to decimals.
Decimal odds are much easier to compare at a glance, which is essential when looking for close back and lay odds.
Betting exchanges already display their odds as decimals, so we just need to change our odds preference to decimals at the bookmaker.
Step 4: Place our qualifying bet
It’s important to check the terms of an offer before placing any bets as there may be specific requirements we need to meet.
The key terms of the Coral welcome offer are that our qualifying bet can be placed on any sport and must be placed at odds of 1.50 (1/2) or greater.
We should place our bets on popular events that regular punters would be betting on. Football matches are usually the best option.
Qualifying bets should always be placed at low odds in order to minimise our qualifying losses. It’s also important, as with any matched bet, that we look for close back and lay odds.
At the time of writing this guide, the following odds were available for a Premier League match between Watford and Man Utd…
Placing our qualifying bet on Man Utd at back odds of ‘1.80‘, satisfies the minimum odds requirement of 1.50 or greater and the lay odds of 1.86 are nice and close.
In order to qualify for the £20.00 in free bets, we need to bet £5.00 on Man Utd at Coral. To do this, we simply click on the ‘1.80‘ button underneath Man Utd, enter our stake of £5.00 and click ‘Place Bet.’
All we need to do now is work out our Betfair lay stake using the ‘Qualifying Bet‘ setting on my matched betting calculator.
We’ll use Betfair’s standard commission rate of 5% in the calculator, but if you’ve signed up for 0% commission, you can simply amend the ‘Lay commission‘ field…
As you can see, after entering the figures, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £4.97…
…So, we simply click on the 1.86 lay button at Betfair and enter our stake of £4.97.
It tells us that our liability on this bet is £4.27 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, so we know we have entered the correct lay stake.
We’ll need to deposit enough funds into our Betfair account to cover our £4.27 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 cover it, but for a small loss.
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…
|Man Utd win||+£4.00||-£4.27||£0.27 loss|
|Man Utd lose or draw||-£5.00||+£4.72||£0.28 loss|
Step 5: Extract our profit from the free bets
Our £20.00 in free bets (4 x £5.00) should be credited as soon as we place our qualifying bet. 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. The free bets will be valid for 7 days.
The process of extracting profit from a free bet is pretty much the same as the qualifying bet we have just done.
The only real difference is that free bets should be placed at high odds in order to maximise our profit. As always, the closer the back and lay odds, the better.
At the time of writing this guide, the following odds were available for a Premier League match between Man City and Leicester…
Placing a free bet on Leicester at back odds of ‘8.00‘, satisfies our requirement for high odds and the lay odds of 8.4 are nice and close.
To place a £5.00 free bet on Leicester at Coral, we simply click on the ‘8.00‘ button underneath Leicester, select one of our free bets from the drop-down menu on the betslip and click ‘Place Bet.’
All we need to do now is work out our Betfair lay stake using the ‘Free Bet‘ setting on my matched betting calculator. We can leave the ‘Stake returned’ box unchecked as our free bet stake is not returned…
As you can see, after entering the figures, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £4.19…
…So, we simply click on the 8.4 lay button at Betfair and enter our stake of £4.19.
It tells us that our liability on this bet is £31.01 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 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 £31.01 liability as this is the amount we stand to lose at Betfair if Leicester win. Don’t worry though, our winnings at Coral will more than cover it.
Again, we can see our potential profit or loss at Betfair for the possible outcomes on the left hand side.
Let’s have a look at our overall profit for the possible outcomes…
|Leicester win||+£35.00||-£31.00||£4.00 profit|
|Leicester lose or draw||– Free Bet||+£3.98||£3.98 profit|
So, regardless of whether Leicester win, lose or draw, we’ll extract a minimum of £3.98 cash from our £5.00 free bet. Taking into account our maximum qualifying loss of £0.28 and our remaining 3 x £5.00 free bets, we should be looking at an overall profit of around £15.00 on this Coral welcome offer.
There’s no rush with this, so be sure to take your time. Please feel free to read through these guides again if need be and be sure to work through each step at your own pace.
Matched betting really is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of things.
There’s over £1,000.00 profit to be made from bookmaker’s welcome offers. You’ll find them listed on my New Customer Offers page whenever you’re ready!