An Introduction to Matched Betting

Difficulty: Easy Read time: 3 mins

What is matched betting?

Matched betting is a simple betting technique that enables us to profit from bookmaker’s offers.

The gambling industry is a competitive marketplace and just like any other business, bookmakers run promotional offers in the hope of attracting new customers.

For example, Coral are currently offering new customers £20.00 in free bets if they first bet £5.00. We can use matched betting to make a guaranteed profit.

How does matched betting work?

There are two types of bet involved in matched betting: back bets and lay bets.

A back bet is where we bet that something will happen, like betting that England will win the World Cup. We can place back bets at any bookmaker.

A lay bet is where we bet that something won’t happen, like betting that England won’t win the World Cup. We can only place lay bets at a betting exchange.

By placing both a back bet and a lay bet on England, we can cover all outcomes.

Qualifying bet graphic showing the back and lay bets cancelling each other out

The two bets cancel each other out, meaning we can earn free bets for next to nothing. We then repeat the process with the free bet to extract our profit.

Do we need any previous betting experience?

Matched betting is available to EVERYONE.

It’s just simple maths, so it really doesn’t matter if you’ve never placed a bet before. You don’t even need to like sport!

If you’re new to betting, the following video will get you started with a short explanation of how betting odds work.

How much can we make from matched betting?

There’s over £1,000.00 profit to be made from bookmaker’s welcome offers.

Welcome offers are just a starting point though. The real earning potential comes in the form of existing customer offers, which are run by bookmakers to keep their customers betting.

If you spend approximately 30 minutes a day doing the offers I post on my blog page, a monthly profit of £500.00+ is very achievable.

My Profit Log lists every offer I have ever posted and will give you an idea of how profits can build up over time.

How much do we need to start matched betting?

You can start with a bankroll as small as £50.00, but ideally you want to start with a little more.

The bigger your starting bankroll, the quicker you can move your cash around and the quicker you’ll be able to build your bankroll up. I always say £500.00 is a nice amount to get started.

It’s perfectly fine to start with less though, you’ll just need to focus on the smaller welcome offers until you’ve built your bankroll up.

3 Steps to Matched Betting

Is matched betting risk-free?

By matching our bets at a betting exchange, we are able to take advantage of bookmaker’s offers and make guaranteed profits.

Learning the matched betting process is not something that should be rushed though, as mistakes can happen. It’s important that you read my guides carefully and fully understand how it works before you deposit and place any bets.

My advice is to start with a couple of the smaller welcome offers and as your confidence builds, you can then move on to the bigger offers.

Tens of thousands of people are already matched betting in the UK and I’m here to help you get involved.

In my next guide, I’ll take you through a fully worked example of how to complete a welcome offer from start to finish!

Next Step
Matched Betting Guide



  1. Steven Taberham

    Wow…. my friends slowly introducing me into this getting me to put bets on while he lays them… i am slowly getting my head around it and look forward to getting confident enough to go alone so all the profit goes to me (not split with my mate lol). I am currently with Ladbrookes, bet365, paddypower, betway, bet victor, corals and william hill. Can you tell me which other sites offer the most free bets/qualifying bets please. Thanks in advance and keep up the great work. SO EXCITED !!!!

    1. Matt

      Hi Steven. It’s great to hear you’re getting to grips with things. Just take your time and your confidence will build with each bet you place. Have a look at my Profit Log as that should give you a good idea of which bookmakers run regular reload offers.

  2. arobbo70

    Really glad I bumped into your site I’ve already made a few quid and really looking forward to getting stuck in to your site for all that free cash your a star best of all it all free information keep up the good work thanks andy

    1. Matt

      Welcome aboard Andy, will do mate!

  3. peter alderton

    Hi Matt,

    WOW what a month found your site and signed up with OddsMonkey, just cleared £550 in month 1 with loads of the sign up offers a few arbs but haven’t tried each way arbing yet but looks a good one as loads of 3rds.

    I love the thrill of it knowing i am going to win more than i lose in a week. I think to maximise matched betting you need a bit float at the exchange, you can easily have several hundred pounds tied up and on a busy Saturday you may have 7 or 8 bets on the go and so need the best part of a grand to play the markets.

    1. Matt

      It’s great to hear you’re enjoying the blog Peter and making money! Each way arbing is an advanced method so my advice would be to continue with the welcome offers and the general offers that I post on the homepage.

      It’s important that you take your time and not rush into things. Once you feel you’re ready you can then move onto the more advanced stuff such as horse racing refunds, each way arbing, extra place offers and acca offers. That’s where we can really ramp up our profits!

  4. Nik

    Hi Matt,
    Firstly, I really love the blog. As a newbie it is very helpful.
    I am keen to start match betting, however I live in South Africa. Will I be able to bet from my country?

    1. Matt

      Thanks Nik, pleased to hear you’re finding it useful.

      Unfortunately, South Africa is on the list of countries prohibited by Smarkets…

      ‘2.2 Persons who are residents of; or persons who are located in countries where betting with Smarkets is prohibited (including, but not necessarily limited to Australia, France, Hong Kong, Switzerland, China, South Africa, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium, Turkey, the United States, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan); cannot register as account holders with Smarkets. United States residents cannot register an account with Smarkets, even if they are located in another jurisdiction. Smarkets may refuse access to its services from any particular jurisdiction at any time.’

      You would therefore need to check the terms of each bookmaker and betting exchange to see if they accept customers from your country of residence.

  5. Lottoboy

    If you spend £50 and lose £50 and get a free £50 bet, how can that be £40 profit? I reckon that’s £10 loss.
    Please explain

    1. Matt

      We don’t lose the £50.00 qualifying bet. The beauty of matching our Ladbrokes bet at the betting exchange is that the two bets cancel each other out, meaning we break even, as shown in the table above.

  6. Lottoboy

    Sorry I don’t understand. Put £50 back bet and £50 lay bet = £100 Get £50 free and then pay lay bets again of £50.
    Where is the profit? Am I missing something?

    1. Matt

      The profit comes from extracting 80% cash from the £50.00 free bet. I think you may be misunderstanding the lay bet. If you continue on to my Betting Exchange Guide, things should become clearer.

  7. Kieran

    I’m from Ireland but living in Spain. Can I do matched betting from there?

    1. Matt

      Hi Kieran. Spain doesn’t appear to be on the list of prohibited countries, so you should be able to get a Smarkets account. It’s then just a case of checking the terms of each bookmaker to see if they accept customers from your country of residence.

  8. Riza Hope

    Awesome read, Matt!! I recently read about match betting and really keen on doing it. I am from the Philippines and would be living in Vietnam for a while and travel around. Do you think I can do match betting from those two countries? Thanks !!

    1. Matt

      Hi Riza. You would need to have a read of the terms for each bookmaker offer to see if you meet their new customer criteria. Some bookmakers don’t accept new customers from certain countries.

  9. Hemant patel

    How do i join 🙂

    1. Matt

      There’s no need to join Hemant, my blog is completely free to use.

  10. Dav

    Is it a waste of the free bets if I start now with around £50 or would it be more profitable if I start with more?

    1. Matt

      £50.00 is enough to get started on the smaller offers Dav. The bigger your bankroll, the easier it is to move your money around, so it depends entirely on your financial situation.

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