In this guide, I’ll walk you through making another £23 profit, this time from Sky Bet’s sign up offer. I recommend taking your time and completing this guide at your own pace. So, if you’re ready, let’s get going…
1. Open a Betfair account
Before placing any bets, you’ll need to open a betting exchange account. If you already have your Betfair account set up, you can skip ahead to the next step. I’ll use Betfair in this guide as I think they’re the best option for newbies. They’re the largest betting exchange, which makes it easier to match bets with other users.
Matched Betting Blog receives a small commission when you sign up to Betfair via the link above. It helps support the site and keeps it free for everyone to learn matched betting.
Sign up to Betfair using the link above, and you’ll pay just 2% commission on winning lay bets instead of their standard rate of 5%.
2. Open a Sky Bet account
Sky Bet are offering new customers £30 in free bets when you place a bet of 5p.
There are bigger welcome offers elsewhere, but I always recommend starting small and working your way up. Once you’ve completed your first couple of offers, you’ll feel more confident and have a bigger bankroll for completing the larger offers.
3. Switch to decimal odds
Betting exchanges use decimal odds by default, so it makes sense to switch to decimal odds at Sky Bet, too. You’ll be able to compare odds a lot easier that way. You can learn more about decimal odds in my Betting Odds Explained guide.
You can usually switch to decimal odds at the top of the page, in the sidebar, or in your account settings.
4. Qualifying bet
Now you have your accounts set up, you can claim your offer! The bet you’ll place to qualify for your free bets is your ‘qualifying bet’.
The key terms of your Sky Bet sign up offer state that you can place your qualifying bet on any Sky Bet market, and there are no minimum odds required. It’s important to check the terms of each offer, as there may be specific requirements you need to meet.
You should place your bets on popular events that regular people will be betting on. This will make it easier for you to match your bets. Football matches are usually the best option.
Qualifying bets should always be placed at low odds. You should also look for close odds between your back bet at the bookmaker (Sky Bet) and your lay bet at the betting exchange (Betfair).
Doing both enables you to claim your free bet by losing just a few pence overall. If you need to go in-depth on qualifying bets, please see my ‘Qualifying Bets Guide‘.
Place your back bet
At the time of writing, I’ve found odds of 2.00 for Juventus to beat Napoli at Sky Bet. This is your back bet. On Betfair (your betting exchange), you can lay Juventus at odds of 2.10. (Remember, ‘laying‘ means you’re taking the role of bookmaker and therefore betting on Juventus NOT to win).
So, your outcomes will be covered as below.
You can now place your qualifying bet at Sky Bet. Although the minimum stake required is just 5p, you should stake £5 to appear like a regular customer.
Simply click the ‘2.00’ button for ‘Juventus’, enter your stake of £5 and click ‘Place £5.00 Bet’.
Place your lay bet
You need to know how much to stake at Betfair to even out your bets. This is where my Matched Betting Calculator comes in!
You simply select the ‘Qualifying Bet’ setting and input the stake and odds from your back bet, plus the odds of your lay bet. The calculator will then tell you how much you need to stake at Betfair to be as close to breaking even as possible. Based on my Juventus example, that is a stake of £4.88, resulting in a small overall loss of 37 pence. You can see the calculator populated with my numbers below.
In my example, I’ve entered ‘Lay commission’ of 5%, which is Betfair’s default rate.
Now, you can place your lay bet. Click on the ‘2.1’ lay button at Betfair and enter your stake of £4.88.
It tells you that your liability is £5.37, and it’s good practice to check this figure against the expected betting exchange loss on the calculator. As you can see, they’re both the same but for a penny (due to rounding), so you know you have entered the correct lay stake.
You’ll need to deposit enough funds into your Betfair account to cover your £5.37 liability as this is the amount you stand to lose if Juventus win. Don’t worry, though. Your winnings at Sky Bet will cover this, but for a few pence.
Your Betfair screen should now update to display your potential profit or loss for each possible outcome.
Let’s look at your overall profit or loss for each outcome.
As you can see, regardless of whether Juventus win, lose or draw, you’ll incur a small loss of £0.37. This loss is worth it, as you’ve just qualified for £30 in free bets!
5. Using your free bets
Nice work! You’ve just completed your second qualifying bet!
Now, you could just place your free bets on anything you like and see if they win or lose, but you’d be relying on luck! With matched betting, you want to know for sure that you’ll make a profit from those free bets. How do you do that? You simply repeat the process you’ve just done.
Sky Bet will credit your account with 3 x £10 free bets. Again, check the free bet terms for any specific requirements.
As with most free bets, your Sky Bet free bets are ‘stake not returned‘. Your £10 stakes will not be returned to you with any winnings. You only get back what would have been your profit on a regular bet. It’s also worth noting that the free bets do not have an expiry period.
The only real difference in the process this time is that your free bets should be placed at high odds to maximise your profit. As always, the closer the back and lay odds, the better. If you need to go in-depth on free bets, please see my ‘Free Bets Guide‘.
Place your back bet
When writing this guide, the following odds are available for a Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
The odds on Aston Villa to win are pretty high, and back odds of 7.50 and lay odds of 7.80 are nice and close.
You can go ahead and place your 3 x £10 free bets at Sky Bet. You can select them by tapping the ‘present’ icon on your bet slip.
Place your lay bet
Again, you need to calculate your lay stake at Betfair. This time on my Matched Betting Calculator, you simply select the ‘Free Bet’ setting and input your odds and total stake. You can leave the ‘Stake returned’ box unchecked as your free bet stakes are not returned for this offer.
As you can see, the calculator tells you that your lay stake should be £25.16. So, as before, you click on the ‘7.8’ lay button at Betfair and enter your stake of £25.16.
It tells you that your liability on this bet is £171.09. It’s good practice to check this figure against the expected betting exchange loss on the calculator. As you can see, they’re both the same but for a penny (due to rounding), so you know you have entered the correct lay stake.
If you feel the liability is too high or you’re starting with limited funds, you can simply place the three free bets separately, waiting for each one to settle before placing the next. It’ll take a little longer to work through them, but it should reduce your liability to around £60 per bet.
If you’re happy to place all three free bets at once, you’ll need to deposit enough funds into your Betfair account to cover your £171.09 liability, as this is the amount you stand to lose at Betfair if Aston Villa win. Don’t worry, though. Your winnings at Sky Bet will more than cover it. Once done, just as before, you’ll see your potential profit or loss at Betfair for each possible outcome.
Let’s look at your overall profit for the possible outcomes.
So, regardless of whether Aston Villa win, lose or draw, you’ll make a minimum of £23.90 cash from your £30 in free bets! Given that your qualifying loss was just £0.37, you’ve made at least £23.53 profit overall from Sky Bet’s welcome offer.
Learn matched betting the free, easy way.
The Matched Betting Academy
- Logically structured to tackle strategies and offers as you’re ready for them.
- Bag profits every step of the way. About £650 from welcome offers, and another £500 monthly.
- Make £15 from your very first offer.