Before we attempt our first offer, we’re going to need a betting exchange account.
There are a handful of different betting exchanges we can use, but the two main options are Betfair and Smarkets.
My personal recommendation is that you get yourself a Smarkets account. Their 2% commission rate, compared to the 5% charged by Betfair, makes them the best option when it comes to matched betting. Their award-winning technology makes the site smooth and easy to use and when our first lay bet loses, they’ll refund it up to £10.00 in cash!
We’ll need a Betfair account too for the occasional offer, but if you’re serious about maximising your profits, Smarkets is the way to go.
For six reasons why matched bettors should be laying their bets with Smarkets, please see my Smarkets Review page.
Signing up for a Smarkets account is easy. Just click to sign up and you should see a screen that looks like this…
The Smarkets site is user-friendly and finding your way around is really straightforward.
Smarkets have recently launched a new version of their site, but the old desktop site is still available via the ‘Use old desktop site’ link at the very bottom of the page…
This is the Smarkets homepage which features the top few events that people are betting on and the next few horse races that are due to get underway.
If we’re looking for a particular football match that isn’t featured on the homepage, we can just type one of the teams into the search box and it’ll bring it straight up as a suggestion.
The above screenshot shows the ‘Winner’ market for a Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United.
Markets are basically the things we can bet on for a particular event. Football matches have many other different betting markets, such as ‘Correct Score’, ‘Both Teams to Score’, ‘Half-Time Result’ etc.
As you can see, the market is split into two halves. The three columns on the left represent the available back odds and the three columns on the right represent the available lay odds.
The green boxes show the best available back odds. If we are placing a back bet, we want to place it at the highest possible odds in order to maximise our potential profit.
The blue boxes show the best available lay odds. If we are placing a lay bet, we want to lay it at the lowest possible odds in order to minimise the amount we stand to lose (our liability).
You’ll notice the monetary values underneath the odds, as highlighted below…
These figures basically tell us how much we can stake at the specified odds. This is generally referred to as ‘liquidity’.
Say, for example, we want to place a lay bet on Chelsea at odds of 2.28. The backer’s have already placed bets totalling £357.00 on Chelsea at odds of 2.28. This means we can stake anything up to £357.00 and it will be matched.
If we were to place a lay bet of £100.00 on Chelsea at odds of 2.28, our bet would be matched and the remaining liquidity would be £257.00.
We just need to make sure that there is sufficient liquidity available before placing our lay bets, otherwise all or part of our lay bet will remain unmatched. Don’t worry though, this will soon become second nature.
Placing a back bet at Smarkets is really straightforward.
Say, for example, we want to place a £10.00 back bet on Chelsea to beat Manchester United. The green box alongside Chelsea tells us that we can do so at odds of 2.26. We simply click the green button which will open our betslip, as shown in the above screenshot.
The betslip tells us that if Chelsea win, our returns will be £22.59, inclusive of our stake.
Placing a lay bet at Smarkets is just as easy as placing a back bet.
Say, for example, we want to place a £10.00 lay bet on Chelsea. This means we are betting against them beating Manchester United. The blue box alongside Chelsea tells us that we can do so at odds of 2.28. We simply click the blue button which will open our betslip, as shown in the above screenshot.
The betslip tells us that if Chelsea win, we’ll need to pay the backer their winnings of £12.79. If Chelsea fail to win, we get to keep the backer’s £10.00 stake. This is because the backer’s bet has lost and our lay bet has won.
Again, we should always double check the figures before confirming the bet. Once you’re happy that everything is correct, just hit the ‘Place Bet’ button.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about Smarkets!
I’m now going to take you through a fully worked example in my matched betting guide!