What is Matched Betting?

Difficulty: Easy Read time: 3 mins

What is matched betting?

Matched betting is a simple betting technique that enables us to extract cash from free bets and bonuses.

With so many online bookmakers competing for business, they often run promotional offers in the hope of attracting customers.

For example, Coral are currently offering new customers £20.00 in free bets if they sign up and bet just £5.00.

We can use matched betting to make a guaranteed profit.

Does matched betting work?

Matched betting isn’t anything new. It’s actually been around since 2006, but it’s only in recent years that things have taken off in a big way.

As with all good things, it was only a matter of time before word got around and everyone wanted a piece of the matched betting pie.

Google Trend for Matched Betting
Google Trend for ‘Matched Betting’ between 2006 and 2018.


Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have enjoyed being part of the matched betting boom.

It all sounds too good to be true. That’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about it, but matched betting really is just a straightforward process of matching bets and cashing in on the free bets and bonuses.

You can get involved with as little as £50.00 and build up your bankroll as you complete the welcome offers. Once you’ve completed those, you’ll be ready to tackle the reload offers for existing customers.

I always say a monthly profit of £500.00 is achievable for just a few hours work. It’s possible to earn even more, but it depends on your starting bankroll and how much time you’re able to commit.

How does matched betting work?

How does matched betting work?

Matched betting is simply a process of betting on opposite outcomes.

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

A back bet is a bet that something will happen and we can place these at any bookmaker.

A lay bet is a bet that something won’t happen and we can place these at a betting exchange.

So, using the Coral welcome offer as an example, we could bet £5.00 that England will win at Coral and £5.00 that they won’t win at the betting exchange.

We’ve covered all outcomes, meaning we cannot lose and we’ve bagged ourselves £20.00 in free bets. We then simply repeat the process using the free bets to extract a cash profit.

Next Step
What is a Betting Exchange?



  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.

  11. Heather

    I’m from the US but am living in Wales for the next few months. Would it be hard for me to get into matched betting? Not sure if the bookies require you to be an actual citizen or if it’s just a location thing, because I know some of them require documentation to cash out.

    1. Matt

      Hi Heather. As a UK resident, you should be able to open accounts with quite a few bookmakers. You would need a UK bank account to deposit funds into your bookmaker/exchange accounts.

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