As many of you will know I’m primarily a trader but over the last couple of years I’ve made a substantial second income from matched betting. Due to the nature of matched betting (low risk/risk free) it gives you a great opportunity to build up a betting bank without having to go through the normal ups and downs that a gambler faces. I will be laying out the fundamentals of profiting from this type of betting over the next few posts and then start posting a few offers each week to show the profitability.
I imagine that most people reading this will already know what matched betting is, it’s been around for a long time but is becoming more and more prominent lately due to various services out there and the opportunity it gives people to make guaranteed profits from betting.
As a brief introduction for those who aren’t aware, matched betting is the process of matching bets between bookmakers and exchanges like betfair in order to take advantage of the bonuses and promotions that the bookmakers offer. These bonuses often give you great value and by using the exchanges you’re able to lock in guaranteed profits before the event you’ve bet on has even started.
The simplest examples of these are new account bonuses which most of the bigger bookmakers have. Let’s take Ladbrokes for example, they offer a free bet up to £25 for new accounts, all you need to do to qualify is open a new account, deposit and stake £25 and that will be matched with a free bet upon settlement.
The way we would take advantage of this is as follows:
We open the account and then deposit our £25, we now need to place a qualifier (minimum odds of 1.50 are stipulated in the terms and conditions). We want to find an event with as close a price match as possible between Ladbrokes and betfair as this will reduce our costs. At the time of writing I’ve found a horse race with a runner called “Mime dance”, the horse can be backed at Ladbrokes for £25 at 3.5 and it can then be layed on betfair at 3.5 also. We now need to use a matched betting calculator in order to workout what our lay stake needs to be, I’ve included a link below to a free calculator:
If you enter the information into the calculator (£25 stake, back odds 3.5, lay odds 3.5, commission 5%) and click calculate, you should see that we need to place a lay bet on betfair of £25.36 and that will give us a qualifying cost of -£0.91, see below:
We’ve now basically bought a £25 free bet for £0.91, if the horse wins we win our back bet with Ladbrokes but lose our lay bet on betfair, if the horse loses we lose our back bet on ladbrokes but win our lay bet on betfair, either way the overall position will stand at -£0.91.
We now need to place another matched bet to take advantage of the free bet we’ve been given by Ladbrokes. There are different types of free bets but in this case it’s “stake not returned” which as the name suggests means that if the bet wins you only receive the profit, you don’t get the free bet stake back.
In this scenario we want to find a bet at high odds, above 5.0 at least as the higher the odds are the more of the free bet value we can retain. In this case I’ve found a horse that can be backed at Ladbrokes for 7.0 and layed on betfair for 7.2. If we enter all of the information into the calculator again but this time tick the “free bet” option we get the required stake to lock in a profit, please note I’ve had to enter £25 into the “stake forfeited box” since it’s a stake not returned bonus:
The calculator shows us that we need to back the horse for £25 at Ladbrokes (being sure to select the free bet option on the bet slip) and then place a laybet on the same horse on betfair for £20.98 at 7.2. Our profit after commission will be £19.93 and if we take away our qualifying cost of £0.91 our total guaranteed profit for this offer is £19.02. This process is very quick and easy once you understand the mechanics and the profit is locked in before the race is even run with no way of losing.
As I said at the start most people reading this will already know the basics of matched betting but hopefully this example makes it clear to those who are coming across it for the first time. The key to making good money from matched betting is a steady source of these bonuses, it’s easy to make decent profits at the start due to these new account bonuses but once you’ve gone through them all you need to work slightly harder to make the returns from on-going offers that bookmakers put on.
I will show over the next few posts some of the different types of offers that can be done.