Making The Most Of Matched Betting

Latest posts by Man of Mystery (see all)

A list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you not to waste an opportunity you only have once.

This is a guide to help you get the most out of matched betting and the free bets, not a list of rules and regulations. Unlike some sites which deal with this subject, we will not jump down your throat if you mention gambling, indeed some of our members are traders or people who play the percentages in casinos or with value bets. There are plenty of ways of using the bookmakers to your advantage, this post deals with the free bets and risk free “matched betting”.

1. Take your time. This is not a race or a competition. Different people learn at different rates and although matched betting is easy enough when you know how, there is a lot to learn if you are to avoid expensive mistakes. Check the Help and Guides section and read the articles on Matched Betting several times before you risk any money.

2. If in any doubt, ask. We have a forum and a live chat which is manned most of the day and evening, most days. I am always happy to help or answer questions if I can. Don’t suffer in silence or hope things will be ok – we are here to help you and we can check your numbers for your first bets if you are unsure. There is a wealth of information on the site and the chances are high that we can point you to the answer to your question quickly and easily.

3. Use a calculator or spreadsheet. The calculations to work out how much to lay for a particular free bet are not something you can do easily and quickly in your head. Either download an excel spreadsheet (you can use these with openoffice too) or use the oddsmatcher calculator, and make sure you thoroughly understand how to use it – don’t be tempted to guess. It helps to do a little paper trading before you start so that you are familiar with the calculator or spreadsheet you choose and can see what the effects of different odds are on your profits and also your liability at Betfair. You will need enough money in Betfair to cover the liability, not just the lay stake. We have a selection of spreadsheets covering various types of free bet offer in the Spreadsheet Library.

4. Research your bets carefully and do the bookies in a sensible order. We aim to provide you with all the information you need to make good judgements about bookies, and there is no need to risk doing difficult bookies with large wager requirements when you first start. Tailor your betting to your experience and the size of your bank. Remember that you will need to have enough money in your Betfair account to lay your bet, so don’t go for high stakes on big odds unless your bank can cope. Bookies and offers shown in green on the Bookmakers List are the best ones to start with. Keep a list of which you have done and their all-important usernames and passwords. Keep contact details upto date so that they know where to send offers of free bets.

5. Put aside a sum of money as a betting bank. If possible use a separate bank account (see this post), and make sure it is a sum that you can afford to do without. While it is unlikely that you will lose it unless you make a big mistake, it will be tied up and you will be unable to spend it if you are using it for betting. It is possible to start with a bank as small as £50, but you will find things much easier if you can put a few hundred aside to start with. One of the key elements with this process is keeping on top of your cashflow, a win at the bookmakers may leave your betting exchange account feeling light and stop you from moving onto another offer so getting cash out of the bookmaker and back into the exchange is important. The unexpected can happen occasionally, so never bet more than you can afford to lose.

6. Check the Bookie pages and forum for advice on the best deals. Don’t rush into a signup without checking for a code to use or a cashback site to go through to get the most out of that bookie. You are only allowed one account at each, so it is important to research it thoroughly. Signing up with poor free bets can cost you hundreds in wasted opportunities.

7. Keep a record of your bets, bookies and money movements. This will help you track your profits and make the best use of your money. It is surprisingly easy to leave a lump of cash in a bookie you have forgotten to withdraw from. I find it helpful to keep records of different types of transactions separate – I started by lumping together profits from matched betting and arbing, and now find I can’t say how much I earned from each. I keep my trading profits separate, and that is much more useful. You are allowed more than one Betfair account, so if you trade or like a “real” bet it makes sense to keep these separate from your risk free account. Everyone has different methods for keeping records, but a simple spreadsheet that adds up totals for each category is probably easiest.

8. Terms and Conditions. Always check the terms of an offer before you start, and make sure it is actually still there. We try very hard to keep lists up to date and correct, but bookies can change offers and terms without warning so always check yourself. Never place a bet until you feel comfortable with the terms of the offer on display.

9. Have ID ready. Some bookmakers require identification to release funds to you. To speed things up have a scanned copy of your payment card, some photo id i.e. passport / driving licence and a recent bank statement or utility bill available to send. When sending copies via email, it is wise to blank out the few middle digits of your card and the CCV number on the back for safety.

10. Don’t be tempted to skip reading the guides if you are familiar with betting. A knowledge of odds and the way bookies work will help you, but matched betting is quite different from gambling and the methods used can take a while to get to grips with. The concept of cashing out SNR free bets is particularly difficult for many people to grasp straight away.

11. Never assume a bookmaker or offer is safe, regardless of where you found it. Always check for warnings in the alphabetical lists in the Bookie Signups section of the site – there are many bookies listed in there simply to warn you that they are anything from rather dodgy to blatant scams. If you can’t find it in there, ask in the forum or live chat and we will research it for you.

12. This is not a get rich quick scheme. Risk free matched betting is not an instant route to riches, but done carefully and correctly, it will make you steady and consistent profits that will become a valuable secondary tax-free income.

Our AI articles are NOT written by a real person and are provided for entertainment only. They may contain content which is inaccurate but we are hoping our AI bot, Rose, will become better over time. The AI category is the ONLY section of that has zero human input.

In 2021 TradeHost traded 7,937 Betfair UK, IE, US & AU horse racing and greyhound markets.

2022 saw TradeHost become even more profitable with 22,698 Betfair markets traded.

All trades and bets were streamed live on JuiceStorm TV which was was watched by 124,209 traders in 2022.

All results for the 30,635 Betfair markets traded are here and the charts are here.

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