Spreadsheets and Calculators
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Although the calculations for matched betting are not particularly difficult, unless you are very good at mental maths you are going to need a calculator or spreadsheet to work out how much to lay at the exchange. This is partly due to the presence of commission in the calculation.
There are various calculators and spreadsheets available to do the job – ones that I would recommend are the BetClub-Calculator, the calculator in the Oddsmatcher and the matcher spreadsheet. We have a comprehensive library of spreadsheets covering most situations you are likely to meet involving free bets in the Spreadsheet Library.
To access the calculator in Oddsmatcher, click on the blue i symbol then click the link to the calculator at the bottom. Instructions for using this calculator can be found in this article.
The Oddsmatcher Calculator
This calculator can be accessed directly from oddsmatcher by pressing “go” next to the match you want to look at, in which case it will appear with the numbers already filled in. You need to select qualifier, stake returned or stake not returned in order to get the correct result. The screenshots below show the results at the same odds for a qualifier (top) and stake not returned free bet:
Note that the values of the lay stake are completely different for the 2 types of bet so it is very important that you remember to select the bet type correctly before you start. Remember that you also need to check that the odds at the bookie and exchange are the same as the ones displayed on Oddsmatcher. Feeds can be delayed or just plain wrong – never, ever assume that the odds are correct just because Oddsmatcher says so. You can change the values in the calculator if necessary.
Alternatively you can download a webfile of the same calculator from the link above – this will open as a web page in your default browser, and you will need to enter the odds and stake for the bet you are placing. I would tend to prefer to do this because it would make you check and remove one possible source of error.
The matcher spreadsheet
As with most of the numerous other spreadsheets in our spreadsheet library, all of which have been written for specific types of offers, matcher requires you to have excel or Openoffice on your computer. Openoffice will work with any operating system and is free, excel requires windows and costs money, but you might already have it.
I prefer matcher to the Oddsmatcher calculator, partly because I am used to using it and partly because it is less cluttered. It is also much easier to check that you have told it that the bet is SNR on matcher than it is on the Oddsmatcher calculator. This screenshot shows the input for the same bet as the above example for a qualifier or SR free bet:
The only difference in input for a SNR free bet is an entry in the “Stake forfeit” box:
One thing to note about matcher is that unlike the Oddsmatcher calculator, if you are using it for qualifiers it includes the bet stake in the back return and in the profit figures, so you have to remember to subtract these. The bet in the first screenshot would show a profit of £23.85 if this was a SR free bet but a loss of £1.15 if it was a qualifier. I find I can easily cope with this.
For both of these calculators the default commission rate is set at 5%, which is the starting rate at Betfair and Betdaq. If you are betting with a different commission rate I find it helpful to save a copy of matcher with the current rate in it as it is easy to forget to change it and then the calculations will be slightly wrong.
One other point about matcher, and other excel spreadsheets – unless the writer has carefully write protected all the cells with calculations in, it is possible to overwrite these. I therefore strongly advise you to save a copy on your computer when you first download it, and then always discard the one you have been using when you close it. Matcher will stop working properly if you type over the lay stake for example, and it is amazingly easy to do this by mistake.
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