Matched Betting Process Explained In More Detail

Matched betting allows you to make risk free money from bookmaker free bets. However, you must be diligent in following the process and there are 10 steps that allow you to profit from free bets with no risk.

10 Steps To Matched Betting Heaven

  1. Open an online betting account with a bookmaker offering free bets to new customers.
  2. Make an initial deposit that must be at or more than a specified minimum.
  3. Identify a qualifying back bet.
  4. Identify a qualifying lay bet.
  5. Place the back and lay bets with a fixed odds bookmaker and on a betting exchange.
  6. Receive any returns and the free bet into your account.
  7. Identify an appropriate back bet.
  8. Identify and appropriate lay bet.
  9. Calculate the stakes and place the back and lay bets.
  10. Make a risk free profit based on the outcome of the events.

In following this process it’s important and indeed vital to understand the difference between a back and lay bet. The thinking behind the matched betting process is to back an outcome, lay the same outcome with a different operator and still win regardless of the outcome because you have qualified for the free bet. However, timing and following the 10 step process is required otherwise the matched betting process could go wrong and that could be costly.

On the previous page we explain how calculators work. The calculation will point you in the right direction with regards staking and the odds. The idea is for the lay bet to cover the back bet at the start of the process which free ups the free bet. A similar calculation is required to determine how you use the free back bet and the lay bet that must be placed for the process to work. The calculation can be done manually but its best to use a calculator to work out the optimum stake and odds.

Matched betting has been in the public domain for a number of years. Some clever operators latched on to the fact that you could use a betting exchange to place counter bets which release the power of the free bet. Intrinsic to matched betting is the facility to play the role of the bookmaker by accepting or laying bets. The other side of the equation is required to make the back bet useful in earning the free bet when you open a new online betting account.

For every winning back bet there is a losing lay bet and for every losing back bet there is a winning lay bet. Its two sides of the same coin but with the added element of the free bet which can compensate for any losses. Both types of bet must be placed in a timely manner at carefully calculated odds and stake. If you diverge from the process the risk free profits are not guaranteed. An understanding of back and lay bets is required and now we describe how both types of bet work.

Back Bets

Traditional bookmaking is based on customers placing bets on something to happen. The process is to back a horse to win a race or a football team to win a match. The profit is based on the stake and odds and if the projection is correct the bookmaker returns the stake and the profit. There is a simple relationship between the stake and odds which means a winning bet of £10 at 2/1 returns £30 made up of the stake and profit. If the outcome does not happen the stake is lost. Bookmakers accept back bets and make money based on the difference between the stake and return.

At the time of writing Aston Villa Football Club were playing Middlesbrough Football Club in the Championship playoffs and here is a back bet on Villa:

If Villa beat Middlesbrough the return is £30 but if the match is drawn or Middlesbrough win the back bet is lost. Free bets can be used for back bets but any returns do not include the free bet stake. The bettor has not risked the stake so the bookmakers withhold it when calculating the return. However, a careful combination of a back bet and lay bet means there are some risk free profits to be earned. The traditional back bet is the first part of that process. You can’t place the lay bet without the back bet and both elements of the matched betting process are equally as important.

Lay Bets

The arrival of betting exchanges at the start of the century gave rise to the lay bet. Customers can play the role of the bookmaker from taking bets at a mutually agreeable price. The lay bet is on something not to happen but the loss is based on the relationship between the stake and the odds. If you accept a bet for £10 at 2/1 and the customer’s projection takes place you return £30 which consists of the stake and the return. If the projected outcome does not take place the stake is retained. Betting exchanges make money from commission on winning bets.

Here is the lay bet on Aston Villa to win the match against Middlesbrough which counters the previous back bet:

If Villa beat Middlesbrough the lay bet is lost and the backer wins £20. Free bets cannot be used for lay bets or to cash out bets with a traditional bookmaker. Stakes are returned with winning lay bets as there has is a risk of losing the bet. Usually the lay odds are slightly bigger than the back odds so there will be a small loss whatever the outcome of the qualifying back and lay odds. You can’t place the back bet without the counter lay bet and both types of bets must be placed as part of the matched betting process. The two types of bets are related and one requires the other to ensure risk free profit from new customer free bets.

Spreadsheets And Matched Betting

Calculators can be used to work out the staking for qualifying and free bets but simple spreadsheets can be created to do the same thing. Matched betting involves placing qualifying back and lay bets, use of the resulting free bet and placing the counter lay bet. The spreadsheets are similar except for the calculation of the lay profit because the free bet stake does not have to be subtracted. The two spreadsheets are based on stakes not returned with the free bet.

Here are the two calculations made using your own spreadsheet and not by purchasing a matched betting calculator:

Qualifying Bet

The purpose of the spreadsheet is to enter the back stake and odds and lay stake, odds and commission so that the LOSS is as close to the same amount as possible regardless of the outcome. In this example the result of the selection winning is a loss of £3.87 and the result of the selection losing is a loss of £3.89.

Free Bet

Bookmaker

The purpose of the spreadsheet is to enter the back stake and odds and lay stake, odds and commission so that the PROFIT is as close to the same amount as possible regardless of the outcome. In this example the result of the selection winning is a profit of £38.24 and the result of the selection losing is a profit of £38.26

Hence, two relatively simple spreadsheets can be created to calculate the loss from the qualifying back and lay bet and the profit from the free back bet and counter lay bet.

Qualifying Bet
Bookmaker
Back Stake 50.00 Back Stake ENTER
Back Odds 5.00 Back Odds ENTER
Profit 200.00 Calculation Back Stake x Back Odds (- Back Stake)
Exchange
Lay Stake 48.54 Lay Stake ENTER
Lay Odds 5.2 Lay Odds ENTER
Liability 203.87 Calculation Lay Stake x Lay Odds (- Lay Stake)
Commission 5 Commission Rate ENTER
Profit 46.11 Calculation Lay Stake – Commission
Outcome
Wins -3.87 Calculation Back Profit – Lay Loss
Loses -3.89 Calculation Back Loss – Lay Profit
ENTER
Calculation
Free Bet
Bookmaker
Back Stake 50.00 Back Stake ENTER
Back Odds 7.00 Back Odds ENTER
Profit 300.00 Calculation Back Stake x Back Odds (- Back Stake)
Exchange
Lay Stake 40.27 Lay Stake ENTER
Lay Odds 7.5 Lay Odds ENTER
Liability 261.76 Calculation Lay Stake x Lay Odds (- Lay Stake)
Commission 5 Commission ENTER
Profit 38.26 Calculation Lay Stake – Commission
Outcome
Wins 38.25 Calculation Back Profit – Lay Loss
Loses 38.26 Calculation Back Loss – Lay Profit
ENTER
Calculation