What Is Matched Betting?
Almost everyone has heard of betting (gambling) on sports and events. Millions are spent every day by punters hoping that their favourite football team will win the match and make them a few quid in the process, or the horse that is said to be a sure winner doesn’t finish last. Horse racing, football, tennis, golf, rugby, even the sex of a royal baby or if it will snow at Christmas. These days you can place bets on just about anything you fancy!
But a lot of people are put off by the thought of going into a bookmaker’s and trying to make sense of the various odds available, how much to stake and how much they will win or lose depending on the outcome of the race or match. Others have an image of shifty-looking men sliding wads of bills over the counter then sitting glued to the TV set, muttering to themselves. This image can be enough to put someone off entering a high street bookmaker!
Is There Another Way To Bet?
But now we have that wonderful thing called the internet, betting can be done from the comfort of your own home with a few clicks of a mouse. Even better, there are now betting exchanges such as Betfair, where the ordinary punter can play at being a bookmaker. In other words, bets can be placed on both outcomes of an event, rather than deciding if the horse or team will win or lose. Previously, lay bets could only be placed by the bookmaker, not the punter. But now it’s all changed.
So what if there was a way to make a profit regardless of the outcome? A way to stake money and then sit back and relax without worrying if your team win or lose? Where a profit is virtually guaranteed? Well, there is such a thing; it’s called matched betting.
How Does It Work?
There are now hundreds of online bookmakers to choose from, some familiar names from the high street, others that are online only. To attract new customers, these bookmakers offer sign up bonuses for everyone who opens a new account with them – perhaps deposit £10 and if your bet loses you get £20 in free bets. Obviously there are terms and conditions attached to these offers but if you choose the offers carefully then you can make a pretty good profit. Up to £1000 or £1500 in some cases and in a relatively short space of time. Here’s how it works.
First of all, you need to open an account with Betfair. There are other betting exchanges available but I find Betfair to be the most user-friendly and it has very good customer support and tutorials. Also, it uses digital odds which make it easier to work out profit and loss. (you can easily change the odds on the bookmaker’s website to digital odds too) Next, get a list of all online bookmakers offering sign up bonuses for new customers. Find an event where the odds to back an outcome and odds to lay an outcome are very close – for instance, Manchester United have odds of 1.85 to win against Liverpool at William Hill and on Betfair the lay price (where you’re betting on the opposite to happen) is 1.90. You then place a back bet at the bookmaker and a lay bet at the exchange. You don’t need to worry about who wins or loses as this is a qualifying bet and you have covered both winning and losing.
Now say Manchester United lose the match. If you’ve staked £10 at the bookmaker you will lose your stake but the lay bet has won on Betfair so you pocket £9.00, less the 5% commission charged by the exchange. You have lost £1.00 in this example but the closer you can find the odds the better. Now you qualify for your free bet. This unlocks some free cash for you and away you go! Since there are so many online bookmakers out there (and more being added all the time) you can take advantage of all the free bets on offer and make some easy cash. And your profits are tax-free so you get to keep every penny!
What About If I’ve Used All The Offers?
That will never be a problem. Bookmakers have offers and incentives for existing customers as well as new ones so there will always be opportunities to profit. And new bookmakers are being set up all the time so you will never run out of free bet offers! Also, bookmakers have online casinos now so if you want a change from sport you could try roulette, blackjack or poker.
I’m Worried I Will Lose Money Doing This
If you’re completely new to betting and it’s all a bit of a mystery to you then don’t worry – you can ‘paper trade’ until you feel confident that the system works and you won’t lose your shirt (or your house) betting on the horses! Just write everything down over the course of a couple of weeks and you then have a clear picture of profit and loss (and there will be losses, there’s no denying it) over a set period of time. Also, there are plenty of tutorials online, matched betting calculators, odds comparison sites etc. so you won’t be going in blind.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Next time we will discuss buying and selling domains.