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Thought About Gambling Your Free Bet?

Matched Betting Blog >> Make Money Matched Betting >> Thoughts & Opinions >> Gambling Your Free Bet

There is nothing like getting a £10 free bet from doing a Qualifying Matched Bet that cost you just 40p (and often less). 

Matched betting this free bet to then guarantee yourself a quick profit within a few minutes then feels even better.

However, once you’ve been matched betting for a while though it may cross your mind as to whether it might be worth your while punting (gambling) your free bets every now and again – or even all the time. Punting free bets could mean potentially larger profits than the relatively ‘smaller’ guaranteed profits made from matched betting. (Note: I put the word smaller in inverted commas because making £7-£8 tax-free from a £10 free bet within a few minutes of matched betting is not truly something that should be considered as a small profit!)

Our thoughts on punting a free bet

As you probably know by now – we are not ones for gambling.

However, would we recommend ever punting a free bet? Or put into other words, would be ever recommend gambling a free bet with the potential to make a much higher profit than you would if you layed the free bet off at the exchange with matched betting?

Well, yes…and also no.


There have been times we’ve received a free bet but completely forgotten about it (it happens!), or we forgot that we only had a day to use it. We’ve then realized logging into a bookmaker account that we need to use it by midnight that day but have left it too late and can’t find any decent matched betting opportunities that would give us a profit extraction of 70% or more.

Now my wife in this case will always opt to take the guaranteed profit, even if the profit extraction is low (40-60%). She doesn’t care, she’d prefer to make £4 guaranteed than taking the risk of making nothing from the free bet.

Myself on the other-hand, in this situation, will sometimes (OK it’s probably nearly all the time!), opt to punt it. May be it’s a guy thing, I don’t know. I don’t get the chance too often, but when I have done it, I’ve done quite well from it (to Marie’s frustration!).

As well as punting free bets I’ve forgotten about until the last minute, I will also tend to punt in-play free bets if I can’t find a decent odds match during half-time as well. (Again, Marie in this instance will still take the smaller guaranteed profit – every time).

Where Marie and I will both agree to gamble a free bet if an easy matched bet can’t be found, is when the free bet has to be done on multiples (accumulators/accas). Although it’s possible to lay multiples off sequentially with the help of Oddsmonkey, it can be a bit more time consuming and faffy than doing a standard single free bet. Some weeks we are busy at work or have other things going on, so if we get this kind of free bet Marie will let me use it on a accumulator.

Marie, as I do, also think this is actually good to do sometimes anyway because it helps to keep a good betting profile at the bookmaker and likely helps prevent being gubbed.

So basically my recommendation would be in most cases to always guarantee yourself a profit from a free bet through matched betting – but to give yourself a break once in a while (e.g. if you remember a free bet at ten o’clock at night that is about to expire) and punt it.

Marie’s opinion would be to tell you to be more organized so you don’t forget the free bet in the first place! 😉

(Just to clarify – don’t ever gamble or punt on the qualifying bet. That’s just daft!)

A little experiment - just for interest!

Whilst writing this post I thought about looking back via our matched betting spreadsheet tracker to check just how many of our free bets ended up winning at the bookies over the past couple of years.

I thought it would be really interesting to know if I’d have made a higher monthly profit punting them than I would have done laying them off through matched betting. I started trying to do this but realized it would take me a huge amount of time to check all the bets even from the last couple of months. Instead I have decided for now to add a new column to our matched betting tracker, ready to start recording for future free bets, whether they won at the bookmaker and what the profit would have been if I hadn’t laid the bet off and punted the bet instead. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of months. I will officially start this on 1st September 2019.

Will matched betting the qualifying bet and then punting the free bet turn into a new money making strategy for us?!

(Just to clarify – I am continuing matched betting as normal but just noting what would have happened IF I’d done the exact same bet at the bookmaker but not laid it off).

What results am I expecting?

To be honest I am not complexly sure, but there is something telling me that punting free bets (after matched betting the qualifying bets) could be a great new long-term profit making strategy. This could especially be the case with bookmakers who give Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) on horse racing.

My wife on the other-hand thinks I’m wrong and thinks that in some months there will be a greater profit but over the long-term (6+ months) that it will end up with a lower overall profit than matched betting does. She will always take guaranteed profits over potential profits, every time!

If anyone is interested in joining my little experiment please let me know! Drop me (Dave) a message via email to with the subject ‘Little Experiment Recruit’ so we can keep in touch. The more ‘data’ we have the better.

If you have just started matched betting with us but are also interested in joining us on this experiment then please feel free. For now – ALWAYS keep laying those free bets on the exchange for guaranteed profits – but watch this space for a potential new betting strategy coming your way!

(To be clear – we are not recommending you to gamble your own money ever and we are not recommending at present to gamble your free bets – only to record what would have happened IF you had gambled the free bet instead. If you think you have a gambling problem please visit BeGambleAware.)

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