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What is Matched Betting?

There is a reason why matched betting has been covered for its brilliance so extensively in The Guardian, and many other leading media outlets in the UK. Here we explain why matched betting is the best way to make money from home in 2020, and how many matched bettors are making thousands of pounds each and every month.


Matched betting is nothing new in the ‘money from home’ world – that I’m sure you, and many others want to be a part of (and has actually been around in one form or another since 2005).

I started looking into matched betting in 2015 when it really started to take off – and I have not looked back since.

Matched betting can be used in so many different ways to easily get you into the ‘money from home’ club, depending on your financial needs.

For example, if you are just after some extra money to put towards a holiday, or saving for a new car – you can do the bare minimum of matched betting on a monthly basis to put a decent chunk of change towards these costs.

If you are looking for a more salary-based income to quit your day job, this is more than possible with matched betting also, but it involves a slightly different strategy, which we will discuss in this article.

Before we start, if you want to dive straight into making your first matched betting profits, there are a couple of options available for you with the Wild Dog Profits team.

1) The first is to select your matched betting plan that we have created specifically for newbie matched bettors, and then sign up for free to watch our matched betting guide beginner videos. For an extensive overview of everything, you can read our matched betting explained post, which would be best if you prefer to read and learn.

There are no hidden costs on our website, as we make our money through affiliate links (so please support us where prompted to click these). These videos walk you through the mechanics of matched betting, and then how to make your first profits

2) If you don’t feel like you need any initial video training, you can head straight over to our Welcome Offer Guides right from the get go. This option may be best if you prefer to make your profits faster, whilst learning as you go along.

If you get stuck at any time, our Facebook Group is always available for help.

Ok, now that we have the Wild Dog Profits plug out of the way, let’s start this post by talking about the basics of matched betting, how it works (with some newbie queries) and how flexible it is to do – before discussing how much money can be made.

So, Just What is Matched Betting Exactly?

Matched betting is a technique used by savvy bettors to make guaranteed profits from the free bets bookmakers provide. These promotions usually involve betting x amount of your own money to unlock a free bet, which is where we make our cash.  

Yes, I did just use the words ‘guaranteed’, ‘bets’ and ‘profits’ in the same paragraph.

It works by covering all possible outcomes of the match we are betting on – to ensure we never gamble.

But just how is this technically achievable?

Well firstly, we have to place:

A ‘Back Bet’ – These are the bets we place at the bookmaker.

For example, I place a £10 ‘Back Bet’ for Manchester United to win their match against Chelsea.

You can only place ‘Back Bets’ at a bookmaker, such as Coral, Sky Bet and William Hill.

And after this back bet has gone through, we then have to place…

A ‘Lay Bet’ – These are bets we use at a betting exchange to cover our initial ‘Back Bet’.

For example, I place a £10 ‘Lay Bet’ against Manchester United winning. These ‘Lay Bets’ can only be made at a betting exchange such as Betfair, and Smarkets.

Understanding that a ‘Lay Bet’ cancels out your ‘Back Bet’ to ensure no loss to your initial bookmaker bet is the most important thing to understand when getting started matched betting – and I have seen a few people unnecessarily over-complicate this.

We use a qualifying/trigger bet calculator to calculate the lay stakes you will need at the exchange, which is all covered in our welcome offer guides.

But for now, let’s break it down simply:

I place a £10 ‘Back Bet’ for Manchester United to win at the bookmaker.

I then cover this bet by placing a £10 ‘Lay Bet’ against Manchester United winning. This means I am betting that Manchester United will lose or draw.

Yes, the draw is also included in this lay bet. Many people just assume a lay bet means Manchester United losing.

This is wrong.

Remember, in a football match there can only be one of three outcomes: a home win, an away win, or a draw.

If you bet against Manchester United winning, you are left with two possibilities: that they will lose OR draw.

For clarity and not wanting to sound repetitive, this ‘Lay Bet’ at a betting exchange covers both of these outcomes and is the reason why all possibilities for the result are covered – which prevents any form of gambling.

How Do You Make Money From Matched Betting?

Ok, so what have we done by placing these back and lay bets?

We have covered every angle of the match in question, ensuring we do not risk our initial £10 bet.

We are essentially getting a free bet from the bookmaker, that cost 0 pence to place.

Clever isn’t it?

A normal bettor would just place his £10 bet on Manchester United to win with his fingers crossed in hope.

This is out and out gambling and the reason why so many gamblers get into debt.

As matched bettors, we ALWAYS cover our bets with the use of lay bets at a betting exchange.

By doing this, we then unlock a ‘free bet’ – which is what we use to make our guaranteed profits.

Once we receive our free bet, we use our ‘Profit Bet Calculator’ to calculate what amount we will need to cover our free bet at the betting exchange.

This ensures we have a guaranteed profit no matter the result of the match.

(I must emphasise again that this whole process, from the qualifying bet to the profit bet, is covered in great detail for each bookmaker over in our Welcome Offer section. Below you can see an example of the Profit Bet Calculator in action, and how we make £11.58 in profit with a £15 Free Bet from William Hill).


Want to know more? Sign up free to watch our short and easy video guides.

Is Matched Betting Gambling?

This question is difficult to answer.

On the one hand, we are placing bets, which is gambling, no one can deny that. But as mentioned so clearly above – every bet we place is covered with the use of a betting exchange.

A gambler will place a bet with his lucky horse shoe on show, glued to his live score update screen as the match goes live, hoping that his bet wins to make his profit.

This is silly.

Anyone who looks into the betting industry knows that the margins inserted into bookmaker’s odds are so ridiculously in favour of the bookie, that in the long run there will only ever be one winner: the bookie, and one loser: the punter.

For matched bettors, this is completely different. After we place our bets, we already know how much money we have made before a ball has been kicked. We do not need to refresh our live score feeds in hope of a win, as we already have every outcome covered (the win, the loss and the draw) – and it’s all thanks to our lay bet.

Is Matched Betting Illegal?

This is possibly one of the daftest questions I have seen floating about from a small minority who really want to get started matched betting, but are looking for silly reasons not to.

The answer is a resounding no – there is absolutely nothing illegal about matched betting.

Think about it logically, bookmakers give you free bets to use, and you are using them. That is all it is.

The problem is, some people can not comprehend the thought of making money legally from the bookmakers because the talk of getting into debt from gambling is so rampant.

It seems everyone knows, or has heard of someone getting into gambling debt, which overshadows what is actually achievable with matched betting (and other guaranteed betting techniques).

I mean, would The Guardian, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and a host of other UK media outlets report all these stories about the benefits of matched betting if it was illegal?

Of course they wouldn’t.  


Why Do Bookmakers Give Out Free Bets?

This is one of my favourite questions to answer, as a lot of matched bettors just can’t comprehend how, and why the bookies have been giving out these free bets for years – and show no sign of slowing down.

Quite simply, it is to attract custom to their websites.

They know they are giving away value by providing these free bets – but they also know what a potential customer can bring to their revenue streams throughout the year (once tempted in of course).

I often refer to this tactic using a pub as an example.

A pub owner may promote a 50% discount on all food items for any first time customers (he will be losing money if he does this for every customer every day) – but his goal is to secure this new customer long term throughout the year, as he knows what a new loyal customer can do to help his annual profit margins.

The betting industry is no different, as their goal is to get as many people betting on their websites as possible.

As matched bettors, we are not seen as a bookmakers ideal customer (far, far from it) – as we are constantly taking value. But thankfully, we are such a small minority in the betting world that the value we take is virtually irrelevant in comparison to the amount of proper gamblers who are betting on a daily basis.

And as long as this high ratio of proper gamblers to matched bettors continues in this fashion – the free bets will keep flowing.

Want to know more? Sign up free to watch our short and easy video guides.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Matched Betting?

I guess it is important to highlight from the offset that you do not need any kind of sports or betting knowledge to do matched betting. I have heard that more than 40% of new matched bettors had never placed a bet in their life.

My wife was also in the ‘bookmaker newbie’ bracket, but she picked it up with ease.

However, will having a bit of experience around betting sites help speed up the learning process? Yes, it will.

One thing to master initially are odds and how they work.

For example, if I place a £10 bet on Manchester United to win their match at odds of 3.0, do I win £30?

The answer is no.

Your returns are £30, but your winnings are actually £20.

The initial £10 bet is returned with your £20 winnings.

I wish I had someone to ingrain this into me when I first started matched betting – it would have saved me a lot of time getting to grips with it.

Remember, your profit from a bet = the amount you bet (£10) x the odds (3.0 in this example) minus the amount you bet (£10) = So, you will make a  profit of £20 and returns of £30

Once you have mastered this thought process, the rest will be easy with regards to the functioning of matched betting.

Bookmaker websites can look a bit daunting from the offset, but again, once you get the hang of them, they are easy to navigate around.

Like all things in life, the more you practise, the more you get used to it – which is why the knack of matched betting may come slightly quicker to those with prior experience with placing bets.

But I promise, after the basics have been soaked up, things will become second nature going forward – just ask the other half!

How Much Money Do You Need To Start Matched Betting?

This is in the hands of the matched bettor. Some start with as little as £50, where some start with more than £1000.

I guess it depends on how much money you have spare.

When I first started matched betting, I had just £100 available to test the waters with. Once my initial profit came through from that first offer, the adrenaline was pumping to do more offers.

But having just £100 slowed me down when a bet won at the bookmaker, as I needed to withdraw to top up my betting exchange (you will learn about this in the videos) to do more offers quickly.

Unfortunately, with £100 being all I could afford at the start, it slowed down the profit making process.

After showing my partner that matched betting works (profit spreadsheets are a wonderful thing!), she then started a few months later with £500, and got through the welcome offers in next to no time.

My advice is, if you are looking for a serious way to work from home and be your own boss – start with as much money as you can to get the ball rolling faster.

Remember, the money that can be made from matched betting beats any pitiful savings account a bank has to offer – so its best putting those savings to proper use!

How Do I Get Started Matched Betting?

As an affiliate site which makes the majority of its revenue from matched betting software such as Oddsmonkey, I could easily say “go straight to them” – as in all honesty, they are brilliant.

But I think this would be a mistake for beginners to do from the get go.

Oddsmonkey are the best matched betting company around, who provide the advanced matched betting software I’ve been using (along with the 1000s of other members) since 2016.

But the fact is, you do not need it for the first few offers or so. Oddsmonkey is what I use to make my bigger monthly profits from reload offers, which are offers the bookmakers provide on a daily basis to keep you betting with them.

Competition is a great thing in the betting world, as there are always ongoing offers available to keep us making money – and Oddsmonkey are the company that deliver these offers as soon as they go live (they provide many other tools and functions as well, but now is not the time to go through these).

My advice for anyone starting matched betting would be to use our Welcome Offer guides to build up your matched betting bankroll, tracking all your profits in our spreadsheet as you go along, and then get your Oddsmonkey subscription.

In fact, our guides show you the best time to start with Oddsmonkey if you follow it in order.

I mean, let’s not beat around the bush, you are definitely going to need Oddsmonkey if you want to continuously make serious profit on a monthly basis!

How Much Can You Realistically Make From Matched Betting?

How much money you make matched betting depends on you, and you alone. This is not a cop out from answering the question, just something I have realised over the years as a stalwart, dedicated matched bettor.

From the sign up offers alone, which is the bread and butter of matched betting, you will comfortably make within the region of £700.

Whilst completing the sign up offers, you would have been introduced to Oddsmonkey along the way, which is the advanced matched betting software mentioned above that we use to make sustainable profits going forward.

As you can see from the screenshots below, there are many people consistently making over £1,000 from reload offers using Oddsmonkey – but this is dependent on the time you put in, and how much effort you make to read and learn the more advanced matched betting techniques required to make the bigger profits going forward.

I currently average around £800 a month using Oddsmonkey, and that is by doing slightly more than the bare minimum. I have better months during bigger sporting events such as Cheltenham, and calmer periods due to quieter sporting months, other work commitments and holidays.

Examples of Monthly Matched Betting Profits

Experienced matched bettors report their monthly profits in the forum in Oddsmonkey.
To see what really is possible when you really go for it, here are a few example profits for the month of January (2020).


Want to know more? Sign up free to watch our short and easy video guides.

Can You Make A Living From Matched Betting?

With a single set of accounts, it is possible to make a living from matched betting, but it gets harder due to account restrictions from some bookies, which are known in the matched betting community as ‘gubbings’.

For note, a gubbing does not mean you can not continue to bet with said bookmaker – it just means they will not send you any more promotions that we need to take advantage of.

A gubbing takes place when a bookmaker feels you are taking too much value, which basically means they know you are a matched bettor.

It’s sad if it happens, but if it does we just withdraw the money that was in our account, pull our socks up, and move on to the next bookmaker offer – as a gubbed account is (almost) useless for making profits.

There are ways to increase bookmaker account longevity, which we talk about here in our 10 point guide to keep matched betting accounts healthy, which we talk about in this 10-point guide to keep account healthy blog post.

The members of Oddsmonkey who are making above £3,000 a month will almost certainly be multi-accounting. This is where matched bettors use other family members and friends accounts to consistently make profits.

This used to be a legal grey area in the matched betting world, as you are using someone else’s account details (albeit, with their permission, and on their behalf).

But after watching the ‘Can You Beat The Bookies?’ BBC documentary, it’s made very clear that multi-accounting is not illegal if you have permission to bet on behalf of that family member/friend.

The bookies obviously frown upon this however, as it eats into their overall profits.

The extra money we bring in to the house for a few hours ‘work’ a week is unparalleled – and I must emphasise that it is all tax free.


But do not be fooled into thinking the money I make from matched betting came to me easily. Advanced techniques in matched betting are evolving, and I had to put in a lot of work over the years testing, reading and implementing different strategies to know which offers are best to tackle (that have the biggest pay-out), whilst also being time efficient.

Basically, it all comes down to practise.

Can Matched Betting Affect My Credit Rating or Mortgage Application?

I have been matched betting for over five years now, and both my partner and I have never had any problems with mortgage applications or credit ratings.

In the time we have been running this site we have never encountered anyone mention this as being an issue – and we have helped a LOT of people start their matched betting journeys!

How Long Will Matched Betting Last

Matched betting has been going a very long time, and shows no sign of slowing down. As I mentioned before, as long as traditional gamblers continue to outweigh matched bettors by such a large ratio, the free bets and promotions will keep on coming.

Which is great for us all going forward, and long may it continue!

 That’s all from me in this post.

I hope this information on matched betting has been useful, and has helped you understand a little bit more about the most popular way to make money from home in the UK.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join our Facebook group if you have any questions, as we are always happy, and on hand to help. We also post daily updates on everything matched betting, so it is a great community to be a part of.

*If you’d like to learn matched betting with easy to follow video tutorials, you can sign up for free here.

Remember, we never charge a penny for anything on our site, as it’s funded by affiliate links – so please click these where prompted.

**If you’d prefer to delve straight into making your first matched betting profits, just head over to our Welcome Offer section and follow our guides to start earning from the get go.

Want to know more? Sign up free to watch our short and easy video guides.