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After reading about matched betting online for a while, I finally took the plunge about a year ago. Taking recommendations from other bloggers, I signed up with a Profit Accumulator account and made a huge profit in just a matter of weeks.
To help you get started I’ve put together this matched betting for beginners’ guide, including a matched betting step by step, tops tips, and answers to many commonly asked questions.
What is matched betting?
Matched betting is a way of profiting from the free offers that bookmakers use to keep you betting. Except we don’t keep betting we just make money from the free bets. And we don’t gamble.
How does matched betting work?
We use the free offer to place a bet then, using a different site, known as an exchange, to place a bet covering all the other options.
What this means is that ultimately we have bets covering all options so that we are going to win at least one of them. Plus, given that one of them was free money, we make a small profit.
By maximising the offers and accessing as many as possible we can turn each of these small profits into a good amount of money.
Understanding the matched betting terminology
As with anything that is new to us, there is normally a whole world of new language to learn before we can understand what is going on. If, like me, you are new sports betting then you could probably do with some help.
The list below is a brief list of the main words and phrases you will need to get started. If it’s not on this list but you’ve found a phrase keep cropping up then you can always check out the Profit Accumulator forums for help.
This is bet you place with the bookmaker. This is the main bet.
This is the bet that you place with the betting exchange. This bet will cover all other possible outcomes.
This is how much it will cost you to place the bet.
This is how much the lay bet will cost you in the betting exchange if you lose the bet there. You must have this amount available in your account.
This is usually the place that is offering you some sort of free bet. You will place your back bet here.
The betting exchange is where you will lay off your bet. It is also the place where you will be keeping must of your money. Make sure you keep your login details safe.
This is the bet that you place to get the free bet. Normally these bet will make you a small loss, but it will be more than covered by the free bet.
This is the free bet that the bookmaker gives you once you have met the qualifying criteria. You will use this to make a profit.
Is matched betting legal?
Completely! If you are old enough to open accounts with the bookmakers and bet exchanges (over 18 years old) then you will be operating legally. Make sure that you use your correct details and follow the rules of the websites and you will be legal and keeping the bookies happy.
How much money can you make from matched betting?
The amount of money you can make from matched betting depends on how long you do it for and the amount of time you have available to commit to it.
There are lots of sign up offers available to you. These are offers that bookmakers have to get you to create an account with them. From these alone you can make between £1-2,000 and in a relatively short space of time if you are keen.
Once these are done, you will be working through reload offers and special promotions. You can easily turn matched betting into a steady income stream with a regular time commitment. Many users on the Profit Accumulator forums report earning £1,000 month with as little as an hour a day’s worth of effort.
However, you are free to choose how much time you can put into it. If this is an hour or two a week, you can still make a couple of hundred money extra each month.
During big events, such as Cheltenham or the World Cup, lots of bookmakers have special offers and this can lead to big increase in your profits. This is a great time to put a little extra effort and see a big return.
Do you have to pay tax on your matched betting profits?
The short answer is no! Gambling winnings are not taxable even when they are made in a risk-free way. Even if your entire income comes from matched betting then HMRC still do not consider it a trade and it is therefore not taxable.
This means that you can earn as much money this way as you like and get to keep ALL OF IT! This is part of what make matched betting so attractive. All the profit is yours to keep.
What is the risk when matched betting?
Matched betting is risk-free. You will get back the money you put in and then some. It is not gambling. You are covering all bases and thus ensuring that you make money from this.
Human mistakes do occur. One time I made a small mistake that was set to cost me £5 if I lost. However, it turned out that the bet won and I was £30 better off. If I’d have spotted the mistake sooner, there would have been steps I could have taken to reduce the loss. Even if I had have lost £5 this would have been easily recoverable with future offers.
Matched betting step by step
Sign up to Profit Accumulator
If you take only one thing from this article to get you started on matched betting then let it be this. By signing up to Profit Accumulator you will receive access to tutorials, step by step instructions and they will provide you with a list of all the available offers.
Open a new bank account
The main reason I recommend this is to make it easier to separate you matched betting profits. If your money gets mixed in with your current account then it is harder to see what profits you have made. Plus your bank account statement can get quite busy with various outgoings for different bets.
You could go for an online bank such as Monese. If you sign up with this link, you’ll get an extra £5 once you’ve transferred your first £10 in. Or you could try Monzo, and get a bonus £5 the first time you use your card.
Watch the video tutorials
Profit Accumulator’s video tutorials are excellent. They will guide you through the process for matched betting step by step. And they will talk you through all the different terms, what they mean and how you should use them.
They are all there for you to rewatch at any time, so if you feel like you need a refresher or you’ve been away from matched betting for a bit and have forgotten, they are all there for you to go back to.
Finding an offer
Once into your Profit Accumulator account you will see a list of offers that are available to you. The first ones on the list will come with a video that explains how to complete the offer as well as written instructions to guide you through.
Pay attention to the instructions as they will provide you with the specific instruction you need to qualify for that offer, and these vary from bookie to bookie and offer to offer. You can keep this tutorial open to refer to as you go through the process as a point of reference.
Sign up with the bookmaker
You’ll then need to sign up with the bookmaker who is promoting that offer. Make sure you use your correct details such as name, date of birth and home address. I do however use a specific email address for matched betting to make it easy to see when new offers land.
Sign up with a betting exchange
These are like bookmakers (bookies) but will be where you place your lay bets. You will use two or three of these accounts for most of your matched betting career and will keep large sums of money in them all eventually.
Betfair and Smarkets are the most likely choices for people new to matched betting. They can appear overwhelming at first but you will soon figure out what you need to look at.
Finding your qualifying bet on the Oddsmatching software
Once you are all signed up you are ready to find your bet. Profit Accumulator makes this super easy for you using the Oddsmatching software.
You can see in this image that the program shows you a variety of different events. You can filter this down into different sports, with different bookmakers and betting exchanges. For newbies, I recommend sticking to football for your first couple of bets as the odds are easier to follow and they don’t fluctuate quite so much.
The video tutorial will help you find the right bet to meet the conditions of the qualifying bet. By clicking on the little calculator symbol at the start of the row you will be able to see how much you need to bet with both the bookies and the betting exchange and the amount this qualifying bet will cost you (remember you get this back with the free bet).
Placing your bets
Again, the video tutorials will talk you through this. You will place your bet with the bookie, using funds you have deposited with them. Make sure that the bet has been properly placed before heading over to the betting exchange to lay off your bets.
Find the equivalent match in the betting exchange and lay off the bet. You can use the odds from the Oddsmatching software as a check that you have the right information. In the betting exchange you will need more money, as you’ll need to cover the full amount if the bet loses. But don’t worry! You are either going to win the back bet and lose the lay bet, or lose the back bet and win the lay bet. You’ll only be a couple of pence down at this point.
Using your free bet
Once your qualifying bets are placed and settled you’ll have your free bet ready to use and this is where you make a profit.
Head over to the Oddsmatching software again. This time you’ll be looking at higher odds to maximise your profit. Remember you’ll need to cover the liability in the betting exchange so make sure you’ve got the money to cover that in the short term.
Once you’ve found the bet, you’ll need to select Free Bet (SNR) in the calculator to work out your lay bet. With that all done you can head to the bookies to place the back bet and the exchange to place the lay bet.
Enjoy your profits
With all the bets settled you’ll have the money either in your bookmaker account, or even better the betting exchange. At this point I recommend adding your winnings to your matched betting pot as this will enable you to place big bets and ultimately make more money.
Top tips for matched betting beginners
If you’ve finally decided to give it ago then good for you. Now let’s make sure that you stick at it and make some good money from it. Here are my top tips:
Do the maths
Now, this isn’t for everybody, but I personally found the whole process much easy once I’d spent the time working out where the numbers came from. This also help me spot any mistakes before I made them.
Keep a record
Having a matched betting spreadsheet to record all the bets really helped me to feel confident in what I was doing. I could see where my money was, when I was expecting to get it back and how much profit I was going to make.
This was particularly useful for bets that had several steps. My spreadsheet would tell me what to do next and when so that I never missed a crucial money-making step.
It is also important to keep a record of your matched betting profits. This will keep you motivated and help you understand how much money you should have and where.
Stick at it
At first you might find some of the concepts confusing. There are lots of number to look out for and lots of words that you may be unfamiliar with. But remember that everyone starts where you are. It is new to all of us at some point.
Once you’ve placed your first couple of bets you’ll find that the whole process is second nature. Your confidence will grow and you’ll get quicker at placing bets and recording the results.
Make a schedule
Fitting matched betting into your life can be hard, particularly if you have a full time job, a couple of kids and a multitude of side hustles on the go. Therefore, it is beneficial to find a regularly slot for matched betting and stick to it.
Once you’ve got into the swing of it decide how much time you are prepared to spend on it each day/week, then find a fixed slot for it. You might decide that half an hour every morning over breakfast is best. Or you prefer to spend a couple of hours every Sunday morning.
Creating this structure around matched betting helps it become sustainable and consequently a regularly source of income.
Learn the more advanced bets
There were times when I came across an offer that was a little more complex than the last. I knew it was good money available to me but it wasn’t the same as the previous offers.
However, I realised that if I persevered through these offers, I would soon understand them and this would make similar offers in the future seem easier. Profit Accumulator will talk your through the offers anyway and if you take them slowly you will continue to make money.
Create a starting pot first
You will need to have some money to begin your matched betting journey. The more you have the more offers you’ll be able to take part in and the more money you’ll be able to make.
To get going you’ll only need around £60, but if you can get a starting pot together with a bit more then you’ll be able to place bigger bets and make money more quickly.
Main reasons people don’t even get started with matched betting
Not enough money
I’ve said this before but you need £60 to get started matched betting. Once you start making money from it you can use this to fund further bets and increase the size of your pot.
Look at these articles you get tips and ideas on how to save money fast and to make money from your stuff. These will help you get that first pot of cash together to open the doors to matched betting.
It looks tricky
I’ll give you that. It does look tricky when you start. But it’s not. It’s just new. Once you’ve got over the newness of it, you’ll quickly find that you understand the processes and can make bets quickly and accurately.
Worried they will lose money
This is risk-free. The process itself will not cost you any money. You have to have some money to start with but you will get that straight back and then some. The only way that you will lose money is through human error, but this is rare. And you’ve normally made enough money to cover it. You can avoid human errors by taking to slow and using the tutorials that Profit Accumulator provide.
Think it is a scam
It has that “too good to be true” vibe that makes you think it might be a scam. But it’s not. It is a good source of money and you shouldn’t worry. You’ll be placing bet with well-known bookmakers and all you are doing is making the most of the offers that are available to everyone.
Don’t understand betting
I don’t understand betting. Even now, after a year of matched betting, I’m still not sure I’d know what to do if I actual wanted to gamble. I understand how to make money from this system but sports betting still eludes me.
Worried about mortgages/credit scores
This is a valid concern but not one that you should stop you from giving it a go. The general recommendation is that if you are looking to make a mortgage application within the next couple of months to avoid matched betting in that time.
The reason for this is that some mortgage providers will ask to see bank statements. But they do not understand that matched betting is a risk-free system, so all they will see is you making lots of bets. To them, this may not make you look like the most reliable person to lend a mortgage too.
In terms of credit scores, bookmakers will do what is called a “soft search”. This is where they check your general identity, but it should not impact on your overall score.
What is stopping you from getting started?
You’ve read through my guide on matched betting for beginners. Time to sign up to Profit Accumulator and get going. If you have any further questions, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and send me a message there.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.