Beginner Tips & Tricks

Top tips to improve your matched betting – part two

Use a variety of bookmakers

Matched betting is perfect if you are looking for a short to medium term source of regular income depending on how you go about it. Now one way to make it a very short term source of income is to hammer one bookmaker at a time for all of their sports promotions and free bets, and then move onto another. We definitely do not recommend this. Instead we recommend you open multiple bookmaker accounts, and place small amounts of bets with each bookmakers depending on when a promotion comes about that takes your fancy and you can generate a good profit from.

You will find that this dramatically improves the chances of your account staying open for longer, and more importantly your inclusion to bookmaker offers. As many are already aware, a bookmaker will close or restrict an account when the customer makes too much money in a short period of time, or regularly takes advantage of their promotions (promotion abuse they call it). So as a top tip, spread your matched betting activity over a wide range of accounts and keep a record of your activity to keep track on those accounts you have forgotten to use recently.

Spend time wisely

With so many offers promoted by bookmakers it hard to distinguish between the really profitable ones and not so profitable ones. If you want to maximise the effective rate you earn per hour invested in matched betting it is worth working out the probability of you profiting from the offer. For example, a few years ago many bookmakers introduced a horse racing offer where they gave customers a refund as a free bet if their horse finished second. This was a very profitable matched betting opportunity and well worth investing time into. However over a year ago many bookmakers changed this offer to 2nd to SP favourite, meaning the probability of you profiting from this offer was reduced.

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This matters because it is worth quickly working out the probability for the offer advertised. With the 2nd to SP offer, it is worth focusing energy on horse races with short odds favourites, or ideally odds on favourites. You can work out the probability of your horse winning by dividing 100 by the decimal odds. So a horse with odds of evens or 2.0 (decimal odds) has a 50% chance of winning, which is 100 divided by 2.0. And so the chances of your horse coming second to the favourite will also be quite high.

So for whichever sport you are betting on, work out your rough chances of winning. For example, some bookies run a money back if a red card is shown offer on popular football matches. In these circumstances, simply go to the ‘Red Card Shown’ market to find the odds on a red card being shown, and divide 100 by those odds, and then if the probability is over 20% then it is worth betting on that game.

Betting Exchange Commission

It’s a tough decision to make when you have to choose between getting your bet matched at a higher rate of commission and risking not getting it matched for a lower commission rate. And it very much depends on the types of sports you bet on. If you just bet on popular football matches then maybe Smarkets with a low commission of 2% would suit, however if you make money from horse racing markets then betfair is probably a better option with a slightly higher commission of 5%

If you’re matched betting increases to the ten’s of thousands then it is probably worth going for an exchange with a lower commission but otherwise it really doesn’t make much of a difference. And also maybe the slightly higher commission is worth it if it means peace of mind over getting your bet matched. Also, remember that betfair exchange run commission refund offers from time to time in the form of ‘cashback race’ and this compensates in some way for the higher commission. Also betfair have a points systems where you recieve a reduced commission rate after collecting points. Anyway, this is all worth considering if you want to maximise profits through matched betting.


Calculators are fantastic for beginners as they precisely tell you the amount you need to lay on the exchange to maximise profit, or even minimise losses in the qualifying bet element. However regular matched bettors will not use a calculator when placing their qualifying bet, as they are more concerned about being quick to get the back and lay odds they want. And they often find that the process of putting the numbers into a calculator takes too long and often leads to them missing the opportunity of placing their bet.

Our advice would be, to regular matched bettors to monitor betting exchange markets alongside the bookmaker, and be ready to lay the same amount or a slightly higher amount than the amount bet with the bookie. So to put it simply, a regular matched bettor might put £25 on one horse at odds 2.5 with bookie A,and then lay £26 at odds of 2.46 with the exchange. It’s really not worth spending the time working out to the penny the exact amount needed to lay in these circumstances as its the volume of bets you can put on that will increase your profit levels.

Regular matched bettors will make a lot of money from ITV Horse Racing offers, whether that is money back if 2nd by a length or less, back a winner over 4/1, or if your horse falls, or 2nd to SP Fav. They will be ready to back a few horses at odds which are the same or slightly lower on the exchange, and they will bet the same amounts each time. Usually, that is £25 with the bookmaker, and £26 with the betting exchange.

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