The ultimate guide to matched betting.

This, for me, is by far the easiest and most time-effective way to make money online in your spare time. You can start straight away, without any planning or up-front costs, it is completely legal and because it is perceived as gambling, you get to keep 100% of your earnings tax-free!

I came across matched betting in 2020 when I was looking for other ways to make money in my spare time. I’d never placed a bet in my life and knew nothing about gambling. Today I make between £800 and £1000 per month at this so you can definitely make money from matched betting. All you need to do is follow a simple set of instructions. Just like following a food recipe, the outcome is guaranteed to make you a profit (be careful not to deviate and remember this is not gambling).

 So below, I’m Going to explain how this all works in principle. I’ll explain the only two betting terms you’re going to need to get started, “back bet” and “Lay bet,” and then show you an illustrated example of a real-life scenario where we make a profit from matched betting that was predetermined.

Back Bet

A back bet is where you’re betting for a particular outcome to come true, for instance, that Arsenal will win the FA  Cup. You place a back bet at bookmakers such as Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, e.c.t.

Lay Bet

A lay bet is where you’re betting against a particular outcome to come true, for instance, that Arsenal will lose the FA Cup. You can only place a Lay Bet at a betting exchange such as Betfair, Smarkets, Matchbook, and BetDAQ.

A betting exchange is an online marketplace that allows people to place bets against each other rather than against a bookmaker. There is only a handful of them in the whole country, and it is the only place where you can place a Lay Bet, which is essential for matched betting to work.

We Mentioned before that matched betting works by releasing the profit on a free bet, so how does this work? Below is an illustrated example of how you can make a profit from matched betting.

BETFRED are giving away a £30 free bet when you Stake £10 on your first bet for new customers.

You then find a qualifying bet with similar odds, matched at both the bookmakers and the exchange for opposing outcomes; I chose Plymouth vs. Cambridge. (there are a lot to choose from, but I have given the below example).

As you can see from the example above, I bet £10 with BETFRED for Plymouth to Win and £9.86 with Smarkets for Plymouth to lose.

You can see that win or lose, I will lose between £0.35 and £0.34 depending on the outcome, but I have now released my free £30 bet with BETFRED.

Now let’s repeat the process, only this time using my free £30 bet for the game Wolves Against Tottenham ( see below)

As you can see from the example above, I placed my free £30 bet with BETFRED for Tottenham to Win and a £16.03 with Smarkets for Tottenham to lose.

As you can see, if Tottenham wins, I win £37.50 profit with Betfred and lose £21.80 at the exchange, giving me a £15.71 profit. If Tottenham loses, I lose nothing at BETFRED since it’s a free bet, but l win £15:71 profit at the exchange.

You can see, with the exchange, due to the odds, you need to have enough money in your account to cover your losses, also known as Liability. In some cases, the Liability can be relatively high, but the profit tends to be higher; either way, you will get all this back after the match has ended.

You can see that you would only have to do a couple of these a day ( 10 – 15 minutes per bet) or 60 per month to get a pretty good tax-free income.

The illustrated example I used is for new accounts; however, the competition is high because there are over 100 online bookmakers. Bookmakers are always offering free bets to existing customers to promote loyalty and tempt existing punters to carry on betting with them.

Below is one company giving you an opportunity for up to 3  £10 free bets every week, and there are lots of these betting clubs covering every sport from football, horse racing, rugby, tennis, and even virtual sports.

Of course, if you had to find all the free offers and betting opportunities yourself along with the matching odds, then this would be very time-consuming and not worth the effort and payback.

Fortunately, sites like Oddsmonkey a matched betting site search all the free bet offers and matched betting opportunities for you.

You can use their free tools, which show you when, where, and how much to bet along with the profit you will make on either outcome. The site also has 100’s of free tutorials and an excellent support team/ network. When you start their free trial, they will show you step by step how to make your first £60 with no rollover onto a full subscription. To start your free trial, just click on the banner below.

If you decide to subscribe, this will cost you £19.99 per month, and you should be able to make between £400 and £600 in your first couple of weeks just from the new bookmaker sign-up offers alone. If you come back to this website after completing your free trial offers, you can get your one-month full subscription-free by clicking on the link below.

Sound too good to be true? Well, of course, this is real life, and there are pros and cons to everything. I’ve listed below what I believe are the pros and cons and some handy hints on avoiding or minimizing the cons. If you decide you want to give matched betting a go, refer back to this page at any time by adding it to your bookmarks.


  • I don’t know any other way to make £30 per hour tax-free without any prior experience; however, I’m willing to learn, email us at
  • Low initial outlay, usually around £5 to £30; however, you’ll get this back with profit within the first 24 hours,
  • Tax-free earnings, no matter what you earn, this is entirely tax-free!


It may affect your credit score if gambling appears on your primary bank transactions. You could use an e-wallet or Paypal; however, some bookies don’t give free offers if you’re using these methods of payment.

I use Starling Bank; this is an entirely online bank account that you can set up in 2 hours without any credit checks. It will allow you to keep matched betting separate from your other finances. They also have an excellent account for children called Kite, cheaper than the Go Henry card.


Gubbing is the act of having your account limited by a bookmaker. It may include removing you from all promotions or altering your stake to £5 bets. Why would they do this? The simple answer is that they like to make money and hate it when you make money from them.

If you’re happy to make a nice profit for 3 to 4 months, then that’s fine, but if, like me, you like making this extra income full time, then you can follow some simple rules to avoid this, which I’ve listed below.

  • Try to appear like a Mug better, don’t just go for promotional offers, do the odd mugs bet as well, of course using the odds finder tools, so you only lose a few pence at a time but keep your account healthy.
  • Don’t draw down too much money from your bookmaker account at one time. Draw it from the exchange where you’re less likely to be gubbed.
  • Make the odd bet on your local team.
  • Place bets on your phone with the bookies using their apps. Most people place bets on their phones; this also allows you to place the exchange bet on your computer simultaneously.
  • Don’t always take the best odds; drop a couple of odds ratings from 100% to maybe 98% on your matched betting oddsmatcher tool; this will make you a few pence less profit but will keep your account looking more healthy.
  • Never use odds ratings of over 100%. Although your Odds matcher tool will display a rating of over 100%, meaning you will make a profit on even your qualifying bet, this is known as Arbing and is the quickest way to get your account gubbed. I filter mine to only display 100% or less.
  • Bet on the same sport; if you’re going to bet on different sports, make sure you use the same bookies for this, e.g., Ladbrokes and coral for horse betting, Sky and Paddypower for football.
  • Don’t bet on an obscure event; if you are constantly betting on games like Montserrat U21’s VS, Anguilla U21’s, then you’re going to draw attention to yourself from the bookies.

If you draw up and stick to a weekly planner, incorporating all my advice, then you can expect to make a high second income in no time.

Good luck.

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