No Risk Matched Betting Guide step by step in 2022

If you are a complete beginner, this is the right place to learn how to get started with matched betting. I will guide you through every step you need to take to get those bookmaker bonuses on your bank account.

On the other hand, I will mention the advantages of starting with the in-depth free video guides and services of the two best matched betting software.

I have used both of them and if you are interested check my Profit Accumulator review or OddsMonkey review for getting some insights.

The road from the moment of learning about matched betting to actually get your first payment is fairly short (in some cases only 1-2 days), but you need to follow some basic rules.

What is matched betting?

Matched betting is one of the simplest smart betting techniques to make a guaranteed profit from sports betting.

This betting strategy is based on converting free bets to real money & guaranteed withdrawable profit with the help of placing a series of bets covering all outcomes on a market.

To attract as many clients or bettors as possible, bookmakers are offering welcome bonuses, free bets, and free spins on slots. One of their best marketing strategies is offering these bonuses for keeping bettors spending their money.

Matched betting guide step by step

Let’s start with the very basics.

1. What is a lay bet in matched betting?

Lay bets are very similar to arbitrage betting. In arbing you are covering the other outcome by simply placing a bet on the opposite part of your initial pick.

On the other hand, a Lay bet is betting against a chosen outcome. With a Lay bet, you can cover every outcome that is not your initial bet. It comes in very handy in horse race betting.

With arbitrage betting, it would be very hard to cover every outcome with the proper stakes. While Lay betting is simple. Exchanges are offering a Back bet (that outcome to win) and a Lay bet on every market.

matched betting betfair lay bet

OddsMonkey is offering a proper calculator for this betting technique as well.

2. For calculating matched bets manually:

  • With a normal arbitrage bet, you would cover the whole winning, but with this kind of free bet, you only have to cover the profit. You place the bet on odds of 3 * 50 euros of stake.
  • You have to cover the 100 euros of profit only ideally on odd of 1.50. No matter which outcome wins on this matched bet you make a profit of 34 euros.

In order to maximize the profit, you can make from free bets, the odds on the part of the bonus should be as high as possible.

oddsmonkey matched betting win on football banner

Another version of free bets is when you have to place a bet for a fixed maximum stake. If the bet is lost you get a free bet for the same amount.

But in this case, it’s common that the winnings from that free bet won’t include the stake, only the profit. So, for example, you bet for 50 euros on odds of 2 and if you win your payout is only 50 euros, not 2*50 = 100.

3. Understand what matched betting is

Matched betting is a smart betting strategy that will allow you to complete bookmaker bonus requirements with a guaranteed profit.

Bookmakers are using all kinds of bonuses stake not returned free bets to attract new customers and to get back those who were inactive for a while. As a matched bettor you will place bets on every outcome of sports events in a way that no matter who wins, you will complete the requirements for that bonus.

OddsBoom is the most affordable yet perfect odds comparison site that supports many betting strategies and also matched betting in the USA.

Short example of matched betting:

You deposit 50 euros to a bookmaker, and you get 50 euros of bonus. If you want to withdraw the bonus to your bank account, you have to roll over the deposit and the bonus 6 times.

The total roll-over requirement will be to place 600 euros worth of bets. You place a bet on a football match for the Home team to win at the bookmaker with the bonus. You place 20 euros on odds of 2.

Now you have two possibilities:

  • cover the other outcomes at Betfair with a lay bet around the odds of 2 (you bet against the home team to win the match)
  • cover the outcomes at Pinnacle or at another trustworthy bookmaker on an arbitrage bet around 0% (outcomes of the draw or the Away team to win) – Check my detailed Pinnacle Review

In this short example no matter who wins, you have completed a rollover of 20 euros and you risked nothing to complete it.

If you want to complete the requirements for the bonus, you need to repeat this process 29 more times.

oddsmonkey matched betting win on football banner

It might sound like a lot of work for only 50 euros of bonus. But stay with me, and I will explain more possibilities to make the matched betting process faster.

The best way to make matched betting faster, you need to have slightly bigger capital. You can start more bonus offers at the same time and with a negative arbitrage bet both outcomes of a match can be at bookmakers with bonuses.

This way you will complete more bonus offers with less work. Also if you are not familiar with Betfair lay betting or arbitrage betting, you will find out more about those too.

If you click on the following links, you can read my review about two cheap/accessible Matched betting services.

With their guides and software, you can have access to a lot of bonuses without searching.

They offer the best tools for making a lot of money with minimal effort! Feel free to check my Profit Accumulator Review or OddsMonkey Review.

4. How much money do you need to start matched betting?

If you are planning to take matched betting seriously, based on my experience, you need at least 200-300 euros to start without too much waiting for withdrawals.

The more money you start with, the faster you can begin with new bookmakers. I know that not everyone has this capital for betting purposes.

In that situation starting with smaller free bets like 10-20 euros could be a solution for a successful start in matched betting and betting without losing.

oddsboom review USA bookmaker scanner

Why do you need more money for matched betting?

A simple way to help you understand this is with an example. If you are matched betting, you need an amount of money for the bookmaker with the bonus.

If the bonus is for a deposit of 50 euros you will need at least 80-100 euros on top of that to cover the other outcomes.

The problem with matched betting is that you can’t make it sure that while completing the roll-over requirement for the bonus, all of your money will end up at the exchange.

oddsmonkey matched betting win on football banner

Generally speaking, you can start your no-risk matched betting activity with even 100 – 150 euros.

Your bets will have two legs and two outcomes. One at the bookmaker with bonus and one at another bookmaker. If you win the outcome at the bookmaker with a bonus and the balance at the exchange is 0, you will need to deposit more money to the exchange.

But only if you did not complete the rollover requirements. In a situation like this, you need the extra money for being able to place another bet.

I think that for comfortable matched betting you need three or four times more than the number of bonuses you targeted.

On the other hand, if you start matched betting with more money, you can start with more bonuses.

So, in general for the same amount of time you spend betting you can make more money.

5. How to use matched betting with different bookmaker bonuses

Bookmakers are offering a big variety of bonuses that can be very profitable for matched bettors. But you can see a lot of them too which might seem a good opportunity, but in the reality, you can’t make money from them.

Each type of bonus has different roll-over requirements, and you need a different kind of stake sizing to complete these.

The two + 1 main bonus types that are appropriate for matched betting are the following:

1. Deposit cash bonuses

This is the most basic and most offered bonus by bookmakers and casinos too. As a short hint: you can take advantage of casino offers with matched betting! Visit my article and find out how.

After depositing a certain amount of money, the bookmaker will match that deposit with a bonus of 100% – 50% of the initial deposit.

For example: if you deposit 50 euros you get a bonus of 50 or 25 euros on your account.

The amount you get is different from one bookmaker to another. To convert free bets and other bonuses into real withdrawable money you need to complete some roll-over requirements.

Like placing bets for the total amount of 6 times the deposit + bonus.

Matched betting with sure bets:

The easiest way of completing the requirement is by placing arbitrage bets as I already mentioned. Matched betting is the most effective and most profitable combined with arbitrage betting.

In short, you will need to search for arbitrage opportunities between your bookmaker with the bonus and another bookmaker like Pinnacle, Betfair, or any other soft bookie.

About how to find arbitrage bets, you can read this article.

Matched betting with exchanges:

Below you can see my favorite tool that I used for matched betting: OddsMonkeyThey display matched betting opportunities mostly between a bookmaker with a bonus and you need to cover the other outcome at an exchange like Smarkets or Betfair.

oddsmonkey matched betting guide

They display the odds you need to take at the bookie with the bonus, and with their calculator you can check the stake for the Lay bet at the exchange.

Tips for matched betting

If your betting activity is based only on matched betting and you want to avoid the limitation of your accounts follow the next steps:

  • Don’t place arbs above 0%, it’s better if you find arbitrage bets with a negative return like this in the picture.
  • Usin the right exchanges for matched betting and sharp bookies, can influence how much you can make, and bookmakers can flag your account a lot later. The winnings on your deposit will be smaller after using negative arbitrage bets. But in the long run, you maintain the chance of getting new ones.
  • Forcing too big stakes at the beginning will make your account flagged. Don’t be greedy and impatient, in the long run is worth it if you play it smart and you bet like a normal bettor
  • More detailed information about how to delay being limited

2. Free bet bonuses

This is the other most offered bonus by the bookmakers. After you deposit a certain amount your first bet will be risk-free up to a maximum stake given by the bookmaker.

For example: If your first bet of a maximum of 50 euros is lost, you will get back your stake.

The easiest way of calculating the right stakes for these bets is by using the calculators of OddsMonkey.

3. Bonuses based on turnover

These bonuses are not so common, but they are very valuable. These bookmakers or betting agents are offering a cashback on every stake you place.

Most of the time you will get a very low cashback, like 0.05% – 0.1%. But keep in mind that if you are an active arbitrage bettor or value bettor with a big volume even this amount of cashback can mean a decent amount.

Is matched betting risk-free?

Matched betting is not risk-free, but the chance of losing significant amounts is very low if you are following every rule.

In my article about the profitability of matched betting, you can find a detailed answer about the risks of matched betting.

Matched betting step-by-step guide for 2022

  1. You need a bank account to deposit money from
  2. Register an account at the bookmaker with the bonus
  3. Make an account at Betfair and Pinnacle for the start
  4. Deposit money to the bookmaker with the bonus
  5. Open an arbitrage scanner service and check if you can find arbitrage bets near 0% between your bookmakers
  6. Deposit money to Pinnacle or Betfair (where you see more opportunities to cover your match for the bonus)
  7. Place arbitrage bets
  8. Send in documents for KYC (know your customer) verification
  9. Withdraw the money and repeat the process

Check my relevant articles and find out if the profits from matched betting are enough for a living or can you make more from value betting?

Betfair or Pinnacle are not available in your country/ state? Find out if matched betting without exchanges is possible or not!

Is matched betting a pyramid scheme or a scam?

Matched betting is based on taking advantage of bonuses offered by bookmakers. If you are using legitimate bookmakers with a good reputation, their bonuses will be credited to your account if you met every requirement.

Generally speaking, matched betting is not a scam at all, it’s a method for normal bettors to make a guaranteed profit from bonuses offered by bookmakers.

However, using bookmakers with shady backgrounds and with bad reputations can lead you to lose your whole balance. A lot of bookmakers with no clear background are offering very good welcome bonuses.

Bettors without enough experience might become greedy from these opportunities for free money and they deposit their money to these bookmakers. Bonuses at these scam bookmakers are not worth the try.

You have a 99% chance of becoming a victim. Matched betting is a strategy that doesn’t require involving another person to make a profit.

Pyramid schemes, in general, are built up in a way that without inviting other people into the business you can’t make good profits. Matched betting on the other hand is totally independent of this kind of business model.

is matched betting a pyramid schemeSo why do people think that matched betting is a pyramid scheme?

Most bookmakers are offering an opportunity of inviting your friend to them with a reward of a bonus for both of you. Some bettors are taking advantage of these opportunities to increase their winnings.

This is why people who have been invited can think that making money from bonuses is only a pyramid scheme. But keep in mind that this method of getting bonuses is only a little part of matched betting. Inviting friends is not required at all for being successful.

Is matched betting gambling?

I think gambling is excluding any betting strategy that leads to a guaranteed profit in the long run. As long as you are following a proven, profitable betting strategy like arbitrage betting, matched betting or value betting, you are not a gambler.

Gamblers are making betting decisions based on intuition and a superficial experience, which is quickly leading to losing their money in the long run. On the other hand, matched betting is based on mathematics and is generating a guaranteed profit.

Any betting strategy is based on statistics, mathematics, deep knowledge of betting and sports in general, and is generating profit in the long run, cannot be categorized as gambling.

For outsiders without knowledge about sports betting, it is very easy to think that matched bettors are only simple gamblers with a little bit of luck.

But after a period of time, knowing a bettor like such, they will notice this kind of success. In the long run it can’t be just a simple gambling activity.

Is matched betting worth starting in 2022?

My opinion is that matched betting, for people who are just starting out for the first time, is the easiest and most secure way of making money in 2022.

It is definitely worth starting if you are interested in making money online. There is no easier way to start making money from home.

The only real requirement is that you have to be 18+. Even if you are not familiar with sports betting at all, you can start matched betting if you follow some basic rules.

oddsmonkey matched betting win on football banner

If you already have betting accounts that are not a problem at all. Right now, there are plenty of bookmakers willing to offer bonuses to attract new customers and keep them spending their money on gambling.

Matched betting can be the best side income for those who love betting in general. Gamblers will have the possibility to continue their activity with the spin of making money on it.

If you just started matched betting, your income for the next 12-15 months will be guaranteed if you are lucky enough to be a citizen of the UK.

Check my article about the best matched betting software UK.

There are so many bookmakers that you simply don’t have to be afraid to finish them in a very short time. If you are from another country, have a look at this article.

I also have a dedicated article for casino offer matched betting.

How do bookmakers react to matched betting?

Matched betting itself without arbitrage betting is not so easy for the bookmakers to spot. If you are not abusing bonuses, for example only placing bets when you have a bonus offer, your account will live longer.

For every matched bettor 90 normal bettors are losing money in the long run. If you do not have outstanding winnings on your account, you will face limitations late enough to make good profits from sports betting.

Bookmakers, in general, are restricting, limiting smart bettors. Their goal is to make a profit on every client so at the moment you are flagged as a winner, in the long run, you will face limitations on your maximum stake.

For more information about how to avoid limitations, you can read the following article.

If you click on the following links, you can read my review about two cheap/accessible Matched betting services.

With their guides and software you can have access to a lot of bonuses without searching.

They offer the best tools for making a lot of money with minimal effort!

Profit Accumulator review! OddsMonkey review!

Relevant articles:

Is it easy to learn matched betting?

Matched betting is one of the easiest smart betting strategies to learn. For someone totally unfamiliar with sports betting, matched betting can seem a little bit hard to understand.

To learn this betting technique, you need a basic understanding of how odds are created and what are they representing.

Most sharp bettors have developed their strategy based on mathematics so understanding and learning them requires a basic affinity and knowledge about probability calculation.

Don’t be afraid, even if you were bad at math class, matched betting is still fairly easy to understand and learn.

For those who already have some experience in sports betting and know the requirements for bookmaker bonuses, matched betting will be easy to learn.

Many normal punters are switching to sharp betting techniques after a very short time of learning.

What do you need to learn about matched betting?

  • Access to bookmakers that offer bonuses for new and existing customers
  • Understanding what the odds are and how are they created
  • Learning about real probability and arbitrage betting could help
  • After the basics, you can start learning about matched betting.

Guide to matched betting

How long does it take to learn matched betting?

Learning matched betting will take up to a maximum of 20-30 minutes for the bettor that already has experience in sports betting.

For someone without experience in betting will take only a few hours of reading and getting to know how bookmakers are working.

The more bookmakers you used already, the faster you can adapt matched betting at a new bookmaker.

After my experience, the basics of sports betting will take the longest to learn. For example in my experience, it took only 1-2 hours to learn how to place bets.

But it took 1-2 days until I really felt comfortable in finding the right markets and the right odds. If you want to practice first, you can read my following article about sports betting with fake money.

Most bookmakers have a different interface, and they are grouping markets differently.

So, every time you start using a new bookmaker, it could take a while until you can find the markets you need for your matched betting strategy.

Learning the basics would take a short time, but making it without too much concentration will need some experience.

The more you research about bonuses, and their roll-over requirements, the faster you can decide if a bonus is worth your time. And on the other hand, you will find betting opportunities faster.

If you click on the following links, you can read my review about two cheap/accessible Matched betting services.

With their guides and software you can have access to a lot of bonuses without searching.

They offer the best tools for making a lot of money with minimal effort!

Profit Accumulator review! OddsMonkey review!

What are the risks of matched betting?

Matched betting is the safest betting technique that can guarantee a decent monthly income. Like every sports betting strategy, this one has some risks too.

#1. Depositing money and accepting a bonus with hard-to-complete requirements

Some bookmakers are offering big bonuses that could seem easy money.

Checking the roll-over requirements is a key point in being successful with matched betting.

Some bookmakers can ask you to make big amounts of betting volume for being able to withdraw the bonus.

A requirement of roll-over for 20 times on deposit and 20 times for the bonus too makes even a good bonus not worth your time.

#2. Accepting a bonus offer at a bookmaker with very bad odds (big profit margin for bookmaker)

Matched betting is based on placing bets at the bookmaker with the bonus and covering the other outcome, hedging it, at another bookie.

This technique requires the bookie with the bonus having decent odds.

A profit margin of 10% can result in odds soo low that completing the rollover requirements would take a lot more time.

With bad odds, odds comparison services won’t display enough opportunities. This will result in harder and longer work for the same amount of profit.

Often you will need to place bets that cannot be covered without taking some losses.

#3. Covering the bets on the wrong markets

Hedging your bonus bets at another bookmaker can result in human errors.

I made this mistake a lot of times when I was afraid of odds dropping or I wasn’t paying enough attention to the market selection.

With a short example:

  • You place an over bet for the home team
  • And you hedge your pick by placing a bet on the away team under.  Or by mistake, you place another over bet on the home team

Both outcomes could be winners with a little bit of luck, but losing both legs will cause you a substantial loss.

Human errors are hard to avoid during your betting activity, but the winnings will be way higher than the losses from these kinds of mistakes in the long run.

You can reduce these mistakes by placing bets only before the start of the match (on bigger leagues to avoid stake limitations).

Not being in rush will allow you to check the markets and stakes before placing the bets.

#4. Not being able to cover the bet with the right stake

In some situations, you will cover the other outcomes at a soft bookmaker.

Most bookmakers will flag your account for smart betting sooner or later.

You will face the situation when you place your bet at the bookie with the bonus, and while trying to hedge it, a window will pop up.

In that, a message with: the maximum stake is lower than yours.

I suggest keeping money at other bookmakers too for these situations. If you are planning to practice this technique, I guarantee that you will face this maximum stake problem.

It is wise to be prepared, so you can act fast, and you can cover the remaining part of your stake at another bookie.

#5. Depositing money at a bookmaker with a bad reputation

Even a very good bonus opportunity is not worth it if the bookmaker is not trustworthy.

After completing the bonuses at the famous bookmakers, you will likely start researching new opportunities.

Most of the time you won’t face any larger problems, but some bookmakers have a business model that is not tolerating winning players.

After a short research in google, you can find at least a few forum posts about the bookie you are betting at.

Paying attention to negative comments about a bookie will save you a lot of time and money.

Some bookmakers will block your account if you start winning or they catch you with smart betting activities like arbitrage betting or matched betting.

After some minutes of research, you can find a lot of forum posts or comments about a lot of bookmakers that closed accounts without good reason.

Some of them are allowing you to withdraw your initial deposit, but some will block your funds and won’t even respond to your emails.

I suggest that no matter how good a bonus is if the bookmaker is not trustworthy you should avoid them.

Have you ever asked yourself: does Betfair allow matched betting? You can find out in this article.

Why do bookies hate matched betting?

Bookmakers are profit-oriented companies. Their main income source is the profit margin on bets.

The odds are generated in a way that no matter which outcome wins, the bookmakers will make a profit between approximately 3% – 10%.

Bonuses are offered to get new customers and keep the existing ones active.

The roll-over requirements are defined in a way that a normal punter will lose at least 40%-60% of the bonus while completing it.

A matched bettor will target odds that are close to real probability or even higher than them.

This betting technique is dangerous by itself for bookmakers, because in the long run, the smart bettors are more likely to end up in profit.

On the other hand, matched bettors are motivated to place bets only when a bonus is offered. This will decrease the profitability of the bookie.

Bettors who are not losing money, in the long run, are not welcomed by the bookmakers.

They can generate profits on players without a profitable smart betting technique and are losing money.

How much does it cost to start matched betting?

Matched betting costs nothing to start if you are searching for bookmakers with bonuses by yourself. You can find a lot of information for free on how to learn and start this betting technique.

The only cost to start matched betting is the money you need to be eligible for a bonus. The ideal starting capital would be 200-300 dollars for smaller bonuses.

If you have access to a lot of bookmakers, you can find bonuses of $10 – $20 which require a starting capital of only $100.

If you are from the US for example, you would need more to really start matched betting.

Most of the bonuses are above $500. So, to maximize your profits from bonuses, the optimal capital to start would be around $1000 – $1500.

Should I start matched betting?

If you have access to a lot of bookmakers in your country, you should start matched betting.

This smart betting technique will generate guaranteed income from bonuses only after a few hours of learning.

Basically, bookmaker bonuses are free money on the table, and with matched betting, you can get them with a very low risk of losing a part of them.

I think everyone who has access to information about this income source should take advantage of it.

For experienced bettors without any good betting strategy, this technique is the easiest to learn and guarantees an instant way of boosting profits.

Is matched betting a good way to make money?

Matched betting can act as a side hustle. It does not need you to contact other people, pay for courses, or physically leave the house.

In my opinion, this betting technique is a very good way to make a lot of money from home.

A lot of people are searching for easy ways of making money. The first idea that came up is applications to earn money by clicking on ads.

These income sources will offer a very low hourly payment.

On the other hand, smart betting is a good income source because the hourly rate can be even between $20 – $50.

This income source does not need too much previous knowledge and can be learned in a very short time. You can start earning money even with a starting capital of $100.

The majority of matched bettors are focusing their activity around Betfair. But is it possible to proceed without exchanges?

FAQ

Is matched betting worth starting?

For people who are just starting out with betting for the first time, it is the easiest and most secure way of making money.

How do I get started with matched betting?

Learning the basics of matched betting and placing your first bets with lower stakes are the most secure ways.

How much money do you need to start matched betting?

Generally speaking, you can start your no-risk matched betting activity with even 100 – 150 euros.

Learn the types of bookmaker bonuses and how to get them

Deposit bonuses and free bets are the most common ones.

Is it easy to learn matched betting?

Matched betting is one of the easiest smart betting strategies to learn.

How long does it take to learn matched betting?

Learning matched betting will take up to a maximum of 20-30 minutes for the bettor who already has experience in sports betting.

Why do bookies hate matched betting?

Bookmakers are profit-oriented companies. Matched bettors are winning money from them.

Is matched betting a good way to make money?

After my opinion, this betting technique is a very good way to make a lot of money from home.

Sam @ Sportssmartbetting

I have been a professional sports bettor for almost 8 years. This blog was created to share my experience and knowledge. I started building up my betting capital with matched betting, followed by arbitrage betting, and switched to full-time value betting.