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What Is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide to No-Risk Betting in the UK

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

If you're looking for a way to make money online without taking any significant risks, matched betting might be just the thing for you. This popular technique allows you to take advantage of free bets and other promotions offered by bookmakers, effectively guaranteeing yourself a profit regardless of the outcome of the event you're betting on.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what matched betting is, how it works, and whether it's legal in the UK.

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What Is Matched Betting?

What Is Matched Betting?

At its core, matched betting is a way to turn bookmaker offers into cash. By placing a series of bets on different outcomes of an event, you can ensure that you win no matter what happens.

This is achieved by using a special tool called a matched betting calculator, which calculates the exact amount of money you need to bet and lay (i.e., bet against) at different odds in order to guarantee a profit.

Matched betting is often described as a risk-free or no-risk betting strategy, as it involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event. This means that, regardless of the outcome, you will always win something.

While there is no such thing as a completely risk-free investment or betting strategy, matched betting is considered one of the safest and most profitable ways to make money online.

How Does Matched Betting Work?

In order to get started with matched betting, you'll need to sign up for a bookmaker account and a betting exchange account. The bookmaker will offer you a free bet or other promotion, which you can then use to place a bet on a particular event.

You'll then use the betting exchange to lay off (i.e., bet against) the same outcome, effectively covering all possible outcomes of the event.

For example, let's say that a bookmaker is offering a £20 free bet on the outcome of a football match. You would use the matched betting calculator to work out exactly how much you need to bet on the opposite outcome (i.e., the team not winning) in order to guarantee a profit.

This might involve placing a bet of £10 on the team not winning at the bookmaker, and then laying that same outcome at the exchange for a slightly higher amount (e.g., £11). If the team not winning, you'd win £10 at the bookmaker and lose £11 at the exchange, resulting in a net profit of £9.

Is Matched Betting Legal?

One of the most common questions people have about matched betting is whether it's legal in the UK. The short answer is yes – matched betting is completely legal in the UK, as long as you're over 18 years old and not using any illegal or unethical methods to make money.

In fact, many bookmakers and betting exchanges actively encourage matched betting, as it helps to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

That said, it's important to note that bookmakers don't like matched betting. While they're legally obligated to honour the free bets and other promotions they offer, they're not obliged to keep your account open if they suspect you're using matched betting to make a profit.

This is why many matched betting enthusiasts choose to use dedicated matched betting blogs and forums to share tips and strategies, and to stay up to date on the latest offers and promotions.

The Benefits of Matched Betting

1. Risk-free profit:

With matched betting, you are able to make a profit without risking any of your own money. By using the free bets and promotions offered by bookmakers, you can ensure that you make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event you are betting on.

2. Tax-free earnings:

Matched betting profits are tax-free in the UK, which means that you get to keep 100% of the money you make. This makes it a great way to supplement your income or even make a full-time living.

3. Flexible schedule:

Matched betting can be done at any time, from anywhere. All you need is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection. This means that you can fit it in around your existing commitments, whether that be a full-time job or looking after children.

4. No special skills required:

You don't need any special skills or knowledge to start matched betting. There are many resources available online to help you get started, including matched betting blogs, forums, and calculators.

5. Low start-up costs:

You can start matched betting with as little as £50-£100, which makes it a very accessible way to make money online.

6. Develops financial awareness:

Matched betting can also help to develop your financial awareness, as you learn how to manage your bankroll and make informed decisions about your bets.

Overall, matched betting offers a low-risk, tax-free way to make money online. With the right resources and approach, anyone can learn how to do it and start making a profit.

The Disadvantages of Matched Betting

While there are certainly advantages to matched betting, there are also some potential disadvantages that bettors should be aware of. These include:

1. Time-consuming:

Matched betting can be a time-consuming activity, especially when starting out. Finding and comparing odds, placing bets, and keeping track of everything can take up a significant amount of time.

2. Risk of human error:

As with any type of betting, there is always a risk of human error. This could include making a mistake when placing a bet, misreading the terms and conditions of an offer, or failing to update a spreadsheet correctly.

3. Limited profit potential:

While matched betting can be a lucrative way to make some extra cash, it is important to note that the profit potential is limited. There are only so many bookmaker offers available, and once these have been completed, the opportunity for profit dries up.

4. Potential account restrictions:

Bookmakers are well aware of matched betting, and some may choose to restrict or even close accounts that they suspect of engaging in this activity. This can make it more difficult to continue making a profit from matched betting in the long-term.

5. Addiction risk:

As with any type of gambling, there is always a risk of addiction. While matched betting is a relatively low-risk form of betting, it is still important for bettors to monitor their behaviour and ensure that they are not developing any unhealthy habits.

How much can you make from matched betting?

In general, the amount that you can make from matched betting can range from a few hundred pounds per month to several thousand pounds per year. Some experienced matched bettors have reported earning upwards of £2,000 per month, while others may only make a few hundred pounds per month.

One of the key factors that can impact how much you can make from matched betting is the amount of money you have available to invest. While you don't need a large amount of money to get started with matched betting, having more money to invest will allow you to take advantage of more offers and promotions, which can help to increase your overall earnings.

Another factor that can impact your earnings from matched betting is the time and effort you are willing to put in. Matched betting requires a certain amount of research, planning, and execution, and the more time and effort you are willing to put in, the more you are likely to earn.

It's also worth noting that the specific offers and promotions that are available at any given time can have a significant impact on your earnings from matched betting. Some offers may be more profitable than others, and some may have specific requirements or restrictions that make them less appealing.

Ultimately, the amount that you can make from matched betting will depend on your individual circumstances, including your available resources, your level of experience and skill, and the offers and promotions that are available at any given time.

With that said, matched betting can be a lucrative and relatively low-risk way to make money online, and it is certainly worth considering for those who are looking for a flexible and profitable side hustle.

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