Today I have a guest post by fellow personal finance blogger Francesca who writes at “From Pennies to Pounds“. Francesca and I started our blogs around the same time. Several months ago I found out she was earning extra income through matched betting. I’d heard a lot about matched betting but had never tried it myself.
I’m not an advocate of gambling simply because you have no control over the odds, but matched betting is different, it’s a strategic process of placing bets with different bookkeepers to take advantage of bonus incentives. To help you evaluate the odds and the incentives on offer there is software available to tell you what bets to place, when and where.
Francesca has been consistently making money and, because it’s money made through gambling, it’s tax-free. I personally haven’t had the time to try matched betting, but I may well do at some point. Because of her experience, I asked if she’d kindly introduce you to what matched betting is and how you can make an extra income online through it. Here’s what Francesca has to say:
Make money online with matched betting
Matched betting is an excellent way of making money online, but it’s not that well known. If you delve within the personal finance blogosphere, however, you will find many of the bloggers recommending matched betting as a way to make some extra cash every month – myself included.
But what is matched betting you ask? Well, let me start by assuring you that it is not gambling. Gambling is a game of luck and you are more likely to lose than you are to win. Matched betting is not gambling at all because we will make money no matter what the result of the bet is. Confused yet?!
It can be difficult to get your head around at first because it just seems to be very confusing and mathematical – but I promise you it’s really easy, and you’ll be wondering why you thought it was difficult in the first place.The process goes something like this:
The process goes something like this:
- Place a bet (just like you normally would, on a betting site)
- Place a bet (just like you normally would, on a betting site) then place another bet on a different site which bets the opposite way to your first bet (called a betting exchange)
When I say bet the opposite way to your first bet, for example, this could be your first bet on the normal betting site you bet that Team A will win the football match. On the betting exchange, you then bet that Team A won’t win (whether that be a draw or a loss).
The point of this is that the bets will then cancel each other out.
Now if you just did this, you obviously wouldn’t win any money because you are essentially betting against yourself! The way that you make money in matched betting is with the free bet bonuses that the betting sites use as incentives to get you to sign up and spend your money on them.
When you use a free bet to place one of the two bets (the betting site one and the opposing one on the betting exchange) you will be returned the free bet money. So if you signed up to a betting site and were given a £50 free bet for signing up and used it, you will receive back a percentage of that £50 after the fees have been taken off. This is the only way that you can make consistent money from matched betting.
Hopefully, you understand the general process now – I tried to lay it out as simplified as possible because a lot of people can find the concept difficult to wrap their head around initially. Just to reiterate, we place two opposing bets – but one is the free bet that the site has given us, and we then get a percentage of the free bet money back. You don’t get a lot of money back each time, but once you get faster at it and into the swing of things, it will quickly add up.
As with all new things, there is new terminology to learn, such as:
Back Bet – this is the bet that we make on the betting site just like we usually would (if we were gambling)
Lay Bet – this is the extra step that we take in order to change from gambling to matched betting. This is the bet that we place at the betting exchange site to oppose the back bet.
Now please note that you cannot make good money on every single match that is on. Going back to gambling, you make more money on the matches where the odds are greater. With matched betting this rings true too, but you need the odds of the back bet and the lay bet to be as close as possible, so that they do actually cancel each other out. The best way of doing this is to change the odds on the sites to be viewed as decimals instead of fractions – they usually have this option on the front page. It’s then much easier to see where the odds are close e.g. 4.4 and 4.5.
You could trawl through both betting sites trying to find a back bet and a lay bet that are close or use a website that will do it for you. I use Profit Accumulator which has odds matching software, betting calculator, step-by-step instructions on the sign-up offers, a forum and more. It will save you a lot of time if you use them instead of having to find the bets by yourself – and they will tell you how much to bet as well.
Profit Accumulator has a free trial where they will show you how to place 2 bets and then if you are happy with it, you can sign up with them for a fee of £ per month. As mentioned, they will find all of the offers for you which will save you a lot of time and potential stress if you get it wrong.
How Much Can You Make?
Realistically you could be looking at £1000 per month – but it completely depends on how much time you put into it. This is not a passive income stream, you get out of it what you put into it, so you are effectively trading your time for the money…but the hourly rate is pretty good!
I made a few hundred pounds in the first month and I didn’t start with a big bank. You will need a little bit of money to start because you have to put your money into the betting exchange for the lay bet (you will be getting it back don’t worry). You can start with around £60-£70 but the more that you have to start with, the more money that you will be able to make quickly. The reason for this is because if you have a small amount you have to wait for each bet to be done (e.g. wait for the football game to finish) before you are able to withdraw the money. If you have a large bank amount then you can keep doing the other bets and not have to wait for the individual bets to end.
You can make more than £1000 in just the first month of doing this if you have a large amount to start with and you are putting in an hour or two a day to do the bets.
Even after the joining up offers dry up, you will be sent reloaded offers from the betting sites because they want to keep you as a customer – there are lots of them so that’s why you are able to keep up the extra income, and you can make even more during big tournaments and events as they will send loads of offers out.
Why Should I Do Matched Betting?
Making more money is something that most of us are interested in – whether that reason is so you can pay off your debt, for early retirement, for traveling, for staying at home with your kids…and this is a great way of earning extra cash on the side without having a ‘job’.
The main thing that matched betting has that a lot of side hustles don’t is that it is tax-free. Yes, you read that correctly – you will not have to pay tax on your earnings! This is because the government technically class this as gambling money which is not taxable, which means that you get to keep 100% of your profits.
Will I Lose My Money?
No – not if you do it correctly. The only way that you can lose money is if you don’t follow the steps properly. You must double check that you are on the correct football match for example and that the odds are the right odds – and that you put the right amount of money in. As you get used to it, this process will become much faster.
Why Aren’t More People Doing Matched Betting?
A lot of people think that it must be a scam – but it is a legitimate, legal way of making money. It is one of those things that sounds too good to be true – tax-free money and you can earn a decent amount each month? I would never recommend something that I had not done personally myself, and I did a lot of research beforehand so I knew it was all good.
When something new pops up that sounds good, we immediately try and talk ourselves out of it. ‘Oh, that seems way too complicated’, ‘I’m terrible at maths’, ‘I have no spare time to do this’, ‘It’s got to be scam’…and so on. I promise you, it is legal and there are lots of people that are doing it. You can put as much time into it as you like, and you can stop at any time too. I hate maths but you don’t have to work anything out – Profit Accumulator does it all for you. You don’t have to understand anything about betting, you just need to follow the steps that Profit Accumulator gives you.
Is It For Me?
Give the free trial a go and see if you get on with it. If you don’t, then you have still paid a little bit of money from the 2 trial bets and you can walk away and try something that is better suited to you. You do not have to do this, but it is a great way to make a bit of extra cash that you can keep all of the profits from.
If you have had a problem with gambling in the past, then this isn’t for you, unfortunately. Matched betting is not gambling, but you are able to see how much you would have won if you had placed a certain bet instead of doing matched betting, so the temptation will be there to try your luck. If at any point you think that – it’s probably the right time to stop.