Matched Betting Strategy by Bv1j4K


									                                                        Matched Betting Strategy

Matched Betting (when done correctly) is a low-risk way of utilising your own hard earned cash to access free offers from bookmakers and then
maximise (again in a low-risk way) the amount of the bookmakers free cash that you are able to keep.

Matched Betting can be started with funds of as little as £50 of your own money (assuming you start on Bookmakers £10 free bets, which is

It is not rocket science but does require you to have some understanding of maths and the ability to use simple spreadsheets.

It is also most important that you to invest your own time in understanding the basics of Matched Betting.

If you feel you are still interested in Matched Betting then please take the time to read the following ebook.

Once you have read the whole ebook 2 or 3 times (it took me that many times to grasp it) and feel

Try entering some selections in the Matcher spreadsheet to confirm that you have the basic understanding to start using some of your hard
earned money (remember it is only risk free if you understand what you are doing).

But please be aware, the onus is upon you to research the details provided for you below, to test your understanding by following the “Just Tips
no Chat” thread and to practice using the Matcher Spreadsheet.

Once you have done this and feel comfortable with your understanding you will be ready to use your hard earned cash to start Matched Betting.

Here is a quick summary on how to get started with Matched Betting.

1. take your time - this is not a competition

2. read the ebook. Read the ebook over and over again - it's quite normal that you might not get it first time. Maybe print parts of the ebook
and keep it by your computer
3. read the matched betting diary (see ebook2)

4. familiarise yourself with the matcher spreadsheet. You need MS Excel or the free OpenOffice equivalent on your computer.

5. if you aren't yet, sign up for free to Quidco, and TopCashBack (TCB). For maximum cashback, use Quidco or TCB.
6. join the 'Newcomers to matched betting' thread as an active member (you may want to do this earlier but you'll get more value out of it if
you are familiar with the basics)

7. set aside a matched betting starter budget. You can start with as little as £50.

8. sign up to Betfair - check the newbie thread and/or the referrer's board for the latest best offers

9. place your first set of bets only when you feel comfortable with the concept and when you are sure you have the correct numbers. Use the
newcomers thread to verify your numbers if you are unsure.

10. keep a record of your bets - best in a spreadsheet that adds up your profits as you got along, and helps you track your funds.

1. ever risk money that you cannot afford to lose, or ever deviate from the matched betting principles. If you have an uncontrollable gambling
streak, or are under order not to do any betting, don't venture into this.

2. jump into it head first

3. be afraid to ask questions on the newcomers thread

4. think you will do best if you don't tell anyone that you do matched betting. Particularly, don't hide it from your partner.

5. feel discouraged if it takes you quite a while to grasp the concept - you are in good company

6. confuse matched betting with traditional betting or gambling

7. expect this to be a get rich quick scheme. Such schemes simply don't exist.

Many bookmakers offer free bets to encourage people onto their sites during particular sporting events or to attract new customers.

What people often do with free bets is to try to bet on a 'dead cert' (for example Chelsea to win the Premiership, Celtic to win the SPL), or to
take a flyer at high odds. You can get lucky this way, but bookmakers are canny, and even favourites don’t always win. And because people
who win when they do this tend to post onto Internet chat boards gleefully, and those that lose don't, it’s often possible to think it is easier to
win big than it actually is. In fact, you can lose both qualifying and free bet very easily.

However it is possible to use these free bets to make very easy free money, using a technique known as back/lay bet matching. As a general
rule, you can get 95-100% of the free bet amount as real cash for bets where the stake is returned, and about 75% where the stake is not
returned. This way, you win every time! It does take a little bit of getting your head around at first, but is well worthwhile as literally hundreds
of pounds of real hard cash are available very easily.

It is really not all that difficult, and there are full instructions below.

Bet/Lay matching transforms any bet into a simple two way choice and greatly simplifies the process.

First the standard disclaimer.   As always, do your own research, and if things go wrong it is your responsibility, not
mine or this boklet’s.

So let's start with a word of explanation on how this all works.

When you make a bet with a bookmaker, you place a stake on an event at particular odds. For example if you were to put £10 on a bet on
Team A winning a football match at 2/1 (decimal odds 3.0), if you were to win the bet you would receive a total of £30 back, i.e. your stake of
£10 plus the bookie’s £20. However if you lost, the bookie would gain your £10 and you would receive back nothing.

Now imagine you as the bookmaker. In this case you could also offer the same odds to someone for the same outcome (team A
to win the match), gaining £10 if the punter loses, but risking £20 of your own money. This is known as 'laying' a bet.

So if you were both to bet on the event and act as a bookmaker at the same time, something interesting happens: whatever the outcome, the
bet side and the lay side of the bet cancel out completely:

Outcome 1 (bet won - Team A wins):

You win £30, i.e. your stake of £10 plus £20 profit.
Bookmaker loses £20

If you are both the punter and the bookmaker, your total profit is:
(£30-£10) - £20 = £0

Outcome 2 (bet lost - Team A does not win (draws or loses))

You lose £10, i.e. your stake.
Bookmaker gains £10,

If you are both the punter and the bookmaker, your total profit is:

£10 - £10 = £0
So you can see that in both cases, both the lay and the bet cancel each other out. You neither lose nor gain money.

Obviously this is useless for normal betting, but it is extraordinarily useful when going after bookmaker’s bonuses, as it allows you to place a
completely risk free qualifying bet on any event you can both bet on and lay a bet on. And then if you repeat the same thing with a free bet
stake, you will always magically come out with a profit that is roughly equal to the free bet stake – you can prove this to yourself by working
out the profit and loss on both sides of a free bet. Taking the same odds as an example and assuming a £10 free bet.

Outcome 1 (Team A wins):

You bet the free bet of £10 at 3.0. Return is £30 with no outlay to you. On the lay side, your loss is £20, as before. Thus overall profit = £30 -
£20 = £10.

Outcome 2 (bet lost - Team A loses or draws)

Your loss on the bet side is zero (as the bet was free). You gain the punter's stake of £10 on the lay side.

So regardless of the outcome, you have made £10.

Now in practice this is rarely quite as neat as the example. To lay bets, you use betting exchanges, and these generally never offer lay odds
which are the same as those at bookies. Also there is a commission of between 1% to 5% payable on winnings at the bet exchange. Even so,
it’s easy to use the technique to qualify for a free bet with a very small loss, and then to match out most of the free stake money without any
risk at all.

The other slight complication is that sometimes free bet offers do not return the stake with winnings. This alters the calculations a little, but you
can still make guaranteed money by looking for events with relatively high odds (above 7.0) and a close match for a lay. You should be able to
clear about 75% of the free bet amount.

The first step is to find a free bet, and the best way to do this is to do a google search for "free bets uk" or visit the,, sites.
The forum on betting is also useful here. Ask in the Newcomers Welcome thread and keep an eye on the main board where
new offers are posted when they appear.

When you’ve found a free bet offer, have a specific look around for more references to it and search this site. It’s possible to get a better deal
via a referral, and sometimes you can make a bit of extra cash for example by signing up a partner and having them refer you. It's also well
worth checking at Quidco, Greasypalm, Rpoints, Ipoints, TopCashBack, The Gambling Times (TGT) betrescue and so on to see whether
cashback is available. Both Rpoints and TopCashBack have refer a friend schemes if you haven't joined yet.

This is a typical offer. You have to bet £50 of your own money, and if you do you will be given a £50 free bet.
Step 1 is to check the Terms and Conditions. Find out whether stakes are returned with free bets, and whether there is a bet-through
requirement before you can withdraw the bonus (for example you might have to bet deposit and bonus 3x through before it can be withdrawn -
in this case you could try to arrange the bet so that you were more likely to lose at the bookie to avoid having to make 3 matched bets to
extract the cash - since you lose a little of the free money each time it's best to minimise the number of bets you make to withdraw it).

If necessary e-mail customer services to ask. I usually find that the best approach when dealing with customer services is to present three
options, i.e. stakes are not returned with winnings; stakes are returned with winnings and may be withdrawn; stakes are returned with
winnings but can't be immediately withdrawn, and have customer services tell you which one is correct.

In the case of Coral, at time of writing, stakes are returned, and there is no bet-through.

Now sign up to the bookie with the offer. Keep a record of your username and password and the offer you are going for (in three months if you
get a follow up offer you'll need to remember this, and it's very easy to forget what offers you have used when you’ve been doing this for a
while). If possible, set your preferences to decimal odds (i.e. 3.25) as it’s much easier to compare these at different sites. To convert
between the 3/1 style odds and decimals, you just divide the first number by the second and add one (for example 5/2 would be
decimal 3.5).

Also sign up to a betting exchange. There are several of these: the most popular is Betfair, where you pay a 5% commission on net winnings
(1% on some markets). There are various free bet offers as well as a refer a friend scheme. Other exchanges at the time of writing are
Mansion, Betmate, Betdaq, ibetx, wbx.
At the time of writing (Feb 2010) Betfair are doing various sign up offers.

A betting exchange is a gambling website acting as a broker between parties for the placement of bets. The concept is similar to
that of a stock exchange or a futures exchange, where in this case the commodity being traded is a bet, rather than a stock or futures contract.
Most betting on a betting exchange is a form of fixed odds gambling. So when you are laying a bet on the exchange you are in effect
betting against someone else who has offered up a certain amount of money at those odds.

Then download my bet matching spreadsheet, which you can find in zipped Excel format at:
or unzipped at

-the spreadsheet should open in OpenOffice should be able to load this no problem if you haven't got Excel. A list of other spreadsheets
available are detailed at the bottom of this ebook.

You are now ready to look for and make the qualifying bet. The aim of the game here is to find a bet that you can match with a ‘lay’ at the
betting exchange so that you lose the minimum amount of money.
I use football, and find the best time to look for these is 3 or 4 hours before the match, but other sports are just as good - horse racing is best
avoided at first at least as odds change very quickly and there are some odd rules (Rule 4 in particular) which can screw things up if they don't
apply equally at both bookmakers.

Do make sure that the rules at each bookie are the same, i.e. football matches results tend to apply over 90 minutes plus injury time but not
extra time; sometimes rules about tennis if there is an injury are different. Don't rush yourself into making a bet until you are confident about

What you need to look for is backing odds (at Coral) and 'lay' odds (at Betfair). Lay odds are the ones in pink boxes at Betfair when using the
full view. The first time you do this it might take a while, but it's worthwhile getting a good one. For example let's assume you can back
Liverpool to draw at Boro at 3.25, and can lay the same outcome at 3.45 at Betfair.

It's important to realise that you don't choose opposing outcomes. For example if you were to back Liverpool to beat Boro, you lay
Liverpool to beat Boro too NOT Boro to beat Liverpool. This is because when laying bets, you are effectively acting as the bookmaker, so you
are in effect gambling on that outcome NOT happening. This takes a bit of getting your head around at first, but the important thing to
remember is to back and lay the same thing precisely.

Also worth knowing is that if you can find lay odds at the exchange that are less than the odds at the bookie, you may make a guaranteed
small profit rather than a small loss - for some reason these are more common in the lower divisions.

If you load up the spreadsheet, you'll see you can enter a free stake amount. Enter 10.00 for £10. There is no stake forfeit on a qualifying bet,
so enter the Stake Forfeit as 0.0. The back odds are 3.25, and the lay odds are 3.45. There is no commission at the backing bookmaker, so
enter 0 for this, but your commission at the exchange must be entered (if using Betfair, the commission is 5%)

The spreadsheet will then work out the numbers for you. You will see that a lay stake of £9.56 will be highlighted, and the 'lay risk' will be
calculated as £23.28. Whatever happens with the result of the event, you will have £9.08 returned, i.e. you will lose 92p. The ‘lay risk’ is the
amount of money that is required in your betfair account to pay out the other person should you ‘lose’ your bet at Betfair.

On the betting exchange lay odds you will see a number in pounds, which is the amount of stake money actually available at the betting
exchange. Make sure this is much bigger than the lay stake the spreadsheet before continuing, otherwise find another event which has money
available for laying.

You will now need to deposit your £10 at Coral, and deposit an amount greater than your lay risk at the betting exchange. I usually deposit a
fair bit more than necessary at the exchange in case odds change and you may need to recalculate the lay at higher odds, requiring more lay

You now need to place your bets. Be hyper careful here, as mistakes can be costly. First place the bet at Coral, but do not confirm it - leave the
window open at the final stage. Then click on the relevant lay odds at the exchange, and enter the value of £9.56 into the stake box - the
exchange should calculate your risk at £23.42 or so. Now return to Coral and confirm your bet, then back to the exchange and confirm the lay.
Check your account details at both sites to make sure
(1) the right bet has been placed,
(2) the amounts are right, and
(3) you have backed and layed the same outcome (in this case a draw). If so, you can sit back and wait for the end of the event. Some
time later, your free bet will be credited, and you will have an increased balance at either the bookie or betting exchange.

To extract the free bet money, you simply repeat the process with another event - if there is a bet-through at the backing bookie, back
something at fairly long odds in an attempt to lose (if you do happen to win, you'll just have to repeat the process until you either lose or
satisfy the bet-through.

If you screw up, bear in mind that you can’t ever cancel bets with bookies – if you’ve made a really gross error like betting £10,000 instead of
£100 then an immediate call may possibly get a cancellation but this is highly unlikely, so be careful! There are usually enough confirmation
stages to cross check. Addition by jobbingmusician, March 2010. If you screw up at the exchange, it may be possible to back out of your
position. If you can back at the same odds you layed at, you will reverse out of your situation with no penalty. If the odds have changed, things
will be more difficult. If your exchange is set up with the 'Display "what if" figure' and 'Display P&L net of commission' boxes ticked, you will be
able to experiment by entering various amounts in the 'back' box (do NOT press submit!) to see the result. When you see the potential result of
backing out of your lay, remember to add in the potential result of your back bet, if you have submitted one. If the event where you have made
a mistake is not about to start, you are may like to ask a question in the questions thread to see if someone more experienced can help you
out. (Remember that exchanges don't work like normal bookies. They just want your commission and don't care if you back and lay the same

One thing that can go wrong at the exchange is that there is insufficient money available to lay the bet in which case you can get a message
that the bet has not been matched (this can be checked by clicking on the ‘my bets’ tab on the right hand side of your Betfair screen or by
going to ‘my accounts’ and clicking on ‘current bets’). If you fail to match before the game starts, cancel the un-matched bet, then recalculate
with whatever odds are available.

And that's all there is to it! Easy money, without having to introduce the annoying element of chance into gambling. Once you’ve learned the
technique - really just a case of putting your toe into the water - you should find it a very easy way to make a good deal of money.

If free stake money is not returned with winnings - then the procedure for matching out the free bet is very similar (the qualifying bet will work
precisely as before). In this case, enter the stake money in both the 'Free Stake' and the 'Stake Forfeit' boxes. You should be able to clear a
profit of about 75% of the free stake with a decent match. If you do this with the same numbers as the previous example, you'll see that you
will make a guaranteed £6.38 for a £6.58 lay stake, requiring a betting exchange deposit of at least £16.12.

Do a small match first to get the hang of things.

WARNING: Betfair recommends Firefox as their standard browser, however if you use the Back button on Firefox you might find that your last
bet will be duplicated.
If you've got this far then its time for an example: How to do your very first matched bet.

If you are not already a member sign up to Quidco (or an alternative cashback site). Many bookmakers offer cashback/affiliate schemes -
always check for possible cashback through either a cashback site or a referral scheme on the referrers board

Joining an exchange.

There is a very comprehensive thread on joining Betfair here. Don't be discouraged by the length - joining Betfair is one of the most
complicated things you will do, for a while, and it's worth extracting every penny from it!

So you’ve got the basics of MBing under your belt, and unless you intend to do all your MBing through dutching, you need to join an exchange.
Even if you are going to use dutching, exchanges are often worth using for their enhanced odds.

There are 3 main exchanges, Betfair, Betdaq and Betmate. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. They all work on a commission basis
– they take a percentage of your winnings. The more you bet with them, the more you accumulate points which reduce the amount of
commission you pay. All lay exchanges now have a 5% base commission rate.

Exchanges are happy to have you as a customer. They know that MBers use them a lot – unlike ordinary bookies they don’t care that you are


BF is the market leader, and has the greatest number of markets with the greatest liquidity. They frequently have joining offers. At the time of
writing, you can join through quidco for £40, or be referred by a friend for £50 each. (The tradition is that you are referred by someone through
the referrers board , and the referrer splits their £50 with you, resulting in £75 in your pocket).

At the time of writing, BF's opening offer is a free bet on lose. See this thread for advice. Free bet on lose - How to lock in a profit.


BD occasionally has offers for new members, BM has never been known to have a joining offer.

These two exchanges have far less liquidity than BF, although their odds will be similar on large fixtures. Until recently, the base commission
rate at BM was 3% - many MBers are still on this rate at the time of writing. BD has been generous to new MBers in the past – it is probably
still worth emailing them and telling them that you are starting your MBing career, would like to use them, but find their liquidity poor. Ask
them if they will reduce their commission rate for a period – if they say no, you haven’t lost anything! (IF they say yes, the reduced
commission will probably be for 3 months – remember to write to them again at the end of the period to try to renew your discount).
(One specific market on BM/BD is extremely useful for fairly new MBers to use as the commission rate is only 2%. This is the Asian Handicap
market. Learn the simplest forms of dutching by reading the guide in Step 2, when you are ready.)

Before you start using Betfair, personalise it. (You will thank me for this, one day!)
Find the button marked 'More Options'

Press this, and select 'Display P&L net of commission' and 'Display "what if" figure'. Save and close. Now every time you place a bet or lay, the
figures underneath the different options (in this case Utd, Liverpool or Draw) will tell you what the effect at Betfair will be if this result comes
in. Remember there will also be a result at your bookie!
Next sign up to a bookmaker. Check which bookies have good offers at the moment. One of the best offers around at the time of writing is
Coral - you have two options here - the first: for a free £50 bet when you place a £50 bet -sign up through hxxp:/
Alternatively you can sign up through Quidco for a bet £10 get £10 free. In the example below we will use the £50 offer.
Now to place your first matched bet. There is an example below which you can work through - but you need to find your own bet on current

The mechanics of matched betting:

1. Go to the bookie website, in this case Coral (once you have registered)

Select Football and then Matches and find a game
In this case we are looking at Premiership matches.
Note I have switched the odds to decimals - to do this click the EU button highlighted in the above picture.

2. Go to

Again, left hand side of the screen, select

Soccer, Coupons, Midweek English Premiership to see the games on Betfair
You can see that the odds on the Chelsea are quite close between Coral and Betfair.

Next you need the matcher spreadsheet

The offer at Coral is place a £50 bet and they will match it with a free bet of £50 stake returned

So to get the most of the offer we want to bet £50 of our money to get the full £50 from Coral

Because this is our own money we want to lose as little as possible.

So we find odds as close together as possible, and at as low odds as possible so that we have to lay out less cash at Betfair.
We have to find something that we can back at Coral (ie bet on) and the same event at Betfair that we can lay (ie bet against) - and Chelsea to
win is a great example.

I am going to bet £50 of my money, so this is the "free stake" box in the spreadsheet.

If I win my bet I get all my stake back so I put 0 in the stake forfeit box

My back odds are the Odds that Coral will give me to bet on Chelsea winning their match - 1.223

My Lay odds are the odds that Betfair will give me that the same event will not happen - ie Chelsea will not win (which is different to Chelsea

In this case 1.26.

The lay commission at Betfair is 5% on most bets so in that goes too.

The spreadsheet then works out the gain/loss from this match. I'll post what the spreadsheet should look like next.
The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese

Through the wonders of spreadsheet formulae I have now discovered that if I back Chelsea at Coral (£50) and lay £50.54 at Betfair then I will
get a return of £48.01 regardless of whether Chelsea win or lose.

However - we bet £50 so we have actually made a loss of (50 - 48.01) £1.99

Now - if this is acceptable to us (ie we are happy that the match is close enough and we have minimised our loss) we would then go ahead and
place the bet at the bookie, and place the lay at Betfair.

In Summary:

I bet £50 at the bookies (click the odds next to the bet that you want) and lay £50.54 at Betfair (click the purple box and then enter your lay
stake in the input box).

At Betfair you can then make sure that your bet is matched by checking the "My Bets" tab

Just to be clear -
At the bookmaker I bet £50. If I win I get back 1.223x my original stake = £61.15 (my £50 back plus £11.15 winnings). But I lose at Betfair so
I have to pay them which is £50.54 x 1.26 = £63.68 less the original stake of £50.54 = £13.14 of my money.

So I am Up £11.15 at Coral but down £13.14 at Betfair = £1.99 overall

But, Coral are now going to credit me with a £50 free bet that I can match.

So now I have a free bet that I can use - and this is where the money making starts.

The process is exactly the same as when working out the qualifying bet above. In fact I could even repeat the process if I got the free bet
credited in time (Coral will normally credit the free bet once the qualifying bet is placed).

In this case I would again have £48.01 returned from the £50 bet - which is now withdrawable in cash to a debit card of my choice (well the
one I used to deposit with anyway).

So overall I have made:

£48.01 from the free bet less the £1.99 qualifying bet loss = £46.02 more cash now than I had when I started the thread.

I am also due to receive money from either a cashback site or from a referrer at a future date for signing up to Betfair.

Thats the first bet explained for you If you have any questions then there are lots of people around to help you - please post questions before
you act if you are unsure. It is a lot easier to correct a mistake in understanding before the even than a financial/betting error which could cost
you money.
The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese

If you are new to matched betting, your question probably has been asked before so I have compiled a list of favourites with the answers.

1) Gambling is for mugs, why is this different?
Matched betting is covering all outcomes for the same event so the result of the event does not matter. If you feel unsure of this concept
please read the guides in detail again.

2) I've seen all these massive figures in people’s signatures but as I see it at £10 per bookie I'd need to do about 9,000 bookies - what am I
There are lots of bookies, some of them require a large deposit for a large bonus. Some bookies have reload offers where you can deposit a
certain amount each week for a bonus. For large sporting events, most of them will have special offers. Some move on to arbitrage betting and
spreadbetting (see other forms of betting).
New bookies appear as old ones close down as well.
An amazing list of bookies by Zebra.

3) Can I earn money from this without putting in any money? How much do I need to start with?
Unless a bookie has a special offer where you get a free bet for signing up, it is NOT possible to do matched betting without your own funds.
You can start off with as little or as much as you like, it is recommended that you have £50-£100 to start of to get the best offers. Please
remember that a lot of offers are for new customers, you only get one shot at them so try to maximise the offer when you are joining up.

4) Definitions of common terms used
WR-wagering requirement, the amount of times you need to bet through at the bookies before you can withdraw. Often bookies ask you to turn
the bonus 3x at certain odds (1.60 or above)
SR- stake returned
SNR- stake not returned. For free bets, it means the original stake is not returned, you only receive your winnings. To maximise the SNR bets,
we recommend you look for high odds. See graph below.
Evens- 1/1 is fractional for decimal 2.0
When matchers talk about a 'market' or a 'selection' it is just something that you are betting on, team names or players. Don't worry, you'll
soon be talking like a real gambler.
A betting slip is what you will be placing your bets on, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and vary according to bookies websites. Free
bets are normally for singles only win markets, it is for one event/outcome to win.
Accumulators or doubles or trebles are a group of events with a set of odds. This is common for big events such as the premiership where you
may get Chelsea/Liverpool/Man United to win their matches on Saturday for a set odds. This can be matched out on Betfair under their
accumulator markets.

5) What is a good return level/percentage? What odds should I be using for SNR?
A good qualifier or SR (stake returned) free bet returns at least 95%, you should aim to not lose more than £1 for a £25 bet. A good stake not
returned (SNR) bet will typically return 80%. All the numbers vary on how much time you want to spend comparing odds and how comfortable
you are with different markets.
For SNR bets you are recommended to use high odds (7.0 or above) to extract the most of your free bet, high odds can be found on the half-
time/full time as well as the correct score markets for football.
6) I still don't understand how I can make money from SNR bets? Give me an example please!)

For a stake not returned bet, lay actually goes down by the exact lay stake used for SNR.

E.g. £25 on 7/7, normal lay, lay liability is £151.08.

But £25 on 7/7, SNR lay, lay liability is £129.50.

The difference between £151.08 and £129.50 is £21.58, which is the SNR lay stake.
7) Where can I find the latest offers?
Searching on the internet and looking for free bets, check Zebra’s list of bookies for current bookies still in operation and watch the forum as
well as the one on Rpoints for latest offers.

8) What is Quidco/Rpoints? What's Betrescue?
These are cashback/affiliate sites that offer you incentives to join other websites through them. They are,,,


1) Where can I find a list of bookies?
Zebra's list of bookies is your first stop

2) How do I know if a free bet is SR or SNR?
Generally if it's an account credit, that is, the bookie adds the bonus to your account balance, it should be treated as SR.
If you receive a free bet token/slip, it will be SNR. Read the bookie's terms and conditions, if it's SNR most of them will state quite clearly "FREE
BET STAKES ARE NOT RETURNED" or something of that description. Bookies change their offers so you must take the responsibility of checking
their terms and conditions.

3) How do I switch Coral to decimal odds?
Under the Coral logo in the top-left corner of the screen you will see "EU UK US", with UK currently selected. Click on EU.
(Thanks to Dan29)

4) How do I switch Sean Graham to decimal odds?
You can't. There's an odds converter at

5) Do the odds change once I have bet and layed?
No. The odds may change at the bookie and exchange after you have placed your bet but the confirmed odds on your records are the ones that
you will be paid out on. Be careful of a few situations such as horse racing where the odds will change if there are non-runners in the race (Rule
4 deduction, see later, heading E). Bookies will palp (cancel the bet or give you reduced odds) if the odds were placed in error on their website.

6) I've cocked up, how do I cancel the bet?
You CANNOT cancel a bet with a bookies unless it’s an obvious/gross error. The best way is to try and lay off your mistake at betfair. Outline
your mistake and there should be someone along to help you out.

7) What are the easiest SR bookies to begin with?
The sticky Zebra’s list of bookies is listed with the relatively easiest one first. However, no one person can tell you which ones would be easier
than another. Please check and double check and read (and re-read!) bookie’s terms and conditions.

8) I know odds like 2/1 but Betfair has odds like 6.4? How do I change the odds from fractions?
Fractional odds are limited to English/Irish bookies but most of them offer the option to view odds in decimals. To convert fractional odds to
decimal odds, divide the fraction by itself and add 1. For example, 4/6 is 0.67+1=1.67. Betfair has an online calculator, fractional conversion is
possible with some other spreadsheets.

9) I don't understand how to do a WR. Please help!
Read the terms and conditions of the bookie to find out if the WR includes the deposit or just the bonus.
Say the free bet is £20 SR for a £20 deposit.
If the WR is 3x bonus, then you just to place bets worth £20x3=£60 before withdrawing
If the WR is 3x bonus+deposit, then you need to place bets worth £40x3=£120 before withdrawing.
Please read terms and conditions to check for minimum odds.

10) I've heard loads of American bookies are going bust?
A lot of bookies are based in gambling friendly regions, namely Gibraltar and Malta. There were never any American bookies, merely American
facing sportsbooks. At the time of writing, new gambling laws in America means that banks are not allowed to process gambling transactions,
which means American-facing bookies are limited to non-American punters. Please consider carefully when joining American facing
sportsbooks. A valuable resource is (SBR) - go there for a review/rating of all sorts of sportsbooks. It is
recommended people stay clear of anything C-rated or worse

11) They want my ID!!! Why?
A lot of bookies require identification to release funds to you. It is always advisable to keep a copy of your card, passport and bank statement.
When sending copies via email, please black out the few middle digits of your card and the CCV number on the back of the card.
Please remember that e-mail is not a secure method of communication and can be intercepted, always make sure that you don't leave yourself
open to internet fraud.


1) What is a ‘lay’?
When you place a lay, you are betting against another person at the odds on offer for the event not to happen. In effect, you are playing the
role of the bookmaker to the other person.
To reiterate, when you lay a team you are saying that the team WILL NOT win.

2) What is a betting exchange?
A website where you are betting against other people using fixed odds. In match betting you are offering your odds or accepting other odds
that have been offered. For matched betting to be safe, you have to make sure that your bet is matched.
In the event that you have your bet is not matched, you will have to recalculate your lay stake for the available odds and match it then. This is
slightly confusing because your bets on betfair have to be accepted by another person before it is considered matched.
Always make sure your lay stake is matched before the event.
There are 2 ways to check
The top image shows a screenshot from your account, click on my account at the top right hand corner, and then click on current bets on the
pop-up screen. Click on matched bets and you should see something similar.
If you are still navigating the market, click on the my bets tab and you should see your matched bet there.

3) If the game ends in a draw do I still win & where?
You will win the lay at betfair, you have bet against the team NOT winning.

4) What do the blue/pink boxes mean at BF?
Blue boxes are odds available to back and pink boxes are odds available to lay.

5) How do I take/offer different odds to ones currently on offer? When laying a bet and I'm about to submit the bet, can the
money available still reduce under my feet, or have I in effect 'reserved' my chunk of it ready for when I hit submit?
You can adjust the odds by clicking the up and down arrow buttons when placing your bet or by entering the odds using your keyboard. Be
warned that if your bet is not matched before the start of the event, you will effectively be gambling as you have not covered all outcomes for
the event.
When placing the lay bet, when you are at the confirmation screen, Betfair will hold your money for a short amount of time. For new match
bettors, it is recommended that you choose a market where there is a lot of liquidity (money available to lay).

6) I've not layed enough - can I lay more to offset my error? Can I lay less than £2 at Betfair?
If your lay is more than £2, then lay the amount that you are short off as normal. If less than £2, see next question.
Yes. But Betfair may ban you if you do it. It is recommended you take the loss if it’s possible. If you're still interested, see link.
Betfair only ban you if you do nothing but less than £2 bets. Somebody doing it clearly to correct a mistake will not get punished (I never once
had a problem. NB. I bet through a whole lot more than you a week, and very often make a less than £2 correction)

7) I've been laying exact amounts with Betfair as per the spreadsheet, is this OK? Is there any need to worry Betfair sussing I'm
doing matched betting?
In short, no. Betfair doesn't care how much you are betting, they are only a medium for you to place your bets. At the end of the day, they
only want to collect their commission. They also accept bets in other currencies so there are not always round numbers, their software rounds
up bets to the nearest £2.

8) I've layed too much - how do I offset my error?
You can place a back (blue box) to the amount that you have over-layed by. Betfair charges commission on net winnings only so that will not
affect your total commission paid. If you are unsure of how much to back, go to options and tick the ‘what if’ option. Then place a figure in your
back odds, then see what happens when you back that amount. Adjust until you see the correct lay amount.
To see an example of the what if option, please see screenshot of matched bet above.

9) How do you ever get a discount on Betfair?
Betfair discounts are explained on their website. In short, your commission drops to 4.75% after 1000 points, then to 4.5% after 4000 points.
There is a weekly decay rate of 15% as well so you will lose your points if you do not keep betting.

10) Are there other exchanges than Betfair?
At the time of writing, exchanges other than Betfair are Mansion, Betdaq, Betmate, ibetx, Wbx. Some bookies offer exchanges within their
website but often they are not worth the hassle as a typical exchange. Betfair is the biggest exchange.

11) When laying a bet I know I need to make sure there is much more money available than my risk, but what is "much more"?
No one can definitively answer that for you, the amount of money you have to spare is your decision. Be aware that if odds shift quickly, you
will have to deposit more to cover the lay risk and you may have to suffer a bigger loss than necessary if you don't have the balance in your
Betfair account.

12) HELP! I can't withdraw my money from Betfair!
Betfair has a unique system where you have to zero out all alternative methods of depositing before your 'winnings' can be withdrawn into your
desired method. If you have deposited with more than one method, you will have to withdraw into all your methods before you can withdraw
any excess.
For example, if you have deposited £200 using your Paypal account, then £100 using your Neteller account and then £400 using your switch
card, you MUST withdraw £200 to your Paypal account and £100 to your Neteller account, and £400 to you switch card before you can decide
where you would like the rest of your withdrawals to go to.
This isn't actually unique to Betfair - 99% of the bookies have the exact same rules. It's to do with money laundering prevention.

13) Do I back first or lay?
Generally it is wisest to place the back bet first and then the lay risk - this is the safest position to be in should anything go wrong - further
explanation by Betfred:

With a £50 snr free bet, let's say you find back and lay odds of 15 on a HT/FT market. If you put your £47 lay stake on first and hit "submit",
you accept the £655 liability (Lay Risk). If something goes wrong now, you won't just lose £47, it will be £655.

Should you lose your internet connection, you'd need to phone the Bookmaker to back or use a mobile device if the Bookmaker has that
method. Even if you can phone up, the Bookmaker may tell you they won't take your £50 back stake and may limit it to a small amount. Worse
still, if the market ends and doesn't offer in-play betting (like HT/FT or Half Time score), you won't be able to back anything on the exact
market at all.

On the other hand, if you back first with your £50, you can only lose £50 should you not be able to lay for the kind of scenarios given.

On such a bet, the Bookmaker carries a liability on your £50 of £700. Odds can change mega quick at Betfair but they can at the Bookmaker
too - how many times have you clicked to place a back bet at the bookie only to be told the odds have changed?

It's dangerous to assume that once you've laid at Betfair, the Bookmaker's odds will have stayed the same. I think that, in general, the
Bookmaker is going to want to limit his liability in a fast changing market quicker than I can at Betfair. After all, they're experts on odds and
markets and I'm just clicking boxes following a formula.

1) I don't want my bank to think I'm a gambler! What do I do? How can I keep track of what's going on?
It is recommended that you open another bank account for matched betting purposes. At the time of writing, A&L offers an account opening
incentive where you can get £50 for opening a new current account. Cahoot offers £20 cashback for opening a bank account through Quidco.
Nationwide current account and credit cards do not charge loading fees for currency conversion (useful when betting in another currency) and
is a decent current account.

2) What cards can I use? Am I charged for using credit cards to deposit with?
Betfair charges you for depositing using a credit card. For bookies, at the time of writing, some cards do and don't charge.
Don’t charge
Nationwide (strongly recommended they do not charge a loading fee for currency conversion), John Lewis, Halifax, Skycard, Barclaycard, HSBC
(due to change soon), Post Office Credit Card.
DO charge
Mint, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, CapitalOne, Morgan Stanley (in theory, but in practice many say they haven't been charged: this could
be because not all companies that charge are obviously bookies - many look like financial companies to the card provider), Sainsbury's, First
Direct (from Feb 07), MBNA, Egg, Lloyds

Also, consider sticking to Visa and avoiding Mastercard, as there are often difficulties withdrawing back to Mastercard if you win at the bookies,
but hardly ever with Visa. Mastercard UK has a rule where they cannot return more money to the card than what was deposited with it.
A cunning alternative to direct funding with credit cards is to use Click & Buy ( for bookies that will allow it, load
THIS account with your credit card and then transfer to the bookie. Your bank won't be able to tell you're using the money for gambling.
(Thank you for KnoWhen2FoldEm for compiling original data)
Some limitations on Click and Buy.
1) there is a limit on how much you can process through C&B.
2) some outfits charge for C&B deposits,
3) some don't allow withdrawals to C&B.

Alternatives include Neteller/Moneybookers (see next FAQ)

3) What's Neteller/Moneybookers?
Neteller and Moneybookers are e-wallet solutions. You sign up to them, load your account with money using your credit/debit card and you can
use them to deposit to various bookies. Not all bookies accept them and they can be charges incurred.

4) Does it affect my credit rating?
Most bookies run a check to verify address details, they do not affect your credit rating. Spreadbetting firms where you apply for a credit
account will check your credit rating against a credit referencing agency and it will show up in your credit records.

5) I used to be a member with most bookies so am I still eligible? I have recently moved and have a new bank account, can I
sign up again?
No, usually not. Bookmakers are placing rigorous ID checks in place because of new Gambling legislation, and they do check information,
including things such as dates of birth against various databases provided by third parties and combining information from a number of
sources. If matches are incorrect or not found they may well lock accounts pending further information. In extreme cases, winnings derived
from free bets can be removed. Opening duplicate accounts is lazy given the number of offers available elsewhere and not worth the risk.

6) Which bookies are partner friendly? Can I do this in my mum's name? How can I match bet for friends?
It's difficult to say which are 'Partner Friendly' as the bookies Terms & Conditions continually change and many do stipulate only one
account/opening offer per household. As such ALWAYS check the individual T&Cs for the bookie you are interested in. If you cannot find the
answer, an email asking them if you can have more than one account at a registered address usually gets a quick response (they may even tell
you how to do this as some site i.e. Totesport are currently partner friendly but need you to alter the partners address slightly as their
computer will reject otherwise!) If you are thinking of opening an account in your mums name (or any other relations/persons name for that
matter) then you MUST get their permission first!
If they live at the same address then the partner friendly issues will still be present.
If your mum lives at a separate address AND has given you permission then you should be fine - just watch that you keep the two lots of funds
separate. A lot of bookies ask for proof of ID so your mum must be aware and willing to supply copies of passports / bank statements.
It is also possible that two accounts at the same IP addresses although for completely different people are also flagged from receiving the
bonus by a few bookies. They usually mention it in their terms and conditions and do not make exceptions for work computers on a network or
public computers. They may still allow you to operate an account but refuse any advertised bonus.

FRAUD is frowned upon. If you have just started matched betting, there are many bookie offers to try before thinking of multiple accounts.
Personally, it is not worth the hassle especially if you get caught and bookie refuses to honour the bet and pay out.


1)I don't know anything about sport or gambling - does that matter? Can i do this on any sport?
No, the principles of matching require you to look for numbers that are close together to maximise the profit. You do have to get used to using
bookie website and understanding some betting terms, slips, singles and accumulators. (see common terms FAQ)
Yes, you can bet on any sport but most of bet on football (soccer as some of the world calls it)

2) Is "Half Time/Full Time" the same as "To Win Both Halves"?
No, they are different bets. Half Time/Full Time refers to which team is leading at half time, and which is leading at full time. To Win Both
Halves treats each half as an individual match and asks you to predict which team will win each of those two "matches".
For example, if Liverpool score in the first half of a match and there are no more goals in the match:
Half Time/Full Time is Liverpool/Liverpool, because Liverpool are leading both at Half Time and at Full Time.
To Win Both Halves is Liverpool/Draw, because Liverpool won the first half, and the second half was a draw.

3) Can I back 4-0 [or any Correct Score that isn't shown at Betfair] and lay Any Unquoted Score?
No. Bookies often have a wider range of specific Correct Scores to bet on than Betfair, which generally only goes up to 3-3. If you lay Any
Unquoted Score you will lose at Betfair if either, or both, teams score more than 3 goals. However you will only win at the bookie if the score is
exactly the one you've predicted. Therefore if you back 4-0 and the match ends 4-1, 4-2, 3-4, 7-0 etc, you will lose at both the bookie and
Another clue that these bets don't match is that they normally appear to be huge arbs that are "too good to be true" - which they are!

4) What if a match gets suspended/voided?
Please check with the bookies as per their specific rules. Most UK bookies will void the bet after 24 hours. In Betfair, if an event is not
rescheduled 72 hours after the suspension, all bets will be voided.

5) What is the Asian Handicap market all about?
When betting on an Asian Handicap market you pick a team to win (or lose) together with the winning margin then team will win (or lose) by.
The winning margin is expressed as a handicap, a number of goals that will be added to the final score to make up the result used for
settlement of the bet.
A good tutorial available here
hxxp:// Please copy and paste into your browser, editing 'xx' to 'tt'
Be careful of betting at some bookies where they offer normal handicaps and not Asian handicaps, a standard handicap normally includes a
There is a dedicated Asian handicap thread on rpoints forum.
The Asian Handicap market is only 1% commission on Betfair.

6) What are common problems with certain sports?
Tennis - withdrawal rules
Different bookies have different rules regarding tennis compared to betfair. Betfair’s tennis rule is “In the event of a match being awarded to a
player before the full number of sets have been played, match bets will stand on the player officially going through to the next round, provided
at least one (1) set has been played.” Check the sticky on rpoints forum for a list.

Horse racing - rule 4
It is designed to protect the bookie from a lopsided market if one of the favourites is withdrawn. Rule 4 will not apply if the horse which was
withdrawn was at odds of above about 14-1 (15.0). Many bookmakers do not apply rule 4 above odds of 9-1 (10.0).
Rule 4 will only affect you if your horse wins the race. If it loses the bet behaves normally. The size of the rule 4 deduction depends on the odds
of the horse which was withdrawn at the time of its withdrawal. Please remember that Betfair's reduction factor will be different, so you don't
know whether you'll be better or worse off if a rule 4 is applied. (i.e. if a horse withdraws after you bet.) If rule 4 was the same across the
board, it wouldn't matter. (thanks to cornerclose who wrote the sticky guide to horseracing and Glass for confirming Betfair’s rule 4)
Rule 4 deductions available here (withdrawn decimal equivalent vs back % reduction).
(thanks to finnerty)

US sports
Terms used in US sports
Moneyline is regular match odds
Regular time is just what it says like 90 minutes in football
Overtime is the American term for extra time
When betting on baseball check that you are using the same rules as listed pitcher (team followed by player name) used by betfair and most
others bookies. This may be referred to as Joe Bloggs must start for team A/Sam Bloggs must start for Team B
Some bookies give odds regardless of pitcher but your betfair bet will be voided if the listed pitcher is not involved in the game. (Thank you to
smellybum and finnerty)
See this thread for more help.

7) Where can I check to see if the bookie has settled my bet correctly? covers soccer, ice hockey, tennis Soccer
espn covers AMERICAN sports, basketball NBA, Ice hockey NHL, A Football NFL, Baseball MLB tennis NASCAR and GOLF all updated inplay


1) What's dutching?
Dutching is covering all outcomes of the event by backing them all. Sometimes this can bring in a small profit. It is an effective method of
doing qualifiers for two bookies at the same time if the odds are good enough. Most used for American sports where there are only 2 outcomes
for the event. You cannot use the matcher spreadsheet to calculate a dutch.
A dutch is profitable if the reciprocal total of both odds is less than 1. An easy way to look at this is to put the numbers into spreadsheets which
other people have kindly prepared.

2) What is arbing?
Sports arbitraging is where betting markets differ due to either bookmaker's different opinions on event outcomes or plain errors. By placing
one bet per each outcome with different betting companies, the bettor can make a profit.
It is common to compare out-of-line bookies with Betfair. In the bettors' slang an arbitrage is often referred to as an arb. A typical arb is
around 2%, often less.
For matched bettors, an arb is when the BACK ODDS ARE at least 5% HIGHER THAN THE LAY ODDS
Palp- a common term associated with arbs is when a bookie refuses to honour the bet placed. This is most common when an obvious mistake
has occurred.

3) What's spreadbetting?
Spreadbetting is another form of betting on sports. Please read the sticky on spreadbetting if you are interested. Normal spread betting is very
high risk, you can lose much more than you put into. However, like bookies, they also have sign up offers. To maximise the offers available for
spread betting firms, you are recommended to use a referral, post on the thread to get swamped by PMs (private messages). The current
condition for spreadbetting referrals is very violatile, please proceed with caution.
Spreadsheet central
The original matcher-

Matcher lite-

Betdirect or similar offers-


Always on top, little app calculator

A pop-up spreadsheet/calculator

DIY spreadsheet for those on Open Office
Spreadsheets, including DIY and Open Office problems

A compiled list of spreadsheets on rpoints.

Ultimatcher.. Brand New Spreadsheet with a difference
New spreadsheet - Grumblebus, split asian dutching

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