MATCHED BETTING WORKED EXAMPLE AND WALK-THROUGH


The best way to understand matched betting is through a worked example.

This matched betting example explains how we used matched betting to make a guaranteed £39.27 profit from Ladbrokes via their new customer sign-up offer: Bet £50 and Get a £50 Free Bet. Live videos of us actually doing this offer are included.

The purpose of this matched betting walk-through is to help give you a quick overview of how matched betting works; how it's possible to make money matched betting; and why matched betting is considered to be a no-risk technique with guaranteed profits.

From this example we hope you see why we consider matched betting to be the best side hustle idea of this decade. No other side income idea that we've come across can make you guaranteed, risk-free and tax-free money like matched betting can.

(Please note: the Ladbrokes new customer offer used in this example requires a large starting cash float in comparison to many other easier matched betting offers. If you are just beginning to learn matched betting it is best to start with the much easier offers in our Beginner's Guide to Matched Betting).

MATCHED BETTING THE LADBROKES NEW CUSTOMER OFFER

USEFUL MATCHED BETTING TERMINOLOGY TO KNOW

Before we get started on the walk-through there are two key terms in matched betting you need to be familiar with:

A BACK (FOR) BET

A back bet is a bet FOR a specific outcome to happen. If I were to bet £10 that Manchester City will win the Premier League again next season, this would be an example of a back bet. I am betting FOR Manchester City to win the Premier League.

Back bets are done at bookmakers, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill or Coral.

Throughout this website when we refer to a back (for) bet being done at a bookmaker it is always marked in GREEN.

A LAY (AGAINST) BET

A lay bet is a bet AGAINST a specific outcome happening. If I were to bet £10 that Manchester City will NOT win the Premier League again next season, this would be an example of a lay bet. I am betting AGAINST Manchester City to win the Premier League. I am saying that any other team, except for Manchester City, will win the league.

Lay bets are done at a betting exchange, such as Smarkets.

Throughout this website when we refer to a lay (against) bet being done at the exchange it is always marked in DARK BLUE.

OVERVIEW OF THIS MATCHED BETTING EXAMPLE

Below you can see an overview diagram of how we used matched betting to extract a guaranteed, risk-free profit of £39.27 from the Ladbrokes welcome offer, which is Bet £50 and Get a £50 Free Bet.

Now let's walk-through how we used matched betting on this offer one step at a time.

STEP 1: WE SIGNED UP TO LADBROKES AS A NEW CUSTOMER

  • We went to the special offer landing page and checked the key terms and conditions
  • The first key T&C was that we needed to use the promotion code (F50) to claim the offer
  • The second key T&C was that our first bet should be a £50 sports bet at odds of 1.5 or higher
  • The third key T&C was that we would have 14 days to do our first bet and 4 days after that to use our free bet
  • We clicked the 'Join Now' button and started the registration process
  • We made sure to use the promotion code F50 when we were registering
  • On completing the registration process we deposited £50 using our UK debit card

STEP 2: WE LOGGED INTO OUR SMARKETS BETTING EXCHANGE ACCOUNT

A betting exchange, such as Smarkets, is what we use as matched bettors to enable us to prevent losses and control what happens regardless of the outcome of the event. We do this through placing lay (against) bets at the betting exchange. All matched bettors need an account with a betting exchange in order to be able to place lay (against) bets. The betting exchange is the key element in making the matched betting process risk-free.

STEP 3: WE DID THE FIRST STAGE OF MATCHED BETTING - THE QUALIFYING BET

So once we were registered as a new customer at Ladbrokes, and had deposited £50, we were ready to do the first stage of the matched betting process. By doing this first stage we knew we would complete the Ladbrokes new customer offer requirement (i.e. to bet £50) which would then allow us to receive the £50 free bet.

In matched betting terms, completing this first stage, which results in a free bet being provided to us afterwards, is referred to as doing a QUALIFYING BET.

In order to do the Qualifying Bet for this offer we needed to place a £50 back (for) bet at odds of 1.5 (1/2) or greater at Ladbrokes and then a MATCHING lay (against) bet to this at Smarkets betting exchange.

After browsing the betting odds on some of the popular European football games that day on both Ladbrokes (the bookmaker) and Smarkets (the betting exchange), we came across what we knew to be a good match between the back (for) bet odds at Ladbrokes and the lay (against) bet odds at Smarkets. We could now use these odds to do our Qualifying Bet.

What do we mean by a good match between the back (for) and lay (against) odds exactly? Well, as matched bettors we are always looking for good matches between the odds at the bookmaker and the odds at the betting exchange for all the matched bets we do.

  • A great match between the odds would be back (for) bet odds of 1.80 at a bookmaker, and very nearly the same lay (against) bet odds of 1.81 at the exchange.
  • A decent match between the odds would be back (for) bet odds of 1.80 at a bookmaker, and almost the same lay (against) bet odds of 1.85 at the exchange.
  • A bad match between the odds would be back (for) bet odds of 1.80 at a bookmaker, and very different and much larger lay (against) bet odds of 2.50 at the exchange.

The good match we found for our Qualifying Bet was on a Spanish La Liga game between Sevilla and Alaves. At Ladbrokes we could do a back (for) bet on Sevilla to win the first half of the game at odds of 1.85, and then at Smarkets we could do a lay (against) bet on Sevilla to win the first half of the game at odds of 1.86

What does a lay (against) bet on Sevilla to win the first half mean at the betting exchange though? 

It means we could bet that Sevilla will NOT win the first half and that they would either lose to Alaves, OR draw with Alaves during that first half of the game. We will repeat this, as it is vital to understand. We could do a bet at the exchange that Sevilla will lose OR draw (i.e. they will NOT WIN). Doing a lay (against) bet like this at the exchange enables us to cover all possible outcomes of a game, and when applied for Qualifying Bets ensures the matched betting process is made risk-free.

Now comes the maths (don't run away!)

Having found what we thought to be a good match between the odds, we now needed to turn to our first matched betting calculator: The Qualifying Bet Calculator.

What's the purpose of the Qualifying Bet Calculator? Well it does all the maths for us (woohoo!) and specifically works out from our back (for) odds and lay (against) odds the AMOUNT we must use for our lay (against) bet at the exchange (ie. the lay stake required).

By working out our lay stake amount, the Qualifying Bet Calculator helps ensure that we will have the SAME tiny loss as a result of doing our qualifying bet NO MATTER THE OUTCOME of the game we are betting on. (i.e. win, lose or draw we incur the EXACT same tiny loss). 

Wait...a tiny loss?! Yes... PLEASE don't panic and keep reading. You will see in our example how small the loss is AND that it is a very temporary loss because we quickly go on to make our guaranteed profit immediately afterwards from the free bet...

So, back to our matched betting example.

We already knew how much we needed to use for our back bet at Ladbrokes; £50. Plus we knew our back (for) bet odds at Ladbrokes (1.85), our lay (against) bet odds at Smarkets (1.86), and how much Smarkets charges as a commission (2%). We input all this information into our Qualifying Bet Calculator as shown above.

The calculator then automatically worked out how much we needed to put on the lay bet at the exchange (Smarkets). The lay stake it calculated was £50.27.

The calculator also estimated what liability we would need in order to place this lay bet successfully at the exchange. The liability it calculated was £43.23. So we needed at least this amount in our balance at Smarkets in order to be able to place our lay bet.  As we had over £700 in our balance this wasn't a problem for us. (For a full understanding of liability we recommend reading our in-depth matched betting page). For now all that is necessary to understand is that our balance in Smarkets had to be £43.23 or more in order for us to be able to successfully place our £50.27 lay bet

So using the calculated output from the Qualifying Bet Calculator we did the following:

Placed a back bet of £50 FOR Sevilla to win the first half at Ladbrokes (i.e. for Sevilla to beat Alaves in the first half of the game).  Then immediately after this we placed a lay bet of £50.27 AGAINST Sevilla to win at Smarkets (i.e. we said Sevilla won't win the first half and will either draw or lose the first half of the game with Alaves).

By doing these bets we ensured that regardless of the outcome of the first half of the Sevilla vs Alaves game we would only stand to lose 73p.

If Sevilla beat Alaves we would lose just 73p;

If the teams drew we would lose just 73p;

If Alaves best Sevilla we would lose just 73p;

AND even more importantly, by doing these bets we completed the Ladbrokes welcome offer requirement (a first bet of £50 at odds of 1.5 or more) and were consequently provided with our £50 free bet to use

By doing the Qualifying Bet we unlocked the free bet. 

STEP 4: WE DID THE SECOND STAGE OF MATCHED BETTING - THE PROFIT BET

We then did the really fun bit next. We took advantage of the £50 free back bet Ladbrokes gave us and made a guaranteed profit of £39.27.

We didn't do this by just gambling the free bet....that's a big no-no!

If we'd done that it may have made us a profit IF we we're lucky - but because we are Matched Bettors, we don't do lucky profits, we do guaranteed profits only!

So how did we make sure we got a guaranteed profit from the £50 free bet?

By doing the second stage of matched betting, which we call the Profit Matched Bet.

What is a profit bet? In matched betting terms a profit bet is a matched bet which results in an extraction of a guaranteed profit from a FREE bet at a bookmaker no matter the outcome of the game (or event) that is being bet on.

As with the Qualifying Bet, because the Profit Bet is a type of matched bet, it involves placing a back (for) bet at the bookmaker, and a lay (against) bet at the exchange. HOWEVER, the key difference though is that the Profit Bet uses FREE money provided by the bookmaker for the back (for) bet rather than our own money.

To repeat - our profit as matched bettors is made using the FREE bets given out from bookmakers.

To do the Profit Bet in our example, we needed to use the £50 free back bet at Ladbrokes and place a matching lay bet to it at Smarkets.

As we were now doing the Profit Bet we wanted to first find back odds on Ladbrokes that were at least 4.0 or more. For a Profit Bet, the higher odds you can do, the more profit you can extract from the free bet.

(To understand the why's and how's of this you need to read our 'in-depth matched betting' page - but for now it's just important to understand that when we do a Profit Bet we tend to want the odds to be higher than they were for the Qualifying Bet, but still as close together as possible.) 

After browsing the odds on some more popular European football games on both Ladbrokes and Smarkets we came across what we knew to be a decent match between the back (for) bet odds on Ladbrokes and the lay (against) bet odds Smarkets. We knew we could use these odds to place our Profit Bet and make a good profit. 

As before, a good match is when the odds are very nearly the same between the bookmaker and the exchange, and a decent match is when the odds are almost the same between the bookmaker and the exchange.

The decent match we found for our Profit Bet was on the Italian Serie A League. At Ladbrokes we could do a back (for) bet on Juventus to beat Verona 2-0 at odds of 8.00  and then at Smarkets we could do a lay (against) bet on the score being 2-0 to Juventus at odds of 8.60.

What does a lay (against) bet on the score being 2-0 to Juventus mean at the betting exchange? It means we are betting that the game will NOT end with the score being 2-0 to Juventus; and that the final score will be anything other than 2-0 to Juventus (so 0-0, 1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 2-2 etc.). Doing a lay (against) bet like this at the exchange enables us to cover all possible score outcomes of a game. When applied for Profit Bets it ensures matched bettors a guaranteed profit regardless the outcome of the game.

Now comes the maths again...

Having found what we thought to be a good match between the odds we now needed to turn to our second matched betting calculator: The Profit Bet Calculator.

What's the purpose of the Profit Bet Calculator? Well again it does all the maths for us, and just like the Qualifying Bet calculator specifically works out from our back (for) bet odds and lay (against) bet odds the AMOUNT we must use for our lay (against) bet at the exchange (ie. the lay stake required) so that we can extract a guaranteed profit from the free bet. As we are using FREE money for the back bet the math is slightly different to when we do a Qualifying Bet and is why we use this second calculator when doing a Profit Bet.

By working out the lay bet stake amount, the Profit Bet Calculator helps ensure that we will make the SAME profit when we use our FREE bet at Ladbrokes NO MATTER THE OUTCOME of the game we are betting on. (i.e. no matter what the score at the end of the game we will still make exactly the same profit). 

So, back to our matched betting example.

We already knew we were going to use our £50 free bet for our back bet at Ladbrokes. Plus we knew our back (for) bet odds at Ladbrokes (8.00), our lay (against) bet odds at Smarkets (8.60), and how much Smarkets charges as a commission (2%). We input all this information into our Profit Bet Calculator as shown above.

The calculator then automatically worked out how much we needed to put on the lay bet at the exchange (Smarkets). The lay stake it calculated was £40.79.

As before the calculator also estimated what liability we would need in order to place this lay stake amount at the exchange. The liability it calculated was £310.00. So we needed at least this amount in our balance at Smarkets in order to be able to place our lay bet.  As we still had over £700 in our balance this wasn't a problem for us. The liability for the Profit Bet tends to be larger than for the Qualifying Bet because the odds are higher. (For a full understanding of liability we recommend reading our in-depth matched betting page). For now all that is necessary to understand again is that our balance in Smarkets had to be £310.00 or more in order for us to be able to successfully place our £40.78 lay bet at the exchange.

(Quick side note! The first easy level beginner matched betting offers we walk you through do not require you to have a balance of more than £100 in Smarkets. You are able to build up your Smarkets balance by doing these easy offers first before you progress to an offer like the Ladbrokes one in the example here. You can see this in our first beginner offer which is with Coral).

So, using the output of the Profit Bet Calculator we did the following:

Placed our FREE back bet of £50 FOR Juventus to win 2-0 at odds of 8.0 at Ladbrokes (i.e. for Juventus to beat Verona 2-0 exactly) and then immediately afterwards placed a lay bet of £40.79 AGAINST the score being 2-0 to Juventus at odds of 8.60 at Smarkets (i.e. we said the score will NOT be 2-0 to Juventus, it will be any score BUT that).

By doing these two bets based on what our Profit Bet Calculator calculated, we ensured that regardless of what the score was in the Juventus vs Verona game, we would make a guaranteed profit of £40.

If Juventus beat Verona 2-0 we would make a profit of £40.00

If Juventus beat Verona 1-0 we would make a profit of £40.00

If the game was 0-0, or 1-1, or 2-2 we would make a profit of £40.00

If Juventus lost to Verona 0-1 we would make a profit of £40.00

If Juventus lost to Verona 0-2 we would make a profit of £40.00

If ANY other score happened (2-3, 5-1, 4-4!) ... we would make a profit of £40.00

Every score outcome was covered.

So the key thing to understand here is that we knew we had made this £40 profit hours before the game even kicked off, and that we would make this profit no matter what happened in the game. It was guaranteed.

The only thing we didn't know beforehand is WHERE the profit would end up being after the game finished. If the back bet for Juventus winning 2-0 at Ladbrokes won the profit would end up sitting in Ladbrokes (which can then be withdrawn or used for further matched betting). If the game was NOT 2-0 to Juventus, and the lay bet won at Smarkets our profit would end up in Smarkets instead (again ready for us to use for further matched betting).

So by doing matched betting on the Ladbrokes new customer sign up offer,  our overall profit was £40.00 (from the Profit Bet) minus the 0.73p we were down earlier from the Qualifying Bet. That means a total profit of £39.27.

The maths behind this example of Matched Betting is absolutely vital and we could not have used Ladbrokes and the Smarkets exchange to guarantee our £39.27 profit without the use of our matched betting calculators. (The only down side is that we now have to admit that all those maths classes at school have finally turned out to be useful!)

One last thing...

The total time it took for us to complete this entire offer was just under 10 minutes.

That's £39 for 10 minutes work.

(As a beginner it will take you longer to do your first offers. As you progress though you will just get quicker and quicker. It's actually a bit like learning to drive a car or ride a bike for the first time. It's difficult at first but before you know it your not even having to consciously think about it).

The diagram here provides a great summary of the Matched Betting process, and how we just made our £39.27 overall profit.

This £39.27 profit from the Ladbrokes welcome offer for new customers is just the start with Matched Betting.

There are so many other bookmaker welcome offers to do which will add a minimum of £800-£900 to your bank balance quite quickly.

After you complete the welcome offers there are then even more opportunities to make money from free bets month in month out as bookmakers just give out free bets all the time. We average an extra income of between £400-£450 each month from regular matched betting, and we do this easily on the side of other commitments, work, and fun-times out.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO START LEARNING HOW TO DO MATCHED BETTING?

Just by doing the first offer in our matched betting guide you can make a guaranteed, risk-free, tax-free profit of £14.