Our matched betting story started like that of so many others - a massive desire for more financial freedom and more time to spend doing things we love. An aversion to the word 'betting' and a healthy scepticism against things that sounded to good to be true made us take a very windy road to the start of our matched betting journey. We got there in the end though and have never looked back!
The search for how to make an extra income
I think everyone goes through a stage where they are fed up with the 9-5 thing, and just look for ways to make money from home. Among my many Google searches for ways to make a living from home, I stumbled across selling t-shirts online, blogging, Uber, delivering stuff, setting up Etsy stores and selling stuff on Amazon. Ironically, probably like so many others before me, I also stumbled across matched betting. However, my deeply ingrained aversion to the word betting put me off in addition to the results that were being reported seeming far too good to be true. Consequently I just passed matched betting by! (How I wish now I could go back in time and shout at myself to try it!)
There were too many different things I looked into, and too many things I tried. I did OK designing and selling t-shirts and mugs online, but the time and effort needed vs income was so poor that after a year or so I slowly gave up. It was not until I had a conversation with my friend almost three years ago who was making money from sports betting that I started looking into making money from betting myself.
Now, as you will all know, this is a website about matched betting, so you would assume that this was the eureka moment where I suddenly delved into the matched betting world – however, there is a slight twist. The profits my friend was referring to were not from matched betting – they were from sports trading. The majority of matched bettors learn about sports trading after they’ve started their matched betting journey - so I started off completely the wrong way round!
Sports trading to matched betting
In brief, sports’ trading is a way to potentially make really good money via a betting exchange by predicting the movement of odds on a particular football team, horse or tennis player. There are a LOT of people making very good money from this form of trading on Betfair but the first problem with sports trading is that there is a lot to learn, especially in regards to understanding odds movements in specific markets, and the second problem is you need a relatively big starting bankroll (cash float) to get anywhere. I was just about breaking even after a few months of sports trading on Betfair, as I made a lot of mistakes whilst I learnt and sometimes lost money. By this point I was starting to realize I needed to spend far more time learning and practicing to consistently be able to make a profit with limited risk.
At this same time though I stumbled across more adverts to do with matched betting – adverts that I had in the past dismissed. However, with my now far greater knowledge of the betting exchanges, I could now see how the concept of backing a free bet at the bookie, and laying off the same outcome at a betting exchange did seem to be a sure fire way of making guaranteed money with relative ease.
Moving from scepticism to financial freedom
As I still had my sceptical ‘hat on’ I decided to get my wife to look over the matched betting technique as she has always been the brains of the household and is way better than me at maths! When I initially told her that I was pretty sure it was possible to earn risk free profits from the bookmakers free bets, she gave me that typical “stop wasting my time” kind of look, but having already delved into t-shirt selling and blogging etc. herself decided to have a look over it just in case – but she said “I bet this will be a waste of my time – it just can’t be possible!”
After reading and watching a few examples, and checking over the maths involved, she came back to me had to admit: she was wrong! (This is a rare event in our house!) By the end of the day she was ready to start her matched betting journey.
A small starting cash float (bank roll)
Due to some unexpected pay outs at the time (car brake-down and vet bills!) we could only afford to put about £100 into our matched betting starting cash float initially. With this £100 we deposited a tenner into our first bookie, and £90 into the Smarkets betting exchange so that we could cover our bets. From the get go we were making some fantastic profits and each offer was so quick and simple to complete. It really was like printing money which is something we became very addicted to! The only slight frustrating factor was waiting for a withdrawal if a bet (or two!) won at a bookmaker. Sure, your money is guaranteed but you always need most of your money in your exchange to cover free bets for your next bookie. When you have such a small amount to start off with, waiting for withdrawals can be very frustrating – because you can see the profits coming in and the next profits to be made, but you have to wait for your money to move to the bank and then deposit into the exchange again.
It was at this point in time where I decided to try and put a large portion of my next pay check into our matched betting float. By doing this we had more money in the exchange to lay off bets without having to wait for withdrawals, PLUS we now had extra money in the bank waiting to be deposited into the next bookie. The way we looked at it was we could just put the money in a savings account and let it incur 2.5% every year, OR we could spread the money around the bookies to make far far more money than any savings account could give us by getting through these sign up offers quickly, and then moving on to the on-going matched betting reload offers.
Still going strong two years on from that initial £100
We have not looked back since as it was by far the best monetary decision we have made. It allows us to easily make an additional income from home in our own time. Plus, with all profits we make being tax-free, matched betting really was a no brainer for us. Most of the time we have around £2500 sitting in all our bookmaker accounts and exchanges, and with this we are averaging £850 a month for just a few hours ‘work’ a week (we have two sets of bookmaker accounts and we each hit between £400-£450 each month in profit). We can withdraw any of this money when we like, and we can place bets when we like.
Over a two year period we have hit a total of over £20,000 in profits (and we mostly do the bare minimum of offers!). With this extra money matched betting is something that has allowed us to have more time to spend with our family and friends – which is what we have always wanted. Plus we’ve been able to travel more, have fun experiences and days out and go out to nice restaurants and treat ourselves much more. If we could find the person or people that originally saw matched betting was possible we really wouldn’t be able to thank them enough.