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What is matched betting?

We understand that matched betting can sound too good to be true. That’s exactly what thousands of matched bettors had thought as they were getting started with it too.

Matched betting is a process that involves us taking advantage of free bet offers that are offered by online bookmakers. Bookmakers offer these free bet offers as a way to entice in new customers. Their aim is to basically get us to be long term gamblers, lose lots of money resulting in them making as much profit as they possibly can. Here, we’re going to be the clever ones, we will be taking advantage of the offers, we will make cash through their free bet offers and we won’t give in to what they are trying to tempt us into doing.

The process:

  • Use our powerful oddsmatching software to find the best bet for the offer.
  • We place a £20 bet with the bookmaker for Manchester United to win (this is a back bet). We also place another £20 bet with the betting exchange for Manchester United to not win (this is a lay bet).
  • We have covered all outcomes of the bets, we have no risk of losing anything, so regardless of whether Manchester United win or lose, we will break even on these bets and get our original bet amounts (apart from a small commission). We have qualified for our free bet of £10.
  • We use the oddsmatcher software again and find something else to bet on. This time, instead of paying for both bets (and only breaking even once the bets are settled), we will use our £10 free bet (and then only pay for the £10 lay bet). Again, we have no risk because we have bet on all outcomes.
  • Regardless of which team wins or loses, you will make a profit once the bets have settled (because we took advantage of the £10 free bet to place our back bet, we make a profit instead of just breaking even like we did on the qualifying bet).



What is Lay Betting?

Lay bets play a key part in the matched betting process. Lay bets are basically a way that we play the role of the bookmaker, instead of buying a bet, we are selling a bet. This may also be known as ‘arb betting’.

A lay bet is the opposite of a back bet. Instead of betting on the odds of a football team winning, a sports player winning or a horse winning, we are betting against the odds of it. When we place a lay bet, we are hoping that the outcome will be negative.

For example, if we place a lay bet on Manchester United in a football match, we will profit from the bet if Manchester United Lose. On the other hand, a back bet is how we make profit from the team winning.

We use lay bets in the matched betting process because they remove the risk of us ever losing money. If the back bet loses, the lay bet will make us a profit. If the lay bet loses, the back bet will make us a profit.

You may have been wondering – How do I know how much of a lay bet I should be placing? Well, thanks to our amazing oddsmatching software and calculators, you can easily find out how much you should place as a lay bet on each of your matched betting offers.


What is a Betting Exchange?

When starting out in matched betting as a beginner, there can often be some confusion around the difference between a bookmaker such as Coral, Ladbrokes, PaddyPower and a betting exchange such as Betfair or Smarkets.

Bookmakers and betting exchanges are two crucial parts to matched betting that we need in order to place our bets.We use bookmakers to place back bets (when we profit from a winning bet) and we use betting exchanges to place lay bets (when we profit from a losing bet).

If you win a bet that you placed on a bookmaker’s website, the bookmaker will pay you the winnings out of their own pocket, however, betting exchanges do not pay out of their own pocket for your winnings. In order for you to be able to place a lay bet, there needs to be enough money in the market, this money comes from other people that are placing bets. If you win a lay bet, your winnings come from others’ losses. Betting exchanges make a profit by taking a commission (bookmakers do this too), they don’t take much.


What is Arbing?

Arbitrage betting or simply just “arbing” is a way that a matched bettor can make guaranteed profits by simultaneously placing bets on all outcomes to ensure a win each time, whatever the event may be.

Arbitrage bets can usually take place when bookmakers disagree on the odds for an event, or when a mistake is made with the odds.

Matched betting is a form of arbing, it’s more of a mathematical process that we go through to ensure we make guaranteed profits – as opposed traditional betting (gambling and guessing the outcome). As matched betting is more of a process, we don’t necessarily have to be interested in sports.

Arbing is perfectly legal, but we don’t bookmakers to find out that were their to place arbitrage bets. Bookmakers want long term customers that will make them money (they want us to lose). Bookmakers know that matched betting exists and if they find out that you are there to do some matched betting, they could close your account (Learn more about keeping accounts open when you sign up for an account).


What is Hedging?

You may be familiar with the phrase ‘hedge your bets’, basically a way to reduce risk and sometimes guarantee a profit. The term is used quite a bit in the financial world, hence the term ‘hedge fund’.

You may have heard of arbing (or arbitrage betting).  This is where we can make a profit by looking for errors in betting markets, hedging is a little different.

Hedging is possible due to a change in odds over time. This is usually because a change of circumstance or a change of opinion.

If we want to hedge bets in order to make a profit, this would involve betting on different outcomes in order to create a bet that makes us a profit. When hedging bets in order to make a profit, it doesn’t matter if our original bets don’t win, it’s about what we win overall with the other outcomes that we had bet on.

The great thing about hedging is that losses are reduced, but this also means that any potential profit will also reduce too because you are hedging your bet by placing more money on something else.

What is Mug Betting?

Matched betting is a great way for us all to make money, but in order for it to be a long term, sustainable for way for us to make money, we need to keep our betting accounts open. Mug Betting will really help keep our accounts open so we can keep betting and keep making money by beating the bookies and taking advantage of their free bet offers.

Bookmakers want to make a profit, the reason why they offer free bets is because they are trying to entice in new customers and get them as long term customers, hoping that they will keep betting and lose money (so they make a profit). As our betting activity on each of our bookmaker accounts increases, our risk of our accounts getting closed also increases.

Bookmakers monitor customer accounts, they watch over us and look at what types of bets we are placing, how much those bets are for, which markets etc. If they spot that we are placing bets on different markets, suspiciously high bet stakes or any other irregular pattern of betting, they may close your account down.

We can place ‘mug bets’ which are basically bets that we don’t intend to make a profit from, but make it look like we are actually gamblers (this is what we want the bookmaker to think). It is more common for regular bettors to place bets on high profile football matches, like those in the Premier League, Champions League so we will place bets in these matches. We also need to make lay bets on the bets that we make for these matches so that we don’t risk losing any money. We will break even on these mug bets because we are betting on all outcomes (except for a small commission).

What is Gubbing?

If you haven’t read the above section on ‘mug betting’, we suggest that you do because we go over what you have to do in order to avoid being ‘gubbed’.

If you have been ‘gubbed’ from a bookmaker, it means that the bookmaker has closed your account and doesn’t want you on their platform, this is usually because they suspect that you are using them to make risk-free profits through matched-betting (which we are!), bookmakers don’t like this. They want customers that are there to gamble and over time, lose money, making them profit.

If you are ever unlucky to become ‘gubbed’ from a bookmaker, you will usually receive an email notifying you of this. While it won’t say in the email that you have been ‘gubbed’, the email will pass this same message across.