What is matched betting?

How to place your first matched bet

In this guide, I am going to walk you through a very popular and straight forward offer with Coral bookmakers that is worth around £15 profit.

First things first

Before we start anything, we need to open up a Coral account and a betting exchange account.

Let’s start with Coral first:

Click the link here to take advantage of Corals sign up offer. Click on the “Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets” offer, enter your details and deposit £5. Ensure that when you deposit your £5, you use a debit/credit card as this offer may not support deposits made with an e-wallet.

Once you’ve signed up and made your first deposit, we need to change how the odds are presented to us on the website to make matched betting a lot easier.

At the top of the screen you will see a small drop down menu that says FRACTIONAL, click on this menu as shown in the picture below and then select DECIMAL.

Now we need to open up a betting exchange account, it’s up to you which account to go for, you can use The Betting Exchanges guide to help you. However, for this example I will be using Smarkets.

Once you have opened these two accounts and deposited some money, you are ready to place your first qualifying bet.

The sign up offer

Coral are offering us £20 in free bets if we deposit and bet £5 of our own money at odds of 1.5 (1/2) or greater. We should easily make around £15 from this offer.

It’s always important that we check the requirements for any offer before starting a matched bet. In this case, the Coral welcome offer states that we can place our minimum £5 qualifying bet on any sport, but it must be at odds of 1.5 or greater.

The qualifying bet

For your first matched bet I would recommend betting on something quite big like a high profile football match that has plenty of liquidity in the market. Something like this is where the odds are going to be the most stable and make it easier for you to place your first bet.

I’ve decided to go for this high profile Premier League match between Wolverhampton and Huddersfield.

The odds with Coral are 1.50, so they meet the minimum requirement to qualify for this sign up offer, and they are also fairly low odds so that means we can keep our qualifying losses to a minimum.

Coral Bookmakers

I have also found close odds of 1.52 over at Smarkets exchange, which has plenty of liquidity at £738. More than enough to cover my £5 qualifying lay bet!

Smarkets Exchange

To work out the lay bet that we need to place at the exchange, we need to use the matched betting calculator set to NORMAL bet type.

From here, I can see that I need to place a lay bet of £5 and that the liability of this bet will be £2.60. Based on these numbers, you would need to deposit at least £2.60 into your exchange account to cover the liability.

My overall qualifying loss is only -10p! This qualifying loss is completely fine, as we are going to use the £20 in free bets to make a profit of around £15.

It is important that we have enough money in our exchange account to be able to cover the lay bet and the liability in order to be able to place our lay bet. Ensure you have enough money before you place either your back bet or your lay bet, otherwise you might get caught out.

The exchange liability is the amount of money we need pay out in the event our bet loses with the exchange and wins at the bookmakers.

In this example, the breakdown would be as follows:

Once your qualifying bet has settled, you will be awarded your £20 free bet.

The free bet

Once your free bets have been awarded, you should find that you have 4 X £5 (totalling £20) free bets in your account.

So now, when we are looking for odds, we want to look for fairly high odds of 4.00 or more to try and maximise our profit.

Keep in mind that the higher the odds you go for, the more money you will need in your exchange account to cover the liability.

I’ve managed to find close odds of 4.00 and 4.1 for a DRAW on a UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan with plenty of liquidity in the exchange.

Coral Bookmakers
Smarkets Exchange

So I would place my first £5 free bet on the DRAW between Tottenham and Inter Milan at odds of 4.00 with Coral and then place my lay bet with Smarkets at odds of 4.1 on the DRAW.

To work out the lay bet and liability, we need to use the matched betting calculator again, but this time we need to set it to FREE BET SNR (Stake Not Returned) bet type. This is because we are using a free bet awarded to us by Coral, but the free bet £5 stake will not be returned.

Click here to use the calculator at Oddsmonkey. You can find the calculator under the TOOLS tab.

As you can see from the calculator, the lay bet we need to place is £3.68 and the liability (the amount we need in our exchange account to cover our losses) is £11.41. Remember, we need enough money in our exchange account to cover the liability.

So if our back bet wins with Coral we will have gained £15 profit with the bookmaker, but will have lost our liability of £11.41 which leaves us with £3.59 profit.

Or if our back bet loses at the bookmaker, we will have lost nothing with Coral apart from our free bet, but we will have gained £3.68 at the exchange from our lay bet minus our 2% commission which will leave us with £3.61 profit.

If we do this a further three times with our other three £5 free bets and then we will have made a total profit of £15.60 from this one sign up offer alone.

Hopefully this will demonstrate the amount of profit on offer through matched betting. There are literally hundreds of sign up offers for us to extract profit from.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Once you’ve completed all the sign up offers, bookmakers want you to keep betting with them, so we can move on to what is known in the matched betting community as reload offers, which is where things really start to get interesting and we can start to make some serious profit.

If you have completed this first sign up offer by searching for your odds manually, then you may have noticed it does take a bit of time.

That’s where oddsmatching software comes in.

In the next guide, I will explain how oddsmatching software can take your matched betting game to the next level by taking all the hard work out of it.....

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