Matched Betting for Beginners

matched betting for beginners
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matched betting for beginners

If you’re new to the world of matched betting, I’ve written this comprehensive ‘Matched Betting for Beginners’ guide, with everything you need to know.

Matched betting is one of my favourite ways to make extra money.

You can make good money for just a few hours work a week – and the more time you can commit to it, the more you can earn.

It’s one of the more flexible and profitable (if not the most) side hustles out there. And even better than that – the earnings are completely tax free!

I first dipped my toes into the matched betting waters as a complete beginner back in 2014.

My husband was already a seasoned matched bettor, but with his guidance we were able to complete a myriad of new customer sign up offers making enough money to pay for a week long, all-inclusive summer holiday.

Since then, we’ve made thousands helping us to save for a house deposit, replace our boiler and enjoy numerous holidays, gigs and meals out.

Interested in getting started? Sign up to Profit Accumulator* and read on to find out more.

Matched Betting for Beginners


Before we begin, I’d encourage you to read this section carefully and consider whether matched betting is for you.

Whilst matched betting is certainly NOT gambling, there are elements of it which can lead to gambling IF you are the type of person who is tempted to go outside the ‘rules’.

For this reason, I will be concentrating my efforts in this article in explaining the sports side of matched betting which is methodical, mathematical and less tempting to chase ‘big wins’ or ‘jackpots’.

There are risk free casino offers, but casino is where people are most likely to gamble their own money so I prefer to leave it completely alone. If you feel you might be tempted, I would avoid matched betting altogether.

What is Matched Betting?

Okay, so now we have the important stuff out of the way, let’s get to it.

What actually is matched betting? Well firstly, it is NOT gambling.

Bookies (bookmakers) tempt people in to bet with them with free offers and promotions.

Matched betting is essentially using these offers and promotions to leverage a profit – but covering ourselves so that we don’t lose money in doing so.

To do this we cover all outcomes of a bet, so we can’t lose.

In a nutshell we back an outcome with the bookie, and lay it with the exchange.

Not making sense? Don’t worry, we’ll cover exactly what this means.

Matched Betting Terminology

If you’ve never placed a bet before, then a lot of the terminology used in Matched Betting might feel unfamiliar to you, whilst you definitely don’t need to have gambled in the past to try matched betting, you will need to understand the language, so here’s a quick run down of the main ones.

(In this section I refer to calculators – these are tools available to Profit Accumulator members which work out your bets for you.)

Back bet

This bet you place with the bookmaker. You are betting for something TO happen. E.g. Wales to win.


The amount of money you have available to use for matched betting.


The bookmaker – e.g. PaddyPower, William Hill etc.  The company you place your bets with.

Each way

If you place an Each Way bet, you are backing a horse to win, but you are also backing it to place (usually this would be coming second or third, though it depends on the number of runners (horses) in the field and the number of places (i.e. top 3/4/5 etc) that a bookie is paying out on that particular race).

So for example, if you bet £10 EW on a horse, the bet would cost you £20 – £10 bet on the horse to win and £10 bet on the horse to place (paid at a fraction of the odds which are displayed at the bottom of the list of runners).


The Exchange is where we place our lay bets (bets against an outcome). The main exchanges are Betdaq, Betfair, Matchbook and Smarkets.

We tend to stick with Betfair and Smarkets – though this depends on the commission (sometimes they have no commission promotions).

The exchange charge a commission (e.g 5%) so this needs to be factored in when placing matched bets (don’t worry – the calculators will ask and adjust for this). No commission = more profit.

Gubbing (being gubbed)

Being ‘gubbed’ means you’re no longer eligible for promotions or offers on your bookie’s account.

This is quite common and gubbing can happen quite quickly as you work through the sign up offers.

Don’t worry if you get gubbed – it happens.

I’ve been gubbed from a lot of bookies but still make good money matched betting – it is possible.

Lay bet

You are betting for something NOT to happen. E.g. Wales NOT to win.

You place lay bets with an exchange.


The amount of money you lose if your lay bet loses.

Don’t be put off by this, especially if the amounts seem big.

If you lose money at the exchange, your back bet with the bookie will win which just means that your money will end up there instead.

Qualifying Bet

This is the bet you place with your own money to qualify for an offer (eg bet £10 get £10 free).

Qualifying Loss (QL)

The money that you lose when placing a bet to qualify for an offer.

Normally, you would take 95%+ and therefore, so you’d lose £0.50ish per £10 bet.

On some occasions, you can even make a small profit (which is called arbing – a complete strategy in itself).


The amount you bet.

How to Start Matched Betting

Sign up to Profit Accumulator

Before you begin, you’ll want to sign up to Profit Accumulator*. Here you will find everything you need to successfully matched bet.

Complete the Training

On your dashboard when you log in, click on ‘Start Here’ and work through the training tutorials.

Tempting as it is to go in all guns blazing, take some time to watch the videos and read the articles – it’s all there to help you learn and to understand the process.

As long as you understand what you are doing, matched betting will be risk free.

Complete the Sign Up Offers

Once you’ve worked through all the training guidance, read and reread the how tos and feel ready to get started, you can move on to completing the sign up offers.

You’ll find these in the offer categories (circled in the image below).

You can tick them off as you complete so you know where to pick up from each time.

matched betting for beginners

Want more? You might also enjoy…Matched Betting; How We Made £313 From One Tournament

Making Money Matched Betting

How Much Money Can You Make Matched Betting?

How long is a piece of string? You can make as much or as little as the time and effort you put in.

Personally, we just tend to focus on big sporting events now and aim for a big profit for that event as we have too much else going on in our life to commit regular time to it.

However, on occasions that we’ve wanted to cashflow a large expense like a holiday, we’ve jumped back in to generate extra money.

As I mentioned earlier, we fully funded an all inclusive holiday by just completing sign up offers, so the money is there!

Is Matched Betting Worth it in 2021?

Yes. Though it’s widely accepted that the offers aren’t quite what they used to be, there’s still money to be made.

In Cheltenham 2021, we made over £430 in just 4 days.

Can You Make a Living from Matched Betting?

Yes, people can and do make a living from matched betting.

In fact, there’s an entire forum thread on Profit Accumulator dedicated to making £1k+ per month.

Matched Betting FAQs

Can You Still Make Money Matched Betting if You Already Have Bookie Accounts?

Though you can make a real good sum of money from completing sign up offers – don’t panic if you already have some bookie accounts.

Matched betting will open your eyes to just how many bookies are out there – I almost guarantee there will be some sign up offers you can still complete.

And of course, for the accounts you’ve already opened – there will often be other promotions and offers, as the bookie wants you to continue spending money with them.

Can You Make Money Matched Betting After You’ve Completed the Sign Up Offers?

Despite the common misconception that there’s no money in matched betting after the sign up offers are gone – you can still make money.

We made over £430 at Cheltenham 2021 by focusing on just one advanced matched betting technique.

Want more? You might also enjoy…What’s stopping you getting started with matched betting?

Matched Betting Myth Busting

Is Matched Betting Legal?

Yep! As long as you’re over 18 and opening accounts in your name (bookies often want you to prove your identity), then crack on!

Are Matched Betting Earnings Taxable?

No. In the eyes of HMRC it’s still considered gambling, and ‘winnings’ as such are not taxable income.

Can You Lose Money Matched Betting?

Yes. Though it’s touted as ‘Risk Free’, it’s only risk free if you do it right.

Even now I’ve made mistakes – for example, I might think I’ve placed a bet and gone on to lay it…when actually I didn’t click ‘confirm’ and so the original bet wasn’t placed.

The trick with matched betting is to stay calm and collected.

I’m naturally quite a stressy person, so at times when the odds fluctuating quickly I do find it quite stressful placing my matched bets.

But just double check what you’re doing, recite a checklist for the offer you’re doing if it helps:
back bet placed – check
lay bet placed – check
lay bet matched – check….etc.

As long as you follow the method of the offer you’re completing correctly, then you won’t lose money (save for small qualifying losses in some circumstances).

Does Matched Betting Affect Your Credit Score?

This is a hotly debated topic and whilst some people say that it can hamper your efforts to get a mortgage, it won’t affect your credit score.

Bookies do a ‘soft search’ when you sign up and this doesn’t show to a lender on your credit report, so will not affect your likelihood of being accepted for credit.

However, where some people believe it DOES hamper your credit is mortgages. This is because when you apply for a mortgage, you’re asked for copies of your bank statements…and hundreds of betting transactions are going to look suspect.

I actually didn’t have any issues obtaining my mortgage (you can read more about that here: How to Prepare for a Mortgage as a First Time Buyer) but to err on the side of caution I would stop all matched betting 6 months before you intend to apply for your mortgage.

Do You Need Lots of Money to Start Matched Betting?

No, you can start with around £60.

However, the bigger your bank the more quickly you can work through offers, the more liability you can cover and the more money you can make.

If you don’t have a lot of money to start with, it’s still possible to make good money – it will just take time.

Leave your profits in your bank and it will build up gradually over time.

Is Matched Betting Complicated?

When you understand it, no – it isn’t. But getting your head around it initially? Yes, it is.

But as with most things, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

My advice to anyone with anything is always do your own research and with matched betting, I cannot stress that point enough.

Matched Betting for Beginners – Top Tips

Do Your Research

Join Profit Accumulator* and make the most of the resources available.

It can be tempting to dive straight in, but if you do this without fully understanding the process you will lose money.

Take advantage of the plethora of guides, walkthroughs and articles that Profit Accumulator offer. There is so much value for money in the membership – offers and calculators aside, the wealth of information available to newbies is invaluable. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Ask in the forum.

Read, read and read some more – this will always be my number 1 tip when it comes to starting to matched bet.

Have a Plan

Don’t try to do too much at once. Though your bank might stop you from doing this anyway (if you don’t have enough money to cover your liabilities at the exchange), taking on too many offers in one go is where you might start to make mistakes.

As a newbie, work your way through sign up offers first and practice your learnings before worrying about more advanced matched betting techniques.

Beginners have guaranteed money coming their way from the sign ups, so focus on that.

Stay Organised

A spreadsheet is a lifesaver for matched betting. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But it helps to know what deposits you’ve made, to which account and when so that you can find your money later.

As you’re backing and laying your money could end up in the bookies accounts or in the exchange.

Having a spreadsheet helps to keep your organised and on top of how much profit you’ve made.

Profit Accumulator* also have a profit tracking tool to help you keep on top of the offers you’ve completed.

Reinvest Your Profits

As I mentioned earlier, the bigger your bank the bigger your profits.

While it can be great to think ‘I’ve made £x of profit this month!’, don’t take it all out because you’ll need it if you wish to continue making money with matched betting.

Perhaps agree a bank figure with yourself e.g. I have £1,000 for matched betting. and then withdraw profits beyond that amount.

Sign Up Now

Ready to get started? I use Profit Accumulator* – it costs £24.99 per month and while this might seem a lot to a newbie, trust me when I say it’s worth it and you will easily recoup that money.

You really cannot matched bet without a membership to a site like this.

You can save money by purchasing an annual membership upfront, but if you think you’ll only be dipping your toes in occasionally it’ll probably be better to have a monthly payment which you can cancel at any time.

Want more? You might also enjoy…Pros and Cons of Matched Betting; Is It Worth It?


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