One way to make some extra cash online is to look into matched betting, especially if you have an interest in gambling and of course live in a country where this activity is legal.
This process is totally legal in the UK and other areas however many parts of the USA and the rest of the world have much stricter laws on gambling that might render this opportunity null and void though it is easy to check if the websites that offer free signup bonuses are allowed to operate in your jurisdiction or not.
Matched betting isn't going to make you rich, nor is it going to provide a never-ending stream of money however it is ideal for some quick extra cash at Christmas or to cover some unexpected bills.
What is Matched Betting?
Matched betting is a technique that allows you to profit from the free bonuses and sign up incentives offered by online and offline bookmakers. Also known as double betting and back or lay bet matching, when the strategy is applied properly leveraging the maths of two bets rather than relying solely on chance it can provide relatively risk-free money, you just have to be sure to learn the terms before you start.
If the stake is returned then a typical return will be 85% or more of the initial free bet amount, and around 70%+ if the stake is not returned.
Matched Betting - Broken Down
The process of matched betting requires a few things. Firstly you need to have two or more accounts with different bookmakers like Bet365 and betting exchanges like Betfair where at least one of the accounts is offering a free bet or sign up bonus for joining.
When you place the free bet on the one website the other bookies or betting exchanges are used as a hedge to cover all possible outcomes so that regardless of the result, the free money is retained.
A simple example of this would be placing a back bet on the bookmaker offering a free sign up bonus and at the same time placing the opposite lay bet on a betting exchange, thus ensuring your free bonus is maintained. It's simple maths really and I suck at mathematics and can work it out.
Another type of matched betting is known as "dutching" where you place bets on multiple bookmakers and avoid the exchanges incurred when using a betting exchange.
It is important to make sure you pay attention to the individual terms of any offers, sign up bonuses and reload deals. Most bookmakers will include terms such as a wagering requirement that requires the bettor to bet a certain amount before they are able to withdraw the free bet money. There is always a cap on the amount of matched free money the bookmakers are willing to offer and also time-based criteria and limits on the odds you are able to bet on with the free money to prevent people just betting on the easiest odds.
Finding Matched Betting Offers
Okay so now you understand the principles of matched betting I'm sure you want to find out how to find the best matched betting offers and deals.
Matched Betting sign up bonuses only work once and so after you have done one you will no doubt want to find the best ways to find the latest matched betting offers.
There are typically two types of offer, a sign up bonus which can only be used once per person on each site and then reload offers which are slightly less attractive but used to encourage people to add more funds to their account.
The best way to find these offers is to sign up for matched betting offers subscription services like Oddsmonkey where they offer a free service as well as premium options. Realistically to get the most from this service you need their paid subscription service at £15 per month to make sure you are getting all of the offers and regularly. You can save two months of subscription by signing up for the full year.
Another option is trying a subscription with Profit Accumulator where they update you via email with the latest bookmakers sign up bonuses and reload offers.
Another great source of information when hunting for sportsbook sign up bonuses and matched betting offers is to engage in some communities. Places like MoneySavingExpert and Reddit are great places to read through and ask questions, many people with a lot of experience loiter in these places and are often very helpful.
Profit Accumulator and The Gambling Times are two great communities where you can network with others that are using matched betting to make money online and find fresh opportunities.
If you want to learn more about Matched Betting and how to beat the bookies read this thorough guide from BeatingBetting.co.uk.
What's The Difference Between Bookmakers & Betting Exchanges?
When you bet with a bookmaker you are restricted to backing the winner, however, betting exchanges, on the other hand, allows you to place both 'back' and 'lay' bets on a particular outcome. This allows the bettor to become the bookmaker and allows you to trade positions much like any broker would on the stock exchange.
Understanding how easy it is to place either a lay bet or a back bet on an exchange gives you a totally new way of betting.
What's the Difference Between a Back Bet & a Lay Bet?
Back Bet - A Back bet is when you are betting on the outcome to come true. For example, you are betting that a certain team WILL win. That is a backing bet, you are backing a team or a horse. If it comes true you win. Any bookmaker allows back bets as this is the typica form of bet.
Lay Bet - A lay bet is when you bet against a particular outcome instead of backing it. Betting for Man Utd not to win means the bet covers both a loss and a draw and thus provides the perfect hedge against a back bet. The video below from Betfair explains Lay bets very nicely if this is a new concept to you.
There have been some amazing success stories of people working this system extremely effectively and making as much as £20,000 in a year! That isn't typical but it goes to show what you can make if you gradually work your way through all of the sign up bonuses and make use of tools like Oddsmonkey and a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the sites you have signed up for and your winnings.
What's The Risk?
Provided you follow the bookmakers' terms and conditions you mathematically can't lose however the risk remains in human error and making mistakes, so be sure to check what you are doing before placing our bets. Once you have tried this process with one or two bookmakers you will have a good understanding of how it works and it will be easier when you hunt for other sign up offers. Once you get going it can really add up and even better it's tax-free.
So there you have it, now you understand the easy opportunities that are available in matched betting. This is one method that is safe and risk-free provided you follow the correct steps and follow the terms and conditions.
If you liked this article here are some others about making money online that you might find interesting:
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