Matched Betting – Common Mistakes

You might be asking why I’ve written this post. Surely matched betting is risk free? And if you follow the instructions on Profit Accumulator to the letter, then you won’t have any problems? That is correct. However, the process involves you manoeuvring between several different internet screens, sometimes only a few minutes before a game. The simplicity of matched betting also means you can get complacent when placing bets. It can be easy to make mistakes in these situations especially if you’ve got kids thrown into the mix as well. Here are some of the most common mistakes you can make – tried and tested by me! Luckily, I’ve not lost any money but this is down to luck. I could easily be telling you a different story. So be careful out there when you’re matched betting.

Confirm your bets

  • This sounds like the simplest thing but it is very easy to forget to confirm your bets. Most – but not all – of the bookmakers and betting exchanges require you to confirm your bet immediately after you place it. If you don’t do this, then your bet won’t be placed. You’re most likely to do this when you are making a bet very close to the start of a game or race when the odds will be jumping around quite quickly. Make a habit of always checking your bet has been placed before moving on to the next offer.

Placing two lay bets

  • This is particularly common if you use Betfair as your main betting exchange. When you place lay bets with Betfair it can be quite difficult to actually find them in your betting history. They don’t always show on your betslip in the exchange. Instead, you can find them by clicking on the My Bets tab and making sure you are in the exchange section of the website. If you inadvertently place two bets, make sure you place a back bet to cancel the additional lay bet out.

Last minute horse races

  • There will come a time when you place bets very close to the wire when a horse race is about to start. I would urge you to be cautious when doing this. This is because the odds can drift very quickly close to the start of a race, meaning your calculations will be out. Always work out whether you will need to lay more or less if the odds do change after your back bet has been placed.

Unmatched bets

  • Betting exchanges work by linking you directly to people against whom you can bet. You can therefore only place a lay bet at certain odds if there is someone willing to make a back bet at those odds. The maximum stake you can make at those odds is shown at the bottom of the pink lay box. If your stake is higher than this then anything over this figure will be ‘unmatched’. If it is unmatched at the start of the game then this part of the bet will be cancelled and you won’t have a valid lay bet. I always advise people to avoid placing unmatched bets. However, if this happens to you, don’t panic. Firstly, if there is some time – a few hours or a couple of days – before the match or race then sit tight. More people will place bets closer to the start time and it is highly likely that the bet will be matched. If you can’t hang around to check the bet, there isn’t enough time, or the bet is for a very large amount that you don’t want to risk, then use the calculator at Tricky Bet. You can enter the amount that has been matched and it will help you work out how much the remainder of the lay bet needs to be at the different odds that are available.

Place a bet on the correct game or race

  • Sounds obvious but this is easy to do when lots of different games or matches are all shown on the same page, especially if the odds are quite similar. This is why you should always quickly scan and check each bet before you place it.

Remember to lay an accumulator bet

  • Accumulators are a more advanced matched betting technique that require you to place several different lay bets in a row. When you do come to making these types of bets, make sure you have a system in place – e.g. reminders on your phone – to place each of the subsequent lay bets. And make sure you check what time the match starts beforehand as I discovered one morning when I woke up and realised the match had already taken place overnight!

Make sure you calculate your free bet correctly

  • Always remember to check that the calculator is in the correct mode when calculating your bets. I didn’t lose money when I calculated a free bet in the ‘normal’ mode but I didn’t make any either when the bet won at the bookies.

Opt in to offers where necessary

  • Some bookmakers stipulate that you have to opt in to qualify for different offers. If you don’t, then you won’t be given your free bet or bonus even if you placed the correct qualifying bet.

Read the terms carefully

  • Always check the terms and conditions attached to an offer. If you don’t stick to them, then you won’t qualify for an offer. It’s important to check the minimum and maximum odds and the mode in which you need to place a bet, for example some offers specify they can only be placed via a mobile. If you don’t comply, you won’t get the free bet or bonus.

Use your free bets before they expire

  • Use your free bets as soon as they are awarded to you and always double check how long you have to use the bet before it expires. Sadly I’ve lost quite a few this way…

Don’t gamble

  •  Although not technically a mistake, the cardinal sin a matched better can make is to gamble with their own money. The bookmakers want you to do this – to take a chance on an almost certain outcome, or to have just one more spin on a slot machine. That’s how they make their money. And, for the most part, that’s how people lose money. Always remember that you signed up to Profit Accumulator to make money and it’s not worth risking your profit on a game of chance!

I’m always learning on my matched betting journey. If you have experiences you’d like to share here then let me know, so we can all help each other.

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7 thoughts on “Matched Betting – Common Mistakes

  1. Tony says:

    Great article! Using profit accumulator is a mistake in the first place in my opinion. For £15 OddMonkey has ALL of the things PA has and is way cheaper.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Tony, though we’ll have to agree to disagree. I tried out oddsmonkey too but didn’t find it that practical a site to navigate. For the same price as an annual package with you get a lot more benefits at PA. And if you’re paying monthly then the extra money is well worth it with PA. Going to do a full round up review of all the different sites at some point soon so look out for it!

  2. Rosie says:

    This was so helpful! I have just began doing this and I think it is pretty confusing at times! I am told if you stick with it you become more comfortable…so I am trying! One of the main problems is keeping track with whether or not I have made any money- there’s so many offers and so many screens I get a bit lost!

    • admin says:

      Hi Rosie, thanks very much for the feedback about the common mistakes you can make when you’re matched betting. I remember feeling very daunted and overwhelmed when I first started matched betting. It’s better to be slow and methodical at first to properly get your head around how it all works, and not be tempted to get the offers completed as quickly as possible. If you’re struggling to keep track, please do look at the post I wrote about keeping track of all my matched betting activity. I realised fairly quickly that it was very easy to lose track of your bets, especially as you open more and more accounts. Good luck with it, and if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Jodie, Matched Betting Mum

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