Matched betting allows you to make money from the free bets offered by bookmakers to sign up with them. By following a set process you can always make at least 70% of the free bet amount they give you. With the value of new customer offers in the UK currently worth well over £2000, you can make at least £1500 by simply signing up. And as a highly valued customer, bookies are always keen to make sure you keep betting with them. This means it is easy to carry on making up to £1000 per month from matched betting for only a few hours’ effort.

It’s a tried and tested method, featured in The Guardian’s money pages as a proven way of making money.

With bookmakers offering ‘free bets’ to tempt new customers, you can play the system and pocket hundreds of pounds – with little risk to your own cash (The Guardian, June 2010)


By following a few simple steps you can always make money from the free bets offered by bookmakers.

  1. Sign up to a bookmaker which is offering a free bet incentive to new customers. For example, Coral offers a free £20 bet for all new customers when you place a £5 qualifying bet.
  2. Place the qualifying bet. You don’t just choose a random bet which could win or lose. Instead, you need to place 2 bets – 1 for and 1 against the same outcome. This means backing a bet with a bookmaker and also laying against that outcome with a betting exchange. Betting exchanges allow you to bet against results happening. By doing this all scenarios are covered which means the bets you make will cancel each other out. As a result, you will then get your money back.
  3. The bookmaker will then reward you with a free £20 bet.
  4. You repeat the same process with the free bet awarded to you by the bookmaker. Place a bet both for and against – backing and laying – the same result. Once again, you’ll get your money back. But as this was free money given to you by the bookmaker you actually make the value of the free bet. This means you will be in profit.

Matched betting is a risk free method because you always back and lay against the outcome. There’s never a chance for your money to be lost.


Here’s a worked example to help you understand how and why you make money matched betting. Let’s use the Coral sign up offer as an example:

  • Register with Coral and deposit £5. Also register with a betting exchange so that you can place a lay bet. The most commonly used is Betfair but there are others.
  • Find a bet where the back and lay odds are the same or very close. In this example, imagine you find odds for England to win an upcoming football match at 2/1 with the bookmakers, and that the same odds are also being offered against England winning at the betting exchange.
  • Then place a £5 back bet with Coral on England to win this game.
  • You also need to place a £5 lay bet with the betting exchange. Lay bets work differently to normal bets you place with a bookmaker. If this bet loses you have to pay out what the backer would win. This money will then be deducted from your betting exchange account. This is known as liability. As you are betting against England winning at odds of 2/1 odds you will need to pay out twice the amount of your stake if they win. This is the amount the backer would win. So to place a £5 lay bet against England winning, you need to have £10 in your betting exchange account.
  • After placing these qualifying bets, you will have paid out a total of £15. But whatever the outcome of the England match, you will get this money back into either your Coral or betting exchange account.

If England wins the game you will have a £15 balance in your Coral account – your original £5 stake, plus £10 ‘winnings’ from the bookie. Your bet with the exchange will however lose, resulting in twice your stake amount (2 x £5 = £10) being deducted from your betting exchange account. The betting exchange account will have a balance of £0.

If England doesn’t win (the result is a draw or the other team wins), you will have a balance of £0 in Coral. However, your lay bet at the betting exchange will win. At odds of 2/1 you get three times the amount of your stake deposited into your account (3 x £5 = £15).

In both these scenarios, you will have a balance of £15 after this initial qualifying bet.

  • Your Coral account will now be credited with a free £20 bet.
  • Use your £20 free bet to place a back bet for Leicester to beat Manchester United at odds of 3/1.
  • You also need to place a lay bet at the betting exchange.
  • When using free bets bookmakers don’t allow you to keep the stake amount – the £20 free bet – if the bet wins. So you can’t place the same amount of money in the exchange as a lay bet. If you did, and your bookmaker bet wins, you won’t make any profit because the bets have cancelled each other out.
  • Instead, you need to place a lay bet at a slightly lower amount to ensure your potential winnings would be the same in both accounts.
  • In this case, if Leicester was to beat Manchester United at odds of 3/1, Coral would credit your account with £60. So you need to ensure you place a bet at the betting exchange which would also give you £60. At odds of 3/1 a lay bet of £15 would give you £60.
  • To be able to place a £15 lay bet your liability will be three times the stake amount (again, this is what the person making a back bet would win), so you need to deposit £45 into your betting exchange account in order to place the bet.
  • Whether Leicester wins, loses or draws, you will end up £15 in profit after the match finishes:

If Leicester wins the game, you will have the liability of £45 deducted from your betting exchange account, leaving a balance of £0. However, Coral will credit your account with £60 in winnings – three times the stake amount of £20. So you will have made a profit of £15 which will be sitting in your Coral account.

If Leicester draws or loses the game, your Coral account will have a balance of £0. But the lay bet will win at the betting exchange. At odds of 3/1 you will win four times your stake amount, so £60. As this includes the liability amount you had in the betting exchange account in case the bet lost (£45) this results in a £15 profit in your betting exchange account

By the following this simple method, you can always make at least 70% of the value of the free bets. There’s at least £1500 to be made simply by completing the sign up offers available in the UK.


If you have lots of time, you can research what offers are available and analyse their terms and conditions. You will also need to look manually for bets where the odds match up and work out how to place the bets and what the calculations should be.

But, if you’re like me, matched betting can seem complicated and a little daunting. My experience of bookmakers was limited, apart from an annual bet on the Grand National. Even then, the cashier had to help me work out what to do. Not to mention that as a mum of a 1 and a 4-year-old, I really didn’t have the time to start working this all out.

Instead, I found Profit Accumulator, a site which spoon feeds me all of the information I need to do matched betting. It tells me what offers are available and helps me find suitable bets. It calculates what your bets need to be and guides you through placing them. Profit Accumulator offers a free trial where you get access to the training and tutorials for 2 offers. You can easily make £35-£40 simply by doing the trial. If you want more information take a look at my full review of the service they provide.


Simply by completing bookmakers’ sign up offers, you can easily make at least £1500. You can complete these offers as quickly or as slowly as you want.

But the best bit about matched betting is that you can keep making money month after month. The bookmakers are keen to keep you betting, so much so that they will keep giving away free bets to entice you back. These are known as reload offers. You can easily earn up to £1000 through these every month.

And as a bonus, any money you make is completely tax free.

find out more

There’s a lot of information to get your head around when you start matched betting. To help you decipher this confusing world, take a look at my frequently asked questions and guide to matched betting terminology. And my top tips for getting started will give you the confidence to take that first step.

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