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Does Matched Betting Work?

Written by Richard Thwaite

Matched Betting April Update

It was exactly one month ago today that I took my first step into the world of matched betting. How have I got on in my first month? Read on to find out.

One of the things Weenie at Quietly Saving told me at the outset was that I would need a pot of £2,000 to £3,000 to make full use of all the offers and my initial thoughts were that I would probably need to deposit £1,000 into each of the two main bet exchanges, Betfair & Smarkets.

As this was new to me, I decided to start out slowly and only deposited £100 into each to test the water, with the plan that once I had a feel for it I would increase the money in the accounts. During these early stages I received comments on my previous post on Matched Betting as well as direct emails from readers asking what the smallest amount that is required to get started and make this work.

It was at this stage that I decided to keep my financial commitment as low as possible and see how I got on. I will admit that at times it was tough, not in a hard way but from an emotional point of view. It felt like I was missing out because bookies such as Bet365 give a £200 bonus when you deposit £200. This is obviously a significant amount of money to get for placing a few bets but I decided not to go down this road until my funds had grown.

As I said in my opening post on Matched Betting, I am using the excellent Profit Accumulator site that walks you through the different offers. In total there are 5 offer levels. Beginners, advanced, casino, reload and bingo. I picked my way through the beginner offers, signing up as I went along. The signup consists of giving the betting company your email, home address etc. I set up a separate email address just for matched betting and I am glad I did as I am getting quite a lot of emails from the different betting sites I am signed up with. A large proportion of the emails are offering promotions, reloads etc. Up to now, I haven’t actioned any of them, as I want to learn as much as I can at a pace that I am comfortable with and I’m not at that stage yet.

Out of the “beginners” offers, I have completed all but 5 of them.

How long does it take?

My time pursuing this has been limited by the funds I have made available to support my endeavours in Matched Betting. I would place a bet and it would eat up all my available money until the bet had settled. This meant I was looking at 1 or 2 bets a day. As a result, my screen time looking at matched betting was typically 10-15 minutes on the days that I placed a bet.

We had family visiting from overseas during the month and I decided to take a break from Matched Betting during this time. You can start and stop as you see fit, however, there are a few things you need to be aware about which I will cover in “mistakes I have made” section below.

As I knew I would be writing this update post, I wrote down my screen time each time I devoted time to my Matched Betting accounts. In total for the month, I spent a little over 5 hours signing up and placing bets with the different bookies.

Mistakes I have made

Most of the bookies have a time limit on how long the free bet is valid for after you have placed your qualifying bet. Titanbet give you 7 days after which you are no longer entitled to the free bet. Due to our family visiting and my decision to have a few days away from Matched Betting I missed this 7 day window and therefore lost my entitlement to the free bet.

I have now added a column to my tracking spreadsheet where I can add any time limitations. This way I can see with a quick glance any that I need to action. I have tracked all of my activity on a spreadsheet in order to have an accurate record of my activities and I would urge you to do the same. It’s a great motivator and is useful to see what you have done and with which bookies.

It is important to make sure that you have deposited enough money in your exchange account to lay the bet off against. I lost £17 by not following this rule. What do I mean by this? Let me explain with an example.

The picture below is a screenshot from Betfair. The amount shown below the lay odds (highlighted by the red rectangle) shows how much there is currently available to lay. In the example below, you can see there is only £25 available to lay at odds of 7 on Jayo Time. If you placed this lay bet with a £30 stake you would be £5 short and would have an unmatched bet. Chances are it will eventually be matched but there is always the risk that it won’t be and you will lose out.

How much money have I made?

Be truthful this is what you are really interested in.

The table below gives a full breakdown of the balance in each account and the overall profit/loss.

Matched Betting Results for AprilAs you can see, I have opened accounts with two exchanges and fourteen bookies. The total sum of money that I deposited into these sixteen accounts is £525.00. The total balance in all of these accounts after the free bets have been placed is £800.61 which equates to a profit of £275.61 and a 52.50% return on investment in a month, which is very encouraging and far exceeds the returns I’m getting elsewhere.

Given that I spent 5 hours placing these bets they have earned me over £55 per hour, which isn’t too bad especially considering it is done in my spare time (usually whilst I am having my breakfast in the morning).

In addition, I have made a little extra money on the side. As I went to open each bookies account I checked in TopCashback to see if there were any offers for signing up. I took all the TopCashback offers that were available and earned £17.60. This takes my total profit for Matched Betting to £293.21 for the month. However, I do need to take into account the sign-up fee for Profit Accumulator which cost me £150 for the year. This brings my profit down to £143.21 with the anticipation of higher earnings in the coming months.

Does Matched Betting work and is it worth doing?

After my first month of doing Matched betting the answer is a resounding “YES”. Here’s why. It is something you can do from the comfort of your own home with nothing more than an internet connection. The results come quick. You don’t need a lot of money to get started and the returns are nothing short of fantastic. As always, I would urge you to do our research and bet responsibly. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

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Leave a Comment


  • Hi Richard

    Good to hear that you are doing well with the offers.

    The “pot of £2,000 to £3,000” is what I reckon is needed to take advantage of all ongoing offers, once all new sign ups have been done. You don’t NEED that amount; it’s just that as you’ve found out, the more you have in your exchanges, the more offers you can take up.

    You have evidently shown that it is possible to get into matched betting with modest initial deposits and just going slowly. Funny that you should mention the £1k in each of Betfair and Smarkets as that’s what I’m aiming for (not quite there yet).

    The spreadsheet I maintain also includes a column to document things like time limits for free bets and other info, eg some free bets can only be placed on certain types of bets, eg bet in play, first goal scorer market, an accumulator, etc.

    Thanks for sharing about how you missed one of your free bets – I have family visiting this summer so will have to ensure I still get my matched betting time in.

    This month, I’ve only done two new sign ups – all other ‘income’ has come from reloads. I’ll include a brief update when I do my April figures.

    • Hello Weenie

      Documenting all your signups and bets is critical with Matched betting. I have a series of bets with bwin at present who’s qualification is to place £180 worth of bets at odds of 1.7 or above to get a free £30 bet. As my exchange accounts have limited funds I can’t bet the full £180 at once so have had to split this up into several smaller bets (I would have most likely done this anyway as £180 on one bet is too much for me). When you have half a dozen qualifiers like this it can get confusing so a good spreadsheet is vital.

      It will be interesting to see how you have done this month. I will look out for your post.


  • Glad to see you’re continuing to do well out of it. I started with an initial £300 bankroll which has grown considerably and now have £4000 between my Smarkets and Betfair accounts. It’s very possible to do most of the offers with much lower banks than that but some of the recurring offers I do may only have a 5 minute window during which to place the lay bets so I need enough liquidity to handle 5+ of these in quick succession.

    Dont touch the big ones like Bet365 until you’ve got at least £1000 in your lay accounts available. You really don’t want to have an early win with B365, £800 sat with them and £0 in your Betfair spare to do the wagering requirements.

    Also once you’ve been doing it a bit you’ll be able to quick spot the profitable email offers amongst the majority of spammy ones they send. It’s always worth keeping an eye on the emails each day though as there’s some real gems in there. My most recent one was a “100% deposit match up to £50″… no wagering required.. I literally just deposited £50 and withdrew £100 a few seconds later. Cheers!

    • Hello ERG

      I am glad I started off with a small bankroll as it limited the amount of bets I could take at any one time. Initially it all looks very easy, however, each bet seems to have its own criteria that if you are not careful you could miss and lose the bonus (like I did with Titanbet).

      I have held off Bet365 for the very reason you have suggested. I still look at the offer and think what a lot of money it is. But for now I will put it to one side and carry on with the rest as there are plenty to go at.

      I started on some of the reloads this weekend and even took part in some free £5 in play games. You need to be quick with these at the odds change so quickly. I found that half time was better for me as it was much quieter then.

      Thanks for your comment.


  • Hi Richard,
    Thank you for the update – very interesting to see your progress. As you are continuing to open new bookie accounts – what are you planning on doing with the money in the accounts you already have? Are you withdrawing it or are you going to leave it in these accounts?

    Regards, Pinch

    • Hello Pinch

      A very good question and one I have been asking myself recently.

      What I have decided to do is to withdraw some of my winnings and to use that money to open new accounts. To date all the withdrawals have been successful and I have just over £200 to open new accounts with. This keeps my initial investment in Matched Betting at £525 whilst growing my profit with the new accounts.