Believe it or not there's actually a way to potentially generate profit from free bets. With bookies competing for punters there's a never ending supply of free bet offers. You know the sort of thing 'bet £25, receive a £25 free bet' as a welcome bonus when opening a new account.
This is great news as by using 'matched betting', it's possible to back and lay the same event in order to win regardless of the outcome. Simply by using one of the free bet offers as your stake money you're able to then lay these bets off to make a risk free profit.
Check out our step by step guide to making money from free bets for further info.
What is Matched Betting?
Many bookies offer matched free bets such as 'bet £10 to receive a free £10 bet' as a sign-up bonus when opening a new account. It's possible to use these free bets to make money.
The process is known as matched betting, a technique involving backing and laying a betting event in order to win regardless of the outcome. Matched betting can be done using betting exchanges like Betfair.com/EX in conjunction with fixed-odds bookies like Ladbrokes.com.
Matched Betting Earnings
Anywhere from £500 upwards is a typical amount. Just be aware that more cash can also be made from online bookies weekly betting promotions in addition to their sign-up offer.
Of course it all depends on the amount of time taken to match the bets and the bonus amounts you're working with. There are new customer offers popping up all the time, which means more free bets for punters and the potential for matched betting.
Matched Betting Risks
There are some risks associated with matched betting as exchanges like Betfair Exchange do charge a small commission on winning bets (roughly 5-15%). You'll therefore need to try to get better odds at the betting exchange to cover this small shortfall.
As long as you take your time when placing bets and double check the odds you're betting at and calculate any loses then you should be fine. Make sure you check the free bet's terms and conditions before you make that final commitment to place the bet.
Matched Betting Legality
Matched betting is a perfectly legal way of betting online. You are simply taking advantage of all the free bets that bookies give away in the hope that you'll be attracted to register a new online betting account and then to continue betting with them over the long term.
My Credit Score
The majority of online bookies will not perform a credit check, so it's not something to worry about. Spread betting portals like Sporting Index may however perform a check so make sure you thoroughly read their terms and conditions prior to opening a new account.
Return and No Stake Returned Free Bets
A stake returned free bet is essentially the same as placing a bet with your own money. The stake is returned with any winnings. A no stake returned bet means that the amount that you bet (most free bets have this restriction) is not returned with any winnings.
Laying a bet essentially means that you become the online bookie, this happens at a betting exchange and is explained in more detail in our guide to betting exchanges. Check it out for a rundown of how it all works and what pitfalls to avoid when it comes to being a bookie.
Best Sport for Matched Betting
Football is probably the easiest sport to use when matched betting. This is mainly due to the widespread knowledge of the game. There is also the added advantage of football being a very popular sport which in turn makes it easier to match bets at two betting portals.
Sports with only two outcomes are next choice, such as tennis, however some online bookies and betting exchanges have different rules which may make things more difficult.