Demystifying Betting Myths
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Matched Betting Check List

Part 3 – Check List:

In this section of our matched betting tutorial, we look at some of the essential things you need to know and be in control of when you sit down and begin playing with real money together with some recommendations from our own experience.

Canadian Dollar laying on pile of matchesImage: Feng Yu (Shutterstock)

1. Before opening a new bookmaker account:

  • Is the bonus restricted territorially? In other words, are you resident in a country where the bonus is not applicable and therefore wasting your time opening the account?
  • Do your homework: Is the firm reputable? Use a review site such as and get an up-to-date appraisal of the company you are about to hand over your hard-earned money to; search for any negative comments online about the bookmaker in question and if in doubt, kick it out.
  • Choose a different username and password for every account for your own security and record this information manually (i.e. not on your computer).
  • Some bookmakers are linked, such as bwin, Gamebookers and Partybets, or Tipico and Sportingbet, and we recommended concluding each transaction involving a franchise bookie before moving onto another member of the same franchise (i.e. keep a low profile and don’t play with more than one company in a group at a time).
  • Read through the terms and conditions of the cashier process (what methods do they accept; what is the minimum deposit and withdrawal amount; are there any charges for deposits/withdrawals which will ameliorate the benefit of the bonus?)
  • If you can, copy and paste the terms and conditions into a document and save it for possible future dispute resolution. If the T’s and C’s can’t be copied for some reason, open a Word document, use the PRTSC function on your keyboard (near the ‘F’ keys), go into the Word document and press the keys CTRL and V together to copy the screenprint you have just performed into a saveable format.

2. Read through the terms and conditions of every bonus or free bet offer in minute detail:

  • Is a bonus code required (from elsewhere in the Net) or is it a deposit bonus or a free bet to be ‘earned’? Some codes are freely given on the bookmaker’s own site whilst others are available on affiliated sites elsewhere on the Net. In our experience, the affiliate codes usually promise greater riches than the bookmaker’s own basic bonuses, but usually the terms are far more complicated and require you to bet higher amounts of money or more frequently in order to earn the bonus. It’s all a ploy to maximise the income of the affiliate and sometimes what they promise isn’t quite what transpires. If in doubt, stick to the bookmaker’s offer.
  • What exactly do you have to do to ‘earn’ the bonus?
  • Is it a ‘stake returned’ or ‘stake not returned’ bonus?
  • Is there a limit on the number of days you have to deposit the qualifying stake into the account after registration?
  • What is the time scale in which to place my qualifying bet and subsequent ‘free’ bet?
  • What are the minimum odds the bookmaker requires each bet to be made at (differs wildly from bookmaker to bookmaker)
  • Copy and paste the terms and conditions into a document and save it for possible future dispute resolution.

3. Before placing any bets:

  • Ensure you are logged into both the bookmaker and betting exchange sites simultaneously and have the chosen event ready on both sites for a fast transaction even if liquidity is good at the exchange (to reduce the chance of the lay odds from rising and reducing your eventual profit from the transaction).
  • Use a matched betting calculator to work out the lay bet stake required for either the qualifying or profit bet, whichever it may be.
  • Before placing the bookmaker bet check the liquidity in the exchange: is there enough money being offered in the exchange to lay-off 100% of the back bet at or close to your desired price?
  • Always place the bookmaker bet first.
  • Place the bookmaker back bet and quickly refer to the matched betting calculator to check the lay stake required and also the liability it will generate.
  • Place the lay bet quickly and leave both receipts ‘open’ on your screen until you have recorded the bets in your spreadsheet.
  • Always leave plenty of time before the kick-off in which to correct errors.
  • Check both the bookmaker and betting exchange bet logs to ensure that everything is in order before leaving the sites.
  • Check the bet logs again.

4. Advanced:

  • If you are entirely happy and comfortable with the concept of ‘arbing’ then this is a process you may find faster and more financially strategic to extract money remaining in your bookmaker accounts rather than withdrawing it back to your credit card, e-wallet or bank account. Receiving money back in the bank account takes anything between one and five working days, which of course, places this sum into limbo. Arbing the bookmaker balance until the bookmaker bet eventually loses is more efficient as the cash effectively just transfers instantly into the betting exchange float, along with added profits. If you are not happy with ‘arbing’ or waiting for a suitable opportunity, then go along the withdrawal route.
  • There are some very good in-play opportunities to achieve chunky price differences between the bookmaker’s live odds and those in the betting exchange. However, we would advise only ever performing this type of transaction at half-time in a game, giving yourself plenty of time to make the transaction comfortably, as anything else is in our eyes equivalent to gambling, which is not what matched betting is about.

In the coming parts, we will explore the constituent elements of the matched betting process including matched betting calculators and automatching sites, which are invaluable in saving time and making the whole business as efficient as possible.

Go Forwards To: Part 4: Matched Betting Tools: Calculators
Go Back To: Part 2: Preparation for Matched betting
Go Back To: Part 1: Introduction to Matched Betting

Last Update: 25 May 2012

Categories:Betting Guidance Matched Betting

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