Preparation for Matched Betting


Part 2 – Prep School:

Before you begin learning the matched betting process, please familiarise yourself with the following preparatory steps:

Step 1

Before you set-up any new gambling accounts, we advise you to acquire a new email address and use it as the sole portal for all your betting correspondence. create a different folder within that account for each betting company and file all emails like you are running a business, just in case you need to refer back later for dispute resolution. It also keeps things clean without inter-mingling your personal life with your betting activities.

Close-up of Matches / Nahaufnahme StreichhölzerImage: NY-P (Shutterstock)

Step 2

Keep an Excel spreadsheet of all your individual bets to stay focused.

This will also help you to see patterns making the whole matched betting process quicker as you get used to it, and it will ultimately provide you with a ready and up-to-date record as a summary of earnings.

It is always wise from a records perspective to have everything neat and tidy and readily available should you have to provide evidence in a hurry to Inland Revenue of untaxed revenue appearing in your bank accounts. This is not a joke.

Step 3

The saying ‘money begets money’ is important as you will need money in order to enter the matched betting arena. The bonus bets on offer are usually provided in the currency of your country of residence and for English speaking and European countries, the main currencies are GBP £, USD $ and Euros €. You will need an internet bank account with a Visa or Mastercard attached and at least 100 units of credit in your local currency. You will be using this account to make the initial betting account deposits and to facilitate withdrawal of winnings for recirculation into other new betting accounts and into the betting exchange float.

Importantly, ensure that the bank account you choose does not make a charge for gambling related transactions; check your terms and conditions. Some online banks do charge which in turn reduces your profit and means you will effectively be working hard for your bank for free, adding to their already enormous wealth with no real control over just how large a slice of your profits they might filter away from you.

Step 4

You will need an e-wallet such as Paypal, Neteller and Skrill (Moneybookers), as for some bookmakers, this will be the only method of deposit and withdrawal possible from your country of residence.

Profitable investment - tree with percentages for fruitsImage: Lyudmyla Kharlamova (Shutterstock)

Step 5

You need to understand the difference between a back bet and a lay bet, including the ‘watershed’ at which they cancel each other out. If you don’t, then our article here may help.

You will need to understand the fundamental difference between a bookmaker and a betting exchange. At the former, you can only place back bets but pay no commission on winnings; at an exchange you are betting against other people like yourself and can place both back and lay bets but, the exchange takes a percentage of your winnings for providing the trading platform.

Basically, backing an outcome means you are betting on something to win, whilst laying an outcome means you are betting on it to lose.

Step 6

Before you sign-up to any new betting account, check out online cash-back sites that usually have connections with some gambling related companies. This means that signing-up through their links might actually mean you receive cash-back on your deposits, thereby augmenting your matched betting income.

Again, most gambling affiliates won’t tell you this because they would rather you used their links to sign-up. In the UK, www.topcashback.co.uk and www.quidco.co.uk are the two market leaders in this field. As we write, Quidco has links to over 90 different bookmaker and betting exchange accounts (under the ‘Entertainment’ category and then the ‘Gambling’ sub-tab)

You may find other cash-back sites, but read their terms and conditions very carefully. These two have been in the market many years and have kudos but recent history is littered with several examples of similar firms and start-ups which didn’t stay the course. The golden rule here is that once you have reached the withdrawal threshold in your cash-back sites, please withdraw the money immediately!

Step 7

Before you open any bookmaker accounts, you will need one or more betting exchange accounts in order to place lay bets. The largest and most popular in the world is currently Betfair, which also has the greatest spread of markets, the highest liquidity to ensure your stakes get matched, and the easiest layout and user interface. Betdaq come next in the pecking order, and then an interesting, newly developed company, Smarkets. Whether WBX gets off the ground is open to question at the moment.

We recommend you definitely use Betfair and perhaps one of the others. In any case, you will need a minimum of 200 currency units in each exchange account you decide upon. This money is the betting exchange float.

As you go after the larger bonuses, you will find that a larger float is necessary in order to maximise and convert them into as much hard cash as possible.

Coming up in Part 3…

The next part of this series provides a check-list of things you need to be aware of during the matched betting process.

We will then move onto the actual nuts and bolts of matched betting and detail the different strategies you will need to master in order to place successful qualifying bets, stake not returned free bets, stake returned free bets and understanding deposit bonuses and when and when not to treat them as stake returned free bets.

Lastly, there will be an ever-evolving list of examples as Soccerwidow moves from one offer to the next attempting to earn as much hard cash from the free money on offer. The traps and pitfalls will also be highlighted to help you not to fall into them.


Go Back To: Part 1: Basic Knowledge
Go Forwards To: Part 3: Matched Betting Check List
Go Forwards To: Part 4: Matched Betting Tools: Calculators


Last Update: 24 May 2012

Categories:Betting Guidance Matched Betting



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