When most people place a bet they will stake a set amount on a particular outcome, e.g. that Team A will beat Team B, but in order to make any money they are going to have to either get lucky or have some kind of insider knowledge on the bet they're placing!
The technique of matched betting at online bookmakers on the other hand, involves not just placing a bet as a punter, but also laying a bet as an online bookmaker would, which the advent of betting exchanges has allowed any average punter to do.
Properly used, matched betting at betting exchanges like Betfair Exchange and BETDAQ can be used to eliminate the element of luck and make guaranteed no risk returns.
Matched Betting Technique
When you place a bet you "back" the outcome you have chosen. For example, you might back Team A with £10 (* Any currency works the same, GBP is used for the purposes of this article) to beat Team B at odds of 3 to 1.
If Team A does indeed beat Team B, you would receive £30 winnings and the return of your £10 stake (total £40). If you lose because Team A does not beat Team B then the online bookmaker will keep your £10 stake.
Consider for a moment, however, what would your position be if you were the online bookmaker? If Team A beat Team B you would have to pay out £30 in winnings and return the £10 stake. But, if Team A did not beat Team B then you would be entitled to keep the £10 stake for a £10 profit.
The process of offering a bet to someone, just as online bookmakers do, is know as 'laying' a bet. Acting as both the punter and online bookmaker leads to a rather strange conclusion.
Some of you may have already spotted this, but whatever the outcome, the back bet and the lay bet cancel each other out. In each case the net result is £0.
If Team A beats Team B you as the punter gain £30 (winnings) and you as the online bookmaker lose £30. The net gain is £0. If Team A doesn't beat Team B you as the online bookmaker gain £10 (the punters stake) and you as the punter lose £10. The net gain is £0.
How do I make profits?
Great, you may be thinking. "If whatever I win is always cancelled out by what I lose how am I going to make any money?" Don't worry. Matched betting is accomplished in conjunction with the free bets and signup offers that bookmakers offer to new and existing members.
Referring back to our Situation 1 of Team A and Team B, lets assume now that you are not backing Team A to beat Team B with your own £10, but are instead using a £10 bonus bet given to you by the bookmaker.
You should now be able to see that irrespective of whether Team A do in fact beat Team B you will make a profit of £10 (the bonus bet amount).
If Team A beats Team B you as the punter gain £40 (£30 winnings plus the £10 stake returned which was not yours in the first place) and you as the online bookmaker loses £30 (winnings paid out).
The net gain is £10. If Team A does not beat Team B you as the bookmaker gain £10 (the stake) and you as the punter lose £0 (the stake was a bonus). The net gain is £10.
There's A Catch...
Does this sound to good to be true? Well it is and it isn't. There are a couple of minor points worth bearing in mind.
The examples that we've used above to illustrate the technique of matched betting at online bookmakers do not reflect reality 100%.
For example, you will need to use betting exchanges to lay bets that charge commission of 1 to 5 percent, and sometimes may struggle to find identical odds.
Nevertheless, it is possible to use matched betting to generate a profit of between 95 to 75 percent of the bonus bets value.
There are hundreds of free bet offers out there so the possibility is there for profit.