Don’t let your Matched Betting profit margins go down like a lead balloon!


I’ve been promising to do some posts about Matched Betting for a while now and the thing, unfortunately, that has spurred me to finally do it was my first big fuck up which started about 2 weeks ago. I am hoping that this will serve as a warning to others so no one else makes the same kind of mistake! But first a brief intro on what I am and am not going to be writing about with regards to Matched Betting going forward on this blog…

There is a sea of articles out there trying to get you to start matched betting with basic walk throughs of the concept and how it works, so I don’t see the point in writing another one, it will be a drop in the ocean and provide very little value to anyone.

The downside is that anything I write about might be totally bamboozling to anyone without a basic understanding of Matched Betting.

There are two options for the novice here, if you have no interest in this please skip the article, no hard feelings!

If however you want to get up to scratch before reading my thoughts on it, you could to worse than to check out Richards intro post on his Live Happy Save More blog 1.

Failing that you could just sign up to the OddsMonkeys free trial (<– affiliate link), go through their walk throughs and actually make some money for yourself. I know this post is about how I actually lost money on matched betting but if you follow their walk through on the first few simple offers it will be very hard for you to mess it up and lose money. If you keep reading below it should become fairly clear why.

OK so here is the one very, very, very, VERY important point you need to remember when you do any matched betting offer:


Read the frigging T&C’s!


Even better than that – read them but make sure you fully understand them. I got into trouble when I had read the T&Cs of the Bookie called Opening account offer but had not fully understood or internalised what would happen in different scenarios.

I won’t list them all out because there are about 25 of them like most offers but I will list out the key points in a second.

I know it’s a pain in the ball sack to read every last T&C of every single offer but in reality you don’t normally have to, OddsMonkey and similar matched betting websites will alert you to all the important bits you need to know, for example like this:


This screenshot is actually taken from Profit Accumulator (<– affiliate link) which is also a good matched betting website but personally I prefer OddsMonkey overall. Both offer a free trial so you could try both and see what one you get on with but if you want my recommendation just go with OddsMonkey. Anyway the point is you can see they point out the key T&Cs of this offer such as you having to play through wagering requirements of three times the deposit and bonus (see, they even bold it to draw your attention to it)


the douche rocket that is the offer

Here’s something weird, I never saw the listed as an offer to do on either Profit Accumulator or OddsMonkey. Maybe it’s because the T&Cs are designed to, how can I put it politely, shaft you royally up the anal passage? 2

Here are the key points:

  • Deposit £200 and get £200 bonus. Nice so far 🙂
  • You then have to turn this over 8x. Which equates to £3200 worth of bets! 🙁
  • Max bet for each bet is £50 – this means you have to put 64 bets of £50 on! 🙁
  • In addition to this at least half of you bets need to be accumulator bets. The most sensible way to do this would be to do 32 x £50 single bets, and 32 x £50 Doubles. 🙁
  • The minimum odds for each of these bets is Evens (2.0) 🙁
  • You have to complete all wagering requirements within 14 days! 🙁 🙁
  • The maximum you can withdraw after you’ve completed this marathon of wagering requirements is £2000! 🙁 🙁 🙁 Regardless of your actual balance! 🙁 🙁 🙁

Now there is a LOT going on in there but the truth of the matter is that it is still fairly easy to make a profit on this offer and I will tell you how in a minute. But first let’s look at my original strategy and where I went wrong.


my original strategy

Basically I figured that I would pick a high odds bet that would be unlikely to win and stick the whole £400 on it. I would then lay that all off on the exchange and pocket near enough £200 when it loses. See this lovely calculator screenshot for an example of how it was supposed to go down:


So I’d lose near enough £18 on the backing and laying, but once the bet lost into the exchange I would actually be £189.97 in the green because £200 of it was the free gift from Winner. Hopefully that makes sense!

However I didn’t really consider what would happen if the bet won and all hell broke loose when it did.

So now I’d lost a nibble over ~£2.4k out of my exchange account but not to worry I’d won all of that plus some into my Winner account, right? Well yes, there is now £2,800 sitting in my Winner account. I am sure most of you can already see where I’ve massively messed up here…:

  • The maximum you can withdraw after you’ve completed this marathon of wagering requirements is £2000! 🙁 🙁 🙁 Regardless of your actual balance! 🙁 🙁 🙁

So £800 of this money might as well not be there. It’s just fake, phantom money, staring at me and mocking me just like Borat’s sister.

My figures now look like this:

Exchange P/L 3: -£2417

Winner P/L: +£1800 (£200o I can actually withdraw minus my £200 deposit)

Total P/L: -£617

Waaaaah 🙁

Luckily I managed to get through the wagering requirements without losing any below the £2K mark which would have compounded my losses even more. In fact rather annoyingly I ended up winning even more and had ~£3,200 in the account when I could finally withdraw. Still, only £2K would ever hit my bank account, the other £1200 disappearing into the ether or a parallel universe where bookie T&Cs are really good for the punter or something.



here’s what I should have done

A better strategy would only need slight tweaking and it would have all worked out. Let’s imagine I took the same bet with odds of 7.0 and laying at 7.2 again, and placed the full £400 on it, but I only, say laid half of the free £200 part of that (total lay stake of £300):


Concentrating the bottom section for the figures, if the bookie bet lost we’d have ended up with this:

Winner P/L: -£200

Exchange P/L: +£250 (which is £255 minus the exchange commission)

Total P/L: +£50

So nicking an easy £50 still for very little work. Not too shabby!


And if the bookmaker bet won we’d have ended up with:

Winner P/L: +£1800

Exchange P/L: -£1581

Total P/L: £419


I would then have had to play through the silly wagering requirements but it would have been very unlikely for my balance to go under the £2K seeing as I had an £800 buffer. The strategy to minimise your loses while playing through the wagering requirements is this:

  • Place 32 Single bets with odds as close to 2.00 as possible. Try to stick to 2.00 – 2.50 if possible but you can go up to 3.00 if can’t find enough in the lower odds range.
  • Place 32 Double bets where you pick one with a very low odds of below say 1.2 – a “dead cert” and then another bet with odds of 2.00 to 2.50
  • To find bets easily look at the upcoming events section on the home page and flick through the sports. Tennis and Football are good to find dead certs and Football and American sports are good for finding bets of around the 2.00 mark.
  • You don’t have to and probably shouldn’t do this all in one sitting. Maybe try doing 8 bets of each type for 4 days in a row.


The upcoming events section on Winner

This is the strategy I used and like I say I ended up winning an extra £400 (which was useless to me) and I would say if you used a similar strategy you would be very unlucky to lose an £800 buffer, but admittedly it is entirely possible that you might.

If you found yourself get down to under the £2K mark you could then start to lay off the bets if you really wanted to make sure you didn’t lose any more although this would be a huge pain the rectum if you ask me and like I say with an £800 buffer very unlikely. Also bear in mind that even below the £2K mark you are still playing with £419 of “real” profit as per the figures above.

Obviously this will change with different odds and different bets so please if you are trying this for yourself work out the figures and different outcomes yourself before pressing “Bet”! 🙂


one final example

I’ll do one final example with different odds just to show how things can change dramatically with this offer depending on the odds etc…

Lets say you picked a more likely bet, say a 3/1 shot (decimal odds 4.0) which you will see on many football matches. Imagine the lay odds are 4.2 which is quite easy to find most weekends when the footy is on as well:


Again concentrating on the custom figures I’ve put in at the bottom:

If bookmaker bet loses I win £50 straight into the exchange again, easy money

If bookmaker bet wins:

Winner P/L: +£1,400 (£1,600 – £200 deposit)

Exchange P/L: -£816

Total P/L: £584

The key difference here as I’m sure you have noticed is that we haven’t hit the £2K mark where our profit can never be realised -our Winner balance would be £1,600 before any of the wagering requirement bets have been placed.

So trying to blaze through those 64 x £50 bets now becomes a much more nail biting affair, with only a buffer of “real profit” of £584, to see if we finally end up in profit or not. You could try to lay off every bet and lock in a small loss on each one using the OddsMonkey software but this would take longer than a hard Brexit. You would also lose around 5-10% on your £3200 so bringing your total profit to between £264-£424 for a hell of a lot of leg work, which I personally don’t think is worth it (laying off the Doubles would prove especially painful if not impossible within the 14 day period).

So I guess the lesson of this last part is make sure exactly what strategy will be available to you when you are doing your wagering requirements. If I did this again I would still pick a higher odds bet that would take me over the £2K limit to give me some fake money to play through the wagering requirements, but maybe £2,800 is too much.

Maybe £2,400 is the goldilocks zone balance you want to aim for which equates to a bet with odds of 6.0 but YMMV…


jeez man just wrap it up will ya?!

I’ve gone a bit too far in depth focusing on just one particular offer than I originally planned so I hope it wasn’t too hard to follow along. But if anyone has any questions as always shoot me a message down below and I’ll try to make things clearer!

There are also plenty of other not quite so shitty T&C offers but with similar wagering requirements, and you should probably play them in exactly the same way (Betway’s £100 bonus offer springs to mind here but there are numerous others) where by you leave a bigger win if the bookmaker bet wins, to compensate you for having to do more work. That’s the way I look at it anyway!

I hope this has been a good lesson in always working out the T&Cs and working them to your advantage rather than not thinking things through properly and getting stung.

The other alternative is just to leave the bigger money/more complicated offers like this well alone if you are not comfortable backing and laying figures into the £1,000’s which is a fair enough stance to have!

I also sincerely hope it doesn’t put anyone off matched betting as 99% of the time it is a very easy and safe way to make money on the side, and it’s worth pointing out that up till now I’ve made nearly £10K from matched betting based activities this year, well actually in just 9 months. So taking a £600 loss, while I’d rather not have messed up, is not exactly that hard to take at this point in time. As always it helps to keep these things in perspective to keep that smile on your face 🙂


Just remember, be careful out there Kids


Have you had any Matched Betting disasters that we could all do with hearing about?

Please do let us know in the comments so we can try to avoid them ourselves?! Ta muchily!


  1. No posts since around June this year so not sure if Richard has given up on blogging already though!?
  2. You should have seen the non polite version that I deleted!
  3. Profit/Loss