Matched betting for dummies

James McMath

15 Mar 2017

Updated: 19 Nov 2023

The concept can seem a little complicated and even daunting initially, so the team at Profit Accumulator have put together this guide to matched betting for dummies.

We hope that you don't mind being called a dummy, by the way.

Here, the aim is to outline the basics of matched betting, including how it works, how it makes money and to answer some common questions about matched betting.

It is possible to earn a legitimate, sustainable income from matched betting but, for many people, this sounds too good to be true. Hopefully, this basic introduction will show that's not the case.

What is matched betting?

Bookmakers give money away in the form of bonuses and free bets.

Basically, matched betting involves placing multiple bets to trigger these offers. The reason multiple bets are needed is to reduce the risk on your part.

For example, let's say a bookmaker is giving away £10 if you bet £10 on tennis. If the odds are right, it would be possible to bet on Player A to win and bet against (or lay) Player A with another betting company.

This would mean your original £10 is returned and you get your £10 bonus from the first bookmaker.

How is matched betting sustainable?

Many of the bonuses offered by bookies are for new customers only. It's possible to make a good amount by working through these because there are so many bookmakers out there.

However, it is also possible to keep the profit coming in as bookmakers provide regular offers to incentivise existing customers. These are known as reload offers and are what makes matched betting viable, long-term.

Is matched betting legal?

Yes, matched betting is perfectly legal. It can be done by anyone able to open an online betting account - that is most adults in the UK and Ireland. It's also tax-free.

Matched betting is still relatively new, which is one of the reasons many still don't trust it, but it's growing in popularity as people realise the potential. Profit Accumulator, for example, has some 20,000 members.

Most bookmakers don’t like matched betting because they don’t like losing money.

It is true that they close or restrict accounts of winning players but there are legitimate methods to keep your account open.

Matched bettors share advice and tips on this very matter to help members keep their accounts thriving.

How much can you make from matched betting?

The income earned varies widely, depending on the individual's circumstances. The main factor is how much time you can dedicate to it.

To give you a general idea, Profit Accumulator has two threads on its forum - how to make £1,000 a month and how to make £300 a month but earnings can be much higher than that.

Some Profit Accumulator members have shared their stories with us, including how much they have made.

Do I need to be a gambling expert?

Not at all. You don't even have to have an interest in sport. Matched betting is really just about following instructions and getting the numbers right. It is used by sports fans but is equally popular with stay-at-home parents and students as a way of earning a few hundred pounds a month from home.

Matched betting software

You don't really need much to start matched betting but, with like many ways of making money, there are resources to help.

Matched betting services such as Profit Accumulator give access to tools and resources to make the process simpler and far less time-consuming. Basically, these are:

  • Calculator - to work out how much to bet and lay and how much your profit will be
  • Oddsmatching software - to automatically find the best bets
  • Video tutorials - to guide you through every step of the process
  • Profit tracking - to help you keep track of your money across accounts
  • Matched betting spreadsheets - to work out more complicated offers

Matched betting free trial

Profit Accumulator offers a free one-month trial that is designed to let new members see how matched betting works. It includes instructions on how to do two bookmaker sign-up offers and could earn up to £45.

Platinum membership includes full access to all offers, as well as use of the matched betting forum, where members share advice and support each other through their matched betting journey.

Jargon buster

When you start matched betting, you're likely to run into a few unfamiliar words and phrases, especially if you use the forum.

Here's some of the most common terms with definitions:

  • 365 - Bet365
  • 888 - 888Sport
  • Acca - Accumulator bet
  • Arb - Arbitrage Bet (Back odds higher than lay odds)
  • Bfex - Betfair Exchange
  • BFSB - Betfair Sportsbook
  • BoG - Best Odds Guaranteed
  • BoG+ - Best Odds Guaranteed+
  • BTTS - Both Teams to Score
  • BV - BetVictor
  • Cheltmas - The Cheltenham Festival
  • DD/HH - Double Delight, Hat Trick Heaven
  • EV - Estimated Value
  • EW - Each Way
  • FB - Free Bet
  • FGS - First Goalscorer
  • Gubbed - Promo banned at a bookie.
  • HT/FT - Half Time/Full Time
  • Lads - Ladbrokes
  • OLA - Override Lay All %
  • PA - Profit Accumulator
  • PP - PaddyPower (Can also mean 888sport Premier Player)
  • PPM - PaddyPower Messenger
  • QL - Qualifying loss
  • RTP - Return to Player
  • SMM - Super Monopoly Money
  • SNR - Stake not Returned
  • SR - Stake Returned
  • WH/Hills - William Hill
  • WWGI - Win, Win, Get in (Coral offer)

Learn about matched betting

There's a host of matched betting guides and other resources free to access for those who want to find out more. Here's some suggested articles:

Matched betting tips

A few general pieces of advice as you start your matched betting journey

Keep it simple: Start at the start, with the sign-up offers and only do the offers you understand. As your experience grows, as will your confidence and this is important before attempting some of the more complicated offers. Remember, matched betting is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Monitor your money: Keeping track of your cash is vital. Your money will be spread across several accounts and it's easy to lose track of what's where. Finding a £40 in your SkyBet account might be a nice surprise but that's money that could have helped generate more profit elsewhere.

Stay secure: Keep a list of usernames of passwords using something like LastPass. This will save you time and keep your details secure when logging into all your bookmaker accounts.

Speed it up: Set up bookmarks for all the bookmaker accounts, or even consider a separate user profile on your computer. Use autofill to complete sign-up forms quicker.

Ask for help: Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you think you're due a refund or a free bet, use live chat to ask the bookmaker where it is. If you're a member of PA, be sure to get involved on the forum with any queries you might have. There's also superb customer support available seven days a week to help with any queries you might have.