Below is a step by step guide that will take you through placing your first matched bet.
Step 1. First we need to create a Betfair account.
To do this click on the link to the left which will take you to the registration page and also provide you with the free sign up bonus (currently £20)
[We’ll use this as our first matched bet]
Register an account!
Step 2. We now need a separate betting account with a bookmaker. Ideally we want one that a has sign up bonus which is a free matched bet
e.g. Bet £25 and we’ll give you another £25 free bet [You’ll see why soon!]
Click on the Free Bets page to see a selection of bookmakers and they’re offers.
Once you have selected one, click on it to be taken to their sign up page and register.
Step 3. Our next step is to download the Free Matched Betting Spreadsheet.
I’ve created a very simple Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet that does all the boring calculations for you and we’ll walk you through it later when we are creating our first bet. It even helps you keep track of all your login usernames and passwords.
Step 4. Ok we’re nearly there, now all we need to do is deposit money into our accounts.
We want to try and keep this to a minimum though to reduce our initial outlay. That and i’m a cheapskate who doesn’t like spending money.
We’ll only deposit into Betfair for now and only £30, this leaves us a little comfort zone when placing our first bet to obtain the free £25 bet.
Go ahead and do this now.
We won’t deposit into our bookmaker account just yet. You’ll see why in a minute.
Step 5. Ok we are now setup and ready to look for our first matched bet!!
The way i like to do this is to open a new window and log into Betfair. Then open a separate window and log into your new bookmaker account. You will now easily be able to flick between these.
What we now need to do is look for very similar odds on the same event between the bookmaker and Betfair.
First find an event with your bookmaker. Let’s say a football game, as this will be what you most commonly match bet on. Now that you have selected a game, look at the odds.
Now we need to flick to our Betfair account and look at the same game. We want to check if any off these odds are similar. In order to do this we look at the odds in Pink, as these are the lay odds (see below).
Similar odds depends on how small the actual odds are. Obviously if the initial odds being compared are 3.0 at the bookmaker and 4.0 at Betfair, this is only a 1 point difference, but because the odds are small it’s actually a 30% difference.
If the odds being compared are 25.0 and 26.0 however, this is still only a 1 point difference but now only a 4% difference in the odds. You’ll be able to use the spreadsheet to check the odds you have found, and you’ll gradually see the effect.
In this instance we want to find short odds due to the type of free bet that we are placing. This is all explained in the Bet Type section.
* Remember a lay bet is when we act as the bookmaker, and this is what Betfair or any other Betting Exchange allows us to do.
Note: You will want to set the odds to be displayed as “decimal” in your bookmaker accounts. This will make things easier to compare and is also needed for the spreadsheet entries. How to do this will be slightly different for each bookmaker however it is usually pretty easy and is a drop down selection at the top of the page or bottom left.
Step 6. Now that we’ve found an event we believe has similar odds, it is time to check our returns and stake using the Match Betting Spreadsheet that you downloaded in Step 3.
Because we are using the Betfair Return if Lose (RIL) Free Bet, we need to enter -£25 into the Stake Forfeit Box.
We then enter the odds we have found into the appropriate boxes. In this case the bookmaker odds (“back” odds) into the Back Odds box and the Betfair odds (“Lay” odds) into the Lay Odds box.
Now the Betfair Free Bet is slightly different from others as the Free Bet is on our Lay Bet, as opposed to the Back bet which is usually the case. This means that we now need to toggle the “Bet Stake” amount until it produces the amount of our Return on Lose Bet in the “Lay Risk” box, in this case £25.
You can see below that using the odds 1.5/1.53 (back/lay), i had to toggle my Bet Stake to £30 to give me a Lay Risk of £25.07 (near enough).
Normally the “Back Profit”/”Lay Profit” would shown our actual profit, however for this bet we need to subtract our initial Bet Stake to work that out. In the example below that would give us a profit of £14.93, which is actually pretty poor, but this type of bet, Return on Lose on the Lay Bet, is hard to get a good return on.
If the odds you have found don’t seem to provide a very good return don’t worry, simply look for others.
You may remember that in Step 2 I mentioned finding a bookmaker with a Free Matched Bet. Hopefully you now understand why. We are basically killing 2 birds with one stone in our very first Match Bet. If the Bet Stake we have just calculated above is greater than or equal to the maximum bet that the bookmaker is willing to match then they will provide our next free bet. Great!!
Don’t worry if i lost you with that last part, it’s not really that important for now.
Step 7. Nearly done! Right so we have found our event with the best odds to bet on.
We have used the Match Betting Spreadsheet and calculated the amount we need to stake on our “Back Bet” and on our “Lay Bet”.
Using the example in Step 6:
Our “Back Bet” is £30, this is what we will bet at the bookmaker.
Our “Lay Bet” is £47.30, this is what we will bet at the exchange, in this case BetFair.
I know what your thinking, £47.30 is way above the £25 i thought i had to bet on my Lay bet, but it’s ok, whilst we are laying £47.30 we are actually only risking £25.07 (as the spreadsheet told us). This is due to the odds we are laying at (1.53).
So for every £1 that someone bets with us, we need to pay them £0.53 if they win.
Hence, if we accept/lay £47.30 worth of bets at Betfair, we are actually only risking:
47.30 x 0.53 = £25.07
Again, don’t worry you don’t really need to understand the Maths right now, you will actually pick it by following some examples. For now just trust the Match Betting Spreadsheet and instructions on the Bet Types page.
First of all we place our back bet at the bookmaker, so we simply go to our selection, select the odds and enter our stake. Place the bet.
Next we go to our Betfair account and again select the event and odds, remember it is the Lay (Pink) odds that we select. Once we have selected these we then enter our Lay Stake in the box that appears (see below) and click “Place Bets”. You will then need to click “Confirm” to complete the Lay Bet. Betfair should then confirm if all bets have been matched, if not don’t worry, you can leave them to be matched or cancel if necessary. Usually you will have plenty of time before the event for all bets to get matched.
That’s it, you’ve placed your first match bet!
If our bet at the bookmaker wins, great we have covered our lay risk at Betfair and we will now also receive our Free Return on Lose Bet from Betfair.
If our bet at the bookmaker loses, great we have laid enough at Betfair to cover our stake at the bookmaker and also make the same profit as if our bet had won.
All thanks to what the Match Betting Spreadsheet has told us to bet, based on the odds we entered.
Remember if we obtain the Return on Lose Free stake at Betfair we cannot remove this until we have bet it, however we simply place another matched bet! Or alternatively leave it there, as you will undoubtably be betting it in future Matched Bets anyway.
Well now i suggest you play around with the spreadsheet and some different odds and stakes to see how it works.