I’m no gambler. In fact, I’m very risk averse!
I always play it safe with my investments and ventures, and I get very nervous at the thought of losing money.
Despite this, I’m a big fan of the money making method known as matched betting.
Yes, I know it’s got the word ‘betting’ in the name – but it’s not gambling.
This is a way to make money from betting sites without losing money.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but stick with me here. If you want to know how to make money betting online, read on and find out how to make a legit extra income with this method!
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How to make money betting online
The way to make money betting without gambling is called matched betting.
Matched betting is different from gambling, because you’re not playing to win.
When you’re matched betting, it really doesn’t matter who wins the game. You will make money whatever the result.
By ‘matching’ your bets across two different sites, you never lose.
Let’s say you are betting on a football match, England v France. You place a bet at one bookie for England to win. Then you place a ‘lay bet’ on another site that England won’t win (this covers France winning, or a draw).
Whatever the result, the two bets have cancelled each other out so you win one, lose one.
So where does the profit come from?
The profit in matched betting comes from the free bet offers that the bookies run all the time.
You have probably seen them advertised, even if you’re not a betting person. Typically they say things like ‘Bet £10, get a £20 free bet’.
In our scenario above, we didn’t make a profit from the England-France bet. But that was just the first bet, to qualify us for the freebie. Now the bookie gives us a £20 free bet as a reward.
Of course, we could just take that £20 and gamble it, if we’re feeling lucky. But this is about making money methodically, without gambling, remember?
So instead we again place two bets on different sites – one for, and one against a particular result.
This time we used a free bet on one of the sites, so whatever the result, we make money to keep!
Of course, there’s a bit more too it than that. You can’t just go around staking random amounts of money at random bookies.
Instead, we use special matched betting calculators and software which tell us exactly how much to bet and where, based on the odds.
To get access to this software (and lots of other advice and guidance) I am a member of the matched betting tutorial site Outplayed.com (previously known as Profit Accumulator). You can check it out here.
I would not recommend trying matched betting without this software, because the whole reason it works relies on mathematical accuracy.
How much money can you make with matched betting?
As with most things, matched betting is about how much time you put in!
You will find you’re slower in the beginning while you’re learning the ropes, but you’ll soon get faster and will complete more and more offers in less time.
My matched betting earnings
I was matched betting regularly for a while after that and I made between £200 and £600 each month, depending on how much time I put in. I would normally spend a couple of hours on Saturday mornings and do another few offers here and there during the week.
To be transparent with you, I’ve been on a matched betting break since last year. This is because I bought a house a few months ago and I didn’t want any betting transactions showing on my bank statements for my mortgage application (something to think about if you might be in a similar situation!).
For a while, I tried matched betting using PayPal only, but so many bookies didn’t take it that in the end I just put it on hold.
I’ve been itching to get back into it since we secured the mortgage, but haven’t found time with house renovations and the blog!
I am planning to pick up matched betting again when I start maternity leave later this year and I’ll update you on how it goes 🙂
How much do other people make match betting?
It’s always good to know how much other people are making, so that you have realistic expectations of what’s possible.
I like to have a nosey around the Outplayed forums and Facebook group every now and then. There are regular threads where people post their monthly/yearly profits.
These threads are great to keep you motivated and to see if you’re on the right track.
I think you can only view the forum threads if you’re a member, but if you look through Outplayed’s blog posts you’ll find monthly round-up posts that give you a sneak peak at what people are earning!
As you can see, there are several people who claim to earn over £1,000 a month from matched betting.
However, I would guess that the higher earners are either spending a lot of time on it, and/or making some of that money from casino offers, which are based on luck not calculations (still potentially very profitable, but not as predictable!)
I would say £200-300 is realistic for someone who works during the week.
Of course, there are no guarantees, as some people will pick things up faster than others. It also varies month by month, depending on seasonal offers and so on.
(Speaking of seasonal offers, check out what people made during the Cheltenham Festival last year 😮)
See this post for an up-to-date answer:
Fancy making £300 a month – or £1000 a month?
If you are a member of Outplayed, there are two amazing threads in the forums that you should check out, depending on your goals: how to make £300 a month, and how to make £1000 a month.
These threads are updated daily by PA staff with a list of the exact offers you should complete each day in order to meet your goal.
They save so much time in searching for offers yourself, and they demonstrate what is possible!
The £300 thread is designed for people who work normal 9-5 jobs and have limited time for matched betting. Based on the offers in this thread, you can potentially make around £300 a month part time by completing a few offers at the weekend and a few on midweek evenings.
Note – to make the most of matched betting, it really helps to have a bit of spare time on Saturdays as this is when most of the football offers are on.
To build up to £1000 a month, you would ideally have a bit more spare time during week days. This is because there are some time-sensitive offers such as weekday horse racing which you have to place at the right time of day.
These offers work great for people with a bit more flexibility, for example students, stay at home parents or people who work from home.
I also know some people complete offers on their phones during the work day, although I never got confident enough to do that!
What about taxes?
So I haven’t yet mentioned one of the most exciting things: matched betting income is tax free in the UK!
You don’t have to declare it to HMRC as income. This is because gambling winnings are not taxable in the UK.
Even though matched betting is not considered gambling (because the risk is so low), you get the money from betting sites so it comes under the same umbrella as far as HMRC is concerned.
The HMRC’s Business Income Manual states that betting and gambling wins are not taxed because they are not considered trading income, even when you do it systematically. Here’s what they have to say:
‘The basic position is that betting and gambling, as such, do not constitute trading.’ (BIM22015)
‘The fact that a taxpayer has a system by which they place their bets, or that they are sufficiently successful to earn a living by gambling does not make their activities a trade.’ (BIM22017)
So if you’re wondering how to make extra money in the UK without the hassle of registering as self-employed and filling in a tax return, matched betting could be a great option for you.
Is matched betting legal?
I know that the idea of making money with betting sounds a bit dodgy, so it’s no wonder many people want to know if matched betting is legal.
So the answer?
Yes, matched betting is perfectly legal!
You are simply placing bets on betting sites and taking advantage of the special offers, which are open to anyone. There’s nothing dodgy about it.
Matched betting has even been covered by major news outlets such as The Guardian. You definitely wouldn’t see them writing about it if it was anything illegal!
One reason that people think matched betting might be a bit dodgy is because they hear that bookies will ban you if they work out what you’re doing.
This can be true – I was ‘gubbed’ by 3 or 4 bookies during my several months of matched betting.
‘Gubbing‘ means that they stop sending you special offers, although you’re not banned from the site completely.
Bookies do this simply because they have to pay out more to matched bettors than normal punters – and they don’t like losing money! It’s a business decision for them, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s not legal.
Is matched betting safe?
Matched betting sounds too good to be true at first. But it is no scam, and it’s totally safe – as long as you take care about what you’re doing.
Remember, it’s not gambling. You only place bets based on mathematical algorithms. So theoretically, you should never lose money.
The main potential risk factor is human error.
It can be confusing when you start. It’s important to place your bets exactly as the software tells you to, otherwise the maths will be off.
This is why I strongly recommend joining a training service like Outplayed, at least while you’re new. They have exact step-by-step instructions to talk you through every single part of the process. For your first bets, they also have videos to follow.
I recommend watching each video once through first, then play it again while you actually place your bet. You can pause the video at each step and copy exactly what they tell you on screen.
This is how I placed my first few bets. It was really slow at first, but I got faster and faster until I didn’t even need to read the instructions any more.
The best way to minimize risk is just take it slow, follow instructions, allow yourself plenty of time and don’t stress!
Even if you do mess something up, almost all mistakes can be salvaged. Outplayed has phone and email support 7 days a week, and they also have a forum so you can chat to other members. If you accidentally place a wrong bet, a staff member is usually able to advise you how to place a second bet to cancel out the mistake.
I should also mention that another possible risk factor is the bookies themselves – they could decide to withhold a bonus, or go bankrupt, or something else that messes with your profits. But overall, occurrences like this are extremely rare and you are almost certain to make a fantastic profit overall, even allowing for the occasional glitch.
Who is matched betting suitable for?
Matched betting is a relatively easy and flexible way to make money online! It is perfect for anyone who wants to make a few hundred extra pounds each month, perhaps to top up their salary, maternity pay or pension, or save up for a special treat.
I did matched betting to make extra income on top of my 9-5 job, but it’s also a great job for stay at home mums, students, freelancers and pretty much anyone who can use a computer and can spare a few hours a week!
It is also a relatively fast way to make extra money. Yes, you do need to have a small amount of money on hand to place your first bets (around £60-£80 is ideal) and it could take a few days for that first bet to settle.
But after that, you should be seeing regular results from your betting. It’s not like setting up a business that can take months to see results.
Now, contrary to what you might be thinking, you don’t have to know anything about sports to do matched betting!
I knew nothing about sports (still don’t) and I’d never placed a bet, or even been on a betting site, in my life before this. It really doesn’t matter! As long as you learn how to follow instructions, you’ll be fine.
Also, although matched betting is based on calculations, you don’t have to be good at maths. As long as you have access to the software through Outplayed or a similar site, you simply just follow the instructions. Promise.
And in case you were wondering, matched betting can be done completely online. You don’t have to go into a high street betting shop to do it.
Who ISN’T matched betting for?
Matched betting is an amazing way to make money online, but it’s not for everyone!
First off, membership of the matched betting service Outplayed is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland. I don’t even know if matched betting is possible in other countries, because it will depend on your local bookie offers and also local gambling laws. In any case, I’m only recommending it here for UK and Irish residents.
Secondly, you obviously have to be over 18 to join betting sites. Don’t even think of trying to get around this one if you’re underage, because most bookies do ID checks before letting you withdraw.
Thirdly, please don’t attempt matched betting if you have any history of gambling problems or addiction.
Now, matched betting isn’t gambling in itself, but obviously you have to go on betting sites to do it. And sometimes there is the temptation to skip the ‘matching’ part and bet on a big win. So if you think you might have an issue with exposing yourself to these sites, please just don’t even think about it.
How to get started with matched betting
It’s really simple to get started with matched betting. All you need is an internet connection, and around £60-£75 to back your first bet. (You will win this back, promise!)
As mentioned above, I strongly recommend that you do NOT attempt matched betting without joining a matched betting training service.
I personally am a member of Outplayed (previously Profit Accumulator) and I cannot fault them, but there are others around.
Here are some of the benefits of joining Outplayed:
- Complete video and written guides to placing your first bets
- Complete list of all offers to make as a newbie, in order, with instructions
- All the software to identify and calculate bets
- New offers updated daily (suitable for advanced members)
- Email and phone support 7 days a week
- Active forum to discuss things with other members
- Loads of other extras, such as spreadsheets for tracking your profits
Outplayed offer a completely free trial which gives you access to the video tutorials for your first two bets. You can make up to £40 with these two bets!
After the free trial, membership costs £29.99 per month or £199 per year. You are likely to make back the monthly fee in just 2 or 3 bets so it’s a no-brainer.
Want to read more before getting started? You can learn more about my personal matched betting story in these posts:
- My First Month of Matched Betting
- Side Hustle Milestone: My First £1,000 From Matched Betting
- Thinking of Starting Matched Betting? Here’s What You Need to Know
- 4 Real People Making Great Money With Matched Betting
- Matched Betting Glossary
- Matched Betting for Dummies: Your Questions Answered
And here’s an awesome guest post from a matched betting dad with heaps more experience than me:
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.
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