How I made $12,000 from Matched Betting, and how you can do the same!

Written by a former intern at Trademate Sports who wishes to remain anonymous.

I guess you are intrigued and already think this is a scam. Well, in this article I will show you how I made $12,000 and how you can do the same. I will also go through why this is valuable for you, especially for betting in the long term. I will also show how you could approach Matched Betting to earn a lot of money in the long term.

Firstly, I would highly recommend reading these articles: What are odds?, What is a bet? & Arbitrage in sports betting. They will form the basic fundamentals for you to understand how Matched Betting works and how to make money on it. If you have read this, you should be able to place a matched bet and start making money. This is good, because you can start getting in some money as well as valuable experience in the betting world. But I am here to share some of my wisdom and experience, so you can avoid the most common pitfalls and get as much profit as possible from the start.

The important thing is that you need to understand this better than anyone you know, so that you can take up the position as the only one who can make people this money. Or else, they would just do it themselves. It needs to be easy for them, and a good payout for every minute spent.

There are mainly 3 ways to make money on betting:

  • Matched Betting
  • Arbitrage Betting
  • Value Betting

I will focus on why Matched Betting is a better option at the start, and how you can use it to make money in the long term.

Reasons why Matched Betting is a better starting point than Arbitrage Betting:

  1. There are bigger upsides per volume of bets compared to arbitrage. As you should know, there is usually a very small amount of the total turnover you actually earn when doing arbitrage. Because you make money off the welcome bonus when doing Matched Betting, you will make a much higher profit per bet with Matched Betting compared to arbitrage.
  2. It is possible to make a lot of money on this fast, while also being able to do it for a substantial amount of time. This is what I am going to show you later, going a little in depth to all the technicalities that made me around $12,000 in just a year. What is very valuable with this method is that it does not require too many hours spent to make a substantial amount of money.

Reasons why Matched Betting is a better starting point than Value Betting:

  1. There is no downside, as long as you follow the right steps this is a very low risk betting operation compared to value betting. When value betting, there is a substantial risk that you will need to bet a high volume of bets before you can see any returns.
  2. It gives you valuable knowledge and experience with the sports betting markets, what to look for and how to bet, with very low risk. It gives you time to improve your approach without having to spend any money to get it. This is extremely valuable when value betting, because you need to beat the market over a long period of time to make profits in the long term.
  3. It can provide you with a substantially larger bankroll for when you start value betting, which is the only really viable option for making long-term profits in the sports betting markets. To be able to make your efforts worthwhile when value betting you should have a large enough bankroll, or else you are only playing for pennies. A large bankroll will in theory drop the work required to make the same amount of money. This is because it all comes down to closing edge and total turnover. Total turnover comes down to how many bets you get as well as how large your bankroll is.

Your role as the betting master

First, we need to define your role in this and how you can use this position to make a lot of money for yourself, but also for your friends. In this system, you need to be the one who sits on all the information on how to do this, while your friends only take orders. This makes it easy for your friends to deal with and increases your chances of them trusting you. It is assumed that you know how to make a matched bet, so I will just jump straight into it. You will only have control of the side of the betting exchange, while your trusted friends go through bookmakers using welcome bonuses.

betting friend

When choosing trusted friends, it is important to choose people who haven’t made too many accounts at the bookies before, because you only need them for the welcome bonus. Here are the roles of you and your friends:

friends betting

Trust is KEY

Firstly, for this to be a system you need people. Secondly, and most importantly, you need people you can trust. There are several reasons why you need trusted customers, but the main one is that there will be a lot of money going around, and they can end up in different proportions at all the different people in the system. This means that you need to be able to trust ALL of your customers with your money. They also need to trust you, because you want to eventually make them put in money themselves.

How to earn trust

To be able to recruit trusted customers you need to have the knowledge available so you can explain how things work and how it is a way to make money fast and safe. You should at all points in time have control over the bookies’ welcome bonuses because they can change day to day. You should also know how to set up accounts for betting so that you can explain this to your friends who are opening the accounts in their name.

Another case is how you would split up the profits with your friends. I liked to just split it 50/50 regardless of me doing a lot more work than them. This is because of trust and incentives; they need to get a good payout since they rarely understand what is happening and this will increase the trust and give them an incentive to bet more! Remember that for them this money flow will eventually stop because of the fixed number of welcome bonuses, while you can do this for as long as you have trusted friends.

You should always remind your friends or “customers” how much money they have won and really show them that they will make money. If you can show them that this is bulletproof and that they have nothing to fear, they will talk about it to others and you can recruit even more people.

Always take responsibility for anything that happens outside of your control, if say you need to pay extra fees and such. This will set you back a little in the short term but will gain you priceless trust from your customers.

System in practice

Now, you should know how to recruit the right friends, and how to establish a trusted relationship. The next thing you need to know is how to set up the system of friends. I will first list the most important things you need to be able to do in this system, and then finish off with an example of how it works in practice.

Essential things you need:

  • Substantial bankroll. You need enough money to be able to play through a whole bonus. How much you would need I will show you in the example later.
  • An account at a betting exchange. This is needed for you to be able to play against the bet that is placed at the bookie.
  • A way to transfer money between a bank account and the betting exchange. You can use eWallets or bank transfer, but keep in mind that there are different fees for every option.
  • A way to compare odds at the betting exchange and the bookies. This is very helpful and quite cheap. I used Oddsmonkey.

Example of system:

Okay, let us say we have 4 different friends to start with and they are all choosing different bookmakers’ welcome bonus. We have these 4 scenarios:

Bookmaker 1:

100% up to 50 dollars

Money after claiming bonus: $100

Minimum odds: 1.8

Turnover claim: 6 times (bonus + deposit)

Turnover claim in amount: 6 x $100 =$600

Bookmaker 2:

200% up to $50

Money after claiming bonus: $150

Minimum odds: 2

Turnover claim: 8 times (bonus + deposit)

Turnover claim in amount: 8 x $150 =$1200

Bookmaker 3:

100% up to $50

Money after claiming bonus: $100

Minimum odds: 1.5

Turnover claim: 6 times (bonus)

Turnover claim in amount: 6 x $50 =$300

Bookmaker 4:

100% up to $70

Money after claiming bonus: $140

Minimum odds: 2

Turnover claim: 6 times (bonus + deposit)

Turnover claim in amount: 6 x 140 =$840

Before we start, we need to do some calculations to be able to know the minimum amount we need to bet through all these bonuses. I will usually start with a high odds bet, because we always want to lose at the bookie and win at the exchange. The reason for this is that we then are finished with the operation and we have won our money (we do not need to turnover any money). Now I am going to go through the worst-case scenario, which is the outcome you always need to mitigate for. So, after the first round of betting it could potentially be like this:

Bookmaker 1: $100 x 4 – $100 = $300 lost at the exchange

Bookmaker 2: $150 x 4 – $150 = $450 lost at the exchange

Bookmaker 3: $100 x 4 – $100 =$300 lost at the exchange

Bookmaker 4: $140 x 4 – $140 = $420 lost at the exchange

Amount needed at the betting exchange after round 1: 300 + 450 + 300 + 420 =$1470

After the first round, all we usually want to do is to make the turnover claim. But, let us look a little into what every situation is at every bookie. We have:

Bookmaker 1: $400

Bookmaker 2: $600

Bookmaker 3: $400

Bookmaker 4: $560

In total, this is $1960, after subtracting our (deposits + bonuses) it is: 1960 – 490 =$1470. Which as we can see is the same amount as we lost at the exchange, we are all good. Keep in mind that this is just in theory and we usually lose a small amount on every bet because of negative arbitrage in practice. This is fine, because we in the end will win a lot more money on the welcome bonuses than we will lose because of the negative arbitrage.

We now have control over the situation, and we need to calculate the end game, which is playing through the turnover. We need to look at:

  • The amount of money we have at each bookie
  • How much we already turned over
  • The turnover claim
  • The minimum odds required on every bet

Bookmaker 1:

Money: $400

Money turned over: $100

Turnover claim: $600

Min. Odds: 1.8

Money left to be turned over: $500

Bookmaker 2:

Money: $600

Money turned over: $150

Turnover claim: $1200

Min. Odds: 2

Money left to be turned over: $1050

Bookmaker 3:

Money: $400

Money turned over: $100

Turnover claim: $300

Min. Odds: 1.5

Money left to be turned over: $200

Bookmaker 4:

Money: $560

Money turned over: $140

Turnover claim: $840

Min. Odds: 2

Money left to be turned over: $700

If you think this through, bookmaker 3 is the only bookmaker we need to withdraw from regardless of the outcomes of the next betting round. This is because we have more money on this bookmaker than the turnover claim suggests we need to turnover. I will recommend not betting more than you need (the turnover claim) because you would lose more money than necessary (because of negative arbitrage). This means that it is possible to do another round of high odds bets, but this is rarely possible if all bets go the wrong way. This is also an example of how you should manage your bankroll and it is very rare that all bets with odds of around 4 win (1/16 = 0.0625 = 6.25% chance). But, back to bankroll management: We now have:

Bookmaker 1:

500*1.8 (min. odds) – 500 = $400 needed at the exchange (minimum)

Bookmaker 2:

1050*2 (min. odds) – 1050 = $1050 needed at the exchange (minimum)

Bookmaker 3:

200*1.5 – 200 = $100 needed at the exchange (minimum)

Bookmaker 4:

700*2 – 700 = $700 needed at the exchange (minimum)

This in total gives: $2250 needed at the exchange for the next rounds.

If we add the first round to this, we need: 2250 + 1470 =$3720 in total (minimum). Notice that this is the bare minimum and I usually want to have 10-20% more in my bankroll just in case. This is because you don’t always find the right odds at the right bookie and you might need to go for a higher odds bet. Let’s use 15% which is:

3720 + 558 =$4278 needed for this system's approach to Matched Betting.

You should notice that this is the absolute worst-case scenario, and the chances of every bet going the wrong way (winning at the bookie) is very close to zero. This means that you can take the chance of having just the bare minimum, because you usually do not need to play through every turnover claim at every bookie.

You should continuously evaluate your betting strategy and change it compared to how much you have in your bankroll. This is the tradeoff between odds on the bet and your bankroll. The bigger the bankroll, the bigger the odds on the possible first bet.

There is great value in always trying to have as many “customers” in play, because this will diversify the risk on more bets. It will diversify risk because when you have several people in play you are able to play more bets from the same amount of money. This will mitigate the risk that you go dry at the betting exchange. You should therefore always try to have several people in play on smaller welcome bonuses, than having a couple of people with large welcome bonuses. This means that if possible, you should always try to maximise the number of people in play rather than the size of the welcome bonus.

If one of your friends wins every bet he/she makes at the bookie, while the rest of the bets goes your way from the very start, you can end up with a lot of money at this bookie. Then your friend needs to withdraw this money and send it to you for you to put it back at the betting exchange. This is a good example of why trust is very important, because the guy you are betting with could easily just take this money.

If there is established trust between you and your customers it makes it easier for them to put up their own money, which will act as a loan to you. What I mean by this is that people are often a little reluctant at the start to put up their own money, but once they see that they don’t lose anything (you give back their deposit) they are soon willing to use their own money when depositing for the welcome bonuses. If you have a lot of people doing this, it will boost your bankroll substantially by them “loaning you money” indirectly. This is because the money they put in will usually end up at the exchange. I usually paid back what people deposited continuously, while holding onto the profits, which I payed out later to all the people in the system at once. When some money went the wrong way and a friend needed to take out a substantial amount of money, I often used this as an opportunity to pay him what I owed (just the deposits if that was all right for them) and other friends if that was possible. The rest of it I would transfer back to the betting exchange for further betting.

In practice, if you split the profits (which I found was a good way to do it) the customer will usually have a return of almost 50% of his investment. This is based upon a 100% welcome bonus, where you double your starting bankroll. This looks very lucrative from the outside, especially that the only job you need to do is make an account and put in 1-5 bets, usually just 1.

One thing you might wonder is how you keep track of who you owe money and who has won what. Well, this can simply be done in MS Excel. Take a look at the image below, I have given an example of how I did it with one guy. If you add another trusted friend into the system you just copy the setup, put in another name and numbers. The thing with this system is that it really buys into the way of always taking the unforeseen losses that arise because you do not calculate your own profits. Your profits are what is left when you subtract all the profits of each of your “customers” from the total bankroll.

profit table

To understand this screenshot of my excel sheet we need to go into the formulas behind it. Don’t worry, they are very simple. The total deposit is what John has put in himself as deposits on different bookies, which in practice acts as a loan to you. The bonus line is how much bonus you end up getting at the bookie, basically how much free money you get. Loss bet nr x rows are how much you lose or win at each bet you make. This is what is referred to as negative or positive arbitrage. As we can see in the image, one of the bets at Bethard was a positive arbitrage making us $20. The total loss row is just the sum of losses from 1 to 12. You usually don’t need 12 rows, but if you need more than that you just add another row. Profit bookmaker is just the bonus minus the total losses at each particular bookie, while profit bookmaker (each) is this divided by two. Total profit each is the sum of all profit bookmaker (each) columns.

In this case we can see that John has made 1095/2500 = 0.435 = 43.5% ROI (return on investment).

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