The pros and cons of matched betting

Affiliate links in this post will be clearly marked with a * and if you click one of these links I will earn a discount or receive payment.

My regular readers will know I’ve spoken about matched betting before. I’ve talked about how it is a great way to make yourself some extra money. Now this is still true, however, upon talking to other people, and doing research online, I want to share with you the pros and cons of matched betting. The real side to it. Not just ‘make money and make me money by using my referral link’. Although there is an affiliate link in this post if this honest account somehow makes you want to sign up in between the doom and gloom. 

The pros and cons of matched betting - find out more about the good and bad sides of matched betting

Matched betting is basically a process of taking free bets, and free spin offers, that casinos and bookmakers provide you with. You then use a method to ensure that you make profit from these – providing you follow the guidelines and don’t make a mistake along the way. It sounds complicated but often once you watch video guides, and immerse yourself, you’ll pick it up. Typically it is a case of using a calculator and working through a list of special offers to make money. Companies such as *Profit Accumulator explain the process really well with text and video guides. Also, if you use that link ^ you’ll be able to get 7 day access for £1. Do remember to cancel if you don’t want it to renew at £17.99 a month. Learn more about matched betting with this post I wrote previously.

The main reason that I want to talk to you today about the pros and cons of matched betting is because I am a matched bettor. I like making monies. The money I make is a nice boost to my online earnings and it allows us to have nice holidays and me to save a little more money for my daughter’s future.

The pros and cons of matched betting – the pros

Make LOTS of money

This is the main pro that everyone who talks about matched betting in a positive light talks about. There IS money to be made. Providing you can stick to doing offers that are rated highly on Profit Accumulator. This basically means that if you follow the set rules then you’ll make money and gradually build up your bankroll from the recommended £60 – £100 that you should start with. I’ve made money. LOTS of it. I’ve also lost a little along the way but I’ll take about that below. I make money most months from matched betting. Typically I dedicate 30 minutes a day to this, sometimes less, occasionally more. I made £15,000 in just 4 months in 2016.

I won £7,906.12…..

The pros and cons of matched betting - I won £7,906.12!

Have a chance to win big without losing money

I won £7,906.12 once. This was off the back of an offer that I completed thanks to matched betting. This is quite rare. Personally I’ve had two big wins, of really significant amounts. However, I also know people that have matched bet for 1-2 years now and their biggest win is around £100 – £150. Of course this is still a great sum of money but the chance of winning big is unlikely.

This is because of the nature of matched betting.  If you do complete a matched betting offer that is classified as high-risk, meaning you could lose money, then often you’ll set your free spin stakes low. This means that your chance of a big win is never going to be high. This is all about luck here. No skill involved for a big win.

I should point out that while matched betting offers are sometimes categorised as high risk these ones are gambling. You know from the beginning that you may put some money in, with a good chance of making a profit, however, it may not always pay off. Personally I save around 10-15% of my previous months profit solely for completing such offers.

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Get to bet on big events like the Grand National without wasting money

Personally I like to watch the Grand National each year with my husband. Typically he will be taking part in a syndicate at work. This means he might have spent £1-2 and have a chance of winning up to £50 depending on the result. This is quite exciting for us and is a great result for my husband if he wins. With matched betting there are frequently BIG special offers available at such times. While there is always money to make you can win MORE money if your horse finishes in a specific place. This can bring a slight element of excitement to it. You get to take part in an activity that lots of your friends and family might be without losing your money.

You can be guided through the offers process and have access to a forum

There are lots of great matched betting services from what I hear speaking to others. My preferred one is *Profit Accumulator. I’ve never written an actual Profit Accumulator review but they are my favourite matched betting company. The matched betting process is broken down really easily and I have always found the website simple to use. I use PA personally and this is why I am comfortable recommending them. There is a forum, where you can discuss offers and share your profits with other people. Every single day of the week there are new offers to complete. Personally I don’t complete all offers. I like to pick the offers that are going to be fast to complete, need minimal effort and give me the biggest returns. I could spend hours matched betting, if I wanted to, and make more money. However, I see matched betting as another part of my online job. There isn’t that much fun about it for me, usually, so I just stick to 30 minutes most days. I love being guided through everything from using betting exchanges, placing qualifying bets, mug betting, casino offers and the overall betting process.

The pros and cons of matched betting – as you can see I think that the pros are pretty good. There are quite a few.

The pros and cons of matched betting – the cons

Hard to get the courage to get started

Before I begun matched betting I was nervous. Very nervous. While I could afford to lose the £100 that I was starting with I obviously didn’t want to. Also, I thought it would be harder than it is. For me I’ve found it quite simple, however I stick to the normal offers. I don’t do lots of complicated offers and I may make less profit than others, however I’m comfortable with the level I’m achieving.

Typically people that I have spoke to, who have started match betting, find that it makes sense once they get started. However, when you are trying to make money, whether for necessity or for fun, it can feel quite daunting getting started with that first offer.

People don’t understand it

If I was to speak to my father-in-law, for example, and explain that I’m able to save money for a deposit on a house thanks to matched betting he would be worried. I imagine he would worry that I was going to be gambling and would end up penniless and out on the street. This does make sense, even though I’m not of that mindset. If you was telling your friends or relatives that you are making an income from betting they would likely worry. I would probably have worried myself once upon a time. I’m not saying that the worrying is always unfounded, as of course some people do end up gambling, The concept is mad. I get that. 

You could make a mistake (or misunderstand an offer) and lose money

If you were to make a mistake, or misunderstand the difference between a lay bet and a liability, then you could end up losing money. Also, if your bet is ‘unmatched’ in the exchange then you could lose money. If you understand the process then you are unlikely to have this problem happen. However, I understand the process and I’ve still had my fingers burned before. Once I completed a slot offers and I was in the realms already of profit. As I was short on time I wanted to increase my wager to be able to cash out the rest of my profit faster. What happened was I breached a term & condition and then I was unable to receive my funds. On this occasion the casino in question refunded back my original £10, as it was a misunderstanding. However they don’t have to do this. If they had not refused my starting £10 then I would have lost £10.

On another occasion I allowed my small daughter, I think around 4 months old, to hold my mobile phone. She managed to access the internet and with a few button presses she used £400+ that I had in my exchange account. That month this was most of my profit. Obviously this could have been enough to stop me matched betting completely and could have wiped out all of my profit and my starting bankroll too.

Your accounts can be ‘gubbed’

If a bookmakers or other casino spots that you are completing offers, for profit, then you can be stopped from completing such offers. How they know is that often bonus hunters, and matched bettors, will only complete special offers. There are ways to combat this, and try to prevent yourself from being ‘gubbed’. Profit Accumulator have whole threads and videos dedicated to preventing this. Sometimes it still happens though. When I won my big win I mentioned above I was sent MORE offers. Ones marked as ‘exclusive for you’. This meant that I was able to use those offers to make even more money. This particular bookmaker did not gub my account. However, one where I completed ONE offer, and made around £12 profit, did. There doesn’t always seem to be a system to it.

You could get sucked in to gambling

Skeptics of matched betting will say that it was started to encourage people to gamble. Advocates of matched betting would disagree with this. I’m someone who obviously advertises matched betting on this website and I can see both sides. While I think the purposes of matched betting itself is to make a profit obviously the bookmakers, and casinos, hand out the bonus offers to entice people to gambling. For everyone person who makes a profit there must be at least two more who don’t. How else would they be in business otherwise?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. IF you are someone who has had a problem with gambling before do not take part in matched betting. You may feel better in yourself, which is likely because you are not gambling now. Don’t get sucked back in. Break the cycle. Allowing yourself access to slots, roulette, horse racing etc is a mistake if you’ve had a problem with gambling in the past. I would even go as far as to say that if you have had ANY addiction issues, drugs, alcohol etc, then matched betting also isn’t for you. 

Addictive personalities are something that people are genetically predisposed to. My own Father was prone to addiction issues, and ultimately died as a result. I’ve broken that cycle. This doesn’t mean that I look down on anyone else who can’t. Likewise if you have mental health problems I would recommend not attempting it either. It can cause a rush of adrenaline, even though it isn’t exciting like conventional gambling might be.

If you have a gambling problem, or even just like to gamble you may not be aware of how bad things are. This self test from Gamcare is a great place to start if you want to find out more. Be honest with yourself when completing it. Also, this great post about having a gambling problem, including a secret addiction, was really insightful.

My personal experience with the pros and cons of matched betting

Obviously I’ve had great results with matched betting. I’ve only had one gubbing, so far. I have had some great wins too. I’ve been very controlled and see it as another form of income by completing offers. I do complete some riskier offers, which is effectively gambling. A lot of matched bettors do. They might disagree with me that this is gambling, but it is. I personally calculate this risk by having a set amount of the previous months profit to use. If, and it is rare, but it has happened, I reach that amount of loss then I stop. If you had a problem with gambling then you might end up chasing your losses. You may start to put more money on, convinced that you’ll win it back. Obviously this isn’t how it works in reality and you are unlikely to win it back. 

This is why I always have a set amount of money each month for such offers. Also, I use the rating system on Profit Accumulator to help me understand the likelihood of making a profit, and how to increase this using slots with high variance or covering the maximum allowed outcomes on roulette etc. Based on terms and conditions.

Does matched betting actually work?

For me, yes. It isn’t going to be for everyone, however, if you’ve read the above and still feel it’s right for you then head on over to *Profit Accumulator. They are my favourite matched betting site and a great help with their videos and text guides.

Can you do matched betting without free bets?

Yes! If you’ve already completed free bet offers with the main betting websites and exchanges you can still matched bet. Initially it may be harder to build your own bankroll, but with reload offers and sports offers such as extra place bets you can still make money.

I can see why people can have a negative opinion of matched betting. I hope this post on the pros and cons of matched betting post has helped a little. Obviously matched betting can suck people in to gambling. For the first few months that I was a matched bettor I was blinded with the profit. Now I see the bigger picture. I feel more informed. Going forward I’ll be linking back to this pros and cons of matched betting post to inform people.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post with the pros and cons of matched betting. I feel that it gives a balanced view, from someone who actually matched bets. 

If you’re looking to make some extra money online then be sure to check out my post of great ways to make and save money.

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The pros and cons of matched betting - find out more about the good and bad sides of matched betting

15 Responses

  1. katykicker May 17, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. Well done on your earnings, that is great! I love that it can help people make some extra money. Sorry to hear that you had some errors but at least you’re honest about them!

  2. katykicker May 17, 2017 / 5:48 pm

    Thank you. I also only do it when I’ve made over £500 the previous month – a little incentive to put a bit more effort in!

  3. S Richardson May 18, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Hi Katy,

    Great post there. If possible and in simple terms can you let me know what is the actual difference between liability and a lay bet. Are you able to give an example. I am an avid follower of your posts and I would just like to know for sure 100% before I part with any money. Thanks again Katy keep up the work x

    • katykicker May 18, 2017 / 3:24 pm

      Hello! Thanks so much for getting in touch with me. I’ll try to make this easy to understand (I hope). A lay bet is you acting like a bookmaker. You are betting against your own previous selection to win money. Lay bets are placed at an exchange, rather than a conventional bookmaker. The liability sum that you need is made up based on the odds of the lay that you are making. The higher the odds the higher the liability that you will need. While you may be laying £5, for example, you may need £15 of liability. Again, just as an example. While the liability is going to be more money than you are actually laying this is taken in to consideration on the calculator. For example if you had a liability of £15, and a stake of £5 with the bookmaker, the calculator will have told you the exact amounts and know that you are £20 out of pocket. It takes this in to consideration when showing you your qualifying loss or the profit that you are going to be making. I’ve known it to only be out by 1-2p at most. Usually not at all.
      Does this help? If not – please do drop me an email at and I’ll be happy to help! If I don’t know the answer to something I’ll find it for you. Take care and thanks for reading!

      • S Richardson June 2, 2017 / 10:23 am

        Thanks Katy. So what happens to the ‘liability’? Does this just sit in your account and you don’t actually place it anywhere?

        Is it possible to give me a simple example including liability… sorry I am struggling to comprehend in my little head and want to get into this 🙂

        • katykicker June 2, 2017 / 2:07 pm

          Your liability is spent into the exchange. For example if the liability was £17 then £17 would be removed from your balance. When the bets are calculated on Profit accumulator it tells you the liability and it takes this in to account when working out your qualifying loss and also what your profit will be from your free bets.

        • S Richardson June 2, 2017 / 2:42 pm

          Sorry for all the questions Katy, but I forgot to add on my last response… the liability that is taken into account in the betfair… do you get that back or lose it if your bet loses? Say for instance you had a liabiity of £100 and your lay was only £15 as an example.

          • S Richardson June 2, 2017 / 3:32 pm

            OK great thanks for explaining. I was unsure if you receive your liability back but you’ve just helped explain that you do 🙂 I gulped when I saw the liability was a large amount and feared I would not get it back 🙂

          • katykicker June 2, 2017 / 3:53 pm

            It is basically built back in to the ‘win’ that you have, whether that is with the bookmakers or the exchange. Hopefully it is all a bit clearer now? I’m rubbish at explaining things sometimes!

  4. katykicker May 18, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    Thanks for your comment Nick, always nice to hear the opinion of other people too!

  5. Mrs Small May 20, 2017 / 6:40 am

    You give a good list of pros and cons here. I am hugely grateful for matched betting, but have recently wrote an article about how hard it is to make long-term sustainable profits matched betting if you work full-time. For example, I completely missed out on Cheltenham because I was work all that week. I have actually lost some money this month because of a silly mistake. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted. That being said I have still made over £2,000 profit and that will go a long way to paying off debt.
    You seem to have had some luck too and you are right to say that a £7k+ win is very rare. Very impressive though!

    • katykicker May 22, 2017 / 10:30 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the list. I work from home so obviously more time for the offers. That is a great amount of profit, well done!

  6. Jute June 11, 2018 / 3:27 pm

    Hi and thanks for this post. I’m new to Moneyshed and your #1 reason re finding the courage resonates. Just thinking about doing it makes me feel queasy.
    I’ve been spending days turning it over in my head and re-reading Jon’s post (maths scares me so I’m convinced I’m going to make a huge mistake).
    I’ll get there…

    • katykicker June 13, 2018 / 8:33 am

      I waited until I had a small bit of money, that I could definitely afford to lose, and then I went for it. No regrets!

  7. Anonymous June 13, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Thank you

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