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Earning money online from matched betting can be a very lucrative profession, if not quite a dull one. In the few months that I performed this activity I have earned around £3000, and this is only from a few hours work. Matched betting involves visiting online bookmaker websites (via cashback websites) and opening up betting accounts. You then make a bet to qualify for another free bet or bonus, and you match this bet by making a lay at an online betting exchange. Therefore you make this first bet at the account at no risk, so you don't lose any money. Then you qualify for the free bet or bonus, which you do the exact same thing with, and in doing so you end up with the free bet or bonus as profit. After taking advantage of one free bet or bonus at the online bookmaker site, you move on to the next bookmaker. There are thousands to join and take advantage of, and so you have a consistant income of money thanks to all the bookmakers and offers available today.
Probably the hardest part of matched betting is getting your head around the actual concept behind the scheme. As mentioned before, you are making bets with newly registered bookmaker accounts, which qualify you for a free bet or bonus. For example, Bet Fair usually have a promotion for all new customers; bet £25 and receive a free £25 bet. So with this bookmaker you would sign up, make a £25 bet (which you lay off at an exchange) and so you qualify for the free £25 bet. You do the same with this, make the £25 free bet (lay off at the exchange) and in the end you will magically end up with £25 profit. The hardest part is explaining an exchange, and talking about how the bets are made with no risk.
There are a few betting exchanges currently available online, with the most famous one being Betfair. At an exchange you can place bets as usual, but you can also lay bets. When you lay a bet, you are taking the place of the bookmaker. You are basically betting against an event happening, and at an exchange you set your odds and take other users money. Say you lay Man Utd to win the Premiership at odds of 2, and accept a £100 bet. If Man Utd win the Premiership, you have to pay out that users stake (£100) times by the odds (2) equalling £250. This is a loss of £100. However if Man Utd don't win the Premiership, you would get to keep that persons £100 bet stake. This is how online betting exchanges work; they allow people to take the place of a bookmaker, and this means they can accept money as stakes for bets from other online users.
Hopefully now you will understand how to make a bet with no risk involved. Imagine the £25 Bet Fair promotion mentioned earlier. If you sign up to Bet Fair and then Bet £25, you get a free £25 bet. So if you were to place the £25 bet on Arsenal to beat Liverpool in a football match at odds of 3, and then you go to the betting exchange and lay Arsenal to beat Liverpool at odds of 3 with a stake of £25. This is a no-risk bet; if Arsenal beat Liverpool you win £75 (£25 bet x odds of 3 = £75). This is a profit of £50. At the betting exchange you would have lost £75 (£25 bet x odds of 3 = £75 payout). This is a loss of £50. The £50 profit from winning the bet will cancel out the £50 loss from paying out at the exchange. On a side note, if Liverpool draw or beat Arsenal then you lose the £25 bet at Bet Fair, but you get to keep the £25 punter's stake at the betting exchange. Again, this leaves you in exactly the same position as where you started. But now you know how to make a qualifying bet at no risk, and then when you get the free £25 bet with Bet Fair you do exactly the same thing. Use the £25 free bet on an event and lay the same event at the same odds (or as near as possible) at the exchange. No matter what happens, you will end up with the free bet as a profit - so in this instance you end up with £25 profit.
The whole process of matched betting is really hard to explain, but hopefully you have a good idea of how it works now. Remember that this is the hardest part of matched betting; getting your head around the concept. Re-read this article until it finally sinks in, and hopefully you will understand exactly what goes on. It is also very hard to explain that the idea of matched betting eliminates the complete gambling aspect involved in placing bets. Obviously you have to place bets at online bookmakers, and lay bets too, and so yes this is gambling. However they do not realise that you are gambling at no risk, whatever you win is opposed by whatever you will lose at the exchange. If you research matched betting you will realise that there is no risk involved in terms of placing the bets, and aslong as you are careful you can easily bring in a few thousand pounds profit in a months time from just a few hours work.
Obviously there are some disadvantages to matched betting too in terms of earning money online as a job. You will need to be at least 18 years old, and own a credit/debit card. You will also have to learn about the idea of matched betting before rushing in, as obviously when placing bets there is a possibility of making human mistakes. Probably the biggest disadvantage of matched betting is that you need some money to start up with, probably around £50. This is for your liability at the betting exchange, as you will need this money in your account for when you have to pay out for bets lost at the exchange. Ideally you should start with around £100 or so, and the more money you start off with the easier you will find it to continue adding to this sum. The final disadvantage of matched betting is the fact that a lot of time is spent browsing bookmaker websites, comparing odds. When you make the no risk bet, you need to find odds to back an event at the online bookmaker website, and these odds need to be as near as possible as the odds to lay that same event at the exchange. The closer the figures then the higher the profit at the end of the day, and so it is quite important to spend some time looking for matching odds.
Thankfully there are Internet forums and services which can be used, where people post arbs or close odds (where the odds to back an event are higher then then odds to lay an event). Arbing is very similar to matched betting, but instead of going after bookmaker bonuses you are simply making high value bets at odds which lock in a profit. For example, if you were able to get odds of 3 on Chelsea beating Newcastle at an online bookmaker, but the odds to lay this event are only 2 at an exchange, a profit is there for the taking. Bet £1000 on Chelsea to win at the bookmaker, and then lay Chelsea to win at the exchange with £1000 and you will make a nice profit. If Chelsea win, you get £3000 back from the bookmaker and you have to pay out £2000 at the exchange; meaning a profit of £1000. If Chelsea lose then you lose the £1000 bet but you keep the £1000 lay made at the exchange. Arbing is for more serious betters, who have a good idea about betting and shouldn't be considered until you learn how to lay your bets and matched bet for profit.