First of all, we need something to take care of all the maths for you and make this really easy.
So I recommend that you use this matched betting calculator
Here's a working example for a Paddy Power offer whereby if you bet £20 pre-match, you get £10 free to bet in-play.
This offer was for Bournemouth v Newcastle and the first thing you do is make sure you've read the terms of offer to determine the minimum odds you have to bet at. For this particular off the minimum odds you had to stake your £20 at were 1.50 or higher.
You're looking for as close a match as possible between your back odds at the bookmaker and your lay odds on Smarkets.
Bournemouth were available to back at 2.25 and available to lay at 2.28.
This is pretty much perfect for us, so we place a back bet of £20 at 2.25.
We then use the matched betting calculator to tell us exactly how much to lay on Smarkets at odds of 2.28.
On the calculator you need to do the following (actuals from this example in brackets):
- Make sure that Qualifier/Arb is selected
- Enter the stake (£20)
- Enter the odds you backed at (2.25)
- Enter the odds available to lay at (2.28)
- Enter the exchange commission (2% for Smarkets)
- Click calculate
It should look something like this:
So on Smarkets we can now lay Bournemouth at odds of 2.28 with a stake of £19.91 and this will give us a liability on Smarkets of £25.48.
You click the lay/against button (dark blue on Smarkets, pink on Betfair), enter your stake and you can see that the liability corresponds with what was in the calculator.
If the bet wins at the bookmaker, then we will have made a loss of 48 pence
- £20 x 2.25 = £45 return
- £45 return less stake = £25 bookmaker profit
- £25 bookmaker profit minus £25.48 loss (liability) on Smarkets = 48 pence loss
If the bet loses at the bookmaker, then we will have made a loss of 49 pence
- £20 lost at bookmaker
- £19.91 won at Smarkets minus 2% commission = £19.51 profit at Smarkets
- £19.51 profit at Smarkets minus £20 lost at bookmaker = 49 pence loss
So there's no real damage done to the bankroll and sometimes you will actually make a small profit from these qualifying bets.
As soon as the match goes in-play, we are able to place the free bet and use the calculator slightly differently to clear a risk free profit!
So knowing that we have the ability to back an event like a regular punter and also lay the same event like a bookmaker opens up some exciting opportunities for us to make some risk free profits from matched betting.
You can find out how to do that by reading my Free Bet Strategy
If you're new to matched betting, then make sure you read all of my articles in order :
- Matched Betting Guide
- Betting Exchanges
- YOU ARE HERE >> Qualifying Bet Strategy
- Free Bet Strategy
- My Matched Betting Blog
- My Matched Betting Tips (make your own daily profits)
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