This will be the first post in my How to: Matched Betting series aiming to demystify the whole process of matched betting. When I first started on the long bumpy road to matched betting I found the whole thing rather confusing. Every site I read told me to do different things so I’ve decided to set up my own series based on how I actually make real money.
How to start matched betting.
There aren’t really too many things you need to get started. All you need is access to a betting service, a spreadsheet/notebook/word document if you like to keep track of things yourself or you can just leave it to the betting service you sign up to, a bank account with a debit card, proof of address and ID and a few pounds to get started. I will talk about each of these things in more detail below:
Choose a matched betting service software
There is no way around this one I’m afraid. You have to have access to one of these sites or you will end up getting bogged down in all the maths and so many technical details that it will either bore you to death or make you bankrupt when you get it wrong. Of course, it is possible to do it all yourself but I really wouldn’t understand why anyone one.
There are a few different sites out there. I prefer Oddsmonkey even after trying all the other ones. I’ve never made a penny when I strayed to other sites plus Oddsmonkey have a 7-day free trial using my link which means you can work your way through their welcome offers in tutorials 1 – 7 and then use your first £63 profit to sign up for longer!
Write it all down
Matched betting can get complicated at times. Even the simplest of bets can look rather scary after placing it three days earlier! There are loads of spreadsheets out there designed to track every aspect of your bet, but I find I don’t really need anything quite so fancy. I have a basic spreadsheet set up that does the job does fine.
If you’re looking for a really technical way to track it all then I would recommend simply googling matched betting spreadsheets and find the best one that suits your needs.
Bank account with a debit card
There is lots of conflicting advice around whether to set up a specially designated bank account just for matched betting or whether it’s fine to just lump it in your usual everyday current account. I personally think it call comes down to your own preference.
I’m a neat freak and I like everything to be nicely organized. When I first started I wanted a separate bank account so that I wouldn’t get confused. Luckily I had a savings account that I wasn’t really using so I put all my money in there. It had a debit card too which is vital for signing up to all the bookies and exchanges (don’t worry If I’ve lost you, we will get to that)
Proof of address and ID
When I first started dipping my toe into the matched betting world I wasn’t aware of the importance of these two. They aren’t always needed for signing up to bookmakers account however they become really important when its time to withdraw your winnings.
I really wish I would have known about their importance before I began my adventure as it would have saved me a lot of worry and frantic searching.
Most bookmakers now insist upon having your proof of address and ID before they allow you to withdraw anything. No physical hard copies have to be sent through. All the bookies I use have a place where these documents can be uploaded so the originals stay in your safe hands!
Cash to start
This is usually were the misinformation starts. We’ve all seen those headlines “Make thousands matched betting without zero cash!” Of course, you have to have some sort of bankroll in order to actually match bet. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount but the more you have the more you can bet. Its that easy. I started with £100 originally and I’ve made and lost that £100 many times over until now I finally have it right!
The right amount to start with for you depends on your approach to matched betting. Do you want to take your time, learn the ropes, let each bet clear and then place the next one? Your starting pot is smaller so around £100 should do it.
A typical starting bet is usually bet x and get x free bet. For example my first macthed bet was William Hill’s bet £10 get £30 free bet. I needed £10 to bet with (obviously) but I also needed roughly £90 in the exchange. Whilst none of this money is at risk, I wouldnt have made my profit (which was £20) without having enough money in the exchange to “back” my bet with. Don’t worry if none of this makes sense! I will be covering it all in the next article of this series.
If your approach is to absorb all the Oddsmonkey knowledge and guides you possibly can and place multiple bets then you looking at needing anywhere from £500 – £1k depending on how many offers you want to have running at the same time.
Don’t gamble – match bet instead!
If you’re new to matched betting, all this can seem a lot to take in, so I won’t confuse you with any more details for now! Next week I will be detailing how to match bet and make money! The most important thing to remember about matched betting is that it isn’t gambling. The betting software that you use is designed to ensure you never lose more than a few pence and even that is instrumental in getting more profit on the next bet.
Over to you
I’d love to know where you’re up to with matched betting: are you a beginner, expert, or have you tried it and found it wasn’t for you? Drop me a comment below and get in touch.