The first few bookies can be the most daunting but we’re here to guide you through how to start your matched betting career.

Before you sign up to any of the bookmakers below reread the matched betting introduction to make sure you understand what you’re doing. You might also find it useful to check out  the where to start with £300 as this has some useful information and a good starting checklist.

Check list

To summarise the checklist, before you sign up to any bookmakers you should do the following:

1. Setup a new email – we recommend gmail

2. Setup a new bank account – this is not essential but does make managing all the transactions significantly easier.

3.  Sign up to Skrill (with your new email address), this is an e-wallet (similar to paypal) that enables you to quickly and easily transfer money to and from Casinos and bookmakers.
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Once you’ve completed these you’re ready to start working through the first 10 Bookies.

Setting up an exchange account

Before you can do any Matched Betting you need to have an exchange account so we’ll start by setting up a Betfair account, Click the banner below to sign up to Betfair

Betfair sign up
Click Join Now in the top right hand corner to sign up for Betfair


Signing up to your first bookmaker

The first offer you should do is William Hill, they’re a company with a reputation for excellence in the bookmaker industry, a household name and offer excellent odds,  The first thing you need to do is clickthe link below to sign up to William Hill, when you sign up make sure you input the F25 code onto the sign up form, this is required to register for the free sign up bonus.


Click the banner to get a free bet at William Hill
William Hill F25 promotion
Make sure you input F25 in the promotion code box when you sign up

Make sure you input F25 in the promotional code box when you sign up as this will qualify you for the freebet. Before you click “Create my account” make sure you check the Promotion terms and conditions by clicking the link.

Click on "Terms and Conditions appl" to read the promotion T&C's
Click on “Terms and Conditions apply” to read the promotion T&C’s

Once you click on “Terms and Conditions apply” you’ll be taken to a screen of terms and conditions, it’s well worth reading through them and making sure you understand them all but the key things to check are the minimum and maximum stake sizes, any minimum odds and the type of bonus.

William Hill F25 Terms and Conditions Highlighted
The Terms and conditions clearly state that: The stake must be £5-£25 The minimum odds for the qualifying bet are 1.5 The bet stake is not included in bonus winnings (it’s stake not returned) Click image to enlarge image

What bets will I need to place?

From the terms and conditions you should be able to see that for this offer you will need to place a £25 bet at odds of over 1.5 to receive a free bet (which will be stake not returned)

Making your first deposits

To complete this first offer, deposit £25 into William Hill and £200 into Betfair

Finding the qualifying bet

Before you look for your qualifying bet make sure that William Hill is set to display fractions, this can be done using the drop down box in the middle of the screen.

Click on the drop down to change Fractions to decimals
Click on the drop down to change Fractions to decimals

Once you’ve changed it to decimals you need to find a list of football matches on both William Hill & Betfair

For example here we’ve listed some Euro 2016 qualifying matches showing the odds at William Hill (On the Left) and Betfair (on the right).

Compare the odds and William Hill with the Lay odds at betfair
Compare the odds and William Hill with the Lay odds at betfair

Once you’ve got your odds lists you need to look down them to find matches where the William Hill back odds are above 1.5 and are as close to the Betfair Lay odds as possible.

The 2 matches that stand out are Bosnia v Israel where odds on Bosnia are 1.65 at William Hill and 1.76 at Betfair and Croatia v Italy where the odds are 2.37 at William Hill and 2.46 at Betfair.

Put both of these into your calculator to work out which one is better (and any other odds that are close) you’ll see that.


TAG Matched Betting Calculator - William Hill qualifying bet
TAG Matched Betting Calculator – William Hill qualifying bet

Bosnia generates a £2.08 loss and Croatia generates a £1.64 loss making betting on Croatia in the Croatia v Italy match the best option in this scenario.

Note: This example was taken during the summer break, during the football season you may be able to find a closer match and smaller loss than this,

Placing the first bet

Once you’ve found your first bet use your calculator to work out what bets your going to make. In the example above this will be a back stake of £25 at William Hill and a lay stake of £24.59 at Betfair.

Think through all outcomes

Before you place your bet think through the various outcomes of the match and work out what will happen in each one (this will help you avoid any mistakes).

What happens if Croatia wins?

What if it’s a draw?

What if Italy Win?

Whatever the result

Whatever the result you should end up with the same amount of money, all that varies is the location of the money, i..e if it’s in the bookie or the exchange.

Placing your bet

Before you place you bet do one final sense check before committing to the bets – as this is a qualifying bet the stake size should be similar at both sites (£25 at William Hill and about £24 at Betfair). If there’s a large difference between them then go back and recheck if you figures.

You’re now ready to place your first bets. Place the bookmaker bet first at William Hill, once that has been confirmed you can then go and place your lay bet at Betfair.

Checking the result

Once the match has finished go back to William Hill and Betfair to check that the winnings have been credited correctly (this can take a few minutes after the match finishes).

Placing your freebet

Once your qualifying bet has settled you should get a freebet credited to your account (if it’s  not there you should email support).

The William Hill Free bet is a stake not returned bet which means the stake is not returned with the winnings

William Hill F25 Terms and Conditions Highlighted
Free bet stake not included in returns

Stake Not returned free bets should be placed at high odds (ideally 7+) in order to maximise return.

You should follow the same process of looking down the list of odds to find a close match but this time instead of the odds being above 5 you should look for odds above 7 at William Hill.

Here’s some example odds from the Copa America

Stake NOt Returned bets we want a close match at odds of 7+
Stake Not Returned bets we want a close match at odds of 7+

Looking down these odds there’s a matches that immediately jumps out as being a close match with odds over 7. Betting on Ecuador in Chile v Ecuador is a 7/7.6 match. When we put this into the calculator we can see we get a guaranteed £18.87 profit if we use a £19.87 lay stake at Betfair. Remember that laying at 7+ can lead to large liabilities. In this case you would need to have a £131.13 balance in Betfair to cover the liability.

William Hill Free SNR Calculatiton
£18.87 guaranteed Profit, notice the Free stake and Stake forfeit have been populated as this was a free stake not returned bet

What next?

Whatever the results of the 2 matches once you’re free bet has settled you will have made an overall profit, in this example it’s £17.23 guaranteed profit (£18.87-£1.64).

You can request a withdrawal from William Hill and move onto your next offer. They may ask for ID for anti money laundering reasons, this can be scanned / photographed and emailed to the support team. Once received your withdrawal should be processed within a few days (or even less if you use Skrill)


Signing up to Betfred

For your 2nd offer we’d recommend Betfred, again they are an established bookie with excellent oddsand a good high street presence.

Click the link below to sign up to Betfred

Betfred Sign up page

From the sign up page the first step is to check the terms & conditions at the bottom centre of the screen for the “Bet £10 Get £30 offer”.

Clicking terms will show the terms and conditions below.

Betfred Terms and Conditions

Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, the key ones to highlight are:

6. You must stake £10 (or more) at odds of 2.0 or greater on your first bet to qualify for the free bet

8. Deposits via Moneybookers (Skrill) and other ewallets are excluded from this offer

13. Free bet stake is not included in returns and is non withdrawable i.e. it’s a Stake Not Returned Bonus

Depositing at Betfred

Once you’ve signed up to Betfred make a £10 deposit (using your bank account because Skrill is excluded from the promotion).

Finding your qualifying bet

We’ll follow the same process with Betfred as we did with William Hill, looking through the odds to find an event which has close odds between Betfred and Betfair but where the Betfred odds are 2.0 or greater.

Note: the odds at Betfair moved in between the William Hill screen shot and this screen shot being taken.

Betfred qualifying bet

Coincidentally Betfred also has a close match on Croatia v Italy, this time the odds are actually higher at Betfred (2.4 than they are at Betfair (2.38). When we put these into our calculator we can see that we can guarantee a 21p loss with a £10.30 lay stake.Betfred calculationOnce this match has settled and we’ve waited 48 hours we will then receive a £30 free stake not returned bet.

Placing the Stake Not Returned Bonus Bet

In the same way as for William Hill we need to search the odds for a close match between Betfred and the Exchange that has odds above 7.

If we were placing this bet tonight we’d look down the following list of odds and see that betting on Kazakhstan v Turkey has odds of 8.5 at Betfred and 9 at the exchange

Betfred qualifying bet
Look through the odds for a close match with odds over 7

Putting the 8.5/9 match into the calculator we can see that it generates £23.88 profitBetfred Free betOverall

Overall at Betfred we’ve made £23.67 guaranteed profit from our 2 bets (£23.88 – £0.21) and can now move onto our next offer.


The next site in the list is another household name, Ladbrokes is another high street name. Follow the same process of clicking the link below and checking the promotion terms and conditions

Ladbrokes Terms and Conditions

Review the terms and conditions to check for any bonus restrictions, specifically checking for stake and odds restrictions as well as any deposit method restrictions.

Ladbrokes terms and conditions
Terms and Conditions are displayed at the bottom of the page

You can see from the Ladbrokes Terms and Conditions that the maximum free bet is £25, it requires a £25 qualifying bet to be placed at odds of over 1/2 (1.5) and that the free bet is stake not returned.

Ladbrokes qualifying bet

I’m sure by now you’re getting used to the process but to recap, make your £25 deposit at Ladbrokes then compare the odds with Betfair to find odds that are above 1.5 and a close match.

Belgium looks like a good bet (1.8 / 1.84)
Belgium looks like a good bet (1.8 / 1.84)

Betting on Belgium at 1.8 / 1.84 gives a loss of only £1.12 on the qualifying bet

Ladbrokes qualifier calculation

Ladbrokes free bet

Once the qualifying bet has been settled you will receive the £25 free Stake Not Returned bet which should again be placed at odds of over 7.

Ladbrokes free bet - costa rica

This time we found a close match on the Spain v Costa Rica match with Costa Rica at 9.00 at Ladbrokes and 9.8 at Betfair

Ladbrokes free bet calculation

Overall we’ve made £18.37guaranteed profit from Ladbrokes (£19.49-18.37) and can now withdraw before moving onto our next offer.


What next?

By now you should have made a nice little profit so can now move onto some of the other well known  high street bookmakers.

Follow exactly the same approach and remember to check everything!



Other Well known high street bookmakers, that are great for beginners




Stan James




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