Ask any experienced matched betting professional and most of them will tell you that matched betting is risk free… and in principle they’re right.
But as with life nothing is risk free and diving into matched betting thinking you can’t lose could end up with you out of pocket.
In some cases i’ve seen new matched betting punters quit altogether, which is the last thing you should do especially how lucrative matched betting can be when it’s executed right.
The aim here isn’t to scaremonger, but to highlight some of the potential pitfalls with matched betting and provide some useful techniques you can introduce to minimise those risks.
Matched betting sounds really simple in principle. You place identical back and lay bets on the same game and take the free bets you earn to unlock your profits by placing a similar bet. Easy right?
The problem problem lies with execution…
Why Matched Betting is not risk free
I’ve seen this issue countless times over the years on forums with punters frantically asking for help, as they have accidentally placed the wrong lay on the betting exchange. Here’s an example…
To be fair is easily done as betting exchanges are complex with a plethora of options to select. It can be quite daunting for new players and all too easy to make a mistake.
If you happen to lay the wrong side there are ways to minimise your losses by backing the inverse of this bet. But unfortunately the damage is done, not only are you out of pocket but your missing out on potential profit.
Whilst quite rare it is possible that bookmakers can cancel any bet at their discretion and under their terms and conditions.
I personally have not found myself in this situation and hope I never would. I will stress that the chances are extremely low but i’ve known of a few punters that this has happened to, so it’s wise to be mindful of such events and be careful not to expose your position.
It may be possible to get back into In-play markets to cover the lay bet and reduce your losses, but this is entirely dependent on when it’s cancelled. If it’s early on during the game you might be able to cover otherwise you just pray the opposing bet comes in.
So what can you do to minimise the risk of Matched Betting and getting it wrong?
1. Sign-up to Matched Betting Apps
Veteran matched betting pro’s will more than likely turn their nose up at these tools, but automated match betting calculators such as Odds Monkey and Profit Accumulator are a godsend as they do all the leg-work for you.
The main table will list the top match betting games on that day and display the total back and lay odds in decimal format to make things easier. If you’re not a mathematician I would strongly recommend you use this and even if you are i’d still suggest it.
These tools break things down in structured way that’s easy to follow, which is precisely what you need before placing a bet.
2. Match Betting Forums
If you’re not already on a match betting forum then you need to! They are a great way to learn from experts, share experiences and more more importantly get a fresh pair of eye’s to double check your math.
The key takeaway is don’t be shy, especially if you’re new to match betting, sign-up to a forum and post the MB you intend to place. If you get the nod from a handful of members it will give you some reassurance it’s correct.
Could you still make a mistake and be out of pocket? Absolutely!
But just having self awareness of your limitations and being prone to error should make you double check you’re bets before you place them and that will i turn should help you minimise those risks, which in turn will make you a better matched bettor.