Gambling is, by definition, risk-taking. If there’s a 0% risk, therefore, it can’t actually be called gambling. Which is weird, because when you spend a few hours a day on bookmaker sites, it certainly feels like gambling!
Here’s what happened. I was overloaded with writing work for my first month or so at home. Gradually, as is the way with freelance writing, the work sort of petered out for no particular reason, and then last week I recalled something I’d discovered when I was researching a series of articles on money-making ideas for students. I originally dismissed it as too good to be true, but now I decided to go back and read the article properly.
It’s an easy-to-understand, well-written guide on the subject of matched betting. Now, what you should know here is that I’m not a gambler. I’ve too much of an addictive personality – on the few occasions when I’ve played casual, low-stakes poker games with friends, I was the one who quickly lost everything and promptly bought more chips to keep playing. It’s wiser for me not to gamble at all! I don’t even do the lottery.
When it comes to bookies, and races, and odds, I have absolutely no clue. It’s a foreign language to me. However, you don’t really need to understand any of these things to participate in matched betting. You will need to know what some of them are, but not to understand them in the slightest.
The guide explains a foolproof, risk-free method of making money using the free bets offered by most bookmaker sites to entice people to open an account. For example, if you sign up and make a £5 bet, PaddyPower will give you a £20 free bet. This would obviously still be risky and count as gambling, as you have no guarantee you’re not going to lose that initial “qualifying bet”. Some free bets are higher, but then you’ll have to make a higher initial bet in order to earn the free one. The system, however, guarantees that you won’t lose a single penny – and in fact, providing you follow the instructions, you’re guaranteed to make a profit. Guaranteed!! I’m very excited about this!
So, here’s what happens. You download the simple spreadsheet from the afore-mentioned guide. You sign up to one of the free bet sites, and bet the required amount to unlock the free bet. However, to eliminate the possibility of losing that money, you then place a lay bet on a betting exchange site called Betfair. A lay bet is where you bet against an outcome – so, if I bet £5 on PaddyPower that Team/Horse/Player A will win, I then immediately place a lay bet on Betfair that Team/Horse/Player A will NOT win (that the result will be either a loss or a draw). By entering the odds into the spreadsheet, you know how much to place as the lay bet stake. You won’t make a profit with this initial bet, but you won’t lose any more than a few pence (which you will more than get back when you use your free bet) – the two basically cancel each other out. Then, when the bets are settled, you’re allowed to use your free bet – £20 in the example I used.
This time, you repeat the process using a slightly altered spreadsheet and searching for higher odds to increase your profit. Because you’re playing with free money and matching your bet on the exchange site, you aren’t risking anything – you are guaranteed to make a profit. It’s maths, not gambling. You can play around with different odds to find the best combination (and even I am now starting to get an idea of what sort of numbers make for the biggest profit!). If you spend a bit of time searching, you can make a profit of up to 90% of the free bet!
As I’ve had no work on and am soon to be potentially unemployed and homeless in a foreign country, I couldn’t really ignore the opportunity to make money from sitting in front of my computer screen. I’ve probably spent a total of about 10 hours on this over the past few week, and I’ve made nearly £150. That’s £15 an hour. At absolutely no risk! Honestly – the spreadsheet shows you the exact amount to enter into the betting exchange site to safeguard your actual “bet”, and tells you the exact amount (EXACT: pounds and pennies!) you will make. The actual outcome of the race or game is completely irrelevant. If the horse or team you back loses, you will lose nothing because it was a free bet, and you’ll make your profit on the lay bet. If the horse or team wins, you lose your lay bet stake but collect your profit from the site where you made the free bet. Either way, your profit will be the same, and you already know what it’s going to be before the race or game even begins. I couldn’t actually tell you who won or lost any of my “bets”, because it doesn’t matter in the slightest. There’s none of the risk of gambling – you’re taking advantage of the system thanks to some clever mathematician who was generous enough to write a how-to guide and share his spreadsheet for free. If you’re interested there is a bevy of opportunities being shared, check out the promoted event: CompareTheBets’ List of Promo Codes . You’ll be able to choose something that interests you , give it a shot.
I’ve just realised I sound like I’m being paid to write this post, but I swear I’m not! I’m just absolutely amazed that it’s possible to make money from bookmaker sites without actually risking anything. In the absence of work, it’s making a little extra (and very welcome!) cash for me. Before I leave for Prague on Sunday (oh yes, I’m leaving for Prague on Sunday, not sure if I’ve actually written about that yet!), I will have earned back the price of my flight to get there. Not bad!
Just thought I’d pay it forward and share the info in case anyone else with a few spare hours in the evenings fancies making a bit of pocket money. I doubt that anyone could actually make a living from this, and you’d eventually run out of free bet offers, but even if you were to spend just a few hours per week on it, you could make enough to put towards a holiday or something. Tip: the more money you have to play with (you won’t lose it), the more you will make. I’m gradually getting more confident and going for the higher free bets, which means I have to have quite a large amount in my Betfair account to cover the lay bet. You don’t have to – you can stick to the lower bets and make profits averaging around a fiver a time, with only about £20-£50 of your money in the exchange site at any time. I now trust the spreadsheet, so I’ve been depositing a lot more to cover larger free bets. The last free bet I earned was £50, and I spent half an hour searching for the best odds match. When the event takes place tomorrow (I can’t even remember which sport it was in!), I will make a profit of £38.24, regardless of the result.
Better than spending the night mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, which is what I would normally be doing!