Online betting and gambling have seen rapid growth in Nigeria during the last decade. This is proven also by the number of bookmakers popping up all over Nigeria. If football is Nigeria’s number 1 sports, then most likely sports betting is as much of a national sport itself and close behind.

There is a popular quote by an Irish critic and political activist George Bernard Shaw:
“In gambling, the many must lose in order that the few may win.”

Most likely you have had the unfortunate experience of finding it out yourself. And sometimes you don’t really mind, because when it’s the small amounts, it’s mostly for fun anyway, right? I made that foolish mistake on October 20th, 2009. Yes, 10 years ago, and I still feel the pain. Barcelona was playing Rubin Kazan. Barcelona’s odds for winning around one week before the match were around 1.25 or 5/4. At the time I thought, WOW! what a chance. This is an obvious risk-free way to make money. I bet around ₦200k. Come the evening of October 20th, and Barcelona LOST 1-2. Can you imagine!? ₦200,000! Back then I lived in a rented house and that was like half of my yearly rent. I was devastated and out of anger decided to never bet again. However, a week later I thought that there has to be a way to make money betting. I tried various courses and teachings. Tested out various ’proven’ strategies, including arbitrage betting, but to no good. I still was not able to make money that was worth the stress and time I put into researching. UNTIL, 2017, when I discovered MATCHED BETTING. My life has never been the same since…

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a betting technique to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It is essentially risk-free because it is not based on chance but on the application of a mathematical equation. There are a lot of betting sites available and all of them are fighting for you to go and bet on their site. For that to happen, they often give out some incentives like promotions and even free bets. You might have seen offers like ‘Deposit 5k now and we will double your deposit 100%!’ or ‘Bet at least 7k and we will give you a free bet worth 5k.’ You get what I mean? Okay.

Is Matched Betting REALLY Risk-Free?

The short answer is YES! The longer one is: Yes if you don’t consider human error. I will get to an example right away, let me just mention this before: Do you like jollof rice? The short obvious answer is YES! The longer one is: Yes if you don’t consider the possibility of human error that the cook forgot Maggi. You get my point?

Before the example, we need to understand 2 crucial terms: back bet and lay bet:

A back bet is a bet that you place in order to express your confidence in the event or outcome to happen. A bet on Chelsea to win is a back bet. A bet on Man City to lose is a back bet. A bet that Liverpool and ManU to draw is a back bet. You are BACKING the event to happen. Any event, but only 1 of the possibilities (either win, either draw, either lose). This is the way you normally place bets on the betting sites. Hope you get it? Read the definition of a lay bet on the right and then we will get right into the example.

A lay bet is a bet that you place in order to express your confidence in the event or outcome NOT to happen. A bet on Chelsea not to win is a lay bet. A bet on Man City not to lose is a lay back. A bet that Liverpool and ManU will not draw is a lay bet. I know what you are thinking: but in football, there are 3 outcomes, so even if I bet that Chelsea will not win, they could lose OR draw. Please continue to read, so that I can explain 2 crucial ways to bet.

Bookmakers and betting exchanges

Bookmakers are what we call betting sites. nairabet, bet9ja etc. These are the bookmakers. They ‘make the books’, as in they determine the odds and you have the choice to bet on such odds or not. We ALWAYS back bet on the bookmakers’ sites.

Betting exchanges are sites where people like me and you can sign up for free and create our own odds, so they will be on the exchange for others to bet against our odds. On the exchanges, we ALWAYS lay bet. So, you can bet on Chelsea NOT winning and regardless of the outcome (win or draw), as long as Chelsea does NOT win, I have won my bet.

Now it’s time for that long-promised EXAMPLE and step-by-step explanation:

*At the time of writing this, I was using VPN and therefore, all the website were in Euros. The calculator is in GBP by default. However, it does not matter, as we need the numerical values calculated, not currency. 

Step 1: You go to a bookmaker/betting website and see an offer that says: ‘Bet 10EUR and receive 20EUR as a free bet!’. So the condition of the offer says, we need to bet 10EUR in order to qualify for the 20EUR free bet, the outcome of the initial (qualifying) bet does not matter.

Step 2: Our first move is to ‘unlock’ the 20EUR free bet. Therefore, we go to look for a match to bet on.

Tip 1: The best matches to bet on are high profile matches, which are the English Premier League, La Liga, Champions League, World Cup, International Cup Competitions (Cup Of Nations, CONCACAF, etc) and so forth. Betting on local leagues does not yield as much profit as we would like. 

Let us imagine we choose a match between Brazil – Argentina (surely a popular match). We go over to our bookmaker’s website that is offering this promotion. We look at the odds: Brazil to win 1.80. We go over to our exchange and find the same match. Click on the match. To lay the bet, we ALWAYS only look at the pink/red boxes. Act as if other boxes do not exist! Now, we can see that in this example, Brazil to NOT win is 1.89. So now we are going to bet on each of these outcomes. However, how much should you bet? Well, right now, we need to unlock our free bet. The condition given by the bookmaker was bet 10, get 20. Therefore, we bet 10 on the bookmakers site. To know the exact number to bet on the exchange, we need to calculate it. Luckily, such calculators are free to use. Click HERE to use one. 

Tip 2: The first bet is called a qualifying bet, as it qualifies you to get the free bet, We always try to seek to get the odds on the bookmaker’s site to be as close to the odds at the exchange as possible. Also, we hope to have them as low as possible. Mostly between 1.5-2.0, as this is usually written in the terms and conditions of the offer.

You can see that you need to input some data on the calculator. Firstly, choose the bet type as ‘Normal’ – this will be the case for all the qualifying bets (the bets we need to do in order to unlock the free bet). 

Back stake means the amount of money we are backing. Remember, back bet is what we do on the bookmaker’s site. Therefore, we are betting 10EUR for this example. Back odds are the odds on the bookmaker’s site, which is 1.80 in our example. Leave the Back Commission at 0, as 99% of bookmakers do not charge a commission on a bet. For Lay Odds, enter the odds we saw on the exchange, which was 1.89. Remember, this is our lay bet, therefore, lay odds. When we use the BetFair exchange, we need to use 5% commission. This is how they make money from their exchange. Once you have entered all the details, you will see text: At odds of 1.89 you could lay 9.78. This is the bet we enter into the exchange.

Step 3. Place the qualifying bet. As you can see below, we have bet 10EUR on Brazil to win on the bookmaker and 9.78EUR (as calculated by the calculator) on Brazil not to win (draw or lose) on the exchange. Note that the calculator also calculated the liability that we need to have on our exchange, in case Brazil wins. As this is an exchange, we need to pay the person their winnings. The higher the odds of the match, the higher the liability will be. Once the match is finished, we will see from the balance remaining that we have incurred a loss of 0.71. But don’t worry. By betting this deal, we have unlocked our free bet worth 20EUR.

In review, we made two bets. If our bookmaker’s bet loses, we lose the initial 10GBP, however, gain back our exchange bet (9.78) minus the commission of 5% = 9.78*95% – 10EUR = – 0.71 (loss of 0.71).

If we win the exchange bet, we gain 9.78 minus the commission, however, we lose the 10EUR bet at the bookmakers’. Again, our loss is 0.71.

Step 4. Bet with the free bet. In order to get a profit from this offer, we need to repeat the previous step, however, we need to change 2 small steps. Similarly to the previous step, we need to find a match to bet on. For the sake of an example, we use the same match, however, in reality, that match has ended and you would need to find another one. 

Tip 3: For the free bet, we should find a bet that has high odds as possible, while still being as close to each other in value as possible. This is usually possible, again, with popular matches. 

As we can see in our example, Brazil and Argentina to draw has odds of 3.4. On the exchange, the lay odds are 3.6. This is a great example, as the odds are higher, however, still close to each other in value.

Step 5: Calculate the amount of bet (lay stake) on the calculator HERE.

In order to do so, we need to make one change in the calculator compared to the first bet. We need to change the Bet Type to Free Bet (SNR). The SNR stands for Stake Not Returned, which in turn means that if we win, the free bet (in our case 20EUR) will be credited from our winnings. For example, we bet 20GBP as our free bet, the odds are 3.0. Our bet wins, therefore our winning is 60EUR, however, the free bet stake of 20 will be credited, which leaves us with 60-20=40. 

Back to our example: change the bet type to Free Bet (SNR). Enter the amount of the bet (in our case 20). Enter the odds from the booksmaker’s site, 3.4 and from the exchange, 3.6. As you can see, we need to bet 13.52 at our exchange site. 

Once the match is over, our profit will be 12.84EUR. Let’s recap:

If our bookmaker’s bet wins, we will get 20*3.4-20 = 48 (our free money is credited). However, our liability at the exchange was 35.15, therefore, 48 – 35.15 = 12.85 (rounding difference).

Similarly, if our exchange bet wins, we will gain the betted 13.52 minus the commission = 12.84EUR

Step 6: Count your blessings. 

We made a loss on the qualifying bet at an amount of 0.71 and a profit on our free bet at an amount of 12.84. Therefore, our total profit was 12.13. This would be around 61% of the free bet amount. This is rather normal. On matched betting, we should expect to get 60%-80% profit from the FREE bet amount. Once the bets are finished, we can choose to withdraw our money out from the exchange and the betting site, and go on to the next bookmaker or take advantage of other offers they might have. 

This example might have seemed lengthy, however, in reality, this would have taken you a total of 10 minutes. A lovely rate of 70EUR per hour. Now, we know, you can’t be betting all the time, as there are no matches available all the time and also, you might not have enough cash to keep at the exchange as a liability while the bets are on. Please take my own experience into account and learn this technique. I was just as confused as you most likely are right now just about 1.5 years ago. I’ve spent less than 1 hour per day and I make around EUR 1k per month with this technique. Also, I want to share another and most likely the best tip of all with you. 

I do not want to sound as if I am trying to sell you something. Therefore, I will assure you that you CAN make decent money with matched betting without any software or add-on systems. I personally use a matched betting service. However, before i did that (what I call ‘upgraded’ my financial health), I was making around 150k per month. However, after I realized that there is so much more to betting… Horse racing is now one of my favorites. I wouldn’t have known the availability of offers out there if it wasn’t for RebelBetting. I sincerely and wholeheartedly recommend them to you. I am about to upgrade my account with them, to enter even higher levels of betting. However, I strongly advise you to click on this link and just check them out. 

What is RebelBetting. RebelBetting is a (matched) betting service that automatically searches all the offers available for you, tells you what and how much to bet on and gives free guides on how to maximize your profits. I have more articles about them, which you can check out HERE.

Things to bear in mind:

  • we only bet when we get an offer/promotion from a bookmaker!
  • we always back bet and lay bet at the same time, on the same outcome!
  • we always read the FULL terms and conditions of a promotion or offer


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