How to make money from free bets
Thanks to matched betting, we can make money from free bets and the many bookmaker signup offers that are out there. These matched betting signup offers are only the beginning and from then on we can take advantage of the many different reload offers from each and every bookmaker. Most people who aren’t aware of matched betting will gamble their own money away as well as the free bets the bookmakers offer them in attempt to make money from free bets. If you have tried doing this before, you will more than likely be aware that does not work and matched betting is only the real way to make money.
Qualifying for a free bet or bonus
All bookmakers usually require you to make a deposit with them and then place an initial bet with them before they will credit your account with any free bet or bonus. The free bet should be perceived as an incentive to bet with them in the first place which is how these bookies attract mug punters so in order to get the free bet you must meet their requirements. Coral may give you £20 in free bets provided you bet £5 with them first at odds of evens (2.0 in decimal odds). In matched betting, the first bet using your own money is known as the qualifying bet.
Each bookmaker can have different requirements regarding the qualifying step such as
- Betting at different odds like 1.50, 1.80, 2.00 etc
- Crediting the free bets at different times like an hour after your qualifying bet has settled, immediately after you place your first bet, 24 hours after settlement of your qualifying bet
- Placing an accumulator bet instead of a straight single bet
- Placing a certain quantity of bets before receiving a free bet like betting 5 lots of £25 before getting your free bet of £25 to use with them
The important step to remember when placing your qualifying bet is to read the terms and conditions at each bookmaker as they differ slightly and this may be the difference between you getting your free bet and not doing. I made this mistake and it cost me a few quid in the early days from not correctly reading what is required.
Making money from free bets
Fantastic, you made it! Once you have done the qualifying bet correctly the bookie will credit your account with a free bet to use at your discretion. Again, it is important to know what you can use your free bet on as the bookie may only allow you to use it on a specific selection such as a football game or a horse race. Usually from the matched betting signup offers, you can place your free bets on any selection you like but on the reload offers, it is more specific to a particular sport or game.
You will generally know you have a free bet in your account if it says this in your balance like “Free bet balance: £50” or simply select any selection and in the bet slip you will see a free bet which you can select. Remember to select the free bet when placing your bet otherwise this could accidentally come out of your own account balance.
The easy way to make money from free bets is using the great matched betting software provided by Oddsmonkey. Free bets make the most money when the odds are higher such as 4/1 (5.0 in decimal odds) rather than smaller odds like evens. This is because the stake is not returned or SNR. So if the bet wins at the bookies, you will only see the winnings and not the stake. For example if I bet my £50 free bet at Ladbrokes at odds of 5.0, I will only see £200 in my Ladbrokes account if it wins. (£50 free bet * 5.0 = £250, then deduct the stake (£50) we are left with £200).
The Oddsmatcher tool at Oddsmonkey scans the entire bookmaker site for the best possible match for you to use your free bet on. This saves you the hassle of forever searching for the best match and then working out manually to see if it worth doing. This makes life so much easier and I use the Oddsmatcher tool every time I place a qualifying bet and free bet.
The matched betting calculator on Oddsmonkey is also the best bit of matched betting software to use as this will tell you how much money you will expect to make from the free bet from the match you have decided to bet on from the Oddsmatcher.
This is what the matched betting calculator looks like at Oddsmonkey. So if we find a match on the Oddsmatcher tool at back odds of 9.0 and lay odds of 9.0, we can expect to make £42.48 if the bet wins at the bookies and £42.46 if the bet wins at the exchange. Not bad at all! From free bets, we can generally expect to extract 80% of the value as cash so from a £50 free bet, we should expect to walk away with £40 minimum. I always try to place my free bets to this level so that I can be guaranteed a decent amount of value from the free bets and ultimately, make more money from free bets.
When using the calculator, ensure you set the calculator in the correct mode. So if you have a free bet where the stake is not returned (SNR) make sure you put the calculator in that function rather than leaving it in normal by mistake.
The maths behind making money from free bets
Using the above example, I will show you how money is made from the free bet so you know the calculator is genuine and this will actually work and make you money.
If the bookmaker bet wins:
- We will have £400 in our bookmaker account. This is because the back stake of £50.00 multiplied by the back odds of 9.0 gives us £450.00. But the back stake is not returned to us, so we then deduct this from our winnings. This leaves us with £400.00.
- Because the bookmaker bet won, this means we lost our lay bet at the exchange. Our liability for this bet was £357.52. This is the amount of money we needed in the exchange to successfully make money from no matter the end result. Why is this £357.52? Well the calculator tells us to use a lay stake of £44.69 at the exchange at lay odds of 9.0. So we multiply these numbers to get £402.21 (this would be the total if our lay bet won) and then we deduct the lay stake of £44.69 to be left with £357.52.
- To calculate our profit we then deduct our winnings at the bookmaker minus our liability at the exchange. So £400.00-£357.52 = £42.48.
If the exchange bet wins:
- We will retain 95% of our lay stake because the commission at the exchange in this example is 5%. So 95% of £44.69 is £42.46 (rounded to 2 decimal places).
- The bookmaker back bet lost, but this wasn’t our money so we haven’t actually lost anything at the bookmaker.
- Our profit is £42.46.
So you may think these calculations are long-winded and yes they are and imagine doing this manual calculation every time you place a bet, it would take too much time. Thankfully, the calculator at Oddsmonkey does all this for us, all we have to do is enter the information such as the back stake, the back and lay odds along with the exchange commission.
Making money from free bets is a fun way to use these incentives by the bookmakers by turning them into cash which you can spend on whatever you like. To make the most of the free bets, ensure you use them on higher odds at the bookies and ensure the back and lay odds are close. Doing this will guarantee you a much bigger profit than using the free bets at lower odds.
The maths may seem complicated at first but it is actually very simple. If you’re not as maths savvy, let the matched betting calculator at Oddsmonkey do the hard work for you. When using your free bets at larger odds, ensure you have the liability in the exchange to be able to handle it otherwise you could end up not making as much money from the free bet.
If you are interested in reading in more detail, try my Oddsmonkey review and Smarkets review today.
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