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Common Matched Betting Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them

Matched Betting is one of the best and easiest ways to make money online. You can literally start today and make a few hundred pounds profit.

I can’t think of any other way you can do that, and you get to keep it all as this profit is tax-free!

If you aren’t sure what matched betting is all about please check out our Matched Betting Guide before coming back here.

Matched Betting is a straightforward way to make money, but you do need to pay attention to what you are doing as it is possible to make mistakes that will eat away into your profits.

This guide will cover the most common matched betting mistakes, and how to avoid them.

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Bet on the Wrong Fixtures

This sounds obvious, but it is something you need to be careful of.

When you are making lots of bets it can get a little confusing and it is not unheard of for bets to be placed on the wrong fixture. This could happen where the team/player/horse names are very similar or if a particular team has several fixtures coming up soon.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     Check, check and check again to make sure that you are placing the correct bet and the correct lay.

2.     Use the direct links from the Oddsmonkey Oddsmatcher. For the back bet, you will be taken straight to the correct fixture at the bookmaker. You will simply have to input the correct value for the bet.

For the Lay bet things are even simpler as the integrated software allows you to automatically place the correct lay bet on the chosen fixture straight from the Oddsmonkey site.

>>> Click here for a free trial with Oddsmonkey

Fail to Confirm Your Bet

Many bookmakers (but not all) will ask that you confirm the bet after you have placed it. It is all too easy to press the ‘place bet’ button once and then rush off to lay the bet as quickly as possible. Always make sure that you see the ‘Bet Confirmed’ message before you move on to the Lay Bet.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     Don’t rush. Stay calm and check that you have the confirmation before you go to the exchange.

Use The Wrong Mode On The Calculator

Matched betting calculators are a vital part of the matched betting process as they allow you to calculate the exact amount that you need to place for a lay bet and will tell you how much profit you are making.

The maths behind the calculator is slightly different between the normal qualifying bet and the free bet. Therefore if you use it in the wrong mode you will lay the wrong amount. At the top of the calculator, you must choose between Normal and Free Bet before inputting the odds.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     Don’t rush. Check the numbers make sense.

If you are making a normal qualifying bet you would expect the lay stakes to be very similar to the back bet. You would also expect to make a small loss on the bet which is highlighted red on the calculator.

If you are placing a free bet, the lay stake will be less than the back bet you have just placed. The calculator should show a healthy profit highlighted in green.

Fail to Check The Terms and Conditions

Many free bet offers will have specific terms and conditions that must be met in order for the free bet to be awarded. Some of the main things to look out for are:

Minimum or Maximum Odds

Often qualifying bets will be restricted to a specific range of odds and will have a clause in the terms and conditions such as ‘minimum odds of 2.00’. If you place a bet on shorter odds than this (e.g.1.5) you will not qualify for the free bet.

Opting in

Many offers and recurring bet clubs require you to opt-in before placing your bet. If you do not do this you will not receive the free bet.

Specific Bet Markets

You will often see offers like “Man Utd vs Chelsea: Money back as a free bet if your bet loses”. These offers will often be restricted to certain markets such as First/Last Goalscorer, correct score etc. If you were to place a losing bet on any other market (such as Man Utd to win), you would not be eligible for the free bet.

Mobile Only

Sometime you will find a requirement to place a bet using the bookmaker’s mobile site a bet placed from your laptop will not be eligible.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     Check through the terms and conditions carefully.

2.     Use Oddsmonkey to find sign up offers. They highlight the key terms and also link to an Oddsmatcher that has certain terms included in the filters (e.g. Minimum/maximum odds).

3.     Use the Oddsmonkey ‘Daily Offer Calendar’ for new offers every day. They will highlight the key terms for you to meet so that you can easily hit the requirements.

Place a Back Bet at The Exchange

If you are in a hurry it is quite easy to hit the ‘Back’ button at the exchange, rather than the ‘Lay’ button. This is not a matched bet but a double bet and means that you have backed the same outcome twice and stand to lose twice if that team do not win.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     Check everything twice to be sure you are doing it right.


2.     Use the integrated software at Oddsmonkey. This will automatically place the correct lay bet so it is not possible to make this mistake.

Exchange Bets Not Matched

Sometimes when you place a lay bet there will not be sufficient funds at the exchange for your bet to be placed.

This is because an exchange is matching your bet with another person that wants to back the team at that price.

If nobody has placed a back bet at that price, your lay bet will not be accepted. It will remain as unmatched or partially matched.

This may not be your mistake but is something to be aware of particularly just before a horse race as the odds can move very fast.

How to avoid this mistake

1.     The number below the odds represents the amount of liquidity available at that price. Be sure to check that it is higher than the bet you wish to place.

2.     Use the Oddsmonkey integrated software to speed up the laying of your bet.

3.     If it does happen you could wait and see if it does get matched. This may we worth trying if the fixture is some time away, but you run the risk that the odds drift out further.

4.     If your bet is unmatched you can cancel it and start again. If your bet is partially matched you can use the ‘part lay’ tab on the Oddsmonkey calculator to accurately lay the remaining amount at the current price.

Miss the Free Bet Expiry Date

Free bets often have very short timeframes before they expire. Having done all the hard work to earn the free bet it is a shame to see the easy profits slipping through my fingers, but it is something I have done many times through simply forgetting I had the free bet.

How to avoid this mistake

You need to have some sort of system to record all your activities and what you need to do. Whatever works best for you, some people have simple spreadsheets, and others have very complicated ones.

You could make notes on your mobile or just note it down with good old fashioned pen and paper. Find a system that works for you, but don’t rely on remembering everything!

Doing Bad Offers

Once the profits start to flow in it can be easy to jump on every deal that is going. But not all offers offer a positive expected value.

How to avoid this mistake

Using a service like the Oddsmonkey ‘Daily Offers Calendar’ will highlight the best deals around each day and tell you how much profit you can expect from each.

By using this you can prioritise your time and ensure that you are only doing the deals where you can expect to come out in profit.


This is something that probably tempts most matched bettors at some point. Maybe you have had a few bets that would have made huge profits if you hadn’t laid them so you give it a try without laying.

If you do this it is no longer matched betting and is no longer a guaranteed profit. You are relying on luck and will invariably see your profits dwindling.

How to avoid this mistake

Look at the bigger picture and watch your profits grow. If you can make thousands each month through matched betting why risk that all by relying on chance? Just don’t do it.

Consistent small profits add up to vast sums. People are making tens of thousands by matched betting so why not put the work in and become one of them?

Not Trying Matched Betting

The biggest mistake of all is not giving it a try! There is easy money to be made, so if you have read this far then it is time to get stuck in.

It might sound complicated but it is really not, it is the easiest and quickest way of making money online, you just have to do a few matched bets before it all makes perfect sense.

There is no need to be overly worried about making mistakes, most of them can be avoided by taking your time or by using the right software.

Common Matched Betting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Thank you for reading this post! I do hope that you have enjoyed it and maybe learnt something that will help you to grow your online profits!

You will have noticed from reading this post that using Oddsmonkey will significantly reduce the chance of you making a mistake so it is an ideal way to get started if you are new to matched betting.

They have a free trial so there is no reason not to give it a try (don’t worry, they just need an email address, no other details).

>>> Click here for a free Oddsmonkey trial (and to make $45)

If you are interested in reading about the full benefits of the service please have a read of our post on the Best Matched Betting Sites.

If you liked this post please let us know in the comments below, and feel free to hit the social media share buttons to help spread the word. If you are looking for other ways to make money online check out our guide to how to start a blog.

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MATCHED BETTING MISTAKES and how to avoid them

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