Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, take a chance...Abba’s famous intro to Take A Chance On Me could be the perfect foil for a bookmaker’s advert. Though bookies would probably not market themselves as encouraging chancers. “Savvy punters” would be where they would no doubt aim.

But every time anybody places a bet at an online bookmaker they are taking a chance. If you have ever bet on a horse race or football game, you’ve taken chances too. Sure, Lincoln City could beat Arsenal, but what are the chances?

Such is the appeal of regular betting. We’re prepared to risk a little bit of something in order to get that big return. One might come in, but how many others have lost? In terms of accumulative profit, what’s your overall profit margin? How much have you gained over your betting adventures?

Matched Betting Guarantees Results

You might think that a team is a dead cert to win. In the FA Cup third round, say, when the top teams join in and get paired against the clubs from the lower leagues. A Premier League team will no doubt rub its hands together when it lands a plum third round game against a non-league side.

But the FA Cup is renowned for giant-killing exploits of lower league teams. You might bet £100 on Liverpool or Manchester United to beat Wrexham. Surely a big team like these two giants of English football will trounce the lowly Welsh minnows. Won’t they?

History is littered with the carcasses of over-confident “big teams” who haven’t won when they should because they thought all they had to do to win was turn up. Shearer, Wright, Murphy. Even Neville. They bang on about it all the time. By placing a bet on Liverpool to win and matching that bet against Liverpool winning, we are covering ourselves in case the unthinkable happens and Wrexham head back down to Wales with a famous scalp. It can happen. It does happen. The only way for us to guarantee results is to back and lay those outcomes.

Watford v Liverpool Matched Bet

Yesbets Does The Sums

Do you keep track of all your bets? As I alluded to in the intro to this piece, you might be celebrating when you score a big win at the track, but do all the little £5 bets you’ve placed and lost add up to more than you’ve won?

Not only does placing matched bets guarantee that you cover every outcome, but the Yesbets accounting software looks after your profit and loss sheets. Well, your profit sheet. While we might make small losses on qualifying bets - the bets we need to place in order to qualify for the free bet bonuses that are our keys to unlocking pure profit from matched betting - we can only make profit from the free bets. How much money we can make is down to us, to our time and ambition.

Coral Matched Betting Example

Look at it this way (and this example will be super useful if you’re reading this wondering how to do matched betting). We bet on Leicester to beat City at the Etihad. Maybe unlikely, but possible. We are indifferent towards the outcome, because in the long run we will win either way. We back Leicester to win at a bookie, and we lay against Leicester winning at a betting exchange. The Yesbets Matched Betting Calculator lets us know in cheery terms that we will make a £0.05 loss from this first qualifying bet, largely due to the betting exchange’s small percentage commission that it charges on each bet we lay.

But we don’t care. Because the bookie - whichever one of the hundreds it is - has promised us a free £20 bet.

So we repeat this process for the free £20 bet. But because this is free money we are now betting with, even if we lose £0.57 from the value of the bet. we are still making a £17.28 profit.

Stay Smart, Bet Smart

It’s always tempting to punt on sporting outcomes. Liverpool or Manchester United at home to Wrexham? Surely that’s a banker? Ninety nine times out of one hundred, yes. But you might just catch that one time that the unthinkable happens.

This is why you should always, always, always match your bets. It is the only way to beat the bookies, the only way to guarantee yourself profits. The minute you start thinking that you should punt a £20 free bet (“Well, it’s not my money anyway. Plus, if that horse comes in at odds of 11.0 that’s £200 pure profit in my back pocket.”) is the minute that you have done exactly what the bookies want you to do.

You have become a punter.

And instead of earning guaranteed profit like you can when you place matched bets, you are funding the bookies’ Christmas parties in Antigua.

Be strict with yourself. Be like Dexter. I don’t mean go out and start killing bookies, making sure you clean up all your mess after you. I mean live by a code. Always match. Never punt. Maximise your own profits. Not somebody else’s.

If you live by this code then, like Dexter, you will come out on top. But unlike Dexter, you won’t have some serious skeletons you have to bury deep inside you, because you’ve waxed your savings on punting on horse races and become a bookie’s dream.

Plus, the only thing you will be slaying is gambling.

To paraphrase Vyasa’s Mahabharata, slice the gambling fig tree with the sword of matched betting. Only then can we liberate ourselves from the shackles of bookies.

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