Reloads are promotions that bookmakers offer in order to entice existing customers into returning, depositing, and betting more. These offers are the key to making long-term profit from matched betting after you’ve completed all of the available sign-up offers.
Reloads vary in difficulty from very simple offers to very complex offers that should only be attempted by advanced matched bettors. When you’re just starting out with reloads, we recommend filtering the reload feed to show only the simplest reloads. Set the ‘Level’ filter to ‘Newbie’, and set the ‘Sport’ filter to ‘Sports Only’.
There are many different types of reloads. Some reloads are worth more than others, and each reload has its own unique set of rules that must be followed. Working out which reloads are the most worthwhile and how to complete them can be overwhelming for new matched bettors. However, all reloads have the same basic structure and learning to look at them through this structure will help you to work out how difficult each one is and how much each one is worth.
Every reload can be broken down into three fundamental parts: the qualifier, the trigger, and the reward. We’ll look at each part in turn.
The ‘qualifier’ is whatever action or actions you have to take to qualify for the reload.
The most common qualifier will be to place a qualifying bet, usually on a particular sport or event, and often with specific conditions like minimum or maximum odds. Other common qualifiers are to opt-in to a promotion, or to make a deposit.
Qualifiers can involve multiple actions. For example, you might need to opt in, make a deposit, and place a qualifying bet. You will need to complete every required action in order to qualify for the reload.
The ‘trigger’ is whatever conditions need to be met or whatever events need to occur in order to trigger the reload’s reward. In contrast to qualifiers, triggers are outside of your control.
Sometimes a reload will trigger automatically when the qualifier actions are completed. This is how most of the sign-up offers work - ‘Bet £X, Get £Y Free Bet”. The £Y free bet reward is triggered automatically when the £X qualifying bet is placed.
Automatic triggers are far less common in reloads than in sign-up offers. Most reload offers will require an additional condition to be met before the reward is released.
For example, a horse racing reload might offer you a free bet if you bet on a particular horse race and the horse that you backed finishes in second place. The trigger for this reload would be: “Your horse must finish second”. If the triggering event happens (i.e. if your horse finishes second), then you’ll receive the reload’s reward (i.e. you get a free bet).
Some reloads may have multiple triggering conditions that must all be met before a reward is activated.
For example, a common horse racing reload offers a free bet if the horse you back finishes in second place to the SP (starting price) favourite. The trigger for this reload has two conditions: 1. “Your horse must finish second.” and 2. “The horse with the lowest odds at the start of the race (SP favourite) must win the race.” The reward is only activated if both conditions are met.
Some triggers can be activated multiple times. A common example of this would be a football reload that offers a free bet for each goal scored by the team you back. The trigger for this reload would be: “Your team must score”. The reward is activated each time the triggering condition is met (i.e. every time your team scores, you get a free bet).
The ‘reward’ is simply whatever thing of value you get from completing the reload. Free bets are by far the most common rewards, but there are also other rewards like boosted winnings, casino bonuses or early payouts.
Note that rewards can also come with conditions that must be met. For example, a free bet might need to be placed on a specific event within a set range of odds, or casino bonuses might need to be wagered through a certain number of times
Most individual reloads don’t offer guaranteed profit and you shouldn’t be put off by this. Completing good value reloads consistently will make you a profit in the long term, even if an individual reload doesn’t offer an immediate guaranteed profit. This is the key difference between matched betting with reloads and simple gambling – with reloads, the odds are stacked in your favour.
Imagine placing a normal, unlaid £10 bet at odds of 2.0. If the bet wins, you earn £10. If the bet loses, you lose £10. Based on the odds alone and with no expert knowledge, you might expect to win maybe half of these bets, and therefore break even in the long term. In reality, bookies structure their odds such that a normal punter will lose more than they win. That’s how they make their money.
In contrast, matched betting with good quality reloads will make you money in the long term. Imagine a reload offers you a £10 free bet if you bet £10 and a certain condition is met. With a good match, you can lay your £10 qualifying bet for maybe a 10p overall loss. The condition might only be met one time in ten, but that one time will earn you a £10 free bet at a total cost of only £1 (10 bets with a 10p qualifying loss each). In the long term, this generates consistent profit.
Though the majority reloads do offer long-term value, some are definitely more valuable than others. It’s important to assess the value of reloads and prioritise them accordingly. You can do this by considering each element of its structure.
First, look at the reload’s qualifier. How much is the cost of entry? If qualifying involves placing bets, take a look at the markets involved and work out the qualifying loss you’d expect to take. If qualifying involves wagering a certain amount on casino games, consider how much you’d usually expect to lose in this process.
You should also consider the difficulty of meeting the qualifying conditions. If a reload requires advanced techniques like matched betting on accas or each way bets, you should pass these by until you are confident that you have the required skills. Even if you have advanced skills, the difficulty can still be a factor in valuing reloads - the less time and effort you have to invest in completing a reload, the higher its value.
Next, look at the reload’s trigger. The main thing you’re looking at here is how likely it is that the triggering conditions will be met. This is critical in assessing the value of a reload. It isn’t always simple to assess the likelihood of a trigger being met, but there are a few guidelines you can use.
You can look at the odds of the required outcome if these are available. For example, a reload might offer a free bet if a specific team wins a football match. To assess the likelihood of this trigger, you can simply look at the odds of that team winning. If the team are a strong favourite, then the trigger is more likely to come off, and vise versa if they are an underdog.
You should also consider how many triggering conditions need to be met. If multiple outcomes are required, this will significantly reduce the likelihood of the reload being triggered.
Finally, look at the trigger’s reward and think about how much it is worth. For example, if a reload’s reward is a £25 free bet, you might expect to take £20 of profit from this, or if a reload’s reward is a £10 casino bonus that has to be played through once, you might expect to take roughly £9.50 of profit from this, on average.
Once you’ve looked at all these elements, you can make an assessment of the value of the reload. Think about how much it costs you to qualify for the reload, how often you expect it to pay off, and how much you earn if the reload does pay off.
For example, if a reload will cost you a £1 qualifying loss to activate, has a trigger that you estimate will come off one time in four, and has a reward worth £20, this reload has a good value and is worth doing, because you’d expect to earn £20 for each £4 spent.
In practice, you’ll think a trigger is ‘quite likely’ or ‘not too likely’ more often than you’ll be able to put an exact figure on its likelihood, but this example should give you an idea of the basic principle of assessing value.