Ask a question
With so much talk of student debt in the news, you’d have to be mad to start betting while at uni, right? It doesn’t seem like a wise move for the financially squeezed!
Gambling sites are often warned about, and with good reason. Things can get out of control quickly, and before you know it you’re in financial trouble that can spin out of control.
However, if you wanted to walk on the wild side, without exposing yourself to many of the pitfalls of taking a punt, there is an option you may want to consider.
It’s called “matched betting”, and is a risk-lite (risk-free, if you do it right!) method of making extra money to top up your finances. The practice involves playing the firms literally at their own game.
But how does it work, and is it a good way of making money for students?
Read our 5 step guide below which helps you make up your own mind…
Matched Betting is easy to do
One issue people have with matched betting is that it seems “too good to be true”. It is straightforward, but aren’t there sharks lurking in those wonga-laden waters?
Here’s the thing. It’s pretty easy to get started. You don’t have to be a seasoned better to understand the concept. Matched betting is basically betting against yourself.
You need to know a couple of details initially. There’s a “back bet”, where you’re betting for something, and a “lay bet” where you’re betting against it.
By taking up “free bet” offers from betting exchanges such as Betfair or Coral you can make a guaranteed profit by betting both ways.
What does that mean though…?
Because a bet relies on a situation going one way or the other, you will definitely win as you’ve covered all options. That’s matched betting in a nutshell.
With matched betting the outcome is virtually a dead cert. Deduct the 5% you’ll lose when the company take their share and that’s a whole lot of winnings right there.
This is the best part. These winnings are tax free and engaging in the practice doesn’t affect your credit score. So you won’t get in trouble with the authorities.
If you find the business of calculating odds mind-boggling then online tools can take the weight off your bet-hungry brain. Be vigilant yourself though!
That leads us nicely from the pros to the cons…
It’s not entirely without risk
It won’t surprise you to hear this, but matched betting is not a fool proof way of making money. You’ve got to be careful and research what’s out there thoroughly.
Get your thinking cap on. Read the Ts and Cs as would be expected with any financial arrangement. There are time restrictions on your free bet, for example.
Also you have to pay to play, meaning a small qualifying bet is needed from you when you sign up, and that isn’t free.
The big thing is in some ways the most obvious… you must be over 18 to gamble! And remember you have to visit a betting exchange, not any old betting shop.
You can get confused by things like Unmatched or Partially Matched bets. These can certainly throw the uninitiated, and are worth reading up on before you get involved.
It’s approved by the industry
You’d think matched betting would aggravate the betting industry, as it takes advantage of their various offers. The truth is they don’t mind.
This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good as in it’s all nice and legal. Bad as in if you get into financial difficulty the big boys won’t be there to help you.
Matched betting is seen as a hassle-free method of gambling, but that’s only the case if you stick entirely to the instructions. There’s risk in everything of course, so ultimately the buck stops with for you.
Should you decide to take the plunge, be very careful and be aware of what you’re getting into. You’re there to have fun and make spare cash, not to do any real gambling.