I bet a lot of you are new to betting. Its highly likely you have never placed a bet in your life and not even sure where to start! If you know betting but not sure what Matched Betting is, be sure to check out my brief introduction here.

Matched Betting is 100% risk-free but to fully understand it, we need to learn the mechanics of betting. In this post, you will learn what bookmaker odds are and what a free bet is.

What Is a Bookmaker?

A bookmaker is a company that takes bets based on calculated odds. If the bet wins, they payout winnings.

The bookmaker always sets these odds in their favour. This is why the ‘house’ (in this case the bookmaker) always wins, they always have a slight edge over the customer that bets.

There are physical shops and online websites where people can place their bets. Some of the bigger bookmakers you might see on the high street include Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill.

What Are Odds?

Odds are simply the probability if an event happening. Odds determine how much we can potentially win from our bet. If a poor performing team played a well-performing team, we would receive higher odds for the poor performing team. The opposite would be true for the well-performing team as they would be the favourite and therefore attract more bets.

In Matched Betting, we always use the decimal format of odds, for example 1.2, 3.9, 12.0.

If we bet £10 on Liverpool to win at odds of 2.0 we could end up with two potential outcomes:

Outcome a) Liverpool lose or draw; the bookmaker will keep our £10 bet and we are £10 down.

Outcome b) Liverpool win; we would work out our winnings by multiplying the stake (£10) by the odds (2.0) given by the bookmaker. We would win £20 back which would leave us with £10 profit.

Some bookmakers represent their odds as fractional, for example, 1/2, 6/2 and 10/1. Fractional odds work differently to decimal so we’ll leave that for another day. If you come across fractional odds at a bookmaker make sure you change them to decimal in the settings.

What Is A Free Bet?

A free bet is a reward for placing a bet with a bookmaker, and to entice us to gamble more. A free bet is placed just like a regular bet, except if we win our free bet we do not get our stake back. This is known as stake not returned.

If using our free bet Liverpool loose at odds 2.0, we would loose the free bet. We don’t lose or gain any money.

If Liverpool do win, the bet would return £10. This is the profit element of the bet which is £20 winning minus the £10 free bet.

Using free bets are how we make a profit in Matched Betting. This will be explained in further blog posts.

In the next post, I will explain what Betting Exchanges are, as this is what we use to cover all outcomes of a bet.

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P.P.S If you have any questions shoot me a comment below.


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