As I have said before, it’s important to find selections with similar odds on Betfair and bookie. If the back odds at bookie are significantly lower than Betfair lay odds (and they usually are), placing back and lay bets on the same selection results in a loss.
On the other hand, matched betting with back odds that are higher than lay odds results in a profit even without free bets or bonuses, but such situations occur rarely and they don’t last very long.
Use a Matched Betting Calculator to calculate the costs (or profits) of backing and laying the same selection caused by discrepancies in odds and Betfair commission. This calculator is also useful for calculating the most appropriate lay stake that equalizes any costs or profits among all outcomes of the event.
The ‘Return (%)’ field of the calculator shows a return percent for your selection of bets. The higher this number, the more money you make. For SR bonuses and qualifying bets look for a return of 92% or more, but for SNR free bets look for a return of 75% or more.
Finding similar odds with a bookmaker and Betfair can sometimes take a while, but don’t be too discouraged by that. You don’t have to find absolutely identical odds since you are making a solid profit from a free bet or bonus anyway.
The best places to look for fine odds are soccer and horse racing markets. If you are new to betting exchanges, I recommend that you stick with soccer since in horse racing markets the odds can be extremely volatile.
Other Factors to Consider
The majority of bookies require that the qualifying bet is placed at odds of 2.0 or higher, though there are some exceptions.
If the bet you’re placing count towards any rollover requirement, choose small odds (2.0 – 2.5) to meet the requirement more easily.
Choose rather high odds (4.0 – 6.0) for extracting free bets as a higher percentage of them can be extracted with high odds.
The Order of Bets
Great matched betting opportunities usually don’t last very long, thus it’s important to act quickly and place the second bet very soon after the first one. To ensure that, always place the first bet with a bookie.
You may not be familiar with the way bets have to be placed with different bookies, but you’ll be able to quickly place a bet with Betfair.
The odds tend to move more gradually in Betfair, whereas in bookmakers they change in larger steps. So if you get caught by a change in odds, it will be more gradual in Betfair.
And finally, it is also safer. In case of a computer or internet connection failure, your risk is smaller if you have only placed the back bet as Betfair liability is almost always larger than your back stake.