Matched Betting Automatcher & Calculator 2019 – Use For Free

Last updated & tested: 2019-09-19

The success of any matched betting attempt depends heavily on the ability to find “close” odds matches – i.e. back and lay odds that are as close together as possible. There are two key reasons why “close” matches are crucial:

  • Minimising qualifying losses. When matched betting, you will usually make a loss on the bet you place to qualify for a sports betting bonus. The closer the back and lay odds are, the lower your qualifying loss will be. Given that you have to subtract your qualifying loss from the profit you are able to gain from the bonus bet, the lower the qualifying loss, the better off you are.
  • Boosting profits from bonus bets. Close matches are also crucial if you are looking to get the most profit from your bonus bets; while you can generate a profit regardless of how close the back and lay odds are, you’ll always be able to get more if the odds are relatively close together.

However, while the importance of close odds when matched betting is unequivocal, it does nevertheless pose a problem in how to use this at the best online bookmakers, and this why reading our matched betting guide could be a great idea.

Best betting sites for matched betting 2019

Bookmaker Our
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New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
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How can you find close odds?


There are, after all, thousands of different markets available at any one time. It’s simply impossible for any one person to cross-reference all the odds, for every market, every time a qualifying or bonus bet needs to be placed.

Thankfully, there is a solution: you could use a matched betting automatcher.

What is a matched betting automatcher?

Automatchers – which are also known as ‘oddsmatchers’ – are designed to make the process of finding the closest possible matches as simple as possible.

Rather than manually cross-referencing odds between your chosen bookmaker and exchange, an automatcher does the work for you. You can select the bookmakers that you wish to see odds for, as well as your preferred exchange, and then let the automatcher find the current closest matches.

The closeness of the match is usually indicated as a percentage; if a match is 100%, then it means the back and lay odds are identical. Any match above 95% is usually suitable for matched betting purposes.

Does an automatcher just find close matches?


No; in addition, automatchers will also perform the calculation you need to place your bet – they’re a kind of two-in-one tool, acting as both a matched betting finder and a matched betting calculator. There are three different calculations offered by any decent automatcher:

  • ‘Normal/Qualifying’ – this setting allows you to place a qualifying bet. The automatcher will tell you how much your qualifying loss will be for that particular bet.
  • ‘Stake Not Returned (SNR)’ – this setting is used for placing bonus bets where the stake is not returned, so the automatcher will calculate your profit.
  • ‘Stake Returned (SR)’ – on the rare occasion where you find a bonus bet that will return your stake, this setting allows you to calculate your profit.

Some calculators also allow you to select a “risk-free bet” setting for no risk matched betting, but this is not universally available.

How do you use an automatcher?

When you have found a close match, you simply need to:

  1. Input your stake – be that a stake for a qualifying bet or a bonus bet amount
  2. Input your commission – you can input commission for both your back and lay, but unless you’re placing your back bet at an exchange (which there is rarely any need for you to do when matched betting), you can just input your chosen exchange’s commission for the lay bet
  3. View the completed calculation – the automatcher will tell you what your potential profit or loss is, depending on the type of bet you are placing, and what your lay stake will be
  4. Visit the bookmaker. Place your back bet with your chosen bookmaker as dictated by the automatcher.
  5. Place your lay stake. You can then open your exchange and lay the amount as suggested by the automatcher.

Regarding the fourth step, it’s worth noting that some automatchers also link to your exchange and allow you to lay your bet directly through the matcher itself.

Is a matched betting automatcher free to use?

There are free automatchers available online, but they have significant pros and cons.

Pros of using a free automatcher

  • Serviceable. Most free matched betting automatchers can indeed find close matches, which is far quicker and simpler than searching for close matches yourself.
  • Free. If you’re not having to pay to use the automatcher, your profits are entirely yours.

Cons of using a free automatcher

  • Limited. Paid automatchers offer a greater ability to filter your search results; for example, you can select specific markets (such as Correct Score or Half-Time/Full-Time) with ease. Free automatchers rarely allow for such in-depth filtering.
  • Slow. The major downsides of free automatchers is that they are fairly slow, which can mean that the odds shift before you have chance to place your back and lay bets. This issue is particularly noticeable with horse racing, where the odds are prone to rapid changes anyway.

Nevertheless, while free automatchers do have their downsides, they can be helpful – especially if you are just getting started with matched betting, and are not yet sure you wish to pay for a subscription service.

Are there alternatives to using an automatcher?


Thus far, we have discussed manually finding close matches rather negatively – and justifiably, to an extent. However, while finding close matches manually is time-consuming, that’s not to say it’s impossible.

To find close matches, you simply need to load a fixture or event on both the bookmaker and the exchange. You can then cross-reference the odds and identify a close match between the odds.

You will, however, still need to calculate your lay stake – which means you will need to use a matched betting calculator.

How does a matched betting calculator work?

Calculators take the stress out of working out how much you need to place, and lay, when placing any bet. To perform a calculation, you will need to:

  • Select your setting – the same settings as described above are available on most calculators, so you would choose from ‘normal/qualifying’, ‘SNR’, or ‘SR’ depending on the bet you wish to place.
  • Input your back stake – for example, if you need to place a £10 bet to qualify for a bonus bet, you would just enter “10” in the “back stake” field.
  • Input the back odds – enter the odds you have found at the bookmaker for your chosen event
  • Input the lay odds – enter the odds you have found at the exchange for your chosen event
  • Input your commission – if you’re betting with a bookmaker, this will just be for your lay bet. Only input a figure for back commission if you are placing your back bet at another exchange.
  • View your lay stake – with the above information, the calculator will run automatically and display how much you need to lay. You can then place your lay bet as normal at the exchange.

The outcome from manually finding close matches and placing your bets is always the same; automatchers just help to speed the process up.

Is it possible to use a matched betting calculator for free?

Yes, there are plenty of free calculators online, all of which work identically to the calculators on paid-for subscription services.

Which is the best choice: paid automatchers, free automatchers, or a matched betting calculator?

It’s entirely up to you. Both methods result in the exact same outcome, albeit with a few extra steps involved if you opt to manually find your own matches. There’s no “right” answer here; you have to choose depending on your priorities.

If you’re short on time, a paid automatcher might be the best choice for you – paid automatchers are quick, efficient, offer the most up-to-date odds, and most offer the ability to place your lay directly through the matcher.

Alternatively, if you would rather avoid paying a subscription for a paid automatcher, free automatchers and manually searching for matches also work well. The outcome is always the same with each choice; only the methodology differs.

However, whichever route you choose, we at want to ensure all goes well, so let’s look further into tips for each route. For clarity, we’ll group all automatchers together, paid and free; the basic functionality is the same, so the tips are always relevant to both.

Tips for using automatchers

  • Refresh constantly. Odds shift quickly; a match that is viable one minute may not be viable the next. As a result, it is best to only use automatchers when you are ready to place your back bookmaker bet immediately.
  • Check the odds. While most automatchers will update relatively quickly, there is always the chance that the odds at the bookmaker or exchange will shift before you have the chance to place your bet. It’s therefore important to always cross-reference between the odds that an automatcher is displaying and what the odds actually are at the relevant site.

Tips for using matched betting calculators

  • Be wary of default commission. When you open a calculator, the commission will often be set to a default number – 5% on the lay is common, as this is Betfair’s commission. You will therefore need to check the commission is relevant to your chosen exchange each time.
  • Check the setting. The settings on a matched betting calculator function as instructions as to the type of calculation that is being performed. If the wrong setting is selected, the wrong lay stake will be calculated, which could result in costly errors.

Frequently asked questions

What are the colours on a calculators and automatchers?

The vast majority of calculators and automatchers will colour-code the back and lay sections so they are easier to separate. The section for the back odds and stake will be blue, and the lay odds section will be pink. The same colour coding is used by Betfair and Matchbook, which can help make it easier to check you are placing the correct type of bet.

However, Smarkets and Betdaq use entirely different colours for their back and lay sections, so it’s always important to check the numbers rather than relying on the colour coding alone!

Can automatchers and calculators work for accumulators?

In matched betting, accumulator calculations are far more complex than a simple back-and-lay, so you cannot use an automatcher for this purpose. You will need a specific tool to create and lay accumulators, most of which require a subscription fee to access.

There is, however, an exception. Smarkets, Betfair, and Matchbook all occasionally offer ready-made accumulators. These accumulators will be a single market, usually entitled something like: “Will Team A, Team B, and Team C win on [Date]”? The options available will be ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

You can then create an accumulator that is the same as the pre-built options, choosing Team A, Team B, Team C, and ensuring each event is on the date as noted in the pre-built accumulators title. The combined odds of the accumulator function as your back odds. Your lay odds will be whatever the odds are to lay ‘Yes’ (not to back ‘no’). You can then run a calculator to determine your lay stake, as normal.

However, this is considered fairly advanced matched betting, so use with extreme caution. In particular, be cautious to never back “no” – doing so can mean that if one of the teams in your matched betting accumulator draws, you lose both your bookmaker bet and your exchange bet. Always lay “yes”!

Are automatchers and calculators reliable?

For the most part, yes – especially calculators, which have relatively few “moving parts”. However, it is important to remember that these matched betting tools can only do so much, and you will still need to check – and then check again – that you have input odds and commission correctly, and then that your back and lay bets have been placed successfully. Essentially, use automatchers and calculators with extreme caution at all times.

Should I use an automatcher or a calculator for in-play bets?

Automatchers do not work for in-play bets, so you would always need to find the closest match manually and input into a calculator instead.

In conclusion

Hopefully, the above has helped to explain the basics of automatchers and calculators, and how these tools can be utilised in order to help your overall matched betting activities.


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