Matched Betting UK – The Best Matched Betting Sites In 2019
Last updated & tested: 2020-01-06
What are the best matched betting sites?
In truth, there are very few of the best online bookmakers that could be considered true matched betting websites. For the most part, matched betting involves using sites designed for other purposes, primarily:
- Bookmakers. There are literally hundreds of different bookmakers online, from the obscure to the more well-known. Bookmakers are the cornerstone of any matched bettor’s daily life; the more accounts you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to profit. You will use your bookmaker accounts to qualify for promotions and offers, which you can then use to generate profit.
- Exchanges. There are five major exchanges that you can use for matched betting: Betfair Exchange, Matchbook, Smarkets, Ladbrokes Exchange, and Betdaq.
Both bookmakers and exchanges are designed primarily for standard betting purposes, so they’re not really true ‘matched betting sites’ – though they will play a fundamental role in your matched betting activities.
Most of the time, when people look for a matched betting website, they’re actually thinking of dedicated websites that provide matched betting services. Be sure to read our matched betting guide to find out more.
Best betting sites for matched betting 2019
What’s the difference between bookmakers/exchanges and true matched betting websites?
Unlike bookmakers and exchanges, websites that offer matched betting services are designed purely for the purposes of matched betting. These sites often provided dedicated matched betting tools – such as oddsmatchers, matched betting calculators and profit trackers – and list daily updates of the offers currently available with bookmakers. In addition, some sites will allow you to link your exchange account to the service itself; this allows you to place lay bets automatically, rather than having to find the right fixture and match in the exchange independently.
The majority of matched betting websites will charge a fee for their service, though this fee should be easily covered by your overall matched betting profits.
Are dedicated matched betting sites worth using?
It depends entirely on your preferences.
It is entirely possible to matched bet without using any of the dedicated matched betting online sites – though it is more time-consuming. Rather than using an oddsmatcher – which automatically scans bookmakers and exchanges in order to find close odds matches – you will have to perform this element of matched betting for yourself, which can be laborious. However, if you’d rather your matched betting profits go into your pocket rather than paying for matched betting services, then you can go it alone if you prefer. You’ll need to use one of the free matched betting calculators to calculate your lay stakes, but these can be found online with relative ease.
Given that we prefer to be inclusive at OpenOdds.com, so we’re going to primarily focus on those who have chosen not to subscribe to paid matched betting services, and seek to determine which bookmakers and you will need to use to when matched betting online. Check out our article on whether a matched betting automatcher can help you out.
Matched Betting Sites: Bookmakers
Before we assess the retinue of bookmakers suitable for matched betting in the UK, we first need to discuss a rather thorny issue: how bookmakers feel about matched betting.
For the most part, bookmakers dislike matched betting, as it tends to cost them money. Bookmakers also lay their bets, and if you consistently take close odds matches (which is, after all, one of the best ways of securing profit while matched betting), then the bookmakers’ ability to make a profit is vastly reduced. In the worst case scenarios, from a bookmakers’ perspective, matched bettors actually “take value” – i.e. matched bettors cost bookmakers money.
As a result, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of bookmakers greatly dislike matched bettors. If a bookmaker analyses your betting habits and sees a pattern of close matches and regular use of offers, they will likely “gub” your account.
What does gubbing mean?
If a bookmaker gubs your account, they are essentially restricting you from using their promotions in future. You can still place bets, but you won’t qualify for some of the best sports betting promotions, bonus bets, risk-free bets, Best Odds Guaranteed, and so on and so forth.
Given that matched bettors need promotional offers to generate a profit, when a bookmaker gubs your account, that’s essentially game over for your ability to draw a profit from that bookmaker.
How do you find out you have been gubbed?
Most bookmakers will send an email or load a message to your online account if you are gubbed. However, some bookmakers will “stealth gub” – essentially restrict your ability to qualify for promotions without informing you of this fact. Often, stealth gubbing is identified only when a bettor tries to qualify for a bonus bet, only to discover the bonus bet is not credited as expected. Thankfully, though, stealth gubbings are rare – the vast majority of bookmakers will directly inform you if your account is now restricted.
Can gubbing be reversed?
There are rumours that Coral are willing to reverse gubbings if you continue to bet normally, as a “mug” punter, in the months following a gubbing. However, there are no guarantees that this will work, so it’s entirely at your discretion if you wish to give it a try. Coral aside, gubbing is generally seen to be irreversible.
Can gubbing be prevented?
Unfortunately, there’s no firm consensus as to whether gubbings can be prevented. Some matched bettors use “mug bets”; essentially, bets that they place to try and make it seem like their betting activity is not solely based on matched betting offers and promotions. Most matched bettors will still lay their mug bets, taking a small loss for the purpose of preserving the account.
Does mug betting work?
It might. Unfortunately, there’s no way to be definitive. Some matched bettors believe that mug betting has helped them to keep their accounts healthy for as long as possible; others say it’s a waste of time that just eats into your profits.
If you do want to try matched betting, bearing in mind there’s no guarantee it will necessary preserve your account, here’s a few tips for doing so:
- Don’t take close matches. When placing standard matched bets, most matched bettors will look for odds matches of over 95%. However, when mug betting, look for matches between 85% and 90%. The loss you’ll make will be higher when doing this, but any match over 95% will arouse suspicion even if it’s not part of an offer, so go for lower matches.
- Choose long odds. There’s little point in mug betting if you’re just going to take value from the bookmaker with your bet, so look for longer odds – anything over about 5 (4/1, in fractional odds) is preferred.
- Mix and match mug and matched bets. To blend in, most matched bettors will place both mug and standard bets interchangeably, as this helps to prevent an obvious pattern from forming. Some matched bettors place one mug bet for every matched bet they place, which may be worth considering – though do remember there’s no guarantee that mug betting will help to protect your account at all.
Do all bookmakers gub?
Yes, though the speed at which bookmakers gub does vary – some have a reputation for gubbing very quickly, others take longer.
Which bookmakers are quick to gub?
- Betway have a reputation for being quick to gub; some people find they are gubbed immediately after the sign up offer.
- MoPlay also gub relatively quickly, especially if you use their weekly bet club – known as “Club MoPro” – on a regular basis.
It is, however, important to note that the bookmakers above only have a reputation for being quick to gub – you may find that your experience varies.
Which bookmakers are slow to gub?
- Paddy Power are thought to be relatively slow to gub.
- 888sport also have a reputation for allow matched bettors to use their site for long periods of time.
However, if you qualify for a “Best Odds Guaranteed” on a horse racing, matched bettors report that a gubbing can swiftly follow. Given there’s no way of avoiding Best Odds Guaranteed, this can make the account a little more unpredictable.
Which bookmakers are best for matched betting in general?
For a bookmaker to be considered good for matched betting purposes, they need to provide a wide range of promotional offers – and the following have a reputation for doing just that:
- Coral / Ladbrokes. Both brands provide weekly offers, and Coral provides a bonus bet club that many matched bettors use to great effect.
- MoPlay. For as long as you can keep the account healthy, MoPlay tend to provide weekly offers as well as their weekly acca bet club.
- Paddy Power. Again, weekly offers, and a lucrative bonus bet club – the Paddy Power Rewards Club offers a £10 bonus bet if you qualify each week, which compares favourably to the more standard £5 per week.
- Betfair Sportsbook. Regular weekly offers, particularly on football, and potentially-lucrative ITV horse racing offers every weekend.
- Betway. For as long as you can keep the account healthy, Betway is well worth using for matched betting purposes, thanks to their weekly offers and a £25 acca bonus bet club.
Matched Betting Sites: Exchanges
The second half of the equation when matched betting on sites is your exchange. There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating an exchange for matched betting purposes:
- Liquidity. Exchanges allow people to bet against other people rather than a bookmaker; the amount of bets on a particular market is referred to as “liquidity”. If liquidity is high, then you can place your bets and have them matched with ease – usually instantaneously, in fact. However, if liquidity is low, there is a risk that your lay bets won’t match, which would mean you cannot generate profit.
- Security. Most matched bettors hold the bulk of their bankroll in their exchanges, so security is of utmost importance. In particular, two-factor authentication (2FA) is highly prized, thanks to the extra security steps it offers.
- Commission. All exchanges charge commission on both back and lay bets, which can eat into your profits. The lower the commission, the more you will make from matched betting offers.
Now let’s take a look at how the exchanges stack up:
- Betfair Exchange. A fantastic exchange that is easy to use, but does carry a significant downside: 5% commission. However, Betfair Exchange does offer high liquidity and 2FA authentication, which many matched bettors feel balances out the commission.
- Smarkets. Smarkets is arguably the most popular matched betting exchange, with just 2% commission, an easy-to-use interface, 2FA, and good liquidity across a range of markets. Smarkets also offer pre-arranged accas almost every day, which helps matched bettors to qualify for acca-based bet clubs with ease.
- Matchbook. A high-liquidity exchange with just 1.5% commission on horse racing, but without the reassurance of 2FA (though Matchbook have stated they are working to implement 2FA in future). Many matched bettors use Matchbook for horse racing due to the low commission, but use another exchange (or exchanges) for non-horse racing bets.
- Betdaq. Betdaq has become more popular in recent years, but still lags behind the big three in terms of liquidity. However, 2FA is available, and the liquidity is generally good.
Ladbrokes Exchange. In truth, Ladbrokes’ exchange is not commonly used in matched betting circles for fears of using the exchange leading to a gubbing on the (often lucrative) Ladbrokes sportsbook. The liquidity is also questionable outside of major events.
Do exchanges also gub matched bettors?
No, exchanges do not gub matched bettors. For one thing, exchanges do not offer matched betting offers; they are simply where you lay your bookmaker bets. Furthermore, most exchanges actively pursue matched bettors, as matched bettors help to keep the activity in their exchanges high, which benefits the exchange as a whole.
Hopefully, the above will help you to decide which websites you need an account with in order to partake in no risk matched betting in the future.