Free Bet Strategy

free bet strategy

The strategy for using free bets when matched betting differs slightly compared to placing qualifying bets. The main difference is that it is generally recommended to use your free bets on selections which have higher odds. We do this as we are able to extract more cash profit from the free bet compared to if we used our free bet on lower odds.

With free bets, the stake is generally not returned in any winnings. Therefore, using higher odds allows us to see a bigger return from which we can extract more profit from by backing and laying our bet.

Free Bets: Use higher odds for a greater profit

Let's take a look at a few examples of using a £20 free bet at different odds to see what the returns would be.


back odds

lay odds

exchange liability

free bet profit

Example 1





Example 2





Example 3





Product 4





>> Want to try it yourself? Try our free matched betting calculator <<

As you can see, the amount of cash we can extract from the £20 free bet increases significantly when we use our free bet on a selection with higher odds.

When using our free bet at odds of 1.5, we are only able to extract £6.34 from our £20 free bet. However, by using odds of 12.0, we're able to extract over 2.5 times as much profit and make £16.79.

As a general rule, we recommend using your free bets on selections with odds of 4/1 (5.0) or greater. A good match at these odds should result in being able to extract 80% of the free bet value as cash.

Disadvantage of using higher odds

One disadvantage of using higher odds for your free bets is that the liability of your lay bet will be higher. This means that you will need a greater amount of available funds in your exchange account to place your lay bet.

If we look at the table above, when using odds of 1.5 for our free bet, our liability is just £3.67. However, when using odds of 12.0, our liability is £203.21.

If you have the funds available to lay your bet at at higher odds then it is highly recommended as you should make a lot more profit from your free bet. However, the size of your bank will ultimately determine what odds you can use for your free bet. As you complete more offers, you should be able to build up your bank which will allow you to back and lay bets at higher odds and extract more profit from your free bets. This is one reason why it is important not to spend all of your matched betting profits and to reinvest them into other offers to help you build your bank faster.


You will be able to extract more profit from placing your free bets on selections with higher odds. The higher the odds generally means the greater the profit and we recommend odd of 4/1 (5.0) or greater. 

Laying bets at higher odds requires a bigger bank and more available funds in your exchange account.