Bonus Bagging Calculator

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Bonus Bagging Calculator

Bonus Bagging Calculator. This in depth post is all about the world of Bonus Bagging Calculators.

Matched Betting

Matched betting, bonus bagging, back and lay bet matching and double betting. They are all the same thing, but what do these terms mean exactly? Let’s take a trip into the lucrative world of Matched Betting and find out exactly what it is and how it works!

No Risk Matched Betting

Before we jump in head first, it is important to realise that matched betting does not involve any gambling. When done properly and using a matched betting service and a bonus bagging calculator, there is no risk involved, if you find yourself in a situation where your money is at risk, you have either made a mistake, or you are gambling. Now that’s out of the way lets actually find out what it’s all about!

Bonus Bagging

Matched betting or bonus bagging is the process of extracting guaranteed profits from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers and betting websites. This risk free technique uses mathematical equations to ensure that a profit is made no matter the outcome of an event; and with bookmakers willing to spend an average of £300 to land a new customer there is no shortage of opportunities. A typical offer will usually require a new customer to place an initial bet with their own money in order to receive a free bet to the same value of the first bet, capped at a certain amount. A matched bettor will bet on every outcome of a sporting event to ensure that a profit is guaranteed. Although a slight loss is usually made on the initial “qualifying bet”, this amount is made up and surpassed with the profits made from the following free bet. Sounds complicated right? But it’s really not that difficult to get to grips with. Lets take a deeper look.

Betting Exchanges

In order to take advantage of this risk free technique we need to use regular betting websites along with a special type of betting website, known as a betting exchange. Betfair is the most well known betting exchange, but others include Smarkets, Betdaq and Matchbook and Ladbrokes Exchange. These exchanges work differently to regular bookmakers. Instead of betting against the company, we bet against other customers like ourselves and the exchange takes a small commission from our winnings. This model allows us to effectively take the role of bookmaker and accept bets from other customers. When we do this we are placing what is known as a “lay” bet, we are betting that an event won’t happen and another customer is betting that the same event will happen. When we take advantage of a free bet offered by a bookmaker website we must use one of these exchange websites to “lay” off the free bet that we place at the regular betting websites. A “lay” bet is a bet that something WON’T happen, for example if we “lay” Leicester, in the match Leicester vs Man City, then we are saying that we bet Leicester won’t win (ie. Man City will win or the match will end in a draw).

This is important to us as placing a “back” bet (a regular bet) at the regular betting website and a “lay” bet at the exchange allows us to cover every eventuality in a sporting event, so that no matter what happens one of our bets wins, either our “back” bet or our “lay” bet. As the bet placed at the bookmaker website has been done so with free money, we are guaranteed to make a profit.

This is great news, however, there are important factors that have to be taken into consideration before we go ahead and place our bets:

1. What should I bet on?
2. How much should my “back” bet be?
3. How much do I need to “lay”?

Lets address each question individually.

What Should I Bet on?

In order to make a profit we can bet on almost anything. But this isn’t really what we are after. We want to make the maximum amount of profit possible. We do this by finding “a close match”. A close match is a sporting event where the back odds at the bookmaker website are as close as possible to the lay odds at the exchange. The closer the odds, the more profit we can extract. On rare occasions the odds at the bookmaker website might actually be higher than the lay odds at the exchange. This is known as an ARBRITAGE opportunity. Money can be made from these opportunities even without free bets, however taking advantage of these opportunities can often result in our accounts being banned by the bookmakers. For this reason it is advised that you avoid placing such bets.

How to find a close match

There are 2 ways that we can find a close match to bet on, the free method and the paid for method. I will go through both methods and explain how the paid for method actually works our cheaper than the free method (I know that doesn’t make sense, but I will explain).

  1. Free Method

    This service-free method takes a bit of time but is still profitable. It simply involves you having 2 web pages open, the betting website with the free bet and your chosen betting exchange. Now you go through the popular upcoming sporting events and compare the back odds from the bookmaker website to the lay odds from the betting exchange until you find a close enough match. How close is close enough? A good match should return at least 75% of the free bet if the stake is not returned and at least 95% if the stake is returned. We work out our profits, along with how much we should back and lay with a special Bonus Bagging Calculator, which we will look at shortly. But first lets look at the paid method.

  2. Paid Method

    This method is quicker, easier, and makes more profit. For this method we use a special piece of software that compares the odds from thousands of sporting events, returning the most profitable events and allowing us to sort them to match our specific needs. This allows us to find events quickly and efficiently and maximize profits. Now I mentioned previously that the paid method is cheaper than the free method. The reason I say this is because the amount of profit you make from using the software will be significantly greater than that gained from manually searching for close matches. This might not be the case if you are doing one offer a month. But if you are doing more than about 5 offers a month (which you will once you see how much money there is to be made) the greater profits gained by using the software will more than cover the cost of using the software.

How do I know how much to lay at the exchange?

Once we have found a close match, we need to work out how much we need to bet. Our back bet (the free bookmaker bet) is dictated by the amount of the free bet. If we have a £25 free bet, then this is the amount that we will be placing at the bookmaker website. To work out how much we need to lay at the betting exchange we must use a special Bonus Bagging Calculator.

Bonus Bagging Calculator

There are various Bonus Bagging Calculators available on the web; they all do the same thing, a free version can be found at OddsMonkey (sign up to free trial for unlimited access to the calculator). To work out how much we need to lay at the betting exchange, we simply fill in all the information we have.

Bonus Bagging Calculator explained

Lets take a closer look at the calculator. Firstly we need to select the type of bet we are placing, lets take a look at the different bet types.

  • NORMAL qualifier/arb

    We select this option when we are placing a regular bet with our own money. This calculation takes into account that your bet stake will be returned in any winnings. We use this when we are placing initial bets that qualify us to receive a free bet. We can also use this bet if we want to take advantage of arbitrage situations with when we aren’t taking advantage of free bet offers.

  • FREE BET (SNR) Stake Not Returned

    We select this option when we are using a free bet, specifically when the terms state that the free bet stake is not returned in any winnings. For example, if we placed a £10 free bet on Liverpool to win at odds of ½ (1.5), and the free bet won, we would only receive £5 back. As opposed to receiving £15 back had we placed the bet with our own money.

  • FREE BET (SR) Stake Returned

    This option needs to be selected if the stake from the free bet is returned in any winnings. Most offers don’t require the use of this option.

Once we have selected which type of bet we are placing, we simply plug in all the information we have into the calculator.

  • BOOKMAKER STAKE = The free bet amount
  • BOOKMAKER ODDS = Back odds from the bookmaker website
  • EXCHANGE ODDS = The lay odds from the exchange
  • EXCHANGE COMMISSION = Commission charged by exchange

Once you have selected your bet type and plugged in all the information, press enter and you will be provided with the information you need to place your lay bet.

Bonus Bagging Calculator Liability

Lets take a look at a scenario where we are placing a £10 free bet (SNR) with back odds of 5.1, lay odds of 5.2 and an exchange commission of 5%. We can see that we need to lay £7.96 at the exchange, and there is a liability of £33.43. Liability is the amount of we will lose at the exchange if our lay bet loses. With this in mind, we must make sure that we have at least this amount in our exchange betting account in order to place our bet. We can also see our potential profits depending on where the bet wins. The calculator makes sure that the profit is equal no matter where the bet wins (or as close to equal as possible +/- a penny).

Matched Bet Finder

In order to make money from bonus bagging, we need to find opportunities to take advantage of. A quick Google search for free bets will bring up some immediate offers. Its very important that you read the terms and conditions of each offer very carefully to ensure that you receive your free bets. Alternatively, an oddsmatching software service such as OddsMonkey will supply daily offers with step-by-step instructions on how to complete them.

Matched Betting Guide

The easiest way to see exactly how matched betting works is to go through a real life step-by-step example. The most common and easiest type of offer to take advantage of is a bookmaker sign up offer. These are normally given out in the form of a free bet when you sign up and make an account with them. However it isn’t usually simple as signing up and them giving you the free bet to use, there will be terms specific to that offer that you will have to follow in order to receive the free bet. Lets take a look at the sign up offer for the bookmaker Stan James in order to see exactly how this works.

The Stan James sign up offer is advertised as “bet £10 get £10”, sounds simple enough, lets take a closer look at the terms and conditions. Looking at the terms and conditions, we can see the following pieces of important information:

  • Stan James will match the stake of your 1st Qualifying Bet with a free bet up to £10.This tells us that the maximum amount of free bet we can qualify for is £10, and in order to qualify for this £10 free bet we first have to place a bet of £10 with our own money.
  • A “Qualifying Bet” is a bet at odds of 4/5 (1.80) or greater on a sports betting event of your choice.This tells us that in order to qualify for the free bet, our first bet that we place with our own money, has to be placed on an event with odds of at least 4/5 (1.80). If we place our first bet at odds below 4/5 (1.80) we will not receive the free bet.
  • Any returns from a free bet are paid exclusive of the stake.This is telling us that when we use the free bet, it doesn’t act in the same as a bet placed with our own money. When we place a bet with our own money, our initial stake is returned with any winnings. However when we are using this particular free bet, we will only receive the winnings and not the stake (in the event of our free bet winning). For example, if we placed the £10 free bet on Liverpool to win at odds of ½ (1.5), and the free bet won, we would only receive £5 back. As opposed to receiving £15 back had we placed the bet with our own money. This is very important to us, and I will explain why in just a moment.

So to summarise, in order to receive our £10 free bet, we first need to place a bet of £10 of our own money at odds of at least 4/5 (1.80).


Now we know what we need to do in order to receive the free bet, we need to find an event to place our qualifying bet on. Use your oddsmatching software or manually search for a close match at odds of 1.80 or above. Its worth noting at this point that the closer our match is to the minimum odds (1.80) the less liability we need in our exchange account. This isn’t important if you have hundreds of pounds to invest, but if you are on a budget you will need to keep your matches as close to the minimum odds as possible for your qualifying bets.

Once you have found a suitable match, go to your Bonus Bagging Calculator. Select NORMAL qualifier/arb then plug in the details of your bet. Make sure you have enough money in your exchange account and that the odds at the bookmaker and the exchange websites haven’t changed. Once everything is ready, place your bookmaker back bet followed by your exchange lay bet (using the lay amount provided by the Bonus Bagging Calculator). Wait for the bets to settle and Stan James will reward you with your £10 free bet! This may take up to 24 hours.

Once we receive our £10 free bet we must repeat the process, however this time there will be some slight differences. Once again we must find a close match, however this time we want to find a match with the highest odds we can afford the liability for. This is because the higher the odds we use the higher percentage of the free bet we can extract as profit. Once we have found a suitable match at high odds, select FREE BET (SNR) on the calculator and plug in the bet details once again. As before, check your exchange account balance to make sure you have enough to cover the liability, then place your free bet followed by your exchange lay bet.

Once your free bet has settled you will have made a profit!

Unmatched and Partially Matched Bets?

If you look at any event on the Betfair Exchange, you will notice that below the odds in the pink lay box there is a cash value. This amount is telling you how much money is in the market at the displayed odds. This means that there is only the availability to place a bet up to that value at the displayed odds. If you were to place a bet with a stake larger than the displayed amount at those odds, part of your bet would be matched and part would be unmatched. This can sometimes happen when someone else matches the available amount just before you place your bet, causing the odds to change. If the odds change before any part of your bet was matched you will have a completely unmatched bet, this can be resolved easily by cancelling the unmatched bet and recalculating the lay amount using the new odds. When we are encountered by a partially matched bet, there are 2 things we can do. If the event isn’t due to start for a while, we can wait for a couple of minutes and hope some more money comes into the market at our selected odds. If this happens, the unmatched portion of our bet will be automatically matched. If the event isn’t due to start imminently this will be your best option, as you will be first in line to get your bet matched when more money comes into the market. If your bet doesn’t get matched in a couple of minutes, the odds start to move in the wrong, or the event is about to start you will need to use the trickybet calculator.

Trickybet Calculator

This calculator is similar to the normal Bonus Bagging Calculator, but has an extra feature that takes into account the partially matched portion of your bet. To use it, we must fill in the details of our bet with the new lay odds, and tell it about the part of our bet that has already been matched. Select the bet type from the top, our bookmaker stake goes in “bet a stake”, enter the back odds and the new lay odds, enter the commissions (back commission will be 0% unless placed at an exchange), then enter the amount that has been matched and the odds it was matched at. The calculator then gives you a new lay amount to use at the changed lay odds; allowing you to lay off your entire bet!

Deposit Methods

When depositing with betting companies, check their terms and conditions carefully. It is common for terms to state that they won’t release the free bet to you if you made your deposit with a particular payment method. These payment methods usually include PayPal. To be safe your best bet is to always deposit with a debit card.

Rollover and Wagering Requirements

Some offers will require you to rollover or wager a certain amount before you can withdraw any winnings from your free bets. Such offers can still be profitable but its important to read the terms and condition so you know exactly what you are getting tied into.

Keeping Betting Accounts open with Mug bets

As you complete more and more sign up offers, you will start to notice your email inbox filling up with “reload” offers. These are offers available to existing customers, designed to encourage you to continue betting. Most of these offers are garbage with no value, however some of them will be great opportunities to make more risk free cash. Here’s where things get interesting; no matter what you may have read or heard, bookies do not like matched bettors. If they notice that you are only ever placing bets with them when there is a good offer available, they will do one of two things.

  1. limit your stakes so you can only place tiny bets
  2. completely ban you.

For this reason it is important that we keep our accounts healthy. We do this by placing what are known as mug bets. These are bets placed on popular events and on popular favorites. We do this to attempt to blend into the crowd, reducing the chances of our accounts being flagged up as a risk. We still lay these bets off at the betting exchange and find close matches to keep losses to a minimum. If we throw in a couple of these mug bets around the time we do an offer, it will dramatically increase our chances of keeping our accounts open, although not guarantee it!

Matched Betting Student

Matched Betting has been thought of something that can help to save the student financially for a while now, and this notion could not be truer. With a student loan in the bank it offers the perfect opportunity to invest and make an instant profit. That’s not to say that this method is only useful for students; literally anyone can profit from it. There is no easier and quicker way to make such a substantial second income from the Internet.

Matched Betting FAQs

The question of legality is a very valid one when it comes to money making schemes, and it’s a good idea to check out such matters before you jump into any online money making schemes. Luckily, in the case of matched betting it is completely legal. If we break it down into its simplest form, we are merely placing two bets on the same event with different companies. Nothing about that is illegal. We will win one of the bets and lose another. What we decide to do with each of the companies has no effect on the other.

How much profit can be made from Matched Betting?

The amount of profit that can be made is down to a number of factors. Firstly how much money can you “invest” in matched betting? When I say invest I mean how much many offers can you take advantage of at one time before all your money is tied up. If you are doing a few offers at once you will quickly find your money is tied up in betting exchanges as liability, or that you are waiting for withdrawals to come back to your bank account from bookmaker websites. As there are new “reload” offers posted each day, it is not unrealistic to make over £1500 per month. This would require a fairly large bankroll (around £5000), however you can build this up fairly quickly with the amount of signup offers available. It is easy to get started with a bank of only £50-£100 and make over £400 in a month. One thing must be made clear, this is not a get rich quick scheme, and it will never make you rich. However it can give you consistent long-term profits if done correctly, with £1500 per month being a realistic target.

What are the risks of matched betting?

In theory there is zero risk involved in matched betting, however we are human, and humans make mistakes. But besides a human error or a power cut happening between placing our back and lay bet, there is no risk involved. It is advisable that you do not partake in matched betting if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol. As easy as it is to successfully complete matched betting offers, it does require concentration so bear this in mind.

Does Depositing at Betting Websites Affect My Credit Rating?

Depositing at a betting website does not affect your credit rating. However it is worth noting that having thousands of pounds consistently going out to betting companies each month could affect a mortgage application. Banks tend to only look at bank statements from the last 3 to 6 months for mortgage applications, so unless you are planning on buying a house in the next 6 months, you should not be affected.

Do I Pay Tax on Betting Winnings?

Winnings from gambling are currently exempt from tax in the UK.