Qualifying Bets

What is a Qualifying Bet ?

Most bookmakers require you to place a Qualifying bet before offering you any kind of bonus or free bet, so it is important that you understand how they work and how to place them. A Qualifying bet is where we use our own money to be able to profit from an offer the bookmaker is offering.

A bookmaker might offer you a £10 free bet if you place a £10 bet with you own money. Using your own money is what is called the Qualifying bet.

Sometimes a Qualifying bet can also be called a “Trigger Bet” where the bookmaker will give you a bonus or free bet if a particular event happens, a bookmaker might offer you a refund if your horse finishes 2nd in a race. So to “Trigger” the refund the horse must finish 2nd.

How Do Qualifying Bets Work ?

Placing a Qualifying bet is one of the easiest things to do when matched betting, you need to find a selection with close qualifying odds and place a back bet at the bookmakers and a lay bet at the betting exchange. If you are still unsure you can view the Matched Betting Guide.

No matter what the outcome of the event or match that you select you will either win at the bookmaker and lose at the betting exchange or win at the betting exchange and lose at the bookmaker because the 2 bets will cancel each other out.

You should take into account that you will almost always make a small loss when you place a qualifying bet before you receive any type of bonus or free bet, you will hear this referred to as “a qualifying loss” This is because there will be a slight difference in odds at the bookmaker and the betting exchange and you will have to pay a small commission fee to the betting exchange

Finding a Qualifying Bet

1 – Check the terms of the offer

It is vital that you check all terms & conditions on an offer before you attempt it, you might make an error if you rush in and not meet the criteria that is required and then not receive the bonus or free bet.

The Qualifying bet may need to be placed on a specific sport or specific event or have specific odds and more than likely will have a time limit on it.

Here is the welcome offer from Ladbrokes where you will get a £20 free bet when you place a £5 Qualifying bet. The key terms are listed below.

The key terms to note are listed at the bottom of the image

  • Qualifying bet can be placed on any sport.
  • Minimum stake of £5.00.
  • Qualifying bet must be placed within 14 days of registration.
  • Minimum odds of 1.50 (1/2).

2 – Low Odds

You should always try and place the Qualifying bet with low odds to minimize your “Qualifying loss”. Try to find a matched bet as close to the minimum odds requirement as possible.

By using lower odds this mean you will have a lower liability at the betting exchange and thus you won’t need as much money to cover the “lay” bet if you qualifying bet wins at the bookmaker.

Whilst there is nothing preventing you from placing the Qualifying bet at higher odds, it would certainly mean a higher “Qualifying loss” and you would also need more funds in the betting exchange to be able to cover the liability. If you are still unsure about how to lay a bet you can view the “What is a Betting Exchange” Guide

Qualifying Bet Example

Place a £5 “Back Bet” on Oxford Utd at the Bookmaker (Ladbrokes)

Odds 2.00

Place a £5 “Lay Bet” on Oxford Utd at the Exchange (Smarkets)

Odds 2.02

The Calculator Worked out the “Lay Stake” & Also how Much Liability I needed in the Betting Exchange

So, regardless of whether Oxford win, lose or draw, you’ll incur a maximum loss of £0.10 in qualifying for your £20.00 in free bets.

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