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Matched Betting Guide for Dummies – Matched Betting Explained

Matched betting has often been dismissed as a process that takes a lot of time, while it has also developed a reputation for being too complex for betting newcomers to understand. Yet, it happens to be one of the best ways to make a profit without actually possessing any liabilities.

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What is Matched Betting in Sports?

Every bookmaker gives out free benefits in order to attract new players to join up with their institution. These benefits usually come in the form of free bets, which could range from £10 to even £30 in value. Since it is free money, individuals often go for extremely short or long odds. The extremely short ones might sound like a sure win, but they are as risky as the bets with long odds. Yet, it is possible to stay risk-free using the matched betting systems.

Since it is a completely legal system, every punter can use this technique in order to make free money. Compared to regular form of betting, the risk is substantially lower to the extent where this system is even referred to as the no risk matched betting.

Punters will be using a betting exchange – where the competition are other punters and not the bookmaker – to going up against the bookmaker’s odds for a specific event. Once the odds from the bookmaker are backed using the free bet, a punter can choose to go down the route of matched betting strategy using the betting exchanges. Here, punters can back or lay against a team/player/horse to go opposite of the free bet. Now, they stand to make profits irrespective of the outcome.

Matched Bet Example

Matched Bet Example

Let us assume that an individual’s opening an account with bookmaker who is offering a free bet of £10. In order to access this free bet, players usually have to place the first bet with their own money.

First Bet: Bet with Own Money

Let us assume that the punter is placing a £10 bet on Real Madrid to win the game against Barcelona at 2/1. The punter also goes to a betting exchange to lay Madrid at almost the same odds.

If Madrid end up winning the game, the bet with the bookmaker returns a profit of £20 but the lay bet produces a loss of £20 to eliminate any returns.

If Madrid lost the game, the bet with the bookmaker throws up a loss of £10 but the lay bet is now successful with a £10 return. Hence, the total returns remain £0.

Second Bet: Free Bet

Now, the punter can use the free bet after having qualified by wagering their own money in the previous bet. Here is where the matched betting comes into play. In this case, the £10 bet can be placed on an event with similar odds. For the sake of an example, let us once again assume the game between Real Madrid and Barcelona with Madrid being backed at 2/1 once again. Crucially, the wager is from the free £10 bet.

If Madrid are successful, the bet with the bookmaker returns a profit of £20 while the lay bet loses £10. Hence, the player is coming in with a £10 profit.

If Madrid lose the game, the bet with the bookmaker loses the £10 stake, but the punter is not being out of the pocket since it was a free bet. It is effectively £0 lost. Now, the matched betting guide will witness £10 profits through the lay bet.

Thus, the player stands to make a £10 profit irrespective of any result.

What Is Matched Betting Good for?

What Is Matched Betting Good for?

Every match betting tips will be profitable on various sports, but football and tennis might be ideal options for the newcomers. It is also likely to witness a large number of options in the betting exchanges when it comes to these two sports. Football is especially rewarding when it comes to the lay markets at these betting exchanges. Since lay bet plays a defining role in the success of the betting system, football happens to be the recommended sport for matched betting for dummies.

How Does Matched Betting Work?

The concept of no risk matched betting is to enhance the free bet, which has depreciated quite substantially in recent years. Bookmakers do not offer free bets straightaway as they required qualifying bets. Yet, this betting system manages to find a way around and provide guaranteed profits in order to enhance the attractiveness of the free bet. The punter is allowed to make a free bet through the betting exchanges, which might take commissions, and profit from betting on two outcomes at the same time.

How to Do Matched Betting?

Almost every individual has the question of ‘is matched betting legal?’ on their minds before going down this strategy, but it happens to be completely legal since the punter is only taking advantage of the various betting systems available. The process of going with a no risk matched betting involves backing both outcomes of an event. One of those bets would be with the bookmaker and the other would be with a betting exchange, where the punter acts as the bookmaker. It is possible to make an attractive little profit without any liability.

How Much Can You Make from Matched Betting?

How Much Can You Make from Matched Betting?

A newcomer to the world of betting may pose the question of ‘is matched betting worth it?’ It certainly happens to be sufficiently profitable with punters making 5% of the stake most of the time. Due to the plethora of bookmakers available and the numerous opportunities with the system, it is possible to even make £1,000 in a month. Matched betting does not squarely aim at the bonus offers provided by sports books, as it also can be used on casino and spread betting bonuses too.

Matched Betting Pros and Cons


  • The matched betting earnings on a small stake may not seem high, but the 5% profit made using this system comes at almost no liability to the punter.
  • The annualised returns can be as high as 1,000% if the punter manages to stay disciplined.
  • Since the betting industry happens to be extremely competitive, the availability of free bet offers will not go away anytime soon.
  • It can be a reliable way to make money without risk.


  • The key factor that affects the profitability is the commission of betting exchanges, which is usually around 5%.
  • Matched betting can be quite tough since the odds on the betting exchanges for the lay bet may not be as rewarding as with a bookmaker. Even then, it is possible to make around 90% of the free bet value.
Jack Young