A Beginners Guide to Matched Betting

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Matched betting is a highly popular betting strategy that has allowed users to access betting markets as a side hustle. Matched betting is very far away from regularly betting in how it is accessed and enjoyed. Instead of being a form of betting it is instead a mathematical system which allows users to reduce risk when betting. 

It is a highly effective strategy useful for not just risk-averse bettors but also for those looking to create a secondary stream of income. However, even with its popularity there are still many people out there who do not know what matched betting is or how to place matched bets for themselves. 


What is Matched Betting

Matched betting is a technique used to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It involves placing two bets on opposite outcomes of a sporting event in order to ensure a profit is made regardless of the outcome. 


Back and Lay Bets

A crucial aspect of matched betting which you must understand before going any further is the concept of back and lay bets. These two types of bets are the pillar for all matched bets and should be fully understood. 

First there is a back bet. These are your standard bets types found in regular bookmakers and include predicting a particular outcome. More specifically this includes betting for something to happen such as a specific team winning a match.

Then there are lay bets. Lay bets are found at betting exchanges and involve betting against certain outcomes. Lay bets allow you to act as the bookmakers and make a return if an event doesn't happen such as a team losing or drawing. 

By strategically calculating the stakes for both the back and lay bets, you can cover all possible outcomes of the event. The goal is to then apply free bets or bonuses offered by the bookmakers to create a situation where your return from a single bet is larger than the now reduced stake for both. 


What is a Betting Exchange

A betting exchange is a platform that facilitates the peer-to-peer exchange of bets between individuals. Unlike traditional bookmakers, where bettors place bets against the house, a betting exchange allows users to both back and lay bet outcomes. Essentially, it acts as a marketplace where users can set their own odds and either match existing bets or create new ones. 

In betting exchanges users can set their own odds when placing a bet, and if someone else is willing to accept those odds, a match is made. Betting exchanges often also allow for in-play or live betting, where users can place bets while an event is in progress. 

Some well-known examples of betting exchanges include Betfair and Betdaq. These platforms have gained popularity for providing more flexibility and better odds than traditional bookmakers.


How to Place Matched Bets

To get started, you need to find a bookmaker offering a free bet or promotion for new customers. Upon identifying such an opportunity, create accounts with both the bookmaker providing the free bet and a betting exchange like Betfair, where you can place lay bets.

The process begins with a qualifying bet, where you place a back bet on a specific outcome with the bookmaker, using your own funds. Simultaneously, you place a lay bet against the same outcome on the betting exchange to cover all potential results. Once the qualifying bets are settled, the bookmaker will credit your account with a free bet.

Now armed with the free bet, use it to place a back bet on a different outcome. At the same time, place a lay bet against that outcome on the betting exchange. To optimise your profits and minimise potential losses, employ a matched betting calculator to determine the ideal stake amounts for your bets.

This process can be repeated with various bookmakers offering free bets and promotions. Keep a close eye on your accounts, as some bookmakers may provide ongoing promotions, offering additional opportunities for profit. It's crucial to be meticulous in placing bets and to be aware of the terms and conditions associated with free bets and promotions, as these can vary.

While matched betting is legal, it's important to note that it may go against the terms of service of some bookmakers. Therefore, use this strategy responsibly and in compliance with the rules of the platforms involved. Once you've completed several matched betting offers and generated a profit, you can proceed to withdraw your winnings.


Different Sports Betting Strategies

If matched betting is not for you then do not fear as there are plenty other sports betting strategies you can utilise which we will cover in this section.


Value Betting

Value betting is a strategic approach in sports betting that focuses on identifying bets where the odds offered by the bookmaker are believed to be higher than the actual probability of the corresponding outcome occurring. The underlying principle is rooted in the idea that bookmakers may misjudge the true likelihood of events, creating opportunities for astute bettors to find value.


Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting, often referred to as "arbing," is a strategic approach in sports betting where bettors seek to exploit pricing discrepancies between different bookmakers. The core concept behind arbitrage betting involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of a specific event across multiple bookmakers to guarantee a profit, regardless of the actual outcome. This process is very similar to matched betting but focuses more on discrepancies rather than using mathematical systems and free bet promotions.

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