What is Matched Betting? Definition, Tips & Offers

What is “Matched Betting?”

Matched betting is a sort of betting that allows customers to profit from bookies' free bet offers by implementing a mathematical equation rather than luck. People also call it “double betting” sometimes. Matched betting is considered less riskier because no matter the outcome of the event you wagered on, you would receive the amount offered in the free bet promotion. You could, for example, use the matched betting technique using our  football betting tips today, you can learn to earn profits this way.

Matched Betting Explained

Matched betting works by covering all outcomes in an event, you back and lay, making sure you win no matter what the result of the match would be. First, you need to create an account at a betting exchange and one or more accounts with a bookmaker. Your next step should be to place a qualifying wager with the bookmaker to receive your free wagers. You might not end up winning anything from it, but you will have free bets to play with. Once you receive the free bets, you will again use matched betting to place the wagers, but you would not risk your funds because you would be playing with free bets. You would use the free bets to back a specific match while on the exchange, you lay the same bet. To find the right event to wager on most people who don't know that much about sports betting use an “oddsmatcher” and also use a “lay calculator” to find us exactly how much to wager on the exchange, so they don't lose funds. There might be a slight qualifying loss during your first ever matched bet, but don't worry because it's normal.

Backing and Laying a Bet

Matched Betting lay & back

The “back” and “lay” terms are essential for matched betting, and before you start, you should know what they mean. Even if you don't have any previous betting or sports knowledge, you still need to know what those terms mean to practice matched betting successfully. You can learn to earn profits that way.

A “back” bet or also called “backing” a bet is when you wager that, for example, a football team would win a particular game or tournament. This type of bet is the most prevalent one in the wagering world. You are wagering for the outcome to be correct at the end of the match. You could place those kinds of wagers at any bookmaker platform or shop (William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfred, Outplayed, etc.). If the team does win at the end of the match, you would profit and take the winnings related to your stake.

A “lay” bet is the contrary of a “back” bet, and it's also called “laying” a wager. This type of wager became more popular with the rise of betting exchanges, and you mostly wager that, for example, a particular football team would lose the game. If the team you wagered on loses the match or even if it ends in a draw, you would still profit from the wager. You can only place bets like these on betting exchange platforms, such as Betfair, Matchbook, or BETDAQ.

Matched Betting Tips

If you are willing to give matched betting a try, then here are a few essential tips you should know beforehand:

  • Start slow and don't take on too much – you should start by benefiting from one free bet welcome offer and not take on too many at the same time. Take your time learning from these welcome offers, and when you are confident enough, move on to benefit from more-complicated promotions offered by bookmakers. You've got to learn the codes and signs of gambling before getting into it, of course.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions – there are plenty of ways to get info on bookmaker welcome offers, like contacting customer support. If you subscribe to a matched betting service, don't hesitate to contact the staff or other users if you have any questions or concerns about the process itself. If you aren't a member of any matched betting service, you can still find many helpful forums on the internet full of people who are eager to help others prosper from this process.
  • Keep track of your accounts and your funds – keeping track of all the usernames and passwords related to the different football betting sites and exchanges is vital, and keeping track of your funds – how much is where.
  • Find a popular “oddsmatcher” and “lay calculator” – if you don't have any sports knowledge and don't subscribe to a matched betting service which usually provides these features to their customers, you need help to find a good “oddsmatcher” platform to find the right wagers for yourself and a “lay bet calculator” to help you determine how much you need to lay.
  • Find established bookmakers to register to and ensure that if the bookie you choose isn't as popular as the top in the industry, they at least have a secure platform you can trust with your details and information.

Matched Betting – Frequently Asked Questions

Is matched betting legal in the United Kingdom?

Yes, matched betting is legal, and the bookmaking industry doesn’t have any apparent problems with it.

Do I have to pay taxes for matched betting?

If you are located in the United Kingdom or Italy, then match betting, and other forms of wagering are tax-free.

Do I need any in-depth sports knowledge to profit from match betting?

No, you don't. Even if your only knowledge of match betting is this article, you wouldn't need to profit from the method.

What is a qualifying loss?

A qualifying loss is the amount of money you will lose to receive your free bet. It is usually a small amount, but it's necessary to win your free bets.

Are there any matched betting services available online?

Yes, there are. As more people begin to use this technique, there are subscription-based sites that offer a comprehensive guide, and odds-matching software, and other features that beginners would find handy. Two of the most popular are Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator.

Our Final Conclusion

Matched betting is a popular method used by all ranges of customers. It guarantees you that you won't lose by covering all possibilities. You might not make a substantial profit at first, but if you are determined and learn the ins and outs of the process, you could win big.

Avatar of Gavin Davison
Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.