The Risks and Rewards of Matched Betting: Is it Worth the Effort?

Matched betting has existed since the early 2000s when bookies rose to the limelight. It is a betting strategy that offers minimal risks. Matched betting lets you use the bonuses or free bets that some bookmakers offer on your first deposit to make maximum profits. You do this by simply placing two countering bets on a single game to ensure that you make a profit no matter the event’s outcome.

Matched betting is legal and lucrative; however, just like other betting activities, it is risky. Hence, you need to take proper precautions to avoid losing your funds. Check out Trader Bet for free betting tips, lessons, and tutorials to sharpen your betting experience. Meanwhile, this article will briefly discuss the mechanism, benefits, and risks involved in matched betting.

matched betting

How Does Matched Betting Work?

Matched betting is a method that uses a simple mechanism that includes placing two bets on the same event with different bookmakers. This method guarantees you to profit regardless of the outcome of the bettings. Here’s how it works:

  • Find a bookie that gives free bets: Many bookmakers offer free bets or bonuses to new customers or as a promotion to existing customers. Find a bookmaker offering a free bet or bonus that you can use for matched betting.
  • Place a “back” bet: Place a bet on a specific outcome of an event at the bookmaker, for example, backing Manchester United to win a football match.
  • Place a “lay” bet: Place a bet against the same outcome at a betting exchange, for example, laying Manchester United to win the same football match. This is essentially betting on the opposite outcome.
  • Estimate your stakes: You can use a matched betting calculator to evaluate the profits you can make from stakes amounts you used for lay and back bets.
  • Place your bets: Place your bets (back and lay) on the bookie and the exchange.
  • Take your winnings: Once the events are completed, you will receive earnings from both the exchange and the bookie. The profits from the free bet are your reward.

Here is a real-world example to demonstrate how matched betting works:

As a new customer, if your first stake is worth about $10, you would receive a free bet worth $20 from some bookies. In the following steps, you can use this free betting bonus for matched betting to secure more profits.

First, register with the bookmaker and fund your account with $10. Stake a back bet of $10 on Manchester United football club to win the event at the bookmaker.

Then place a lay bet of $9.63 on Manchester United to lose the match via a betting exchange. You can use the matched betting calculator to estimate your potential winnings irrespective of the outcome.

After the match, you will receive your winnings should Manchester United win or lose the event.

Should the club lose, you would receive profit from the $9.63 staked at the exchange and lose the $10 you bet on the bookmaker. On the contrary, if Manchester won, you would profit from your $10 bet with the bookmaker and lose your $9.63 bet with the exchange.

The ultimate point is that you would still profit from the event either way.

Potential Benefits of Matched Betting

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Profit Is A Guarantee: To a great extent, profits are guaranteed while playing Matched betting technique. This is because the profits you make in winning one event would cover up the loss you may incur in losing the other. In other words, if you meticulously calculate your profit on both stakes and place your bet responsibly, you will earn some profit from either outcome.

Little deposit Required: Matched betting is cheaper than other investments. This is because you need a minimum deposit to begin your adventure toward maximizing your profits via betting.

Flexible Schedule: You can participate in matched betting anytime, anywhere. This makes it a good choice if you decide to stay at home and make some earnings.

Tax-free: Many countries like the UK exempt matched betting profits from tax payroll. This makes the gambling method one of the legal and lucrative ways to make some free money in these countries.

Potential Risks Involved In Matched Betting

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Potential Losses: Since nothing is 100% guaranteed in life, you should expect that things might turn out hugely with matched betting. However, losses are limited with matched betting unless you do not take proper precautions while betting.

Account Restrictions: Some bookmakers do not fancy matched betting, and they may prohibit or even suspend your account if they discover you are using their promotions for the act. Once such a bookie discovers your account, it would impede your chance of making profits from matched betting.


Matched betting is no doubt a lucrative and legal way to earn money. However, if not properly managed, you can incur losses. You need proper education, planning, and execution to maximize your betting profits via matched betting. With the guaranteed profits it offers, matched betting is a technique you should try today.

Richard Brock is an experienced writer who has contributed to many mainstream websites with his quality articles in consumer technology. Though he is new here, his articles are already helping tons of our daily readers to live their life better.