sports betting

Guide to Matched Betting

2 years ago

Anyone who places an online bet on a regular basis will, sooner or later, come across the term ‘Matched Betting’. This is a system which supposedly guarantees profits and there are a number of websites where you can sign up, for a fee, and make use of appropriate tuition which is designed to help you claim your share.

This is a multi-faceted practise but, in the relative confines of one article, we can show you a matched betting guide that will help you to decide whether you want to commit and look at things in more detail.

Matched Betting: The Concept

At a very basic, matched betting for dummies level, the concept involves using free bet offers in order to make what should be a guaranteed profit. The most common type of offer involves a welcome bonus and for this example, we’ll use the Sun Bets sportsbook.

At the time of writing, the new customer welcome deal at Sun Bets offers players a £10.00 free bet token in return for opening an account and making an initial £5.00 bet. In this instance here’s what you need to do:

Head across to a Betting Exchange such as Matchbook and find a sporting market where the back and lay prices for a particular outcome are very close together. Stake on the lay option at exactly £5.00.

Having completed this step, go back to Sun Bets and find the same event. Here, you are backing at £5.00 and therefore taking the opposite action to the one carried out at Matchbook.

Be prepared for a small loss at this point but don’t worry because, as long as you have followed the Sun Bets welcome offer terms, your £10.00 free bet token will be made available. Now, you follow the same process as listed above – find a bet where the back and lay prices are close together and take the lay option, before crossing back to the sportsbook and taking a back bet.

Whatever happens, you will take a profit and because you are using a free bet rather than placing any of your own money, there is no loss element and that profit is yours to keep.

In plain text, the process may sound complicated but really it is very simple and the more times you carry it out, the easier it becomes. The question, therefore, is if it is so easy, why are there paid services for Matched Betting?

Benefits of Matched Betting

By going alone you will need to search out offers and promotions from around the sportsbook yourself. The downside of this is that it can be very time consuming but it is completely free which is a definite advantage.

With a paid service, you can expect to get alerts to free bets as and when they arrive. That saves you the work but the fees involved can be very expensive so it’s really only worthwhile if you are committed to matched betting. They would also look to provide a matched betting for dummies guide so there is the potential for tuition above and beyond the basic concept that we’ve outlined here.

Keep Looking…

Our basic matched betting guide has covered welcome bonuses but free bet offers can come along at any stage of your relationship with a bookmaker. In busy times, it can be hard to keep up with them and at the start of the World Cup 2018, these deals were dropping in on a daily basis.

Over at Fun88, two separate free bet promos were available in the outright tournament winner and in the Golden Boot betting. William Hill also covered those markets with similar promotions while ComeOn offered free bets for individual matches once the competition had got underway.

Those are just examples and even when the World Cup comes to a close, deals will keep appearing where matched betting can be harnessed to make a profit.

Possible Pitfalls of Matched Betting

The first point to keep in mind is that odds can change very quickly. That may be stating things at a matched betting for dummies level but by the time you’ve calculated a potential profit, either or possibly both of the prices involved may have altered.

Secondly, keep in mind the potential for wagering requirements – also referred to as rollovers. Operators such as Sport Nation ask you to play through the amount of your bonus and deposit combined several times before you can withdraw a profit. The rollover cycle can be completed using matched betting techniques but it is slow and laborious, plus there are time limits involved and you are effectively using your own money at this point.

Finally, and this is perhaps the most important part of this matched betting guide, be prepared to lose your account with any bookmaker at any time. If all you are doing is taking advantage of free bets and offers, the operator retains the right to close your account down and wave goodbye to you as a customer.

This practise is known as ‘gubbing’ and is one of the common pitfalls of matched betting so please keep it in mind. To guard against it, some outlets advise that you make regular, smaller bets using your own money in the open markets.

We can’t confirm whether this method works but here you have the risk of losing your money on a standard punt and when many matched bet profits are small ones, this needs to be kept in mind.

Next Steps

We would firstly point back to those potential pitfalls and underline the fact that mistakes can cost a lot of money so, while matched betting can lead to good returns if carried out correctly, we’re not recommending it as a guaranteed way of making consistent profits from the bookmakers.

If, however, you have read this matched betting guide and are curious about taking things further, you can trial it for small outlays to get used to the practise. It’s a fascinating concept and can be profitable but as with all betting systems, it’s advised that you proceed with caution.

Matt Harris

Written by Matt Harris

Matt Harris is a freelance sports writer with over 25 years of experience that dates back to the days of Teletext. He is a Tottenham fan who still retains hope of Spurs lifting the title in his lifetime.