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Matched betting guide – is it risk free? Explanation + how to make money with free bets!

What is Matched Betting? Betting has always been difficult and the very fact that bookmakers are still around indicates the fact that the house edge is impossible to beat.

At least for the vast majority of punters, finding a way to make steady profits is a chore and even successful ones are actually marginally winning players.

When something sounds too good to be true it usually is, so it’s easy to understand why people are reluctant to believe any system that guarantees winnings.

The system that we are going to talk about here is commonly referred to as matched betting, but it is similar to betting arbitrage.

Bookies frown upon it, but until recently the sheer complexity of this way of wagering made it acceptable. The advent of technology as well as the growing interest for this system has led to the creation of matched betting guides and dedicated software.

Below you will find out what exactly matched betting is and what it takes to start winning in a few and simple steps.

In its simplest form, matched betting will require players to have a minimum of two accounts with different bookmakers. The more accounts the better, because this will allow players to maximize the return on investment by taking advantage of top odds.

Compared to the standard arbitrage system which delivers low yields and requires a lot of time spent with research, our matched betting tutorial is easier and more lucrative. That’s because it uses free bets as an instrument to enhance the output, virtually risk-free.

If you wonder what is matched betting, you should know that it involves placing opposite wagers and free bets. Players can do it at conventional bookmakers by betting on one team or athlete to win and place a wager on the same side on his opponent to prevail. So this has answered the question can you bet on both teams to win, meaning that with matched betting you can definitely bet on both teams to win. You can also find out here what are unmatched bets and partially matched bets.

In this equation, the free bet comes in handy because it allows players to wager money that he or she receives for free. As long as bookmakers will continue to regard this incentive as the ultimate bonus, matched bets will continue to work smoothly, even when using the “accept all odds movement” feature; although this feature supposes that you will accept dropping odds, too. If you still don’t like the odds, you can always opt for the “request a bet” feature, where you can create your own bet.

Another interesting feature would be “edit my acca“, useful in case that you changed your mind after placing your bets.

Top 10 Bookmakers having attractive matched welcome bonuses [2021]:

Safe & Trusted
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Rating 9.99 out of 10
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Rating 9.98 out of 10
100% up to €122
Rating 9.97 out of 10
100% up to €100
Rating 9.97 out of 10
100% up to €100
Rating 9.96 out of 10
100% up to €100 + €20 Free Bet
Rating 9.96 out of 10
100% up to €100 + €10 Free Bet
Rating 9.96 out of 10
125% up to €300
Rating 9.96 out of 10
Up to €250
Rating 9.95 out of 10
100% up to €100
Rating 9.94 out of 10

Why Betting Exchanges are Better for Matched Betting?

In this matched betting walkthrough we strive to provide beginners with the easiest and most effective system. Even though it is possible to successfully deploy this system while relying exclusively on traditional bookmakers, betting exchanges are better.

That’s because you can simply back and lay the same team or back and lay the draw,  without trying to find all the exact opposite outcomes. It helps players greatly cut down on the time spent tinkering with the odds and allows them to focus on finding the next bet.

The main reason for why people using betting arbitrage don’t dwell exclusively on betting exchanges is that there are simply not enough out there. In the competitive landscape of online gambling they represent just a minority in a market that is dominated by traditional bookmakers. These can be online bookmakers or brick-and-mortar bookmakers. You could do arbitrage betting by placing one of the bets in a betting booth, you would be “shop betting arbing” or sharbing.

To narrow down the search and find the ideal betting exchange for matched betting, people should look at liquidity as well as the commission charged. Since punters play against each other, the house makes a profit by charging commission from winning wagers.

As mentioned in our matched betting example, a free bet is essential to produce maximum profits. This means that punters should find a bookmaker or ideally a betting exchange that offers such a free bet to newcomers and existing punters.

It goes without saying that the more free bets the merrier, but the good news is that even the least generous operators run such campaigns. Savvy players with accounts at many betting exchanges can also use dutching to mitigate the impact on the commission charged.

Is matched betting risk free? What are the risks?

This guide has the purpose of getting matched betting explained and we want to paint an accurate image about what the system is all about. As with all things, even the best ones, there are always downsides and risks that players need to factor in.

So far, we have talked mostly about the benefits, so it’s time to take a closer look at the risks. Luckily for players who are just starting down this path, the biggest obstacle has been removed by smart applications and dedicated websites. They now check the Internet to find the best odds for matched betting and automatically calculate the return on investment when using free bets.

This takes us to the second issue that players who are ready to pick up matched betting need to consider. Bookmakers and betting exchanges have reluctantly accepted the fact that there is no effective way of dealing with this fast-growing phenomenon.

However, they offer fewer free bets, so players need to make the most of each opportunity they’ve got. Sooner or later, you either run out of bookmakers to open betting accounts at or they don’t offer enough free bets to keep your system gowing.

At least in theory and for those who respect all the rules and don’t get greedy, matched betting is risk-free. The downside is that as punters run out of free bets, they are confronted with the diminishing returns of easy gains.

In the long run, one needs to get creative and also use accumulators and try to find special markets, with bigger odds. At the end of the day, they need to spend a little time with research, but this is probably a small price to pay given the guaranteed returns.

For those who have been using lay betting for a while as well as those who make the first matched betting steps, this is the Golden Age of the system. That’s because they have immediate access to calculators and apps that use formulas and equations to improve the yield. A quick glance at the spreadsheets and the time it takes to learn how a match betting calculator works, is all it takes.

How to do Matched Betting in 6 Easy Steps

The essence of matched bets is that you bet on opposite outcomes and still make a profit. At the first look, that doesn’t seem to make any sense, as it would defeat the purpose of bookies running a lucrative business. That’s why we will provide you with a match betting example, to learn how exactly you can make money in just seven easy steps. The best part is that this case can be used successfully on pretty much any sports event.

1. Choose a bookie offer here – we have hundreds available

In the long run, anyone who takes matched betting seriously will end up having accounts with dozens of bookmakers and betting exchanges. However, it is important to start on the right foot by choosing one of the operators we recommend here. This will shield you from the risks of becoming the victim of a scam and will also grant you access to the best odds. William Hill or Betfair and many more are on the list, so the choice is yours.

2. Register and verify your new account

In order to benefit from any free bet offer as well as bonuses that bookmakers and betting exchanges might offer, one would have to register an account. The registration process should take just a couple of minutes, plus a few more for setting the odds to decimal or fractional and making others customizations.

3. Sign up with a betting exchange

As mentioned above in this match betting tutorial betting, exchanges are a better choice because they offer the possibility of laying and backing teams. For a system that aims for low risk and guaranteed profits, it is important to spend the time needed to open account here. The time it takes to sign up with a betting exchange is rewarded lavishly in the long run and will help players cut down on losses.

4. Make a deposit to get the welcome bonuses

Free bets are the way bookmakers welcome new customers, but most will require players to make a real money deposit. Read the FAQ section and get familiar with the payment methods, so you make an educated decision when you fund your account. We can give you advice on which financial instruments are faster, cheaper and safer.

5. Place your bonus bet and match it somewhere else

Once you make the first deposit and the gambling operator awards you the free bet, you can move to the next step. Matched betting for beginners will require players to have an account with at least another bookie or betting exchange. Whether they use one of the dedicated websites for arbitrage betting ,or do the research themselves, players must proceed with placing to opposite bets.

Obviously, one that will win and the other with lose, with the net return being roughly 95% of the stakes. In a nutshell, players will lose 5% of the amount committed, but practically, this loss is completely offset by the fact that they are using the free bet.

6. Complete the wagering requirements of the bonus and withdraw your money.

The next step is to meet play through demands required, so you can actually enjoy your matched betting profit. Most bookmakers will require players to spin the amount won several times before a cash out is permitted. On the bright side, if you have an account with many betting exchanges you can do this many times and play many free bets. The system allows punters to hedge against risks, cover bets and it goes on and on as long as there are reload offers and free bets for existing customers to claim. When players run out of welcome free bets, they should check out some of these promotions for existing players.

Example of matched betting – how we made the first money in under 10 minutes

Now that you know what is matched betting and how does it work, check out this simple and practical example. Our recommended Betfair trading strategies will help beginners but also advanced players understand how they can make profits by backing and laying bets at Betfair exchange.

We decided to open an account with Betfair, because of the reliability and liquidity of this betting exchange.

It covers all the important football matches and has great odds for all sports not only football, plus great money depositing and withdrawing options. Here we decided to lay Atletico Madrid at odds of 3.25 in the city Derby against Real Madrid. We used the free bet worth $10, offered for joining their betting shop.

At the same time, we have an account with William Hill, which is one of the best choices for those who want to bet in real-time. They also cover all types of bets and have hundreds of markets on popular events, such as the football derbies we like so much for our matched bets.

They also have a poker room and a casino where you can bet pennies or hundreds of dollars, depending on your expectations. However, that’s beside the point, since we only placed a bet of $10 on Atletico to win at odds of 3.20.

We did the math then checked the numbers with Oddsmatcher to see exactly how much money could result from this venture. Then we waited patiently for the game to end and were not terribly disappointed to see that the match resulted in a scoreless draw.

That’s because even though we lost the $10 bet on the home side to win, we cashed in at Betfair where we laid them. The net profit was $6.52 which is nothing to frown upon, since you can repeat the process on bigger stakes.

Current Best Matched Betting Offers

It is our plan to make this matched betting guide the cornerstone of arbitrage systems by teaching you how to seek value in odds and offers. That’s why you can expect to find here all the best matched betting offers, with juicy free bets that are easy to claim.

On your part, you should register multiple accounts with bookies and betting exchanges to gain access to offers and odds. Our list is comprehensive and includes gambling operators from the UK, US, Australia and other countries so you can open multiple accounts.

This will prevent punters with the chance of enjoying the best of both worlds, when they return to this matched betting tutorial. On one hand, they stay up-to-date with the latest offers and also remember the basic strategies.

Not only the promotions highlighted here, but also the bookmakers offering them have been approved after a scrupulous review. You know everything you need to know about rollover and wagering requirements as well as other hidden details in the terms and conditions.

Making Money with Matched Betting: FAQ

There are so many questions regarding the betting arbitrage system as well as the best way of extracting matched betting profit. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that can help clarify most doubts. They shed some light on how things are supposed to work and what kind of obstacles might block your way. Heed their advice and you’ll have no problem in overcoming all these barriers.

Is matched betting a scam? Why are people skeptical about this?

Matched betting explained properly will highlight the fact that this is a legitimate system that can produce predictable profits. It removes the risks caused by chance and luck as well as the ones resulting from the mistakes committed by players. Bookmakers try to limit its effects by keeping the free bets low and enforcing wagering requirements. These are obstacles that players need to overcome, but otherwise they don’t do anything unlawful and don’t risk anything. It just sounds too good to be true.

Is discipline important in matched betting? 

Sport betting done casually is almost always unprofitable and that’s because people bet with their hearts not with their minds. These matched betting techniques and strategies can help remove the role played by luck from the equation. To be effective, discipline is essential, since profits shouldn’t be squandered by betting on hunches. It is a ruinous mistake to squander winnings from arbitrage by placing random bets.

Do you need spreadsheets, formulas, tracking?

As mentioned above in this match betting tutorial, the entire system requires a very analytical approach. It is important to use spreadsheets and formulas to keep track of the money you make, so you can determine your efficiency. Arbitrage betting involves hundreds of bets and a lot of money wagered, though profits represent just a fraction.

Is matched betting legal and tax free? How does it affect your credit rating?

When it comes to money and gambling, paper trails also have the merit of avoiding taxation and legal problems, not to mention those issues with pesky credit checks and credit score. The good news is that gambling profits are not subject to taxes in most jurisdictions and when they are, the rates are small.

How many sign up free bets, reload offers and bookmakers are there available?

There are around 100 bookies and betting exchanges out there and most of them have some sort of a sign up promotion or welcome bonus. Most of them are one-time opportunities, but there are recurrent and occasional campaigns that you can take advantage of.

How much can you earn with matched betting?

A player from the UK can make an amount ranging from 500 to 2000 GBP on a monthly basis. People need to keep in mind the bookmakers can remove offers or close accounts if they notice bonus abuse. Discipline, patience and most importantly, accounts with different bookmakers help a lot.

Can sports matched betting be mixesd with casino and poker offers?

Many bookmakers also run a poker room and an online casino and offer free spins and poker bonuses for those who bet on sports. Basically, those who bet a predetermined amount on selected sports matches, will receive a number of free spins at the casino and for free money at the poker room.

Should you buy matched betting service subscriptions?

It’s entirely up to you if you want to support these services and subscription-based software as well as the ones behind them. However, you can get the same quality of advice completely for free. That’s because all information, tutorials, techniques and offers can be found for free on Navigate from this page to all important sections and you’ll find all the information you need to make money.

How to deal with account limitations (gubbing)?

Bookmakers will always try to identify bonus hunters and restrict their actions by lowering the betting limits. The worst-case scenario is to have your account blocked, so to avoid all these issues, players must occasionally play mug bets. Focus on low risk events, so at least you stay afloat with these decoy wagers.

How does matched betting compare to betting arbitrage?

Matched betting is a more complex version of betting arbitrage because it also uses free bets. The idea is to take advantage of the financial incentives offered by bookmakers and betting exchanges and turn them into cashable amounts. To make the most of it, punters should focus on popular sports events and major competitions, where the return on investment is better.

What types of matched betting bonuses are there and what is bonus rollover?

In the match betting example we provided above, you will see that we were only able to cash out winnings after meeting the wagering requirements. Regular free bets with no play through demands are the best because you can extract up to 95% of their value. Even if you need to play them through up to 10 times, you can use the matched betting risk-free system further to bet on other events in the same manner.

What bet types and competitions should you play when using matched betting?

It is always recommended to bet on popular events because they enjoy superior liquidity at betting exchanges. The odds are bigger, not to mention that you will fly under the radar and won’t trigger the algorithms used by bookmakers to identify those using matched betting.

What should you use for depositing and withdrawing

The choice of payment methods rests exclusively with players and they can use anything from credit cards to electronic wallets and wire transfers. Skrill, Neteller and Paypal are also great choices but most bookmakers don’t allow players to use them when claiming bonuses.

Should you use multiple accounts at one bookmaker to get more free bets?

That’s a really bad idea because there’s a good chance the bookmakers will verify your identity before allowing a withdrawal. Don’t take any chances and instead use one of the more than 100 bookies out there, while starting with the ones recommended by us.

Is this matched betting guide only for UK players?

Definitely not. Even though the UK market is one of the biggest in Europe, we pay a lot of attention to residents from other countries who want to make sports betting profitable. Our matched betting guide will help every player, no matter the country of origin through customized offers and special pages. Members can filter free bets on our pages with the available bookies at


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