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Partially Matched Bet – What is a Partially Matched Bet [2023]

Partially Matched bets can be a nightmare for any betting exchange member who does not know how to get around them.

If you are wondering how to fix a Partially Matched bet on Betfair, then this guide is for you.

As well as answering the gambling question, “what is a Partially Matched bet?”, we will provide an example of Partially Matched betting, and take a closer look at how to fix these issues when they occur.

If you want a Partially Matched bet explained to you, then read on to find out more in 2023.

Let us begin with the basics, though. After all, if you do not know what a Matched bet is, you are unlikely to understand the rest…

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Your guide to partially matched bets in 2023

Matched betting is a type of hedge betting, which is used to cover all eventualities. Used in all types of sports betting, it involves wagering a bet (often a lay bet) at a betting exchange, followed by a back bet at a bookmaker. We assume you do not need to ask, what is Lay betting? If you do not know what this means, or what “lay the draw” translates as, we would suggest you read our guides on these before beginning.

You can only lay your bets provided there is enough money in the exchange. That will only happen if other players back the bet and essentially become your bookie. When they do, your bet is matched. What does a Partially matched bet mean, though?

There needs to be enough free money in the exchange for you to make a Matched bet. This occurs when players “back” the equivalent bet. If they do not back the same event, your bet will not be matched. If you are asking “why is my bet on partially matched”, this is usually the reason. What happens to a Partially matched bet, though? Well, we can tell you this – nothing good.

The idea with laying bets at a betting exchange and placing equivalent back bets at a bookmaker is that you will make money (or at least break even). If you have a Partially matched bet, that is unlikely to happen. Fortunately, there are ways to get around a Betfair Partially matched bet, as you will see.

What is a partially matched bet?

Rather than going through a Partially matched bet definition piece-by-piece, a Partially matched bet on Betfair is best explained with an example. Let us assume you know how to read soccer odds, and you want to make money on football. How does it work?

You are interested in betting on England to beat Germany in an upcoming match. You have looked for decent (but low) odds and found odds of 3.85. You want to back this at your bookmaker with a £10 stake. Then you hurry over to the betting exchange, hoping to place a lay bet on the same odds at an equivalent £10 stake.

You do so, but there is a problem. In the time it has taken you to bet, only £5 is available in the exchange. This means £5 of your £10 stake is matched with the low odds laying system, and the other £5 is unmatched. You have, in effect, a Partially matched lay bet.

How to fix a partially matched bet?

To pocket your winnings, you are going to need to do one of two things. Either wait or lay a bet with other odds if the low odds are gone. Ideally, you will want to place stake money on the best odds margins, but that is no longer possible. So, what can you do? There are two options:

  • You can review your odds with an odds calculator. This will tell you which odds market you need to add to your bet slip and how much to wager to “correct” your bet.
  • You can wait. Sometimes, people will want to back the equivalent event, and more money can be added to the market, thus fixing your Partially matched bet.

These are the only two ways you need if you want to learn how to fix a Partially matched bet. Betfair trading strategies, and other options such as accept all odds movement will not help you here.

Partially matched vs. Unmatched bets

The most significant similarity between an Unmatched bet and bets partially matched at Betfair is that neither of them give you a full bet. Until they are matched, there is no bet in play. The biggest difference is that Unmatched bets remain available as offers until you choose to cancel them.

With Partially matched bets, some of your stake is already in play, so you will need to urgently rectify the issue as you cannot cancel Partially matched bets as easily.

Learn to avoid unmatched or partially matched bets

Since you learned partially matched bet meaning, it is time to talk about how to avoid them.

  • Make sure the market you will offer your bet has enough money and liquidity. Horse racing, for example, is a liquid market and quite popular. Snooker bets, on the other hand, not much so: You will experience the partially matched bet problem mostly in exotic markets.
  • Remember that sports events are not your only option. You can use matched betting even in political bets: As long as there is enough interest, any topic can be the subject of your bet. Unpopular sports and events, however, will cause the unmatched bet problem more often. In short, always create offers for popular events (sports & other topics) so there should always be a match for your offer.

Difference between a partially unmatched bet and fully unmatched bet

  • In a betting exchange, your offer must be matched with another bettor. This means someone should place a bet for the “opposite” of your offered outcome.
  • A “matched bet” means that your offer is accepted by someone: It is fully covered by the exchange.
  • An “unmatched bet” means that nobody is interested in your offer. There is no match (a bettor who thinks the opposite) for your bet. You can simply cancel these bets.

A “partially matched bet” means that some of your offer was taken before the lay price is changed. A part of your lay is matched and a part of it is unmatched – this is where the problem starts.

Solving the partially matched bet problem: step-by-step

We talked about how to fix a partially matched bet above, but if you are truly a beginner, you can find more information about this problem (and how to solve it) below:

  1. Do not panic. Just because a bet is partially matched does not mean that it will stay the same. At some point, other bettors may choose to place a back bet or lay bets for the other outcome, which will change the scale and fix the partially matched bet problem automatically.
  2. The trick here is knowing how long you must wait. In general, if a match has less than 24 hours to start, one should not expect dramatic changes in back and lay odds. Therefore, wait until 24 hours before the event you bet on starts. If there is no change, continue with the next step.
  3. Now, you can try to “correct” the problem “manually”. Simply put, you need to use new lay odds and place a new bet to equalize both outcomes, as explained below. Find out what kind of lay stake you need in order to equate two outcomes (use a calculator if needed), find another exchange (i.e. Eypobet), and place another bet. Once equalize both outcomes, you will fix the partially matched betting problem too.

Pros and cons of partially matched bets


  • Partially matched bets are easy to fix if there is more time before the event
  • Ideal for low odds vs high odds betting
  • Rookies cannot end up with partially matched bets at standard bookmakers


  • You need an odds calculator to rectify partially matched bets quickly
  • Common amongst players who don’t understand “liquidity” at exchanges

Frequently Asked Questions about partially matched bets:

No. A Partially matched bet still involves a portion of your stake in play. You need to recalculate your odd and bets to make it work. Unmatched bets can be cancelled and are among the top bets that may be cancelled. Read more in our "why was my bet cancelled?" article.

Yes. Online bookmakers do not let you act as the bookmaker, so they can only be placed at exchanges.

Yes and no. They can be, but only if you really know what you are doing.

That depends. A Partially matched bet requires recalculation to ensure a profit. Unmatched ones can simply be withdrawn, so it is down to each player’s preference, really.

No. Matched betting offers you a guaranteed bet. With matched betting, you have covered your bases. A Partially matched bet is never superior.

Bet at leading betting exchanges today

Unless you are still asking “what is a Partially matched lay bet?” you should be ready to start betting. If you want to learn more, read about Matched Bets, Unmatched Bets, and Betfair Asian handicaps in our additional betting guides. If you want to start wagering and potentially make a living on Betfair, head over to the world-class and famous betting exchange UK site today.

You learned what is a partially matched bet, how to avoid it, and, most importantly, how to fix it. You are now ready to enjoy the advantages of matched betting and get a payout no matter what the outcome is. In order to avoid the partially matched bet problem, you need to play at the best betting exchanges, and we already picked them for you. From betting exchange Belgium to any other country in the world, we have a solution for every jurisdiction out there. They all offer the best betting reload offers and several daily price boosts and enhanced odds, so you will always be at advantage. Choose one and start using matched bets today!