What is Matched Betting? Matched Betting Strategy Explained for Beginners

Some people think of gambling as a foolhardy game that is impossible to profit from, and many times they might be correct. However, specific techniques such as matched betting strategy significantly reduce risk and increase profits.

It’s a much simpler strategy than, for example, pick 3 betting strategy, and quite effective. Below, you’ll find matched betting explained for the beginner gambler.

Put in simple terms, matched betting is the process of extracting risk-free profits from free bets, and any other bonuses offered by the online bookmakers. It almost guarantees profits when the steps are followed correctly. If you ever hope to be successful in online gambling, then this is one article you must read.

Key Takeaways 

Take a look below at the essential points of matched betting strategy:

  • Matched betting strategy is legit and legal – it’s not a scam or a get rich quick scheme, it’s merely a strategy that can be used to boost your gambling success.
  • Consistency is vital – If you want to make a profit every month, then you need to dedicate time daily to matched betting, even 30 minutes a day is a good start.
  • Track your bets – Use spreadsheets or online trackers to keep track of your bets.
  • Get help – use online odds matching software to help you succeed with your matched betting strategy.

Main Part of the guide/strategy

Matched betting explained

The main attraction of matched betting is to reduce the risk and increase profits. It’s highly recommended to use an online matched betting service. Many of the services offer a free trial with bonuses, and once you have made a bit of money, it can cover the monthly cost of this service. Study this sports betting how-to guide on how to use matched betting effectively.

The matched betting strategy works by covering all possible outcomes. It’s a two-fold bet strategy. You will place bets with two different operators. The first bet called a ‘back bet’ is placed with a traditional bookmaker. The second or ‘lay bet’ is placed via a betting exchange. The back bet is one that you place for a particular event to happen.

For example, in a baseball match, you’ll bet on Team A to win. The lay bet is one that you place for a particular event not to happen. For example, in the baseball match, Team A NOT to win.

By placing both of the bets, you’ve covered all of the outcomes, so regardless if Team A wins or loses, you can’t possibly lose. To assist you with your sports betting bankroll management, you can take advantage of the free bets or bonuses that bookmakers provide to give you a boost. In a nutshell, that is matched betting explained.

Now that you know how matched betting works, you will want to know if you are able to use legal matched betting in the USA. That is why the question is often asked, is matched betting legal in the USA? The answer is not quite so simple. This is because the law in the USA stipulates that each state has the power to decide gambling laws within their own state. This means that some states may wholly outlaw online gambling where otherwise may entirely welcome it. It fully depends on the state you are trying to use online gambling in. Attaining this information is fairly straightforward as a simple google search will provide you with the answers.

Now with that in mind, it is important to remember that matched betting is completely legal. You are fully within your rights to use your promotion/bonus/free bet in any way you see fit. All you are doing is covering your potential losses by betting on the same event with another bookmaker. You free bet or promotion is essentially your cover for the real money bet that you placed on the opposite result of the free bet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as the matched betting strategy is something that many experienced punters have in their arsenal of betting tools.

At the end of the day, the onus is on you to find out what states in the U.S. are available for you to legally bet within. We happy to inform you that there are a number of states that are legal for you to use a legal matched betting strategy with. Once you have found the state that you know is legal for you to bet in, you only need to find a bookmaker that offers you a promotion of some kind that either offers cashback or a free bet. From there, you can easily cover your losses and even make a profit by using legal matched betting in the USA.

Step-by-step matched betting strategy guide

STEP 1 – Open a betting exchange account

You’ll not be able to place matching bets without one. There are numerous ones available online, but if you’re not sure which one to sign up with, then read the reviews and ratings of each site. It’ll give you an indication of what other players think of the operator.

STEP 2 – Open a bookmaker account

Find and register with your bookmaker of choice. Search for ones with the best welcome bonuses, and ones that offer free matched bonuses specifically. Don’t hesitate to sign up with a few; it will help you spread your risk and also take advantage of more free bets. Take the time to read the bookmaker’s terms and conditions and how it handles gambling winning tax for your region.

STEP 3 – Place a qualifying bet

Usually, when you first sign up with any online bookmaker, you are required to place a qualifying bet to activate the welcome bonus. This will be your ‘Back bet,’ so be sure to check if there are any requirements for that first qualifying bet. We suggest that you use odds of around 2.0 (1/1), some bookmakers specify certain odds for the qualifying bet.

STEP 4 – Place the lay bet

The critical thing to note here is that you want the lay odds to be as close as possible to the back lay odds, or larger. If you are not sure how odds work, then look for our guide on gambling odds explained and sports betting explained to get a better understanding.

STEP 5 – Profit Conversion

To realize your profits, you simply need to repeat your previous bet or find another event to bet one. Then place your free bets on the back bet and lay the equivalent at the betting exchange, as you did previously. Make sure that you are using your free bets to play, and not the deposit that you made.

STEP 6 – Claim your reward

Once the event has finished, and all your bets are settled, you can claim your winnings. Depending on the outcome of the game, you will claim your winnings for the bookmaker or the betting exchange.

Congratulations! You have completed your first matched betting transaction. Keep repeating the process, and take advantage of as many offers as possible for consistent profits. As you can see, the matched betting strategy is much easier and more likely to give you success than even placing gambling over-under bets.

Matched betting FAQs

The matched betting explained in this article does give rise to a few questions that we get from gamblers. We answer the most common ones below:

What do I need to get started?

You will need to find a reputable sportsbook and create an account, take note of any sportsbook rules that might apply like the gambling legal age allowed. You will also need an account at a betting exchange, and a good odds matching software (there are many online providers).

What is a betting exchange?

If you’ve never heard of a betting exchange, don’t panic. It’s the middle man to punters, and a marketplace for players to bet on the outcome of events, and wishing to place opposite bets. It makes money by charging a commission on winnings. This is just one of the ways how sportsbooks make money.

What happens when my free bets run out?

This is, of course, going to happen eventually. The good news is that operators often have existing customer bonuses available to boost your Freeplay. Take advantage of these and spread your play across more than one bookmaker.

Eventually, you should be in a position where your winnings can be used to fund your account, if necessary. Search for some of the online casinos for beginners blogs that guide gamers on how to make the best of their free bets.

How much money do I need to start?

The beauty of why this is the best betting strategy for the UKor anywhere else, is that you can begin almost for free. When you sign up with your bookmaker, you can start with a small matching amount to get your free bets. In the UK it can be as little as £25, but if you want to get going properly, then we suggest you start with at least a £100 matching deposit.

What other betting/casino guides & strategies are available?

We’re proud to offer players many detailed strategies and guides. There is something for any sport or gambling topic you can think of. For example, we have a detailed sportsbook section for if you’ve ever wondered how do sportsbooks set lines, as well as being able to find information on sports betting point spreads explained.


The matched betting explained in this article is comprehensive enough for all players. For many new gamblers, the search for a matched betting strategy that is easy to understand and implement is often tricky.

There are many sites where gambling is explained, or the site focuses on the best slot machines to play, and how to win at slots, but very few offer an in-depth explanation of the matched betting strategy.

This is why we decided to offer this article where the matched betting explained is done in such a way as to make it easy for everyone to take advantage of this straightforward system. You do not need a lot of money or time to make this system work for you. If the instructions are followed carefully, then winnings can be easy to come by. Take the time to study the guidelines and be consistent, and success could be yours.

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