Matched Betting Guide

The Concept

Matched Betting is a betting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by online bookmakers.

Many online bookies will offer you free bets and or cashback bonuses when you open a new account. They do this because they know that the majority of people will gamble away the bonus along with their initial deposits. However as a matched bettor you now have the power to profit from the bookmaker’s generosity by turning the tables on them.

Matched betting is not a new concept, nor a get rich quick scheme, its 100% legal and based on simple maths. Matched betting can only be carried out once per person, but when carried out correctly you stand to make over £1000+ in profit. This works out to an hourly rate of around £22. If further proof’s required, feel free to read The Guardian’s latest newspaper article on this long established concept.

So how does Matched Betting work?

When you receive a bonus from a bookmaker their terms will often require you to bet your deposit plus any bonus received before you can withdraw the money, now obviously just betting your money like this creates a risk so we use matched betting to eliminate this risk by placing an opposite bet with another bookmaker.

Let’s take a look at an example

A typical bonus offer might be a £10 free bet after you’ve deposited and bet with £10 of your own money.

  • Deposit £10 of your own money
  • Bet £10
  • Get a £10 free bet

The basic strategy here being, you place a bet with your own £10 in the bookmaker offering the free bet, and cover this risk by placing an opposing bet elsewhere. Depending on the price of which you place the opposing bet, the result of this bet will be either a small loss or a break-even!

To explain this concept visually, we will take a tennis match, for the purpose of this example both tennis players are equally matched in skill, there’s a 50% chance that either player will win and the same odds on each (1 to 1 / 2.00).

Our fantasy bookmaker is offering the following

Bet £10 and qualify for a £10 free bet*
*Free Bet cannot be withdrawn until its bet with

Qualifying Bet

As previously mentioned, in order to release our free bet we must first place a bet with our own cash. Remember though, we are strictly not gambling here and need to ensure that our money is safe, how, by making the bet risk free. We will therefore bet both for and against.

As you can see, regardless of the final result we break-even

Free Bet Obtained

By placing our £10 qualifying bet we have now unlocked the £10 free bet. We will now repeat the process again, betting both for and against, but this time we will use the £10 free bet instead of our own cash for one of the stakes. This allows us to lock in a guaranteed profit from the bet no matter what the final result.

As you can see, regardless of the final result we earn £10 profit


From the examples shown above we have established that whatever the final outcome maybe all eventualities were covered, our own money was never put at risk and all of the risk associated with placing a traditional bet was removed.

When matched betting all possibilities in the bet are also covered and if the two opposing bets (both for and against) are placed correctly your own money is also never put at risk. Take a horse race for example; when matched betting if you were to bet on a horse to win a race, you would also need to bet against that same horse winning. Matched betting works by simply betting both for and against, by placing two opposing bets on the same selection that effectively cancel each other out. As long as the bets are placed correctly and accepted, your cash will never be at risk and you will know exactly what you will make back before the event even begins.

To learn more about matched betting, please proceed to the next step, backing (betting for) an outcome.

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