Matched betting – the ins and outs
If you are looking to have matched betting explained, it’s actually quite simple at its core. Matched betting is a betting strategy that allows the bettor to cover all the outcomes while ensuring that they walk away with a profit from their wagers. So, what is matched betting really?
Matched betting is when a bettor takes advantage of a free bet offer from a standard online sportsbook. You sign up and claim your free bet offer after making an initial deposit. You then need to place your qualifying bet, as just about every free bet will require you to do. Once your free bet offer settles (where you will take a very small loss on the bet) your account will then have the free bet bonus credited to it.
From there, you will then place your free bet on a team to win. Assess the odds and try to find a suitable bet that will bring you the most value from your free bet bonus. You might be thinking that this simply looks like a standard bet and you would be right. However, this is only half of the strategy.
The other half of the strategy requires you to sign up to an online betting exchange where you will then place a bet of equal size and on similar odds but on the same team to lose. This means you have now covered every possible outcome of the match and as such, cannot lose. This is why it is also known as no risk matched betting.
An example of real-world matched betting
Let’s go through a simple example of how a matched betting strategy works. Let’s say you want to bet on a match between New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy in the MLS. You want to use a free bet offer so you need to first pick out a trustworthy sportsbook. You decide to go for DraftKings because they are running a free bet promotion for all existing players. You sign up, make your first deposit and place a qualifying bet to claim the offer. Your qualifying bet settles (and loses) and you take a small loss on your first bet. You are then credited with your DraftKings free bet offer. You then decide to place your free bet offer on the NY Red Bulls to win.
Now, on the other side of things, you have signed up to a betting exchange of your choosing and have placed a lay bet on the NY Red Bulls. You have assessed the odds and found them to be similar to the back bet you placed and you have also made sure to place the same value wager on the lay bet as you did for the back bet. With both a back bet and lay bet now placed with two separate sportsbooks, you have covered all the outcomes of the match and have only fronted half the value of the total bets because you have used a free bet offer. You might want to check out our guide for using a matched betting calculator as it makes your life so much easier when using this kind of strategy.
Tips for using a matched betting strategy
Before you start using a matched betting strategy it’s important to keep a few tips in the back pocket. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get going:
Look for generous free bet offers
There are a number of free bet offers for you to pick and choose from. It is a staple in the sports betting industry. The best online sportsbooks will almost always have at least one free bet promotion running on their site. It may be a new customer offer or it may be a standard promotion for existing players. Either way, make sure to shop around on different platforms to find the best ones.
Double-check your bets
There are matched betting risks you need to consider and one of those risks is forgetting to either place both your bets or worse yet, placing both your bets but on vastly different sets of odds. The point of the strategy is to negate risk by placing the same value wagers for both the bets on odds that are at least fairly similar. So, make sure you double-check everything before you go through with the bets.
Choose reputable sportsbooks
You won’t be able to make the most of your matched betting strategy unless you are using quality online sportsbooks. You can check out our detailed reviews to see what online sportsbooks we think are offering the best sports betting experience in the US right now.
Frequently asked questions about a matched betting strategy
There are plenty of newbie sports betting fans in the US who also feel the need to have matched betting explained to them. Naturally, they have questions about how everything works. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we have come across so far:
Is matched betting allowed on these sportsbook platforms?
Match betting is not illegal, let’s just get that straight right off the bat. With that said, online sportsbooks all across the world are not massive fans of this betting strategy. As such, they reserve the right to restrict profiles on their sites if they feel players are using these kinds of strategies. In short, yes they are allowed but you may have accounts restricted on these platforms if you use a matched betting strategy too often on the same site.
Can I continuously use the same 2 sportsbooks for this strategy?
We really wouldn’t advise doing so. As we just mentioned, these sportsbooks are always on the lookout for suspicious betting activity when it comes to matched betting. As such, it’s a better idea to spread your matched betting around on multiple sites. This way, your account does not look suspicious as you won’t just be using free bet offers all the time.
Is matched betting legal in the US?
It’s not illegal per se, but it is not a viable betting option right now. This is because federal laws in the US prohibit betting across state lines. As such, it simply isn’t worthwhile for betting exchanges to operate in solitary states with a limited player base. That is why you don’t find betting exchanges in the US at this point.
What other betting strategy can I use instead?
There are multiple betting strategies that you can choose from, all of which you can find guides for on our site. However, we would definitely opt for a positive EV betting strategy as it gives you the best value for your money.
Conclusion to our guide
A matched betting strategy can be such a useful tool which is why it’s so disappointing that you can’t use it in the US right now. We will keep a watchful eye on the US sports betting markets to see if there are any changes to the laws but for now, we would recommend checking out our guide on EV betting as a suitable alternative.
Matched betting FAQ
There are multiple betting strategies for you to choose from today but they will all vary in terms of how difficult they are to actually execute. Our matched betting explained guide will share some useful information with you on how easy it is to use this kind of betting strategy.
Knowing if a betting strategy is difficult to use is one thing but you always need to make sure that they are actually safe to use first. Our guide will let you know how safe this betting strategy is and what some of your fellow bettors have said about it.
Every betting strategy will have its own parameters when it comes to capital investment. Our matched betting explained guide will let you know what kind of funding you will need to make this strategy work.