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Matched Betting Guide 2023

Last Updated on 01/29/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Matched Betting Explained Step by Step

Finding a great betting strategy can go a long way towards helping you get the most out of your sports betting experience. One such betting strategy is matched betting. It offers a low risk alternative to traditional betting, but one that can give you excellent rewards.

This matched betting guide is ideal for anyone looking to learn more about the interesting world of matched betting. We will take you through a matched betting tutorial and offer expert tips on how to make the best matched betting strategy work for you.

The most important facts about matched betting

There is plenty to learn if you want to get started with matched betting, but here are some of the key facts:

  • Matched betting is a low risk betting strategy
  • Matched betting requires you to use different operators in order to cover every option in a betting market
  • It ensures that you cover all possible outcomes in a market
  • Matched betting is used as a way of both triggering free bets and then subsequently optimizing the value of them
  • By using matched betting on free bets you can ensure a profit

Matched betting explained: What is it?

Matched betting is a strategy that allows you to take advantage of free bet promotions offered by sports betting operators. You place bets to cover all potential outcomes of an event, so that no matter what happens you will only incur a small loss. This is known as backing and laying a bet, and involves using betting exchanges.

You then receive a free bet or a bonus, and use the same backing and laying strategy to ensure you make a profit from it.

Matched betting requires advanced mathematics to work out the best value best to back and lay, but there are a number of software tools available that do the work for you, meaning that all you need to do is place the bets.

In countries such as the United Kingdom, matched betting is completed by using betting exchanges to lay the bets you have backed. Unfortunately, due to state gambling laws and a lack of liquidity at exchanges, matched betting is a very difficult system to use in the United States. However, should this situation change in the future it is worth getting an idea of how a matched betting strategy works.

What is the best matched betting strategy? Everything you need to know

To make matching betting work, you need to stick to your strategy. Here is a matched betting step by step guide you can follow:

Complete sign up offers

Sign up offers are promotions offered by sportsbook operators to appeal to new customers. By using matched betting, you can guarantee yourself a profit from any sign up offer.

For example, a certain bookmaker is offering a sign up offer which states “Bet $10 and receive $30 in free bets”. Here is how you can use matched betting step by step to ensure a profit:

Find a betting market in a sport such as tennis or darts where there are only two or three possible outcomes. Place a $10 bet at one betting site on one of the teams/players winning and bet on the opposition at another site. Knowing the exact amount to place at each operator is complicated, but an odds matching tool will work it out for you. Regardless of the outcome of the event, you will have won at one site and lost at another. Overall this will give you a small loss, but qualify you for free bet offers.

For example:

Three different operators are offering a free bet to customers who place a $10 qualifying bet.

A soccer match has the home team at +296 with one bookmaker. Their opponents are +125 at another bookmaker, whilst the draw is +260 at the third operator.

By placing varying stakes at each of the three operators you can guarantee yourself a profit of around $2.50 regardless of what happens in the game.

You will also release the free bets attached to the offers.

The above process is known as dutching. Instead of using a betting exchange to match bet, you are using different bookmakers. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find good markets for dutching.

You can then follow a similar process for your free bets. But instead of incurring a loss, you will be making a profit. Typically, matched betting allows you to retain 80-85% of the value of free bets. So $30 in free bets can make you around $24-26 profit.

Look for existing customer offers

Once you have completed sign up offers with a selection of sports betting operators, you can then take advantage of existing customer offers.

These existing customer offers include:

  • Bet and get offers – Similar to the sign up offer outlined above. You bet a certain amount and in return receive free bets.
  • Odds boosts – The market for a specific bet is lengthened for a short period of time. Matched betting can guarantee you a profit from these boosts.
  • Risk free bets – These bets give you a refund in the event of a loss. This refund is either in the form of cash or betting credit. You can use a matched betting calculator to work out how you can guarantee yourself a profit of around 70% of the value of the free bet.
  • Parlay refunds – If you place a parlay bet containing at least 5 (this can vary) selections and one selection lets you down, you receive a free refund on your bet. To make a profit from this requires advanced matched betting techniques, but it is possible.

Matched betting explained: What are the pros and cons?

Now that we have explained how matched betting works, let’s look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using matched betting.

Matched betting explained: Pros

Matched betting is virtually risk-free

Most betting strategies, such as the best hockey betting strategy, carry a certain degree of risk. But matched betting is virtually risk free. Whilst you will lose a few cents when you place qualifying bets, the promotions you qualify for will guarantee you an overall profit. The only minor risk is if you make an error when placing a bet.

It is a stress-free way of betting

By placing bets at different operators, you are ensuring that your bet wins somewhere. This makes for a far more relaxed betting experience as there is no chance of you making a big loss. You can just sit back and enjoy watching the game.

You do not have to be a sports fan to do it

Because matched betting requires you to cover every outcome in a market, the actual result of the market is not important. As such, you did not need to have any sports knowledge in order to place the bets.

Matched betting calculators do the hard work for you

Working out the optimum stakes for matched betting requires advanced mathematics skills. Luckily, there are matched betting calculators available that do all of the work for you. They tell you exactly how much you need to bet at each site in order to maximize your profit or minimize your loss.

Matched betting system cons

It is less exciting than regular betting

Watching your bet play out can be an exciting experience. But with matched betting it does not matter what happens as you have covered all options, this can make it harder for you to stay interested in the game.

Matched bettors often get restricted

Betting companies do not like matched bettors. This is because matched bettors take value from them by continually using free bets and promotions. As such, operators often ‘gub’ matched bettors. If you are ‘gubbed’ by an operator you can no longer claim bonus offers and often have your maximum stake restricted. Being gubbed is inevitable if you do matched betting, but if you sign up for over 30-40 betting sites, being gubbed by a few is not a big problem.

It can seem intimidating

Matched betting comes with a lot of technical terms and jargon. Getting to grips with it all can be tricky and can be intimidating, especially in the United States where dutching is the nearest equivalent to standard matched betting. If you are used to the simple way of placing a bet, matched betting can seem like a completely different concept. You will also find that matched betting involves a lot of money moving in and out of accounts, which can be unnerving for some bettors.

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Matched betting explained: Our top five expert tips

To help you out with your matched betting strategy, our betting experts have put together their five essential tips for success at matched betting:

Keep a record of your bets

Matched betting step by step involves a lot of bets being placed and a lot of money moving around. It is vital that you keep a record of each and every bet you place. Not only will it enable you to know exactly where your free bets are, but it will also tell you how much overall profit you have made.

Use separate bank accounts and email addresses

To help keep your matched betting finances separate from your day-to-day spending, it is highly recommended that you set up a separate bank account for matched betting. Likewise, you will receive a lot of email correspondence, so it is recommended that you create a new email account for matched betting activity.

Join a matched betting site

Matched betting sites are one-stop shops for matched bettors. They contain calculators, offers and guides. You will also find forums that are full of advice on the latest matched betting offers and guidance for when you encounter any problems. It can cost a small fee to join a matched betting site, but it will save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long term.

Place the occasional mug bet

Mug betting is a term used by matched bettors to describe placing small bets in the same way that a ‘normal’ customer would. Whilst this is not recommended on a regular basis, placing the occasional $1 mug bet can help you to stay under the radar of operators and avoid being gubbed. Spending (e.g.) $10 a month to avoid being gubbed, will be very profitable in the long run. Plus, you never know, some of your mug bets might win.

Do not think of matched betting as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme

It is possible to hit a big win when matched betting, but these wins are few and far between. Instead, you will pick up a steady stream of small wins and your profits will slowly rise. Try to think of matched betting as a steady income source rather than a chance to make big profits in one go.

What other betting strategies are available?

Although matched betting is extremely difficult to do in the United States, there are some other profitable betting strategies you can adopt. Here are a few of them:

In-play betting

In-play betting involves placing bets whilst an event is taking place. In-play bettors look for enhanced value in markets and try to optimize the ideal time to place bets. This is a fast paced and risky strategy but it can lead to some big wins. In-play betting is better suited to sports which take a relatively longer time to complete. So whilst sports such as horse racing are tricky for inplay betting, you can use (for example) your best football betting strategy for in-play betting.

Arbing

Arbitrage betting is fairly similar to matched betting but does not include the free offers element. Arbing takes advantage of odds discrepancies between operators. By placing bets on all possible market outcomes using the best operator for each option, you can guarantee yourself a small profit whatever the outcome.

Pick Three

A Pick Three betting strategy is popular with horse racing fans. It involves placing one bet on the winner of three successive horse races. To win a Pick Three bet, you need all three of your horses to finish first in their races. Pick Three is a popular strategy because it offers excellent value compared to placing individual bets.

Alternatively, you can choose to focus your efforts on just one sport, for instance by adopting golf betting strategies.

Matched betting explained: Conclusion

Matched betting is a good option for people who want to take the risk out of betting. Thanks to matched betting calculators and matched betting step by step guides like ours here at TheGruelingTruth.com, it is very easy to do.

To make matched betting work for you, it is imperative that you closely follow the instructions for completing offers. You should also read the small print on betting sites to ensure that offers have not changed – factors such as maximum stakes and wagering requirements often change, so ensure you are betting inline with the latest promotional terms and conditions.

If you follow the steps properly, use a matched betting site for your calculations and apply our expert tips, then matched betting can become an effective and enjoyable betting strategy for you. Good luck!

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Matched betting explained – FAQ

🚨Is matched betting legal?

Any betting strategy you use should be one that’s legal. TheGruelingTruth.com would never steer you wrong when it comes to ways to legally maximize your betting opportunities. The best way to bet is to be knowledgeable and well-informed, so be sure to check our betting strategy guides for everything you need to know on everything from matched betting to the best football betting strategies.

🏅Is matched betting the best betting strategy?

That is a personal decision, but it is an extremely difficult strategy to use in the United States. But if you are risk-averse then it is certainly one of the best options. To find your perfect betting strategy you need to carefully read our guides. There are some betting strategies that can be applied to single sports, such as horse racing betting strategies

🏓What is the best sport for matched betting?

In truth, it doesn’t really matter which sport you place your matched bets on, but typically sports with only two or three possible outcomes are the easiest to use if you are dutching. You need to find the markets that have the closed matches. You can find out more about betting strategies for individual sports by reading our guides, including matched betting explained and many other useful topics.

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