What is matched betting and how can you use it? Ultimate guide

Ready to beat the odds and the bookies? In today's article, we look at what matched betting (also known as back bet matching, lay bet matching or double bеtting) is exactly and how it can be used to drive more wins for you. Therefore we have a 3 steps guide on the exact process, to simplify everything for you.

Matched betting is a risk-free form of betting. It is risk free as it relies on applying a mathematical formula rather than relying on chance.

It is a betting technique where individuals make use of the promotional incentives offered by bookmakers, this is why it is also called bonus hunting.

The reason why it is risk-free is that all possible outcomes of an event are betted on using Betting Exchange, and the stakes being placed are free bets received from the bookmakers.

Bookmakers spend huge amounts on these free bets to attract new customers.

According to industry expert Ben Cleminson, bookmakers are willing to spend roughly £300 per customer. This leaves opportunities to be taken advantage of.

In today’s article we will discuss:

  • What Matched Betting is
  • Must-Knows in Matched Betting
  • Betting Exchange
  • How Can You Use Matched Betting
  • Why Does it Become so Popular

Read another article about "What Is Matched Betting And How Can You Make More Money?" for more basic information.

What Is Matched Betting?

What Is Matched Betting & How Can You Use It?

Matched Betting is not a new idea, it has been around for roughly ten years and even featured in The Telegraph and The Guardian back in 2010.

Although, the reason you have probably just heard about it is due to its explosion in popularity in the last couple of years. All you need to get started is a device to place your stakes and an internet connection.

In terms of starting stake, you’d need a small amount to get started and cover all the possibility. I recommend between £100-200 starting stake in to make initial proper progress.

Must-Knows in Matched Betting

What is Lay Betting?

Lay betting is placing a stake against an outcome happening. For example; I believe Ferrari will not win Formula One therefore place a stake against it happening.

What is Back Betting?

Back betting is the opposite of Lay betting, therefore placing a stake in favour of an outcome happening. For Example, I believe Ferrari will win the Formula One therefore place a stake on Ferrari winning the Formula One.

Decimal Odds: Explained

If you are a regular Sportsbook user, you would normally be accustomed to fractional odds, for example; Barcelona to win La Liga is 3/1.

When it comes to Matched Betting, it would be more productive to use decimal odds as it is much easier to compare at first glance. There is an option normally placed on top of your page to change odds from fractional to decimal.

An example would be; Odds for Cristiano Ronaldo to finish top scorer of Champions League are 5.00. Therefore If I place 10 euro, I win 50 euro.

What Is A Betting Exchange?

Betting Exchange is a platform where users bet against one another rather than using pre-set odds set by bookmakers. This is the platform one uses in order to take part in Matched Betting.

It is fundamental to have a deep understanding in how the Exchange works in order to reach your full potential in Matched Betting.

To give a brief example of how Betting Exchange works, lets imagine the following scenario; I don’t think Arsenal will win the Premier League therefore I chose to lay bet in the Exchange.

Also, there is another user who thinks Arsenal have an excellent chance in winning the Premier League so I chose to back your bet.

If the back bet wins, the one who lays has to pay the backer his winning. Vice-versa, the Layer wins the Backers stake just like a bookie would.

That’s a brief explanation on Betting Exchange, will go in more detail later on in the article.

matched betting

How Can You Use Matched Betting?

The betting industry is a very competitive market, for this reason bookmakers need to use promotional offers in order to increase attention on their sites and ultimately gain users.

I am sure you have heard of top bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power.

These sites all offer promotional incentives to join their websites, normally involves giving a free bet or bonus if the user places a particular amount of stake on a particular event.

For Example; >William Hill will give you a €20 free bet if you place a €20 bet on Barcelona beating Real Madrid.

Matched Betting Simplified – How It Is Done (In 3 Steps)

Step 1:

Using the previous example, the first action we must take is placing the €20 as a back bet.

This is known as a qualifying bet as it qualifies you for your free bet. Let’s say the odds of Barcelona were 2.00, if Barcelona win our bet will return €40 (€20 stake + €20 Profit).

Step 2:

The next step would be to lay a bet against Barcelona on the Betting Exchange. Therefore, we will place €20 euro on Barcelona not winning the match at odds of 2.00.

Step 3:

The final stage is to await the result of the match. In whatever outcome, we have covered all possible scenarios and will finish with an overall balance of zero.

However, we have also qualified for a €40 free bet! And we can withdraw 80% of this there making a €32 profit!

This is an overly simplified version as it gets more complicated as you dive deeper into matched betting but this should give you a foundation. For a detailed overview and a step by step guide, visit this blog.

Why Has Matched Betting Become So Popular?

Why Has Matched Betting Become So Popular?

Better Promotional Incentives

The increased competition between bookmakers and growing popularity of gambling as pushed bookmakers to give out better promotional incentives to stick out from competition.

This has created more opportunity for Matched Betting.

More ‘Experts’

With every new idea comes scepticism. Honestly, I was a sceptic about matched betting too. An opportunity to make guaranteed money with a few hours of work sounds too good to be true.

However, this is tried and proven and many people who have successfully made regular profits blog about their results and show others how it’s done.


Once you are a believer of this system, there is no reason not to have a liking to it. This results in rapid word of mouth, who doesn’t like making money for nothing.


Although it may initially look complicated, matched betting may be understood by just about anyone.

On average, I would say it takes around two days to learn the process. Best way to learn is to find a blog that appeals to you and follow the steps provided.

Final Words

This should provide a basis to your matched betting venture.

After understanding fundamentals such as key terms and how the betting exchange works, understanding the process should be very achievable.

When done correctly, matched betting could prove to be a nice passive income to have in your life.

We also have a article about Matched Betting Calculator.

Let the odds forever be in your favour!

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