What Is Matched Betting? An Ultimate Guide
If you are a betting fan and constantly visit online betting sites, it is certain that you have come across a betting method called Matched Betting. What exactly is matched betting and how does it work? You’ve probably heard that this is one of the ways you can make a secure profit, but most people are distrustful of this type of betting because bookmakers act according to the motto “the house always wins”.
Matched betting is a type of sports betting that should be understood as a type of business that can bring you a secure profit. As in any business, you must be maximally concentrated and follow certain rules regarding matched betting.
First of all, matched betting is a completely legal way of betting and without any risk. Matched betting is in fact betting on the same match but in two different roles.
In practice, the main thing is to monitor the change in odds on a particular match and to invest your money in a timely manner to take advantage of the biggest odds difference.
This method of betting is very similar to the stock market, that is, a jump or fall in stocks, only here, instead of stocks we look at odds for a sporting event.
Simply put, in matched betting you simultaneously represent a bookmaker and accept bets on a specific match and then bet on the same match where you will find the highest difference between the odds on which you received the bet and the odds on which you will bet. It is for this reason that matched betting is also known among bookmakers as “non- risk” betting.
It is a well-known fact that bookmakers are racing to give exclusive promotions and welcome bonuses to new players in order to keep players betting with them for as long as possible. It is by taking advantage of these bonuses that you can make a profit from the matches you bet on. By using these bonuses we will surely get a certain percentage of money back, depending on the outcome of the match, and even increase our real cash account.
It literally means that we will continue to use this money for further turnover, increasing the possibility of higher earnings.
When speaking about matched betting we have mentioned that it is actually similar to stock trading.
In order for matched betting to literally justify the term “non-risk betting”, we need to know that it consists of two types of bets which we call BACK bet and LAY bet. We have mentioned this because in fact back and lay bets make matched betting complete. We will give more details about these features of matched betting later in the article.
How Matched Betting Works
Below we will try to explain how matched betting works. This betting is quite simple for experienced players who are familiar with all details of this type of betting. However, for those players who have not tried this betting type, we will explain in a few steps how it actually works and how simple it actually is.
As mentioned before, this bet is totally legal and is considered non-risk. The essence of your bet is the classic odds trade where you represent the bookmaker on one side and receive the bet. First of all, you need to have a certain bankroll on the sites where you will place your bets. Then have fun researching where you can find the best odds and explore free bonuses offered by many bookmakers.
In order for matched betting to work, we need to play on two bets. We call one back bet and the other one lay bet.
In the back bet, we bet that our chosen team will win, on the other hand, in the lay bet we represent the bookmaker that accepts the bet on the same match. In case our back bet is losing, our lay bet will automatically be winning or vice versa.
How to Do Matched Betting
The first steps in match Bbtting are very simple. All you need to get started is a stable internet connection to search for the highest odds as soon as possible and then place your bet. The next step is to open accounts on betting sites that offer good welcome bonuses and good odds. On the site 4rabet.com you can find very good promotions and odds for all types of sports. After choosing where to bet, you need to pay a certain deposit.
Depending on your financial capabilities, deposit some money into your betting account. The speed at which your bankroll increases will also depend on this.
The more money you have at your disposal, the faster your progress will be and you will make a bigger profit from the start. Of course, you can start with the minimum investment that bookmakers require. For example, we suggest 100 dollars to start with.
Now that we have met the basic conditions, we start searching for a match we will bet on. By visiting several sites, we look for where the odds will be the highest. Then we look to place a lay bet for the same match. In order to actually be able to realise the welcome bonus given by the bookmakers, it is better to choose a match with as little odds as possible in order to be qualified to continue. This bet is also called a qualifying bet (a bet that releases bonuses). Imagine that you invest $5 as a bookmaker and you receive a lay bet on the Barcelona-Real Madrid match and the odds you are looking for are 2.25. After that, when you play a lay bet, that is, you receive a bet, you pay your back bet at odds of 2.37. The difference between the bets is 0.12, which is calculated as $0.37 – the most you can lose on this qualifying bet. Let’s say Real Madrid wins, for example. Then you will have a profit of $4.87 depending on how much commission the site where you placed the lay bet takes. When that is deducted, you earn $4.63. Where we played the back bet we didn’t guess that Barcelona would win and we lost the $5 we bet but we were entitled to the bonus given by the bookmaker and so we qualified for a free bet of $20. On your account, you will have about $14.5 (your winnings from the lay bet plus the initial stake).
Since we have reached the qualifying bet, we can repeat the process, with the provision that we will now use the free $20 bet we received from the bonus. In this case, we will take the match Sevilla-Barcelona where we will play the lay bet on a draw and we will give the bookmakers 3.50, but we will also place a back bet where the odds are 3.7.
If the match ends with a draw (0:0, 1:1, 2:2, and so on), the bet is correctly guessed, so we get $50 from the back bet because we bet our 20. In the lay bet, we lose $37 which will result in a difference of $ 13, our earnings. We should take into account that in the first bet we have had a loss of $0.37, so our total earnings are not $13 but $13- 0.37 = $12.63.
The Two Features of the Matched Bet
It’s high time to get to know more about the two parts that make up matched betting- lay bet and back bet.
A back bet is a normal bet where you bet that your chosen team will win a certain match. The second part of matched betting is the lay bet with you actually betting and accepting bets on the same match. In case of a lay bet, you offer your odds to other players and you can sell them. As it is generally known, the odds of online bookmakers often vary, sometimes less, sometimes more. Many times it happens, for example, that you deposit your money at odds of 2.00 and in just a few hours it changes to, for example, 1.65, but that is another story. Now we will give you a simple explanation of this type of betting.
With the back option or with the classic betting method, you actually bet on the outcome for which you are performing back, i.e. you support it, you want it to happen. For example, if you play a back bet on Barcelona against Betis at odds of 1.4, bet $100 and Barcelona wins, you get $140, that is $100 x 1.4 = 140. Your net profit is $40. So back betting is essentially the same as betting on any outcome in any match. However, if Barcelona does not win, you lose the $100 you have invested in Barcelona’s win.
The lay option is the opposite of the back option and that’s what we do when we bet against certain teams. We bet that Barcelona doesn’t win. Any result other than Barcelona’s victory brings us profit. If Barcelona does not win, we make a profit of 100 dollars, as much as we invested. However, if Barcelona wins, then we have a loss:
- $100 x 2.25 = $225
- which means our loss is $125.
It is necessary to mention another important thing regarding back and lay bets. Make sure that sometimes for some reason (fatigue, deconcentration, etc.) you do not mix the two bets. It may happen that you place the back bet as the lay one or vice versa.
Matched Betting Example
In the further text, we will list several examples of what matched betting should look like in practice.
You have estimated that in the match between Liverpool and Stoke City, the host, Liverpool, will win. Check with the bookmakers where the odds are highest. Assume that the maximum odds you have found range from 1.4 to 1.5. However, your wish is to bet on higher odds. We can now try to find such sites that offer both back and lay bets, as well as whether someone might want to offer you higher odds than the ones you have found. Then, set your desired odds on a particular site. For example, we would like 1.6 odds to invest $100 in a Liverpool win. Say, for example, that the odds are 1.58 and 1.56. It is up to you whether these odds satisfy you. By accepting a lower odd, your profit will be slightly lower.
We say this because you are likely to encounter similar situations when looking for the desired odds. Sometimes it takes a long time to find an offer that suits you. Experienced bookmakers are very careful in increasing the odds they have already offered (so you too will be careful when placing a lay bet) so you need to keep that in mind.
Let us now return to the beginning of our example and the coefficient 1.6. You bet on Liverpool to win and your winnings are calculated by $100 at odds of 1.6. Liverpool has won the match and you get to earn $100 x 1.6 = $160 which means your net profit is $60.
Now, we take the same match as an example if we are sure that Liverpool will not win. We are now offering higher odds than the others we have come across in order for someone to redeem our odds as soon as possible (the higher the odds we put, the more likely it is that our bet will be realised as soon as possible). This means that you pay 1.65 x $100. Therefore, in case of Liverpool’s victory, you lose $65. However, in case your prediction comes true and Liverpool does not win or plays a draw, you get the bet you have accepted. That is, your earnings are $100.
You should know that the offer you place as a lay bet can be valid for more players. For example, more players can bet on your bet until their total stake reaches $100 or as much as you put on the lay bet. ($100, $200 and so on). However, it can happen, for example, that someone buys only half of your wish, which in this case is $50. So the bet will be $50 x 1.65 = $82.5 which means that your winnings are $50 and your eventual loss is $32.5.
The highest back odds on a Juventus-Brescia match that someone offers (same as we offer in lay bets) is 1.5. He offers that the bet can be a maximum of $100. You have decided to bet on the offered odds. We further know how we calculate our profit: $100 x 1.5 = $150, which means that our earnings are $150. Depending on the site, you will probably have to pay a small commission, usually about 3-5 percent. For example, you want to bet on Juventus at odds of 1.6 for 100 dollars. The odds offered are 1.5,1.4 and below. If someone shows up and offers odds of 1.6 for 100 dollars your back bet will be complete. However, if they offer the same odds for only 50 dollars, then you will actually be betting for only half of what you have planned. Then another 50 you can bet on one of the lower odds or simply wait for someone else to show up who will accept the second part of your bet.
You have analysed the match Liverpool – Manchester City and you think that Liverpool will not win this one. You have decided to offer odds. You are ready to place a lay bet and give odds of 1.9 for $200. Of course, you have to be prepared that you can lose your money if Liverpool wins. In this case, you have made an offer to other players, but it depends on them whether the odds suit them or not. After a certain amount of time, you can increase your lay bet by offering odds of 1.95, 2, 2.1. If you now have someone who would bet $50 at odds 2.1, then you can consider whether this type of bet actually suits you and whether you can afford the possible loss of money. You need to consider carefully whether you need to drastically increase your odds.
Through these examples, we have given you an explanation of how to place and receive bets (back and lay) and how it may happen that your wishes are not always fulfilled. Let us explain in detail how to bet without risk in two different ways.
We distinguish two basic types of matched betting.
Stake Returned Free Bet (SR): We found a site that offers a free bet if we place a qualifying bet at odds of 2.0 or higher.
That site offers us a coefficient of 2.2 on the victory of Chelsea against Bayern. On the second site for the same game, it is currently offered 2.16 on the victory of Chelsea and also on that site a lay bet is available to us at odds of 2.18.
If we make a back bet on the first site for $50 using a non-risk betting calculator we can conclude that our lay bet on the second site should be $60.94.
The calculation for a given example looks like this:
First site: 2.20 x $50 = $110.00 (earnings: $90.00);
Second site: stake $60.94 for the profit of $51.64 x 0.95 = $49.06.
Regardless of the final outcome of the Chelsea-Bayern match, we have lost only $0.94.
|Matched betting calculator|
|Stake||50,00||Amount of the back bet|
|Back odds||8,00||Odds for the back bet|
|Lay odds||7,80||Odds for the lay bet|
|Commission||5,00||The commission you pay when you make a bet|
|Winnings||400,00||Winnings for the back bet|
|Backer’s Stake||51,61||The amount you deposit for the lay bet|
|Lay bet||350,97||Amount of the lay bet|
|Free bet profit||49,03||Only in case of a free bet|
Stake Not Returned Free Bet (SNR):
In many cases, when you receive a free bet (i.e the amount of the free bet), a refund is not included. Such bets can be called “Stake not returned” or SNR free bet for short. With this type of bet, we have to take into account the fact that in case we get a free bet, as a refund, we will only get a net win (without the free bet we bet). For example, if we pay a free bet worth $50 per odds 1.50 and our bet is a win, we will only get the net amount of the win i.e. only $25.
The first site has offered us a free $50 bet that we want to turn into earnings.
After reviewing the odds, we have found a bet that in the match Barcelona-Real Madrid the result will be 2:1 and the odds will be 8.0.
On another site for the same match, the odds of 7.60 are offered for the same result and the lay odds are 7.80. In the betting calculator in the Free Bet field, we will enter $ 50, then the listed odds and the amount of commission on another site. The calculator will calculate our lay stake (Backer’s Stake) on another site of $45.16 which means we need to deposit $307.10.
The calculation will look like this:
First site: 8 x $50.00 = $400.00 – $50 (free bet amount) = $350.00;
Second site: $307.10 stake for $45.16 profit x $0.95 = $42.90.
No matter the result of the game, we make a profit of $42.90 and with a loss of $0.94 from the qualifying bet, we have a total payout of $40.96.
|Free bet calculator|
|Free bet||50,00||Amount of the free bet|
|Back bet odds||8,00|
|Lay bet odds||7,8|
|Winnings||350,00||Potential winnings from the back bet|
|Backer’s stake||45,16||The amount you deposit for the lay bet|
|Lay bet||307,10||Amount of the lay bet|
|Free bet profit||42,90||Profit from the free bet|
Is Matched Betting a Good Strategy?
As we have said, matched betting is in fact an absolutely safe and risk-free betting option. Considering that scientifically and mathematically speaking, matched betting brings profit, we will be totally right if we say that this type of betting is a very good strategy for betting and making some additional earnings. In order to exclude any risk in this bet, we only need to be maximally concentrated when placing our bets not to accidentally make a mistake (mixing the back and lay bets). All in all, matched betting is a good way to make a profit.
How Much Can You Make from Matched Betting?
Your earnings primarily depend on yourself and on how much you will invest in your initial bankroll. The more money you use to start matched betting, the faster your profit will increase. In the beginning, you will only be able to earn from 1500 to 2000 dollars a month from the various bonuses offered by betting sites. As time goes on, your earnings can get much higher. If we talk about experts, then we can say that the profit can go up to 5000 dollars and more per month.
What You Need to Start Matched Betting
All you need to start matched betting is a stable internet connection, an average laptop or computer and a certain starting bankroll. As you can start with $50 or $100, it is not that big of an investment.
Unlike classic betting where it is not up to you whether you will make money or not, matched betting is a non-risk betting method that anyone can try. All you need is to take some free time to find the odds that suit you. At 4.rabet.com you can find a large selection of exclusive odds on various events in different types of sports.