What Is Matched Betting And Are There Risks To This Strategy?

Sports wagering can be a lot of fun. However, if you find that you’re losing more than you win, then you might start looking for a different approach. This could be as simple as researching your bets more thoroughly, or you could find a strategy to apply to your wagers.

Every betting approach or system has its risks. Picking a strategy will involve choosing one that suits your betting style. It will also mean finding one that brings some success with low risks, or accepting that you’ll need to take steps to minimise the chances of things going wrong.

You might have heard about bettors finding success with matched betting. It’s a strategy that requires some research and planning. The main focus, though, is the results. It isn’t foolproof, but it could lead to a significant improvement in your success rate.

Matched Betting

matched betting strategy

Like many betting strategies, matched betting involves applying mathematics to choosing your bets and stake. In this way, you can remove some of the chance involved in betting. Fans of this approach describe it as risk-free, and some articles push it as a way of a good strategy.

This might start ringing alarm bells for you since you know there isn’t a guaranteed route to success in betting. That doesn’t mean that you should write off matched betting entirely, though. It’s worth knowing what’s involved so you can determine whether it’s for you.

Matched betting relies on using sportsbook bonuses to your advantage. Specifically, it means placing wagers using the free bets that many bookies give out as welcome offers. You need to do more than just use free bets, though. When you back a team or competitor to win in an event with a free bet, you also need to place a lay bet.

As a result of placing more than one bet on one event, you’re covering the possible outcomes to ensure a profit. By using free bets, you don’t need to provide all of the stakes to cover the different possibilities.

How To Implement A Matched Betting Strategy

There are two key factors to matched betting. The first is to register at different sportsbooks with free bet offers. These will be used for your bets that back a team or competitor in your chosen events.

Secondly, you’ll need to use a betting exchange, like Betfair, to place your lay bets. A back bet is when you pick a team to win. A lay bet is when you bet against this happening. At standard bookmakers, you can only place back bets, which predict that an outcome will happen. Betting exchanges allow you to wager that something won’t happen.

In this way, you can cover the potential outcomes of an event. If a team wins, your back bet will bring you winnings. If the team doesn’t win, meaning it loses or draws, then your lay bet wins.

The final key to bringing these two elements together to make match betting work is to focus on the odds. Not every event will be suitable for this strategy. The back bet and lay bet odds need to be as close as possible to minimise your losses.

You have to provide a stake for your lay bet as well as the free bet for your back bet. One of these won’t get paid back to you, so you’ll need to know how that loss compares with your overall profit. This is where the maths comes in, but you can use online calculators or odds matchers to help you.

What Are The Risks?

A lot of people wonder whether matched betting is legal since it seems too good to be true. It’s all above board, which means that anyone can do it. Sportsbooks might pick up on the suspicious betting activity, leading to a limit on your account. However, since you’ll be using a betting exchange and different free bets, this is just an issue to keep in mind.

Since matched betting is legal, the main risks are planning your approach correctly. To make a matched betting strategy work, you’ll first need to know how much to bet, and how much profit you’ll get back.

The biggest risk to matched betting is getting your calculations wrong. The two bets mean that you have both outcomes covered. However, if you don’t choose the right odds, the right stake or incorrectly calculate the profits, then you could find yourself out of pocket.

How To Improve Your Chances Of Success

improve matched betting success

Identifying the risks and then putting plans to mitigate them in place will improve your success with this method. You should follow a step by step process for setting up every wager that you place in your matched betting strategy. This will ensure that things go to plan.

One of the steps that must feature in your approach is to calculate the lay bet commission. Usually, a betting exchange will charge a 5% commission of your winnings. You should include this 5% when you’re looking at the odds, your stake and your profits. You should also remember that if your free bet wins, you’ll only get the profits and not your stake back.

Since matched betting involves placing a lay bet at a betting exchange, you’ll also need to account for liability if you lose. When you lay a bet, you’re acting as the bookmaker, which means that you’re liable for paying if the bet loses. You can check the liability when placing the wager at the betting exchange.

The final area for error is in calculating the odds. You can rule out human error by using an online tool. This could be a simple bet calculator that helps you understand the stake and profits. Alternatively, you can use a matched betting tool. This will help you to identify events with odds to back, and an equivalent to lay at a betting exchange.

Ready To Try Matched Betting?

One of the biggest barriers to not benefitting from matched betting is that it can seem to be too complicated or time-consuming. Once you’ve managed to grasp the main concept, it’s worth taking a little bit of time to plan and try your first bet.

Things will become clear pretty quickly. As long as you account for all of the variables, you can minimise the risks of matched betting and enjoy the results. No strategy is perfect, but getting this one right is certainly rewarding.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.