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Matched Betting Explained

In this guide to matched betting at internet bookies we'll take you through what a matched bet actually is, and the steps you need to make one. We'll show you why staking a matched bet is a good strategy for covering more than one outcome in a game without risking a penny of your own money.

  • Learn what matched betting is and the kinds of bet it can be used on
  • Get a step by step guide to placing matched bets online
  • Decide with match betting is for you with a clear summary of the pros & cons

What Is Matched Betting Exactly?

If you want to take advantage of matched bets in the UK, here's how the process works in a nutshell.

It's widely regarded as a "risk-free" way of betting, because you're guaranteed to cover your initial stake and generate at least a 70-85% profit. Unsurprisingly this style of betting is attracting a lot of interest, so much in fact that professional organisations have actually been launched to help individuals match bets in Britain.

Using profit accumulators, these companies record the daily free offers available at online bookies and tell users the bets they need to make to prosper. This effectively takes the legwork out of the process and makes matched betting accessible to anyone, regardless of experience or knowledge of online gambling odds. Of course, it is also possible to find free profit accumulators online in 2022, but with these you'll have to find the offers yourself and manually enter the odds.

Learn How Online Betting Odds Work

How Matched Betting Works

Matched betting only works if you're making use of the free welcome bet bonuses that online bookies in the UK offer to new account holders. You're going to need to open up a lot of betting site accounts if you want to take part.

How To Use Free Bets To Your Advantage

Matched betting only works if you're making use of the free welcome bet bonuses that online bookies in the UK offer to new account holders. You're going to need to open up a lot of betting site accounts if you want to take part.

With each of these offers, the recipient has to first make their own qualifying real money bet in order to get their hands on the free one. You'll need to spend a little of your own money to seed your matched betting at the very beginning. Don't worry, you'll get this back after the first bet you make.

Once you've made your first matched bet using your own money, you'll release the free bet offer and be able to use this to make your next matched bet. Again, you'll win one of the two bets you make, so even though you lose at least one of your stakes, overall you'll be up on profit. Matched betting is just a case of repeating this process at each bookmaker offering a free bet for real money.

The Types Of Matched Bets You Can Make

Matched betting requires knowledge of just two types of bet, so it's an easy system to get your head around, even if you're not a frequent online gambler.

In matched betting you need to make sure the two bets you've placed have covered all potential outcomes that can occur as a result of a race, match or tournament. You're effectively betting against yourself, but that's OK because you're just covering your bases and guaranteeing that one of your bets will definitely win each time.

To matched bet successfully you only need the following two bet types:


Back Bet

A back bet is a bet you make when you stake a wager on a definitive result. For example, you pick one horse you think will finish the race first. Or you choose which player you think will win the Wimbledon men's finals.

You're essentially backing one team, player, horse etc. to win. So, an example back bet would be something to the effect of:

Roger Federer to beat Rafael Nadal

Or England will win the World Cup.

You're definitively stating the outcome. And only one result is possible. If you're right, you win. And if you're wrong you lose. It's the simplest form of bet you can make.


Lay Bet

A lay bet is sort of the opposite of a back bet, with one exception. Rather than backing an outcome, in a lay bet you're betting against it occurring instead. It sounds confusing, but it's really very simple to wrap your head around.

Let's use our two previous examples to illustrate their lay bet equivalents:

Roger Federer will not beat Rafael Nadal.

England will not win the world cup.

With lay betting it's crucial to get the exact wording of your bet right. Or you could inadvertently just end up placing another back bet, backing the opposite outcome instead! See where we've highlighted the words "will not". This is what turns a back bet into a lay bet. You're not saying England will lose the World Cup. You're just saying they won't win. So any outcome, other than a win, will see your bet come in.

Matched Betting Software

To match bet successfully takes a little more than just placing a back and lay bet on the same event. You need to find the free bet offers to take advantage of online, and hunt around to make sure you're getting worthwhile odds, too. There is a little bit of common sense, research, and legwork involved, something that not everyone has the time or inclination to do.

For that reason, a string of profit accumulators have cropped up online, which essentially deliver the info you need to make the most profit from matched betting. Whether you use this software or not is entirely down to you. If you're time strapped, or not familiar with the concepts of true odds and sports knowledge, it probably is advisable to use matched betting software, at least to begin with. However, information doesn't come free, so you will have to pay a subscription fee with the majority of these services.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

Gambling is frequently referred to as a risky enterprise, but in all honestly, with matched betting the risks, if any, are minimal.

Most online bookies recognise that UK bettors use the free incentive offers this way, and they really don't take issue with it. It's not an illegal practice. You are, after all, doing nothing shady or wrong. So you're well within the limits of the UK law.

Even if you take the lowest odds around, the fact that you're matching your bets should mean that you always break even at the very least, but will more likely make a profit. Because you're using free bets half the time, you're minimising the risk to your bankroll too.

Of course, there is always the potential that these lucrative free offers will be retracted or banned in the future, particularly as recent statistics revealed by the UK Gambling Commission show that problem gambling is on the rise in Britain. It's entirely possible there'll eventually be a crackdown on bookies being able to offer free bets. For the time being, though, matched betting really does offer an incredibly low-risk way of turning a profit gambling online.

What's A Profit Accumulator?

If you don't want to pay for matched betting software, the other option is to use a free profit accumulator online, and there are a few you can readily find by searching Google. A profit accumulator is a lot like an odds calculator. You just need a few values, such as the odds being offered on both the lay and back bets. And the stake you're planning to wager. With this information you'll be able to quickly see (for free) what return you can expect to generate from your matched bets online. Without having to go to the expense of enlisting professional software.