What is Matched Betting? How Does Matched Betting Work?

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What is Matched Betting?

A safe and low-risk way of guaranteeing yourself to make money through sports gambling is known as matched betting. I personally have used this method when signing up for any sportsbook and continue to pay close attention to promotions where I can take advantage of matched betting.

Before I even knew what matched betting was, I was already doing it! If you are just getting started with sports betting, or if you want to make a few quick bucks, then look no further than this article for a how-to on matched betting.

Matched betting is a strategy where you guarantee yourself a profit by utilizing the free bet promotions offered by different sportsbooks. It requires a bit of understanding and swiftness when placing bets, but you will always make a profit using this method.

You may already be taking advantage of matched betting without even knowing it, but let’s take a deeper dive into the fine details to make sure you are maximizing your profit when matched betting.

How does Matched Betting Work?

In simple terms, matched betting consists of playing both sides of a line, which results in earning a free bet in one book, and repeating the process with free bets, to guarantee yourself a profit with real money. Almost all sportsbooks offer promotions, and that is where we will start.

In the state of Virginia, almost every major sportsbook offers a signup bonus. Make sure to sign up for all of these and use matched betting to guarantee yourself a profit. The best sportsbook offerings for signup bonuses are below:

Sportsbook NameStates Legal Sign-Up Bonus
caesars logoAZ, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, MD, CO, VA, NJ, NC, NY, TN, WV, WA, DC, & NVFirst Bet Insurance of Up to $1,250
AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WYFirst Bet Insurance of Up to $1,000
AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NY, PA & VA$250 Bet Match*
CT, NJ, & PA$250 Bet Match*
AZ, IN, IA, NJ, PA & VAFirst Bet Insurance of Up to $250
AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WYDeposit Match of Up to $1,000
fanduel logoAZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WYFirst Bet Insurance of Up to $1,000
CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WVFirst Bet Insurance of Up to $2,000
*Note BetRivers and SugarHouse are the same sportsbooks

For our example, let’s use Fanduel’s risk-free bet up to $1,000. This is saying that you can place a bet for $1,000, and if you lose, you will get $1,000 in a free bet. Step 1 will be using matched betting for the initial $1,000 bet.

There are some common terms used with matched betting. The first term is the back bet. The back bet is the first bet you place in order to be eligible for the promotion bonus – be careful to pay attention to terms and conditions to make sure you are meeting minimum odds in order to receive the free bet.

In our example, I am using my back bet u48.5 points for Super Bowl LVI at -108. Risk $1,000 to win $926, returning $1,926 total. Now that our back bet is placed, it is time to find the lay bet. A lay bet is the opposite outcome of your back bet. In this example, it would be the o48.5 points scored. You can grab that play on Draftkings at -110. On Draftkings, bet $485 to return $926 total.

If you win on FanDuel, you profit $926 from FanDuel – $485 lost on Draftkings = $441 in profit. Since you won your bet on FanDuel, you do not get a free bet. No problem there, however, since you are still profiting $441 instantly.

If you win on DraftKings, you profit $441 from DraftKings -$1,000 lost on FanDuel = a loss of $559, BUT you are rewarded the free bet of $1,000 on Fanduel, as you now qualify for the risk-free bet. In this scenario, you profit $441 AND receive your $1,000 bet back to use again.

Personally, I try to find very high plus-money bets for my back bet, since they are more likely to lose. In that situation, I would have to front more money in my lay bet, but I am giving myself a very high chance of profiting overall, by winning the lay bet AND receiving the free bet from the lost back bet.

Using alternate spread and alternate total bets are a great option to target for matched betting, as there are only two outcomes and a large range to find large odds.

Is There Matched Betting in the U.S.?

Matched betting started to gain traction in the United Kingdom and quickly became a prominent strategy for U.K. betters. In the United States, as sports betting is growing bigger and faster every day, it is quickly gaining popularity as well.

Almost every major sportsbook in America is offering sign-up promotions and bonuses, and every single one of these promotions can be used with matched betting. In addition to the sign-up promotions, many sportsbooks will continue to offer promotions that you can churn for a profit in the long run.

The key is to constantly scan books for promotions (risk-free and free bet rewards), and then start doing your research to find the best lines to place your back and lay bets.

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Is There Risk in Matched Betting?

Although there is low risk in matched betting, you do initially need to lose a small amount in order to get the free bets in return from the sportsbooks. When playing both sides of a line with only two outcomes, you will lose a small percentage to earn the free bet.

However, once you receive your free bet and use matched betting to convert that bet into real cash, you will always (if you are placing the bets correctly) end up with a profit in the long run. 

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