Gambling has been a part of human culture for centuries, and sports betting, in particular, has grown in popularity in recent times. While some individuals view sports betting purely as a form of entertainment and an adrenaline rush, others have found a way to approach it with a more strategic mindset. One such strategy gaining traction among bettors is “matched betting,” a method that offers the potential for guaranteed profits, free from the typical risks associated with gambling – and whether you want to bet on the big Wales-v-England match or The Grand National, the strategy works in the same way.


Understanding Matched Betting:

Matched betting is a technique that allows individuals to take advantage of the free bet offers and promotions provided by bookmakers to make a profit, regardless of the outcome of a particular sports event. It is based on the principle of using a series of carefully placed bets to cover all possible outcomes of a sporting event, thus eliminating the risk of losing money.


How Matched Betting Works:

To embark on matched betting, a bettor needs to sign up with a bookmaker that offers free bet promotions for new customers. The process involves two main types of bets:


Back Bet: This is a standard bet placed on a specific outcome to occur, just as you would in traditional sports betting.


Lay Bet: This is the crucial element in matched betting. A lay bet is betting against a particular outcome, which means you act as the bookmaker. Several betting exchanges, such as Outplayed, allow you to place lay bets.


By combining these two types of bets, matched bettors cover all possible outcomes of an event. When using free bet promotions, they can lock in a profit regardless of whether the bet wins or loses.


The Key Steps in Matched Betting:

  • Sign Up: Register with a bookmaker offering a free bet to new customers.
  • Qualifying Bet: Place a back bet on a specific outcome using your own money. Then, place a lay bet against that outcome to cancel out the risk. This will qualify you for the free bet promotion.
  • Free Bet: Use the free bet token provided by the bookmaker to place another back bet and repeat the process of laying the bet on a betting exchange.
  • Withdraw or Repeat: Depending on the outcome of the free bet, you may have a profit in your betting exchange account. You can withdraw this profit or use it to repeat the matched betting process with other bookmakers’ free bet offers.


Is Matched Betting Legal and Ethical?

Matched betting is entirely legal in many countries because it does not involve any form of cheating or manipulation. It relies solely on the free bet offers provided by bookmakers to new customers. While some bookmakers may not be enthusiastic about matched betting, there is no doubt that it is legal and falls within the boundaries of gambling regulations.


Pros and Cons of Matched Betting:



Low-Risk Profits: Matched betting provides a way to make practically guaranteed profits, taking advantage of free bet promotions.

Accessible to All: Anyone can try matched betting, regardless of their knowledge of sports or betting expertise.

No Gambling Skills Needed: Unlike traditional sports betting, you don’t need to rely on luck or sporting knowledge. It’s a mathematical process.



Time-Consuming: Finding suitable matches and placing bets requires time and effort.

Limited Long-Term Potential: While matched betting is an excellent way to make some extra money, it may not be a sustainable long-term income source.

Gubbing Risk: Some bookmakers might eventually “gub” or restrict matched bettors from their promotions – therefore it may not work for an individual long term.



Matched betting has emerged as an attractive option for those seeking to make money from sports betting without the usual risks involved.

While it might not be a path to financial independence, it can be a profitable short term venture for some extra cash. However, individuals should approach it with a clear understanding of the process and its limitations. For those willing to invest time and effort, matched betting can be a rewarding and low-risk strategy, giving you all the thrill of placing bets while reducing potential losses.