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What is Matched Betting?

 Once you've understood the basics, be sure to read our Matched Betting - Strategy guide

Matched Betting - Definition

Matched betting (also known as back and lay bet matching, or double betting) is a strategy use by punters to make ‘risk free bets’, by taking advantage of free bet offers or other incentives made by bookmakers and then backing both (all) sides of a bet – in a similar approach to sports arbitrage.


Matched Betting –Worked Example

An illustrative example, but realistic helps illustrate this:

  • Bookmaker A offers a £50 free bet, so long as you have already bet £50 with them.
  • You find a horse racing at 2 to 1 odds with this bookmaker. You bet £50, and you are also lay the horse on a betting exchange (e.g Betfair) for 2 to 1 after commission, leaving you with zero profit or loss regardless of the outcome of the horse race.
  • You then receive the free £50. You find another horse at exactly the same odds with both Bookmaker A and Befair, so you place £50 with Bookmaker A, but this time you only lay £75 on Betfair (ie you offer someone the chance to win £50 bet at 2 to 1, so if the horse lose you collect from them £25
    • If the horse wins, you win £100 from Bookmaker A, and lose £50 from Betfair, giving you a net profit of £50
    • If the horse loses. You win £50 from Betfair, and lose nothing from Bookmaker A other than your free bet.


Matched betting has similarities to sports arbitrage, however you do not actually need pure arbitrage opportunities in order to profit, because the free bets essentially change the true prices you are betting with. Obviously there is a finite number of matched bets you can make, and you cannot increase the stakes (as you can in arbitrage betting), however if you’re serious about matched betting, we believe starting with matched betting is beneficial, because 1) it helps build up your starting bankroll, and 2) it helps you get used to the format of the individual bookmakers, which is an essential part of the sports arbitrage learning curve.


How do I find Matched betting opportunities

In order to find matched bets, you could spend the time picking out bets from the bookmaker offering the free bet, then finding another betting site to bet the other side on, then calculating the optimal stake sizes, a bit like sports arbitrage. However, we think for the purpose of matched betting, you should keep things simple, as this is supposed to be a quick and easy way to build a bankroll or just make an extra bit of pocket money. If you get a taste for this sort of revenue, then you can move onto sports arbitrage betting with a useful bankroll, and a bit of experience.

That’s where we can help.


Note - The offers listed in the offers table will only be available for new customers, but if you already have an account with these bookmakers, then just pick another bookmaker from the list. There are still plenty of bookmakers to choose from.

The site is constantly being updated with content, and products to help you optimise your sports betting experience. If you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to get in contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Risk Warning

Online gambling is illegal in some Jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to check your local regulations before gambling online. takes no responsibility for your actions. Please ensure you fully understand the risks of Spread Betting, CFD trading, and Sports betting before you continue. For more information, please read the full risk warning





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