What Is No Risk Matched Betting?
In 2019, the global online gambling industry was worth more than $50 billion.
Bookmakers make a huge amount of money out of the bets that people place. Wouldn't it be nice to take a little of that back, risk-free?
Well, the good news is that you can. Matched betting is a method of earning money from betting that is completely risk-free because it doesn't matter what the outcome is of the sport or event you're betting on.
If this has piqued your interest, read on to learn more.
What is Matched Betting?
Matched betting is a way of making guaranteed money from the free bets that betting sites often use as incentives to get people to sign up, or to place more bets.
By placing bets both for and against a particular outcome, you are guaranteed to make a risk-free profit, since some of the money you are betting will the free bet offered by the bookmaker.
Here's how it works.
The Principles of Matched Betting
Matched betting is most often down with sports betting but the principle works for any type of bet, provided you have a free bet you can use.
There are two main parts to matched betting.
Backing a Bet
This is a typical bet, just like you place with any bookmaker.
You stake a certain amount of money on an outcome. For example, you might place $20 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with odds of 2.0 to win the Superbowl. If they do, you win the bet and get your stake back, plus your winnings which in this case would be an additional $20. If you lose, your original $20 goes to the bookmaker.
Laying a Bet
This is like being the bookmaker yourself. Using betting sites that allow this type of betting, you put up a stake saying that an event won't happen. For example, you could lay $20 against Tampa Bay winning the Superbowl. Someone else using the site will take that bet.
If Tampa Bay don't win, then you do! You get to keep the $20 that the other party bet. That's the case even if it's a draw, as you are only laying the win, so you only pay out if Tampa Bay win. If they do win, then you must pay the other party their $20 winnings.
Don't panic. You won't ever be out of pocket. Here's how.
Covering Both Options
It's simple: you back and lay the same outcome.
If you back Tampa Bay at odds of 2.0 and lay Tampa Bay at odds of 2.0, then no matter the outcome, you will break even. If Tampa Bay win, you win $20 from your back bet but owe $20 from your lay bet. If Tampa Bay lose, you lose $20 from your back bet, but win $20 from your lay bet. No matter the outcome, you lose nothing.
In reality, there will be a small loss. That's because sites that let you lay bets will usually take a small commission to allow you to do so (it's how they make their money) so you will lose a small amount overall. This is known as a qualifying loss, but it is usually very small, and always much smaller than the amount that you will earn using your free bets.
How You Make Money
Where is your risk free money then?
Well, the trick lies in using some of the bookmaker's own money to place your bets. If you use a promotional free bet to place your back bet on Tampa Bay, and use your own money to lay that same outcome, then if Tampa Bay wins, you win $20 on your back bet, but lose $20 on your lay bet.
However, if Tampa Bay lose, you lose nothing on your back bet, since you were using a free bet, but you win $20 on your lay bet. You're now $20 up!
This isn't ideal, since you only make money if Tampa Bay lose. However, by using a matched betting calculator, you can work out the exact amounts to back and lay in order to make the same profit no matter what the results. In this case, you would place your $20 free bet on Tampa Bay to win, and lay $10 on the same outcome.
If Tampa Bay win you get $20 from your free bet, but lose $10 on your lay bet, so you are $10 up. If Tampa Bay win, you lose nothing, but make $10 from your lay bet. Whatever the outcome, you will always make $10, risk-free. All from placing a couple of bets.
Types of Matched Betting Offers
How do you get free bets to use for matched betting? There are a number of options.
Sign Up Bonuses
This is a great way to start your matched betting journey. Most online bookmakers will offer your free bets when you sign up. You can turn these free bets into guaranteed profit.
Free Bet After a Qualifying Bet
Once your sign-up bonuses are gone, most bookies will have offers that give you a free bet if you place a qualifying bet.
For example, an offer might be along the lines of "place $20 on the Lakers and get $10 in free bets". These types of offers are quite common.
Refund On Loss
Another common promotion bookmakers run is to give you a risk-free bet. In other words, you get to bet up to the specified amount, and if the bet doesn't win, they will refund your stake.
There are also bonuses on offer for depositing a certain amount into your account. Some of these offers have turnover stipulations. For example, if you deposit $50 you might need to place four times that amount in bets in order to earn your bonus.
The good news is that now you know how to place $200 with only small losses, which should be more than covered by your bonus winnings.
Are You Ready to Give Matched Betting a Try?
If you're ready to give matched betting a try then we wish you the best of luck (not that you need it as you make many no matter the outcome!)
Remember that you're using real money, and although the process itself is risk-free, it's still possible to make mistakes when placing or laying your bets which can end up costing you money. It's always best to use a small pot of money at first and grow your matched betting bank with your winnings.
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