Matched Betting and the Risks

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  1. Matched Betting – What is it?
  2. How it Works?
  3. What are the Risks?
  4. Final Verdict

matched betting risks

What is Matched Betting?

You may be familiar with traditional gambling methods, but not everyone is familiar with matched betting and what it means.

Punters use matched bets by profiting from free bets and reload offers from bookies. It’s not considered gambling because it doesn’t require that much skill or knowledge. You don’t need to know how to gamble or understand the sport you’re wagering on.

How Matched Betting Works?

Matched betting works by placing on both possible outcomes of a match when a bookie runs a free bet promo. Usually, sportsbooks use free bet offers for enticing new clients. Once you’re a member, the bookie will reward you with reload offers that often include free bets.

Look for promos like “Bet £/$/€10, receive £/$/€20 in free bets”. Depending on where you lay, the values will differ.

For success, you should go through the terms and conditions of the offer. If you don’t abide by the rules, you won’t qualify for the free bets. The terms state payment methods that are excluded, the odds, the type of bet and the value of the qualifying bet.

For example, you bet for team A to win with a bookmaker and bet that they won’t win at a betting exchange. Make sure that the odds are similar for matched betting to work. Betting for a team to win is a back bet while betting against is a lay bet.

When you place these bets, they’ll count towards a qualifying bet of the free bet promo, as long as you use the correct odds. After the match or race, you don’t make a profit or a loss because you’ve wagered on all possible outcomes. Bear in mind that a draw falls under the “didn’t win” category along.

The sportsbook will credit your account with the specified free bet credits. You can use these free credits to place bets for and against a team to win, the same as before. Since the stake is a free bet, you don’t lose any money. Instead, you profit on whichever outcome was the better bet.

The Risks of Matched Betting

You’ll find many sources claiming that matched betting is risk-free. There are risks, even though many players do profit and make a living.


If you intend to make a living through matched betting, you need to be meticulous in where you’re betting, what you’re betting, and how much you’re betting. If you make an error, it could cost you.

When someone claims to use it as an income source, you must remember that it takes up just as much time and effort as a regular job. It’s not a lazy person’s way out. If you don’t apply yourself, then you risk losing a lot of money.

Account Limits

If you’d like to make a living, then you’ll need to register multiple accounts across several sportsbooks and betting exchanges. Some people even pay others to use their accounts to increase profits.

It seems smart, but you risk a ban or a limit on the accounts. Bookies know that punters exploit them for free bets, and they come prepared. Every bookie will state in the fine print that only one promo can be claimed per person, per household and per IP address.

While the various accounts may be under different names and home addresses, bookies can still trace IP addresses if they suspect foul play. You need to be smart and “outplay” the sportsbooks if you intend to use more than one account per bookie.

Bookmakers have no problems limiting or closing your account. Always be aware that you’re being smart because you do run the risk of having your account banned.


Matched betting isn’t considered gambling. You don’t need gambling knowledge or sports knowledge for it. You’re betting on all possible outcomes and, therefore, you don’t need to do thorough research and track trends.

Bookmakers are aware of matched betting, and they prey on people enjoying the outcomes of it. As players start earning more money, many become greedy and switch to gambling very easily.

If you make a significant amount when you place a good bet, chasing the bet can be tempting. Gambling is a risky business, and addiction isn’t a joke. Always play with a clear mind and don’t fall into temptation.


While many market matched betting as risk-free, it’s not entirely true. Sure, some players are cautious and track and check every bet that they place and don’t lose money. However, many people are lazy and don’t double and triple check what they’re doing.

In reality, when you do place a bad bet, you’ll end up losing some money. Remember that you’re betting on all outcomes of the game or race; as the game comes nearer, the odds could change. When odds change, it can negatively impact the outcome.

Odds changing is a factor that most sources neglect when discussing matched betting. However, it’s still one of the risks that you make when you place matched bets.


Matched betting is an excellent way to utilise the free bets, and reload offers that bookmakers promote. You can make significant profits, and you can make them quickly. It may seem like an overnight financial freedom solution, but it’s not.

For it to be profitable, you must be meticulous, recheck and track what you’re doing. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of making a mistake and losing money. You also need to be aware of not falling into any traps set out by the sportsbooks.

Always be smart when you place any bet. Bookies can become suspicious if they catch on that you’re abusing the bonus offers. You run the risk of a ban or a limit on your account.

Finally, remember that even though it isn’t considered gambling, you must be over 18 years old to register and play. You need to keep a level head and be smart whenever you engage with bookmakers.

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