Matched Betting Explained: Step-By-Step Guide

The world of betting does not run by luck alone. Successful bettors know that betting is all about taking calculated risks. They chalk out various strategies that can push them closer to a win. Matched betting is one of the most popular and common betting strategies. Matched betting is also called zero-risk betting. This is because you have to make two bets in no risk matched betting – one bet opposing the other. However, since you cannot make two different bets with a bookmaker, you require the help of betting exchanges. To make matched betting successful, you should have a general idea of how the betting market works.

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a strategy using which bettors bet with a bookmaker using free bets and lay the same bet via a betting exchange. Before you learn about matched betting, it is important to know about lay bets and back bets.

  • Back bets – Back bets are the bets traditionally offered by bookmakers. When you make a back bet, you are backing an outcome to happen. For example, in a match between India and Pakistan, you may back India to win and place a back bet.
  • Lay bets – Bookmakers do not offer lay bets. Lay bets are bets made on an outcome not to happen. For example, in a match between India and Australia, you might place a lay bet on India not winning. You can also win a lay bet if a match ends in a draw since India is not winning in that case either.

In any traditional bookmaking website, you bet against the bookmaker. So, when you place the back bets, the bookmaker lays your bet. Hence, if your bet loses, the bookmaker makes money. To lure more customers, bookmakers also give exciting bonuses, which include free bets for sports betting.

In betting exchanges, the punters bet against each other. Hence, in a betting exchange, you can take the role of a bookmaker and lay bets.

For successful matched betting, a bettor can make a bet with a bookmaker using the free bets offer. The same person can go to a betting exchange and lay the same bet. Since you make two bets for both the probable outcomes, you are bound to win one of the bets. Hence, this matched betting explained should help you understand why zero risks are associated with online match betting.

How does online no-risk matched betting work?

With the advent of online betting, match betting has been rising. This is because punters can now browse more bookmakers and look into the offers before signing up. When you want to work with the online match betting strategy, you need three things:

  • Free bets
  • A bookmaker who offers free bets
  • A betting exchange.

Generally, when it comes to online match betting, you have to acquire free bets from an operator. Most operators have certain conditions attached to their free bets. Many operators would require you to make a qualifying bet before you get free bets. Once you have made the qualifying bets, you receive the free bets in your account. You can now make use of the free bets to back up a certain selection at fixed odds provided by the bookmaker. Now, you can choose a betting exchange and lay the same bet in that betting exchange with your money. Hence, you got all your bases covered. 

If you lose the lay bet in the betting exchange, you win money from the free bets at the bookmaker. On the other hand, if you lose the free bet placed with the operator, you win back your stake and make profits on the lay bets. Since you did not put your own money at stake with the bookmaker, you win either way using the matched betting strategy. If you win a lay bet, you might have to give a commission to the betting exchange against the win. While placing the lay bet, you should have an extra amount in your account set aside as the lay bet liability. This amount is kept frozen by the betting exchange until the outcome is declared. After the outcome, you get this amount back into your account. 

Why are High betting odds better for Free Bets?

When you are placing a free bet, you are not putting your own money at stake. Hence, the bookmaker will not return any stake value even if you win the bet. That’s why when you are going to use your free bets, you should go for high betting odds. This is important if you are going for the matched betting strategy. If a bookmaker offers decimal odds, then you have to remove your stake from it, that is, deduct 1 from it. This will give you the true odds of the match (since decimal odds format includes your stake too). So, after this deduction, the odds presented on the back bets and the odds presented on the lay bet should ensure a low difference. 

For example, if the odds are 10 on the back bet and 10 on the lay bet, the final odds outcome is 9(back)/10(lay). Hence, the difference between the two bets is 10%. Now, if the odds were at 2 on back and 2 on lay, then it will stand at 1(back)/2(lay). This offers a much higher 50% difference. Hence, if you want to get higher monetary value from your free bets, you should go for higher odds. So, when you are making use of the free bets, you should go for close matches which carry a minimum odds of 5. These high odds can help you get a monetary value of around 80%.

Key points for Match Betting Guide

There are a few key points that a punter should take away from this match betting guide:

How bookmakers work

Before you go into matched betting, you should understand how bookmakers like Krikya work. Bookmakers allow you to back your bets so that they can lay their bets against you. Hence, if you lose, their lay bets win against you. Once you understand this, you can act as a bookmaker in a betting exchange and place successful lay bets against other punters.

Choosing the right bookmaker

Since you are going to use free bets for matched betting, you should choose the right bookmaker for it. The bookmaker should have free bets as a welcome bonus, and there should not be many restrictions for the use of free bets. A few free bets are offered at low odds. These free bets restrict the bettor. So, read the terms and conditions of the free bets carefully before applying. Apply for risk-free bet offers.

Going for higher odds

When you are placing a back bet with a bookmaker, go for the higher odds. If you go for the higher odds, you get a better chance of getting the monetary value of the free bets used. 

Understand lay bet liability

When you place a lay bet, there is a lay bet liability created in your account. Plus, if you win a lay bet, a lay bet commission is deducted from your winnings. Take these into account and manage your bankroll for an effective matched betting strategy.


No-risk matched betting is not a very hard strategy to implement. However, you need to measure your steps if you go for matched betting. As a novice, a few necessary tricks and guidance can help you understand this strategy better. While matched betting is risk-free, you should manage your bankroll and understand how the betting market works to be successful in it. Plus, you should be aware that bookmakers discourage matched betting, and if they suspect