Matched betting is NOT the same as recreational betting… Here’s why

How matched betting differs from other forms of betting
Photo by Антон Зайцев // CC BY-SA 3.0


Matched betting is a form of betting that by its very nature doesn’t involve risk in the same way as other games.

Many people find that hard to believe, but it is the truth, as the bets are always placed both for and against the team you are betting on.

You are covering every angle with matched betting, relying on converting free bets into profit. This distinguishes matched betting from all other types of recreational betting and casino gaming.

Guaranteed profits

Matched betting is all about taking advantage of the free offers given by bookmakers and betting sites.

These offers usually require some sort of qualifying action, such as betting a certain amount to unlock a free bet.

With matched betting, you bet on a team (or horse, or whatever) to win, and then bet against them with a different betting exchange.

You can learn more about how to place matched bets throughout this site, but here’s an example:

  • A popular bookmaker offers a £25 free bet.
  • To unlock the free bet, you have to first wager £25 of your own money.
  • You bet on Manchester United to win their next game with your own money, and then bet on them to ‘not win’ at a betting exchange.
  • By betting against yourself, you break even, but unlock the £25 free bet.
  • Repeat this process using the free bet with the bookmaker, and your own money with the betting exchange.
  • Either way, you will come out with around a £25 profit, maybe a little less. You have effectively cashed out the free bet!

All other forms of sports betting and casino gaming involve both risk and speculation.

Poker, for example, is the only casino game in which long term profit is viable, but again there is risk and speculation involved, and new variations tend to focus on recreational play and huge prize pools.

Time and effort

Matched betting requires a lot of time and effort, and that’s probably one of the reasons why more people don’t do it.

You have to find the right odds to match your bets, sign up to countless bookmakers, and keep on top of the offers coming in. All of this effort yields small but steady returns.

Compare this to a casino game like roulette, in which the whole premise is based on fast action and hefty returns, or to poker, in which prize pools for tournaments can run into insane amounts of money.

PokerStars Spin N Goals are a perfect example – players can win up to $1 million in a single game, and the games only last a matter of minutes.

These games are a lot of fun to play, and there’s also the possibility to make life-changing amounts of money, so poker is typically more popular than matched betting because of these potential rewards.

Matched betting, on the other hand, won’t make you millions, but it can make you a steady profit if you are willing to put in the time and effort, all without needing to learn much or risk much either. 

Matched betting vs. sports betting

Even though matched betting typically involves placing bets on sports events like horse racing and football, it is actually completely different to recreational or even professional sports betting.

Sports betting requires you to keep up with teams and players’ form, analyse statistics and generally get to grips with the games in order to gain an edge.

Then, you have to search for the best odds on the bets that you want to make to find ‘value’. There is still risk and speculation, but you are applying a more thorough understanding to make more informed decisions.

Matched betting actually requires no understanding of sports, at all.

The outcomes of the games don’t matter because you are betting on all the outcomes anyway. All that successful matched betting involves is the right offers and the right odds to lay bet against yourself.

Matched betting is a great way to grind a steady profit.

It is totally different to other forms of sports betting and casino gaming. You won’t be winning millions overnight with matched betting, but with time and effort you can take advantage of free bets and cash them out into pocket money. 

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