If you are completely new to sports betting and matched betting sounds like a scientific experiment to you, you are in the right place! At Footy Odds, we are passionate punters who love the game of football. But we love wagering and winning just as much.

In our beginner’s guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about matched betting. We start off by explaining exactly what it is, then we’ll move on to pointing out some handy tools and even throw in some practical tips to get you started! Are you ready to start making matched bets like a pro? Let’s jump right in.

An Introduction to Matched Betting

Simply put, matched betting is a manner of betting that is risk-free. Bettors are guaranteed to make a return on their bets. This is all thanks to a number of steps that need to be taken while placing a matched bet. Below, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions before delving in deeper.

Legitimacy of Matched Betting

A lot of people ask whether matched betting is legal. It only seems logical to question this method, as the house usually wins when wagering at any online or brick-and-mortar casino. In this case, however, no one is fooled. Matched betting is completely legal when following the steps we’ll discuss later.

Risk-free Betting

Is it even possible? Betting is a game of risk, is it not? With matched betting, the bettor takes a range of steps to extract profits from sportsbooks and exchange bonuses. The factor that makes matched betting risk-free is the logical sequence of steps taken by the bettor.

These steps are crucial to wagering and winning. It is possible to lose if you neglect one of the steps when placing your bet. But if you do it right, you are guaranteed to win.

Matched Betting Terminology

There are a couple of terms you’ll need to wrap your head around before we get started. It is important you understand each term perfectly to start betting like a pro.


    This refers to the amount a lay bet would cost if you lose.


    A bet that is placed on the premise that something predetermined will not happen.


    As opposed to a Lay Bet, a Back Bet is placed on the premise that something predetermined will happen.


    This refers to the exact amount a Back Bet would cost you to place.

Profitability of Matched Betting

Now, you must be wondering whether matched betting can be profitable. The fast answer is yes. Next, you might ask what you can earn by matched betting. This is, unfortunately, a tricky question and there is no definite answer. It depends on many things, including the following factors:

  • Amount of starting cash
  • Number of bonuses you have simultaneously
  • Time you can spend on matched betting

Depending on the factors listed here, you can make about £1 000 within four months if your starting cash is £50. This calculation assumes that you make £50 per hour and spend 1 hour per day for five days of the week on matched betting.

Even though a lot of punters will argue that running multiple bonuses simultaneously ensures bigger wins, we’d recommend you refrain from trying this. This strategy leaves room for error, and you may end up losing cash. For noobs, running one bonus and working through it is the safest bet.

Matched Betting Tools: What You Need to Know

You’ll be very happy to know that you’ll have access to a range of awesome matched betting tools. This saves you a lot of time and effort as these tools help you as you go along.

1. Matched Betting Service

Matched betting services take all the time, strategising and calculations out of your hands and do it for you! There are loads out there, so you can select your favourite. These companies offer services such as matched betting calculators, odds matching software as well as the latest matched betting offers.

Of all of them, we can highly recommend Profit AccumulatorOddsMonkey and Profit Squad. Any of these matched betting services will help you on your way to winning with matched betting.

2. Matched Betting Calculator

A matched betting calculator will enable you to see whether your bet will be profitable or break even. In other words, it will calculate the amount you need to place on both your back and lay bets to ensure they cancel each other out.

3. Odds Matching Software

If you create an account with any of the matched betting services we have mentioned, you’ll gain access to fantastic odds matching software too. This allows you to quickly match back bets at sportsbooks with lay bets at betting exchanges. In other words, you don’t have to scan through sites and match bets!

How Matched Betting Works

Firstly, we must point out that you have the option to place matched bets manually or to use any of the matched betting tools out there. A lot of matched betting services offer you the option to create a free account, which is great for testing them out.

We would recommend that you invest in a premium account that will give you access to all the tools available. It’s important to be as accurate as possible when matched betting.

Once you have created your matched betting service account, you can simply follow the instructions as you go along. Matched betting works on the principle of placing two rounds of bets simultaneously. To get a profit, you’ll have to place both bets per bonus deal you claim.

  1. First round: Qualifier bet
  2. Second round: Profit bet

Next, we’ll take a closer look at how to place each of these rounds of bets.

Placing a Qualifier Bet

A qualifier bet round is a round of bets placed at the sportsbook and an opposing bet is placed at the betting exchange.

Placing a Profit Bet

The second round is also a round of bets placed at the sportsbook and an opposing bet at the betting exchange.

Putting Theory to Practice: An Example

Now that you have a bit of background knowledge, we’ll give you step-by-step details on how to place matched bets at any of the best footy sportsbooks out there.

Step #1: Signing up to a Sportsbook: Placing your qualifier bet

The matched betting service you are using will have multiple sportsbooks you can join. Navigate to the one you wish to join and create your account. It is important to visit the betting site via your matched betting service provider’s link as they will provide details about the site’s matched betting terms and conditions.

Step #2: Signing up to a Betting Exchange: Placing a profit bet

Next, you’ll have to sign up at a betting exchange. The one we’d highly recommend (and the only one you will likely ever need) is Betfair. The betting exchange will have a welcome bonus on offer, so be sure you understand the terms and conditions before placing your bets.

Step #3: Use the Odds Matching Software

Now, you are almost ready to get started. Next, you must use the matched betting service provider’s odds matching software to find a profitable bet. All you must do is select the sportsbook and filter the odds! Simple as that. In our example, we use odds of 1.5.

Step #4: Use the Matched Betting Calculator

Using the matched betting service provider’s matched betting calculator, calculate what amount you need to bet and lay.

Step #5: Place your Bets

Now that you have the odds and the amount, simply place your bet at both the sportsbook and the betting exchange.

Step #6: Use Free Bets

Go through the whole process again, only this time instead of depositing funds, use your free bets to place the bets.

Step #7: Claim Your Winnings

You can either win the bet with the sportsbook or the bet with the betting exchange. If you win with the sportsbook, claim your winnings. If not, keep your credits with the betting exchange to use when another offer comes along.

Tips to Live by With Matched Betting

Now that you know how you can benefit from matched betting, we’d like to share some handy tips with you. These are guidelines, but we highly recommend that you pay heed to our suggestions. Make the most of matched betting and revel in real rewards with our handy tips!

1. Stick with Matched Betting Services

It is possible to do matched betting manually, but we’d strongly advise against this. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also leaves a lot of room for error. Select a matched betting service you are comfortable with and let it do the hard work for you!

2. Know Where Your Money is

It’s important to keep track of where your money is when matched betting. You can’t have multiple of sportsbooks accounts with credits here and there, free bets you can’t remember and so on. Make things easier for yourself and keep track of what your accounts look like and what you have available to bet.

3. Keep a Log of All Your Usernames and Passwords

If you don’t use software to save passwords and usernames, it’s best to keep a file at hand that contains all of that delicate info. It’s easy to lose sight of things when you have multiple accounts with sportsbooks and betting exchanges. You have to make sure that everything is kept safe and secure.

4. Never Run More Than One Account

At first, you might be tempted to run more than one matched betting account with multiple sportsbooks. This is, however, frowned upon, and we highly recommend you refrain from falling into this trap. Many sportsbooks and betting exchange sites run cookies and IP address tracking software to limit this trend. If you get caught, you run the risk of losing all your cash.

5. Use Your Home Address

Never give any other address other than your home address when creating a new sportsbook or betting exchange account. Do this to reduce risk and ensure your matched betting experience is traceable and above the law.

6. Go with Your Debit Card

We’d recommend you use your debit card for transacting at sportsbooks and betting exchange sites. This reduces risk as well because your debit card is linked to your home address. Always think of ways to minimise risk and you should do very well.

Your Questions Answered

If you still feel a bit lost or have some questions, don’t worry! We’re not done with our guide just yet. In our FAQ section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we have come across. If you have read all the questions below and you are still unsure about something, feel free to contact us, and we’ll assist you with the whole process.

What is no-risk matched betting?

Sportsbooks and casinos alike all offer new signups a string of different welcome offers, promotional offers and bonuses. These are usually coupled with terms and conditions, and in most cases, credits must be used in bets. In football betting, you can expect the following free bets or bonuses:

  • Deposit bonus
  • Percentage of a free bet refunded
  • Get x free bets once you have placed a bet of £x
  • £x in bets with no deposit required

No-risk matched betting removes the unavoidable risk of gambling and losing your money and makes sure you still have your money no matter the outcome of your bet.

Is Matched betting Legal?

Yes, matched betting is 100% legal and above board. All it means is you are cleverly using promotional offers from sportsbooks. Keep in mind that you must be of legal gambling age (18) to wager at any sportsbook or online casino.

According to sources, sportsbook operators have nothing against matched betting as they reckon a free bet or promotional offer is yours to do with as you please.

Is Matched betting Risk-free?

Strictly speaking, it is risk-free. There is, however, room for error, and your chances of winning can go down if you are not following the matched betting steps and strategies to the tee. When compared to regular betting and gambling, matched betting is considered to be risk-free.

There are two potential risks with matched betting:

  • Changing Odds

    Odds are known to change rapidly, and you should always check the odds before you place a bet. Lining up a great bet without double checking puts you at risk.

  • Human Error

    Making mistakes when you start out is part of the learning curve. It can, however, be easily avoided if you make sure you understand the rules, steps and the different types of bets before getting started. Study everything before placing your first round of bets. Make sure you don’t feel hesitant or uncomfortable beforehand.

Is Matched betting considered to be Gambling?

In short, no. Even though you will still be using sportsbooks and betting sites to place a bet, matched betting is not considered to be gambling. You also won’t be taxed on your winnings! The reason matched betting is not considered gambling is because gambling is based on chance or luck.

How can I get started?

Before you get all excited and start betting, there are a couple of things you need to know apart from understanding matched betting fully. But what could you possibly need? Firstly, (and most importantly) you need to comply with the law and be of legal gambling age.

1.  Be a UK citizen

To make the most of any offers out there at UK sportsbooks, you need to reside in the UK. These offers are strictly aimed at UK players.

2. Be older than 18

We know, matched betting is not considered gambling, but you still need to be 18 or older before you can try matched betting. This is because sportsbooks offer matched betting and betting exchange sites. A lot of the UK sportsbooks we recommend also request a copy of your ID when you open your account, so be sure to have it ready when you get started!

3. Device and internet connectivity

For the best and most reliable matched betting experience, you must have a stable and secure internet connection, no matter your choice of device. A speedy and reliable internet connection can mean the difference between a win and losing everything, especially at the rate odds change.

4. Bankroll

To place bets, you need to have an account with a sportsbook and betting exchange. You also need to have free bets at your disposal. Your bankroll will depend on your needs and your matched betting budget.


Are you ready to start reaping the rewards of matched betting? Keep in mind that you should be completely comfortable with all the jargon and tactics as well as have a sportsbook and matched betting service at the ready to get you started.

We wish you success in your new matched betting adventure!