Matched betting is by far the most followed betting strategy with a guaranteed profit. You can find almost hundreds of guides and articles about it. But unfortunately, at least 90% of them are based around exchanges like Betfair.
Read the whole article and you will find out how to bet without exchanges!
If you think about it, the UK is the biggest base for bettors and bookmakers too. The majority of bookies were offering big bonuses so the smart bettors figured out how to take advantage of them.
For matched betting the easiest and the less risky solution is using exchanges like Betfair to cover your initial bets.
But for some bettors, this option is not available. In this article, I would like to analyze other possibilities and to help you think out of the box.
Table of Contents
Possible reasons why you don’t use exchanges like Betfair for matched betting
Betfair is a safe and easy solution for matched bettors. You can hedge your bets without the fear of getting your account limited or banned. It is well known that smart betting activities like matched betting are not welcomed by the bookies. They don’t like bettors who can win in the long run too.
So why would you risk not using exchanges?
Unfortunately or not (who knows), I’m not living in the United Kingdom. So, I was in a similar situation to you when I started my betting career.
Back then it was extremely hard to find forums or blogs about matched betting – or bonus hunting as we called it.
So, the possibility of placing lay bets at exchanges was never an option for us.
But in the present, the information is available so not using Betfair has fewer reasons.
Based on my experience the main reasons are:
1. Exchanges like Betfair are not available in your country/state because of local regulations
This is the main reason why a lot of bettors can’t take advantage of good opportunities offered by Betfair for example.
2. The odds are not high enough
In most cases, you can find the best odds at exchanges. This free market is making it available to offer odds that are closest to the real probability.
This means, that the majority of bookmakers are offering smaller odds on the same outcomes.
But in a lot of cases the market/ league you want to place bets on is not popular enough. Many markets at Betfair for example are used by only a few bettors.
The less money is flowing into a market the smaller odds will mean.
Hedging your bets with a loss of 5% – 7% is not called matched betting, only a waste of time and money.
3. The markets/matches/leagues you are looking for are not covered by exchanges
Matched betting without exchanges is possible, and in many cases can be significantly profitable. The best and easiest method is with dutching.
What is dutching?
If you are not able to use Betfair or you don’t want to, you probably thought about this option.
What is hedging at exchanges? Basically, betting against your initial bet for the bonus.
If there is an option at Betfair to bet against something, why wouldn’t other bookies have a similar one?
The process of dutching is simple. You place a bet at the bookie to get the bonus and cover the other outcomes at another one.
This betting process across the bookies is not a new technique. It is the basic idea behind arbitrage betting.
It is logical that if you can place a bet on a team, there is an option to bet on the opponent at another bookmaker.
This betting strategy is 100% legal, but not liked by the bookmakers. But if you are doing it in the right way, they won’t find out.
The upsides of matched betting without exchanges
- Better odds
The bookies are in competition with each other, and they are motivated to attract more and more customers.
One of their options is to offer better odds than the competition. Another factor of offering different odds is the way of generating them or the odds provider they are using.
Either way, the bettors are profiting from this difference between bookies.
In most cases when you hedge a bet at Betfair, the odds will guarantee a loss of 0.5% – 2% on your bets on average.
But if you have the possibility to find the best odds to cover your initial bet, this percentage can be reduced. Only by this, your income can grow in the long run.
Because of this odd difference, there is the possibility to place arbitrage bets.
They can appear when the opinion between bookies is so different that no matter which outcome wins, you can make a profit on your bets.
For example, placing a bet on under 2.5 goals on football on odds of 2.05 and covering the other outcome (over 2.5) at another bookie on odds of 2.05.
- More markets
Using simple bookmakers and not exchanges means that you have more possibilities. The average bookie is covering way more markets than Betfair for example.
This means that you have better chances of finding a good opportunity to cover your bets.
- Bonus tip to increase your profits
Using only exchanges to hedge your bets is making your possibilities limited. Every time you place a bet, you are completing bonus requirements at only one bookmaker. So, in the long run, you have to fight the same battle against every bookie.
Have you ever thought about working the same amount of time, but doubling your profits?
Well, if you are not using exchanges, it is possible.
Why would you cover your bets at Betfair if you can do the same at another bookie with a bonus?
I’ve done this for a long time, and based on my experience it is way more effective.
The steps are simple:
- Place a bet at the bookie with a bonus offer
- Cover the other outcome at another that is offering a bonus
This way you will complete the requirements for two bonuses. I have to mention that this method is not working well with free bets.
With them, you have to choose high odds at the first bookie, and hedging them at low ones that will not contribute to completing the bonus.
But if you are using simple deposit bonuses at both bookies with a roll-over requirement: It’s a perfect solution!
Dangers and downsides of matched betting without Betfair & exchanges
Using another bookie to cover your bets is not as simple as it sounds.
You can face several obstacles:
- The risk of getting limited is increasing
Betfair is a good solution for matched betting because you don’t have to be afraid of limitations. But if you are using soft bookmakers, the chance of getting limited is in the air every time.
If you are not placing arbitrage bets (the profit on your bets is not close to / above 0%) the chance of getting caught for being a bonus hunter is still there.
One of the bookmakers has to offer odds that are a little bit overpriced, so you can cover your bets.
My opinion: if you are not running after arbitrage bets, you don’t have to be afraid of getting limited in a short time.
I don’t know where you are coming from. But if you are afraid about getting limited because of using overpriced markets I may have a solution for a lot of you.
One of the best bookies on the market is Pinnacle Sports. They have the best odds, closest to the real probability. This fact is letting them welcome arbitrage bettors and matched bettors too.
You can have high maximum limits on your bets and also without the fear of getting your account limited/banned. Your only task is to make sure that they are legally available in your country/state.
If you need more details, you can read my Pinnacle review (I used them for years).
- Getting bonuses harder
They are constantly searching for new bonus offers and betting opportunities too.
The biggest reason why someone would not use Betfair is that you don’t have access to it. You probably are in a similar situation similar like mine.
Using matched betting services in a country where the number of available bookmakers is limited is not necessary at all.
In countries like this, you have to find every bookmaker by yourself (in most countries you will find websites with a list of them).
After getting that list, you need to constantly follow your emails about new bonus offers.
But the biggest issue starts here.
How matched betting works without exchanges?
1. Make a list of bookmakers with bonuses
The first thing you need to make is building a list with trustworthy bookmakers available in your country/state. For this, you will find a lot of blogs and websites only by searching on google.
2. Find the best bookmaker scanner service for your needs
After getting the list with the bookies, you will have to find the best scanner software that is including these bookmakers. OddsMonkey is a cheap option for dutching too, not only for exchanges.
But if your bookmakers are not covered by them, you have alternative solutions too. The easiest way of finding betting opportunities is by using arbitrage betting software.
Read my article about the best and free arbitrage betting softwares.
They are scanning a lot of bookmakers, but with the intention of finding overpriced markets. You can use their services by setting the maximum profit percentage to 0%.
This way it is harder for the bookmakers to flag your account for arbitrage betting.
Many of these websites have a free version. Their main goal is to support arbitrage and value betting. In their cases the profit on bets should be over 1% – 2% at least. So, the majority of them are offering access to bets with payout under 1% or 0.6%.
I used these arbing softwares, so in the following review, you can pick the one you like the most (after checking if they are scanning your bookies or not).
3. Follow the basic rules of matched betting
After setting up the accounts at bookies and depositing the money your next step is to apply the filters in the scanner services.
Find bets (preferably for pre-match) that have high enough odds for your free bets or for the roll-over requirements.
4. Alternative ways of finding good bets for your bonus
In many cases, you won’t find good betting opportunities in the scanner.
For example, there will be an arbitrage bet with a profit of 0.3%:
- Over 3.5 on football at the first bookie with odds of 2.45
- Under 3.5 at another bookie with odds of 1.7
If you are planning to complete a Free bet, the higher the odds are at the bookie with the bonus, the more profit you can make.
Thinking a little bit more proactively, you have a good option. If there is an arbitrage opportunity on this over 3.5 market, it is very possible to find good odds on other betting lines too.
You can look at the over 5.5 for example. Your chances of getting good odds are very high.
Matched betting vs Arbing! What do you think, which is better?
5. Calculate your stakes
The betting strategy is slightly different, so you will need a different calculator too.s
Happy news: OddsMonkey has taught about this too. Their Dutching calculator will help you a lot. You can choose the type of your bet from Normal (simple wagering with deposit bonuses) to Free bet based on your needs.
Conclusion: Matched betting without exchanges & Betfair
Exchanges like Betfair are taking an important role for matched bettors. Betting without them will result in slightly higher risks and you will need to use new software besides matched betting services. Free arbitrage scanners are the first and easiest tools for supporting you.