No Risk Matched Betting Guide Step-By-Step (2023)

Matched betting has emerged as a popular strategy for making risk-free profits from the world of online sports betting.

By leveraging bookmakers’ free bets and promotions, savvy bettors can exploit this mathematical approach to guarantee returns, regardless of the event’s outcome.

In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of matched betting, how it works, and the steps to achieve consistent earnings.

no risk matched betting fundamentals

So whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a complete beginner, read on to discover how matched betting can become a lucrative pastime for you.

What is matched betting?

Matched betting is a low-risk, strategic gambling approach that allows individuals to profit from free bets and other promotions offered by bookmakers, primarily on sporting events.

Often referred to as bonus hunting or no-risk betting, this technique employs mathematical equations to cover all possible outcomes of an event, ensuring that users secure consistent returns with minimal risk.

This method of betting focuses on leveraging free bets and promotional offers provided by bookmakers as a means of attracting new customers.

what is matched betting: the complete process

By utilizing simple free bet converter calculators or dedicated software, matched bettors can generate instant profits from these offers without requiring extensive knowledge of sports.

The tools help users cover all potential outcomes and systematically convert promotional bets into real money.

Contrary to common misconceptions, free bets and promotions are not in limited supply.

No-risk matched betting enables individuals to continually benefit from a steady flow of new offers, maintaining a consistent source of income.

Bookmakers frequently use free bet promotions as an incentive to entice new customers, providing ample opportunities for matched bettors to capitalize on these offers.

How to do no-risk matched betting?

Matched betting is a method that takes advantage of free bets and promotions offered by bookmakers to make guaranteed profits.

It involves placing two types of bets, known as ‘back’ and ‘lay’ bets, which cancel each other out to minimize risk.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how matched betting works:

1. The Basics: ‘Back’ and ‘Lay’ Bets?

  • ‘Back’ bet: Betting for a specific outcome, e.g., “I bet England will win.” You win if the outcome is true and lose if it’s false.
  • ‘Lay’ bet: Betting against a specific outcome, e.g., “I bet England will not win.” You win if the outcome is false and lose if it’s true.
matched betting betfair lay bet

OddsMonkey is offering a proper calculator for this betting technique with a free trial and a step-by-step video guide on how to place your first matched bets.

2. Learn about the types of bonus offers

1. Deposit cash bonuses

This is the most basic and most offered bonus by bookmakers and casinos too.

I have a dedicated article on matched betting casino offers. It can be your next step when you finished with the normal sports betting bonus offers.

After depositing a certain amount, the bookmaker will match that deposit with a bonus of 100% – 50% of the initial deposit.

matched betting deposit bonuses

For example: if you deposit 50 euros, you get a bonus of 50 or 25 euros in your account.

The amount you get is different from one bookmaker to another.

To convert free bets and other bonuses into real withdrawable money, you need to complete some roll-over requirements.

Like placing bets for the total amount of 6 times the deposit + bonus.

Below you can see my favorite matched betting tool, OddsMonkey ( for more info check my OddsMonkey review with an interview included).

They display matched betting opportunities mostly between your local bookie and exchange.

oddsmonkey matched betting guide

They display the odds you need to take at the bookie with the bonus, and with their calculator, you can check the stake for the lay bet at the exchange.

Tips for successful matched betting

If your betting activity is based only on matched betting and you want to avoid the limitation of your accounts, follow the next steps:

  • Don’t place matched bets with a profit above 0%. It’s better if you find betting opportunities with a negative return like this in the picture.
  • Using the right exchanges for matched betting and sharp bookies can influence how much you can make, and bookmakers can flag your account a lot later.
  • The winnings on your deposit will be smaller after using negative arbitrage bets. But in the long run, you maintain the chance of getting new bonus opportunities.
  • Forcing too big stakes at the beginning will get your account flagged. Don’t be greedy and impatient; in the long run, matched betting is worth it if you play it smart and you bet like a normal bettor

2. Free bet bonuses

This is the other most offered bonus by the bookmakers. After you deposit a certain amount, your first bet will be risk-free up to a maximum stake given by the bookmaker.

For example: If your first bet of a maximum of 50 euros is lost, you will get back your stake.

I have a dedicated article on stake not returned free bets where I speak about the steps you need to take the most profit out of each bonus.

3. Bonuses based on turnover

These bonuses are not so common, but they are very valuable. These bookmakers or betting agents are offering a cashback on every stake you place.

Most of the time, you will get a very low cashback, like 0.05% – 0.1%.

no risk matched betting accumulating bonuses

But keep in mind that if you are an active arbitrage bettor or value bettor with a big volume even this amount of cashback can mean a decent amount.

2. You need a bank account to deposit funds

Make sure your bank does not have an anti-gambling policy.

It might not be obvious, but even if sports betting is legal in your country/state, some banks don’t like gambling-related transactions.

Check here if matched betting is legal in your country.

When opening an account, make sure you won’t have issues while matched betting.

matched betting and bank accounts

Some banks may allow you to deposit to bookies, but they might reverse gambling-related transactions (withdrawals from bookies).

This is the last thing you want to face after successfully completing a bonus offer.

3. Register an account at the bookmaker with the bonus

Making a list with every bookie available for you is the first step. To really know what are your matched betting possibilities, I advise making a list of the bonuses offered.

This list will help you to start your betting strategy with the most appropriate bonus size for your bankroll.

The more money you have for betting purposes, the bigger bonus you can start right from the beginning. But for decreasing the chance of making too big mistakes I advise starting with smaller bonuses like 10 – 20 euros.

If you make a mistake, the amount you can lose will be less. We all make mistakes, even professionals do on an almost daily basis. So without a lot of knowledge, the likelihood is higher.

4. Make an account at Betfair and Pinnacle Sports

While Betfair and Pinnacle Sports are well-known betting platforms, they serve different purposes in the matched betting process.

Betfair is a betting exchange, whereas Pinnacle Sports is a traditional bookmaker. You can check my Pinnacle Sports Review for more info.

In matched betting, you need both a traditional bookmaker and a betting exchange. A traditional bookmaker, such as Pinnacle Sports, allows you to place ‘back’ bets on specific outcomes.

Betting exchanges, like Betfair, enable you to place ‘lay’ bets against those outcomes.

no risk matched betting and exchanges + sharp bookmakers

By using both types of platforms, matched bettors can cover all possible outcomes, effectively canceling out the risk and making the process virtually risk-free.

The reason Betfair is often recommended for matched betting is due to its popularity, liquidity, and competitive odds.

As one of the leading betting exchanges, Betfair provides users with a large and active marketplace, making it easier to find and match bets with favorable odds.

Similarly, Pinnacle Sports is known for offering competitive odds and high betting limits, making it an attractive choice for matched bettors when placing back bets.

5. Deposit funds

For a successful and optimized matched betting opportunity you will need to max out the starting bonuses.

Bookies won’t offer a second chance to take advantage of the same bonus. When you have a bonus offer of 100 Euros you should deposit the full amount.

In case you don’t have enough funds, try finding a bonus with a smaller amount.

7. Use an oddsmacher to find matched betting opportunities

An Oddsmatcher is a valuable tool for finding matched betting opportunities because it optimizes the process of identifying ideal bets, saving time, and reducing the likelihood of errors.

Here are a few reasons why using an Oddsmatcher is essential for successful matched betting:

  1. Time Efficiency:
    Manually searching for matched betting opportunities across numerous bookmakers and betting exchanges can make your activity not worth the time investment.

    An Oddsmatcher automates this process by scanning various bookmakers and exchanges, quickly presenting you with the best-matched betting opportunities.
  2. Fast and accurate odds:
    Manually comparing odds can lead to errors, potentially resulting in losses.

    An Oddsmatcher ensures accuracy by using algorithms to calculate the precise odds, lay stakes, and potential profits or losses.

    This eliminates the risk of human error and provides a more reliable matched betting experience.
  3. Optimal Opportunities:
    Both paid and free Oddsmatchers rank matched betting opportunities based on their closeness in odds between the back bet at the bookmaker and the lay bet at the exchange.

    This allows you to find bets that will yield the highest possible profits or incur the lowest qualifying losses.
  4. Tracking of betting history:
    Most Oddsmatchers have built-in tracking features that help you monitor your previous bets and overall profit.

    This way, you can stay organized and aware of your matched betting performance.

I have a dedicated article on matched betting spreadsheets and their role in this strategy and betting in general.

8. Calculate the stakes

Make sure you use the right stake calculator. Different bonuses have different types of matched betting calculators.

The stake sizes can be significantly different between a free bet and a deposit cash bonus.

Using the wrong stake can mean losing a big part of your profits.

9. Complete the KYC (know your customer) verification

After completing each requirement for being able to withdraw your funds, you should be prepared for the verification process.

In almost every case, bookies will ask for some or all of the following documents: a photo of your ID, driving license, utility bill (for address verification), bank statement, and maybe each of these holding beside your face.

no risk matched betting verification at bookmakers

Big bookies with a good reputation will ask for a photo of your ID only and maybe a utility bill. But be prepared to send in each of these.

I advise not arguing with them about why they ask for these documents. The more conversation you have with customer service, the more issues you will face in general.

10. Withdraw the money and repeat the process

Withdrawing your whole balance is not advised and is necessary when matched betting.

If you succeeded in staying under the radar until this moment, triggering a limitation by withdrawing your whole balance is the last thing you want to do.

Asking for a partial payout will offer the opportunity of taking advantage of other bonus offers down the road.

After running out of betting accounts you can take a look at my multi-accounting matched betting article before taking bad decisions.

Country specific matched betting articles:

What are the risks of matched betting?

Matched betting is the safest betting technique that can guarantee a decent monthly income. Like every sports betting strategy, this one has some risks too.

1. Matched betting with hard-to-complete bonus requirements

Some bookmakers are offering big bonuses that could seem like easy money.

Checking the roll-over requirements is a key point in being successful with matched betting.

Some bookmakers can ask you to make big amounts of betting volume to be able to withdraw the bonus.

A requirement of roll-over for 20 times on deposit and 20 times for the bonus too makes even a good bonus not worth your time.

2. Matched betting at bookmakers with very bad odds

Matched betting is based on placing bets at the bookmaker with the bonus and covering the other outcome, hedging it, at another bookie.

This technique requires the bookie with the bonus having decent odds.

A profit margin of 10% can result in odds soo low that completing the rollover requirements would take a lot more time.

With bad odds, odds comparison services won’t display enough opportunities. This will result in harder and longer work for the same amount of profit.

Often you will need to place bets that cannot be covered without taking some losses.

3. Covering the bets on the wrong markets

Hedging your bonus bets at another bookmaker can result in human errors.

I often made this mistake when I was afraid of odds dropping or I wasn’t paying enough attention to the market selection.

With a short example:

  • You place an over bet for the home team
  • And you hedge your pick by placing a bet on the away team under.  Or, by mistake, you place another over bet on the home team

Both outcomes could be winners with a little luck, but losing both legs will cause you a substantial loss.

Human errors are hard to avoid during your betting activity, but the winnings will be way higher than the losses from these kinds of mistakes in the long run.

You can reduce these mistakes by placing bets only before the start of the match (on bigger leagues to avoid stake limitations).

Not being in a rush will allow you to check the markets and stakes before placing the bets.

Oddsmatchers like OddsMonkey make sure that their tools offer the most accurate odds and a simple-to-use calculator.

They even redirect you to the right events. So, the only source of mistakes can be human errors.

4. Not being able to cover the bet with the right stake

In some situations, you will cover the other outcomes at a soft bookmaker.

Most bookmakers will flag your account for smart betting sooner or later.

You will face the situation when you place your bet at the bookie with the bonus, and while trying to hedge it, a window will pop up.

In that, a message with: the maximum stake is lower than yours.

I suggest keeping money at other bookmakers too for these situations. If you are planning to practice this technique, I guarantee that you will face this maximum stake problem.

It is wise to be prepared, so you can act fast, and you can cover the remaining part of your stake at another bookie.

5. Depositing money to a bookmaker with a bad reputation

Even a very good bonus opportunity is not worth it if the bookmaker is not trustworthy.

After completing the bonuses at the famous bookmakers, you will likely start researching new opportunities.

Most of the time you won’t face any larger problems, but some bookmakers have a business model that is not tolerating winning players.

After a short research on Google, you can find at least a few forum posts about the bookie you are betting at.

Paying attention to negative comments about a bookie will save you a lot of time and money.

Some bookmakers will block your account if you start winning, or they catch you with smart betting activities like arbitrage betting or matched betting.

Check my dedicated arbitrage betting vs matched betting article for a more in-depth comparison between these strategies.

After some minutes of research, you can find a lot of forum posts or comments about a lot of bookmakers that closed accounts without good reason.

Some of them are allowing you to withdraw your initial deposit, but some will block your funds and won’t even respond to your emails.

I suggest that no matter how good a bonus is if the bookmaker is not trustworthy, you should avoid them.

Have you ever asked yourself: does Betfair allow matched betting? You can find out in this article.

Is matched betting worth it?

Matched betting, for people who are just starting out for the first time, is the easiest and most secure way of making money in 2023.

It is definitely worth starting if you are interested in making money online. There is no easier way to start making money from home.

The only real requirement is that you have to be 18+. Even if you are unfamiliar with sports betting, you can start matched betting if you follow some basic rules.

If you already have betting accounts, that is not a problem at all. Right now, there are plenty of bookmakers willing to offer bonuses to attract new customers and keep them spending their money on gambling.

In my other article on alternatives to matched betting, I’m speaking about other strategies very similar to but more profitable to matched betting.

If you just started matched betting, your income for the next 12-15 months will be guaranteed if you are lucky enough to be a citizen of the UK.

Matched betting is often considered a viable side hustle for those looking to earn extra income without having to engage with others, pay for courses, or leave their homes.

In evaluating whether matched betting is worth it, we can weigh the potential earnings and ease of learning the technique against alternative money-making methods.

Many people search for simple ways to earn money, such as using applications that pay users for clicking on ads.

However, these methods typically yield low hourly earnings.

In contrast, even using a free oddsmatcher tool can offer a substantially higher hourly rate, ranging from $20 to $50, depending on the individual’s skill and efficiency.

Another advantage of matched betting is that it does not require extensive prior knowledge and can be learned relatively quickly.

With an initial investment as low as $100, individuals can begin earning money through this method.

A large proportion of matched bettors primarily use betting exchanges, such as Betfair, for their activities. However, it is possible to pursue matched betting without relying solely on exchanges.

When embarking on a matched betting journey, it is essential to explore various strategies to maximize profits.

I have a dedicated article on how much you can make with matched betting. Check those numbers out, and make sure this strategy is the one you are looking for.

Matched betting tips & strategy

If you start learning about betting, you probably will notice that most bookmakers are offering sign-up bonuses. In order to be able to withdraw these bonuses, you will face some rollover requirements.

If you do not have a big capital, these bonuses can help you a lot in starting your smart betting career.

The easiest way of completing the rollover requirements is by placing arbitrage bets which have the required odds.

To make your time more worthwhile, you can choose two bookmakers who are included in a scanning service, and both have bonuses.

This way an arbitrage bet would count in the rollover requirement for both the bookmakers.

Try not to abuse bonuses by placing too big % arbs or too big stakes.

You can end up limited too fast before you even could complete the rollover. It’s not funny placing 700 euros worth of bets with a max stake of 1 euro.

1. Start with smaller bonuses

In matched betting, like in many businesses, you need money to make more. If your resources are limited, I advise starting with free bets of 5 — 10 — 20 euros.

You should already have the list of bonuses at this stage, so finding them will be easy. With a capital of 100 – 150 euros, I would start with these that I already mentioned.

If you have a bankroll of 200 — 300 euros you can start completing roll-over requirements on bonuses between 30 — 50 euros, but with low stakes.

You don’t want all of your money to end up at the bookie with the bonus. Low stakes will help you complete the requirements before getting into this trouble.

2. Place matched bets with low profit %

Your biggest goal as a smart bettor and as a matched bettor is to stay under the radar. You don’t want to get noticed by bookmakers.

Suppose you get caught while matched betting, your bonus might get canceled.

A worse situation is when they limit your stakes before you complete the roll-over requirements.

It’s not the best feeling to find out that you have to place 300 bets with a maximum stake of 1 euro. Placing arbitrage bets close to 0% or even a little bit under will decrease the chance of getting caught.

3. Place more bets after you complete the requirements

If you placed enough bets and you completed the rollover requirements, don’t make that rookie mistake of withdrawing the money.

Matched betting is not simply based on taking advantage of starting bonuses. Bookmakers like to keep you active so if you don’t place any bets you have a good chance of getting new free bets or recharge bonuses.

Withdrawing your funds right after you completed the requirement can flag your account for smart activities.

To avoid that and to take advantage of future possibilities, it is wise to place additional bets. I would suggest placing at least 5 – 10 bets.

Customers who are requesting a withdrawal right after they have completed the rollover requirements for a bonus can face several problems.

One of them is that bookmakers can limit your account, so in the future, you won’t have the possibility to use either the matched betting technique or arbitrage or value betting.

The other issue can be the stricter customer verification process

4. How much money do you need to start matched betting?

If you are planning to take matched betting, based on my experience, you need at least 200-300 euros to start.

The more money you start with, the faster you can begin with new bookmakers. I know that not everyone has this capital for betting purposes.

In that situation starting with smaller free bets like 10-20 euros could be a solution for a successful start in matched betting and betting without losing.

Why a bigger starting capital for matched betting?

A simple way to help you understand this is with an example. If you are matched betting, you need an amount of money for the bookmaker with the bonus.

If the bonus is for a deposit of 50 euros, you will need at least 80-100 euros on top of that to cover the other outcomes.

The problem with matched betting is that you can’t make sure that while completing the roll-over requirement for the bonus, all of your money will end up at the exchange.

Generally speaking, you can start your no-risk matched betting activity with even 100 – 150 euros.

Your bets will have two legs and two outcomes. One at the bookmaker with a bonus and one at another bookmaker.

If you win the outcome at the bookmaker with a bonus and the balance at the exchange is 0, you will need to deposit more money to the exchange.

But only if you did not complete the rollover requirements. In a situation like this, you need the extra money for being able to place another bet.

I think that for comfortable matched betting, you need three or four times more than the number of bonuses you targeted.

On the other hand, if you start matched betting with more money, you can start with more bonuses.

So, in general, for the same amount of time you spend betting, you can make more money.

Conclusion: no-risk matched betting

No-risk matched betting can serve as a lucrative side hustle or a stepping stone toward more advanced betting strategies.

With the aid of Oddsmatcher tools and a commitment to learning the technique, anyone can explore this approach to boost their income while minimizing the risk associated with traditional gambling.

Source: Matched betting – Wikipedia

No-risk Matched Betting FAQ

Is matched betting worth starting?

For people just starting out with betting for the first time, matched betting is the easiest and most secure way of making money. Matched betting is worth starting for everyone with access to at least 10-15 betting sites with a decent bonus offer.

How do I get started with matched betting?

Using matched betting software is the most secure way to learn matched betting. Each bettor who wants to start matched betting has to learn the basics, which are provided by many of these platforms in a video guide format.

How much money do you need to start matched betting?

You need at least 150-200 euros to start matched betting. For a more optimized and problem-free matched betting, a starting capital of 1500 to 2000 euros is essential. You can generate more profits with less waiting time.

Is it easy to learn matched betting?

Matched betting is one of the easiest smart betting strategies to learn. Many matched betting software offer video guides, examples, articles, and forums to help new matched bettors learn the basics and the essential steps to become successful.

How long does it take to learn matched betting?

Learning matched betting will take up to a maximum of 20-30 minutes for bettors who already have experience in sports betting. A total beginner will have to watch some video guides and read a couple of articles to learn the basics of matched betting. This might take up to several hours.

Why do bookies hate matched betting?

Bookmakers are profit-oriented companies. Matched bettors can take advantage of their bonus offers by generating guaranteed profits. The majority of betting sites will limit accounts where they suspect matched betting or other similar smart betting activity.

Is matched betting a good way to make money?

Matched betting is a good and one of the easiest ways to make a side income from home. Anyone can learn the basics of matched betting who have access to the internet and some betting sites.