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Matched Betting: Can You Really Beat the Bookies?

The matched betting strategy has been around since the start of online betting. It is a method that punters use to gain as much value as possible from bookmakers’ bonuses. Some punters also see it as a good way of reducing the risk associating with sports betting. As with any strategy, there can be benefits to betting this way, but, as always, it is vital that you know what you are doing before diving in.
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Matched betting strategy highlights

  • A process which converts bookies’ bonuses into cash
  • Based on mathematical principles, rather than chance
  • Use a betting exchange to obtain best results

Matched betting: requires good knowledge of betting

To obtain the best results from matched betting strategies, you need to use a betting exchange, such as Betfair, where it is possible to place lay and back bets. You will also need to sign up with a conventional bookie, in order to obtain your welcome bonus. Using the betting exchange and the bookmaker means that you can bet on both outcomes of a match, and cover any losses. For example, if you back a team to win with a conventional bookmaker, you can then cover the team losing or drawing with bets placed at the betting exchange. In theory, this means that you can make all your money back, whatever the final result of the match. If you are using a free bet obtained via a bookmaker’s bonus, you can turn it into real winnings fairly quickly by using this method.

This process is sometimes referred to as ‘hedging’, which means that your bets are covering all possible outcomes. The strategy can become very complex, with many punters using matched bet calculators and other apps and software to help them pick the most appealing bets. It’s important to note that this is not a wise strategy to follow for novice punters. To make it work properly, you not only need the sporting knowledge that all successful punters require, but you need good knowledge of the nuts and bolts of betting too. You need to know how to sign up and open an account at an online bookie, and also how to use a betting exchange.

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Football and horse racing offer best value for matched betting

Many experts insist that the best way to make use of a matched betting strategy is to bet on football. This is because the gap between the back odds and the lay odds is usually very small. This makes being successful much easier. Football also provides plenty of low odds bets, with odds of below 2.0. This means that, as a punter, you can get other punters to match your bets on the betting exchanges fairly easily. This is partly because of the amount of liquidity (i.e. cash) that exists in football betting markets. Low odds also keep your liabilities at the betting exchange low, boosting your overall profits.

Horse racing is also a good option, but it’s best to stay away from tennis, snooker, golf and American sports. This is because these sports have complex retirement rules and often require special lay markets. This is often too complex for many punters, especially newcomers to the world of matched betting. Stick to football and horse racing, at least to begin with, to give yourself the best chance of success. Bet on the football matched odds markets, also known as the win/draw/win market. This is where you will find the tightest odds matches and the most liquidity.

Use Betting.org to improve your betting knowledge

Before you start placing bets using this strategy, it is a good idea to visit Betting.org. We offer expert tips and advice on how you can place better bets. We provide you with insight into which bookmakers offer the best value, both in terms of the markets and types of bets they offer, and in terms of bonuses/promotions.

We also take a close look at different sports, and offer you advice on how you can shape your betting strategies to be more successful when placing wagers on those sports. You can also browse more articles on a range of different strategies, and how you can employ them for your own advantage. You’ll find most of your betting questions answered at Betting.org, and can even leave comments if you are seeking further explanation of something baffling.

A way to beat the bookies?

Matched betting summary

  • Hedge bets to cover losses and profit from bookies’ bonuses
  • Focus on football betting for a better chance of success
  • Requires an account with an online bookie, plus access to betting exchange
  • Requires good knowledge of how a betting exchange works

Matched betting can be a good way of taking advantage of bookmakers’ bonuses. But you need to approach the process with care and good knowledge. Before you start using matched betting, it is a good idea to get some experience using a betting exchange. Without this, it will be hard for you to be successful. Choose the right sport, though, and bet with care, and it is possible to beat the bookies with matched betting.
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