Matched betting is a rare legal example of playing the system, which is recognized by the gambling industry.
Making use of the free bets that many bookmakers offer in order to attract new gamblers to place bets with them, match betting requires an account with a bookmaker who would offer a free bet with favorable conditions, and a betting exchange which is required to offset the loss made at the bookmaker. The free bets tend to range between $10-200.
How does it work?
Bookie X offers a $10 free bet but in order to qualify, the bettor has to place a bet with the same amount which in our example is $10.
Let’s take a match in tennis as an example:
Player 1 – 1.85
Player 2 – 1.85
The first stage in match betting is about qualifying for the free bet. We accomplish this by placing a $10 bet on Player 1 to win with the bookie, called a back bet, and $10 bet on Player 2 to win with the betting exchange, called a lay bet. No matter the outcome of the match, the same small loss will be made but we have qualified for the free bet.
Whether Player 1 wins or loses, our loss is the same: $20 (2 x $10 bets) - $18.5 = $1.5
The second stage is all about the free bet. Following your first or 'qualifying' bet, you will then be awarded the free bet by the bookmaker. This is where the profit is made. Quite simply, you repeat the process: bet using the free bet and then lay the bet.
For the second stage we use again a tennis match with similar odds but now because of the free bet we make $18.5 profit – $1.5 loss from stage 1.
Before engaging in match betting, check the bookies offer carefully. Free bets may have terms and conditions attached to them. For example, a bookmaker may stipulate that an initial bet is placed at odds of 2.00 or over before you can qualify for their free bet.
Applying the same technique to extract free bet offers from the many other online bookmakers, can result in a pretty impressive haul.