What is matched betting?
Matched betting is a strategy that aims to use a combination of betting odds and bonus bet credit to try and guarantee a return from your bets - regardless of what happens in a sporting encounter.
The theory is that you would sign up to a new sportsbook who gave you some kind of bonus bet as a welcome bonus. You would then put down a bet to back a certain team to win. Next you would go to a betting exchange and bet that this same team WOULDN’T win with the same odds.
This is known as a lay bet and betting exchanges are places where you bet against other bettors rather than the site itself. By laying the bet that you had previously backed, it means that any losses would be offset and you’d be guaranteed to get something back from your bets. Now you can use the bet credit without it having cost you a single dime.
An example of how match betting might work
We realize that the theory of matching your bets might be a little abstract for some people. So we thought that we’d use an example to show you how matched betting might work in practice. Here is a look at one type of matched betting football fans might enjoy:
Let’s say that the New York Giants were playing the Chicago Bears. You would go to a new sportsbook, get a deposit bonus for signing up that gave you $10 in bonus bets for making a $10 deposit.
From here, you could put down your $10 real money bets to back the Giants to beat the Bears. Next, you would go to a betting exchange and bet $10 on the same odds that the Giants wouldn’t beat the Bears.
This would mean that the Giants could win, the Bears could win, or the game could even be tied and you would still have your bet credit left over. This credit could be used as stakes for your next football bet and it wouldn’t cost you a thing.
Why you can’t try matched betting in the US
Before you rush off to match your bets, it’s important to note that you can’t actually try matched betting in the USA. This is because there aren’t any betting exchanges in the nation and it doesn’t look like there will be any betting exchanges in the US anytime soon.
There aren’t any betting exchanges in the US as the relatively small populations in each state would render them unworkable. After all, a betting exchange requires a decent number of bettors to successfully back and lay each other's bets. This isn’t something that’s going to happen in a state like New Hampshire that has a population of just over one million.
Plus we should note that it’s illegal to bet across state lines in the US. Again, this rules out the likelihood of there being any betting exchanges in our nation in the near future. All of which shows that matched betting in the US simply won’t work.
More things to consider about matched betting
It’s not just the legal and practical obstacles that will stop you matching your bets in the US. Here’s a bit more background to give you a clearer picture of what else you can expect with using the matched betting strategy:
You could get banned - All sportsbooks take a very dim view of matched betting. After all, you are getting an unfair advantage over the odds that they have to offer to try and guarantee yourself a win. As such, any sportsbook that catches you trying to match your bets will swiftly give you a temporary ban at the very least.
Mathematical knowhow - It requires a fair amount of math to know which odds to back and lay, how much of a stake to put down, and how much commission to factor in. Not too much fun unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys using a betting calculator!
Why expected value betting is better than matched betting
While the lack of matched betting opportunities in the US might be disappointing, it’s worth noting that there are still plenty more ways in which you can take on the sportsbooks. One of these is known as expected value betting (EV betting). We’ve got a separate guide to EV betting here, but for now it can simply be understood as where you think that the sportsbook has got the odds wrong.
Let’s take an example. Say that a sportsbook gave you odds of +100 for the Broncos to beat the 49ers in the NFL. However, after doing your research, you felt that the odds were a little wrong as the odds on offer gave the Broncos a 50% chance of winning.
So if you felt that the Broncos had a better chance of winning, it would have a positive expected value. This is where you may put your bets down as a positive expected value would give you a better chance of winning your bets. Just remember that expected value betting has its roots in probability theory, and as such, anything could happen - so always gamble responsibly!
Conclusion - Your resource for everything to do with matched betting
Hopefully by now you’ll realize that matched betting is something that’s not possible in the US. After all, the lack of betting exchanges make it pretty much infeasible to match your bets in a way that would make this strategy work.
Thankfully, we’ve revealed that expected value betting offers you a fantastic alternative to matched betting. This is because expected value betting is enjoyable, won’t get you banned by sportsbooks, and you can do it in the US too. So while the lack of matched betting in the US might be disappointing, at least you have some great alternatives to try!
Matched betting FAQ
Read our guide to matched betting to see whether you will need any kind of special calculator to try this unique kind of betting. Not only will we discuss why a matched betting calculator might be necessary, but you will also answer that all-important question of ‘What is matched betting?’ so that you can quickly see whether this kind of bet is worthy of your time.
Make sure that you read our guide where we will discuss whether there are any good sites for matched betting in the US. After all, this is a fairly different kind of betting to just betting on a regular game. Thankfully our guide will walk you through the basic process of matched betting so that you can see whether betting sites in the US are up to the task.
There is no point in trying out any kind of bet unless you know that it is completely safe. After all, you will be playing with real money and as such you should think carefully about how you try your luck. So be sure to read our guide to matched betting to see whether there is any such thing as no risk matched betting or whether you’d be better off trying another kind of sports bet.
Read our guide to have matched betting explained in simple terms. We’ll walk you through the basics of matching your bets and even take a look at how people have attempted to put a matched betting strategy in place. Just remember that this is a fairly unique kind of sports bet and is something that shouldn’t be tried by all bettors.
If you know anything about matched betting, you will know that betting offers play a central part of this strategy. So be sure to read our guide to see how people will attempt to use betting offers in their favor when aiming to match their bets. Our guide will reveal what kinds of betting offers might be best suited to this kind of betting and will also show you why you should consider positive EV betting as an alternative.