Mаtched bеtting (also known as back bet matching, lay bet matching or double bеtting) is a bеtting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers.
It is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.
Moreover, matched betting is considered risk-free as it negates the liability of the bet by laying the same outcome.
A typical return for a matched bet where the stake is returned is 85% of the free bet offer amount, and 70% where the stake is not returned. The concept of matched betting requires an account with two or more bookmakers or betting exchanges where at least one offers the user a free bet.
When the free bet is placed the other bookmakers or betting exchanges are used to hedge all the possible outcomes so that no matter what happens the value of the free bet is retained.
At its simplest, a matched bet involves placing a back bet using the free bet at a bookmaker while placing the opposing lay bet at a betting exchange.
More advanced versions involve placing the bets on multiple bookmakers (dutching) to avoid the commission charged for using an exchange.
Generally, bookmakers incorporate terms by which bettors must first place a bet using their own money in order to qualify for the free bet.
For this, a bet is placed on particular results occurring with the bookmaker and a second bet placed on the same result not occurring at the betting exchange.
The latter is required to offset any loss in the event that the result does not occur; for instance, if a team loses.
Once the free bet has been qualified, the same process is followed with the exception that a free bet is being used.
No matter which result occurs, there will always be a guaranteed profit because the bet was made free of charge.