Match Betting Guide 2023

Match Betting Guide 2023

What is Matched Betting? 

Matched betting is a strategy used by sports gamblers which takes advantage of sportsbook's betting offers. This is not just the case for the familiar welcome bonus, but it can be used for daily existing offers or even a free bet that has been given to a customer for their loyalty. The secret to matched betting is to cover all outcomes of a selected sporting event and come out with guaranteed profit. Bookmakers have copped onto matched betting in recent years and they have experts hired to make sure that they do not end up getting stung for too much. However, you can still make a profit these days. 

How does Matched Betting work? 

For matched betting to work, you need to cover all the possible outcomes of a sporting event. You cannot usually make this work by just using your best betting sites or standard bookmaker. Bookies have a betting margin set for every sporting event that guarantees them a profit. So for you to succeed at matched betting, you need to use a betting exchange like Betfair or Betdaq. Ladbrokes even have an exchange in Ireland now which is very useful. 

A betting exchange is a platform that gives gamblers the chance to bet against other normal gamblers rather than bet with the bookmaker. When you use a betting exchange, you utilize it by requesting odds from other people who will be happy to lay your bet. The betting exchange makes its money by taking a small commission from the winner, from 4% up to 40% depending on your level of activity and profits. 

Lay betting is possible on an exchange and this is the recipe for success as far as matched betting is concerned. A lay bet is when you back an outcome to lose rather than to win. Betting exchanges are now very popular because they offer gamblers a bigger variety and you will usually get much bigger prices on outsider bets. One the betting exchange, the market is not made by just one person, but by a huge amount of bets. In turn, that means that there is far more pressure on layers to give generous prices so that their bets are matched. 

Example of Matched Betting 

The single most popular betting market for Irish gamblers is the English Premier League, so we are going to use the league in our example. Let's just say that Manchester City are playing Arsenal. If you bet on Arsenal to win the match, they need to be leading once the final whistle is blown after 90 minutes. However, if you felt that Arsenal would not win, you could lay an Arsenal win. If Manchester City go on to win or even draw the game, your lay on Arsenal would be a successful lay bet that you have just won. 

So, what has that got to do with matched betting, you might say? In order to try to guarantee a profit, you will go to the bookmaker site that you have a betting account with and back Arsenal to win the match. To cover all other angles, you will then go on to the betting exchange and lay Arsenal. If Arsenal win the match, you will win that bet but if the match is a draw or a Manchester City victory, your lay bet will be the winner. No matter what, one of your bets will be a winner and this is where you need to find the edge. 

The key here is to use your free bets and other promotions offered by the online betting sites to place your win bets, before then laying all the other outcomes on the exchanges. In turn, if the numbers add up, it will guarantee you a profit or will make sure you don't lose anything. Most of our recommended bookmakers offer free bets and daily promotions in order to attract customers to open an account with them. Be certain to read through all of the terms and conditions of any free bet, welcome bonus or daily promotion before you start betting with that company. 

Is Matched Betting Legal in Ireland? 

Interestingly, there are no laws in place that prohibit the practice of matched betting, so it is 100 percent legal in Ireland. After all, bookmakers have enough of an edge on gamblers so it is only fair that the punter can try to gain an edge too. Betting sites are fully aware that gamblers use matched betting tactics against them, but the only thing they can do is try and limit the losses. There are many very shrewd people out there who are good with numbers who make tax-free money without much effort at matched betting.


Matched betting is a strategy that involves placing bets on an event in a way that guarantees one to profit no matter the result, while taking advantage of bookmaker free bets.

Matched betting is risk-free as long as you have your mathematical brain on. Mistakes can occur but if done correctly you can't lose.

Putting on a Lay bet means you are betting on something not to happen rather than backing something to happen.

Exchanges charge a commission only on your net winnings on a market. You do not pay commission on losing bets.

Absolutely. You don't have to be an expert to take part in matched betting. You need to be very good with numbers and have some patience. If you have experience in sports betting it should help, but it is not essential. 

Adrian was born and raised in Ireland’s southwest city of Limerick, and he has been involved in the sports betting industry for nearly a decade, with a wealth of experience in social media management, content management, and as a freelance sports writer. Adrian has worked with and had work published by big hitters like the Racing Post, FST, Myracing, and Punters Lounge among others and you can find his sports tips all over the web. A massive Manchester United fan, Adrian also loves his native Gaelic sports in Ireland and loves to play a round of golf with his friends.