Written by:
Alex Windsor
Fact checked by:
Damjan Jugovic Spajic
January 9, 2024

Matched Betting Without Free Bets

Matched Betting Without Free Bets

Sports bettors are constantly working to increase their odds of earning profits. One of the most effective ways to do so is through a process called matched betting. Using some basic mathematics, bettors can guarantee a profit on the wagers they place. Essentially, you have to make strategic bets to ensure a win, no matter the result. In this guide, I will explain how exactly matched betting without free bets works.

Matched betting is most commonly done by taking advantage of free bet bonus offers that online sportsbooks provide. What some fail to realize, however, is that this unique sports wagering strategy can be done without using free bets, too. Continue reading and learn how you can start to maximize your earnings with no-risk matched betting today.

How Matched Betting Works

Sports betting is notoriously unpredictable. Anything can happen between high-level sports teams and those without an effective betting strategy often experience quick losses. Matched betting takes the gambling out of sports betting, utilizing mathematics to cover the different possible outcomes of a sporting event and ensuring bettors will earn a profit.

Matched betting is most commonly done using free bets. This strategy involves betting for and against an outcome of the same event using free bets earned from a bonus. When betting against a certain outcome, known as “laying” a bet, bettors utilize a betting exchange. This allows you to place a matched bet against other bettors rather than against the sportsbook. Doing so cancels out any risk, as you are matching your other wager at the same odds to ensure that no matter what happens, you will earn a profit.

The key principle is using bonus funds received from a promotion to earn a fixed profit. It is possible to partake in matched betting using a variety of different promotions. For the sake of simplicity, I will explain how it works in the most common way – using free bets. Further down in this guide, I will break down several ways in which matched betting without free bets works.

The steps below give a quick overview of how matched betting works using a free bet bonus.

  1. Find an online sportsbook offering a free bet bonus.
  2. Find a betting exchange.
  3. Place your first qualifying bet to earn the free bet bonus.
  4. Bet on the opposite outcome via the betting exchange.
  5. Receive your free bet.
  6. Use the free bet to wager on a certain outcome.
  7. Bet on the opposite outcome via the betting exchange.
  8. Earn a profit.

This is obviously a simplistic overview of how matched betting works. There are a few key aspects to this strategy that were left out. Firstly, it’s important to make your first qualifying bet before receiving your free bet bonus (known as the “back” bet) on an event with odds of about -200. When betting against that outcome through the exchange (the “lay” bed), ensure that the odds are close, so even a losing bet will result in minimal losses.

Next, it’s recommended to utilize an oddsmatcher tool to compare the odds between sportsbooks and the betting exchange. This helps you to identify wagers with the closest possible odds for different outcomes.

Once you have placed your qualifying wager, the sportsbook will credit you with a free bet bonus. From here, you simply repeat the same process. Use the free bet to wager on a certain outcome. Make a wager against that outcome via your betting exchange to guarantee yourself a profit.

Matched Betting Without Using Free Bets in Practice

So now you have a basic understanding of how matched betting works. Great! Not every online sportsbook provides free bet bonuses, though. With that in mind, let’s look at how to take part in non free bets matched betting.

The principle here is the same. The goal is to use various promotions or odds discrepancies to help guarantee you will earn a profit on certain wagers. Below is a quick look at two of the most popular matched betting without using free bets strategies.

Price Boost Betting

Many popular online sportsbooks including FanDuel Sportsbook and bet365 provide price boost bonuses for their existing members. This can be used for matched betting. In order to do so, you place a wager on one outcome using the price boost. You then place an opposite wager through a betting exchange with odds that will guarantee a profit. The trick is finding a sportsbook’s price boost that has been raised to a higher value than what a betting exchange’s lay odds are set to.

An example of this scenario can be seen below.

The same oddsmatcher tool I mentioned earlier can be used for this form of matched betting. As long as a profit can be earned, regardless of which team wins the game, this matched betting strategy is effective. Keep in mind that price boosts tend to be offered for a short period of time, meaning you may need to jump on these opportunities when they become available.

Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting, known also as “arbing,” is a form of matched betting in which players take advantage of discrepancies between online sportsbooks to guarantee a profit. Some do not consider this to be true matched betting, as it requires using your own money, rather than bonus funds earned through a promotion. The principle is very similar, though, allowing players to guarantee profits on the wagers they place.

Occasionally, one online sportsbook will accidentally overvalue a particular betting market. When this happens, bettors can quickly place a wager on that market, and place an opposite wager through a different online sportsbook. An example of this can be seen below.

The example above is a completely risk-free wager. Of course, profits for arbitrage betting are generally small and oddsmakers do not typically make mistakes when setting odds. It does happen occasionally, however, which provides great opportunities for bettors to lock in profits.

Several other strategies for matched betting without free bets exist. That includes “E/W Sniping,” and “Dutching”. Most of these other strategies can only be applied to horse racing betting and require additional software tools.

E/W Sniping involves exploiting a racebook’s pricing loophole to lock in profits for Each Way bets. Dutching involves backing some (or even all) horses taking part in a race to guarantee profits. I do not necessarily recommend these strategies for beginners, as they require far more research and can be riskier than other, more popular forms of matched betting.

Common Errors

Matched betting is not necessarily difficult. With that being said, some matched betting strategies take more time to master than others, and even small errors can result in big losses. Below, I highlight some common matched betting mistakes that are made.

Unmatched Wagers at the Betting Exchange

Betting exchanges work differently from online sportsbooks. Platforms such as Prophet Betting Exchange operate by allowing bettors to wager amongst each other. In order for a wager placed through a betting exchange to be made complete, there must be enough liquidity available.

Bettors will sometimes place wagers with odds or on sporting events that no other bettor wants to match. If a bet placed through an exchange is not matched, it leads to an increase in exposure. When that happens, profit cannot be guaranteed. Avoid this mistake by ensuring there is enough liquidity for your “lay” bet to be matched before you place it.

Rushing the Analysis Process

A key component to matched betting is carefully analyzing the wagers you are placing to ensure a profit will be earned. Part of that analysis process includes double-checking bet amounts, odds, and other market information. It’s also important to completely understand how the promotion you may be utilizing works to ensure it can be used for matched betting.

Rushing this analysis process, particularly when matched betting without free bets, can lead to mistakes. Before making your wagers, always ensure your analysis is complete and profit on the bets you are placing is guaranteed.

Failing to Read Promotion Terms and Conditions

Matched betting is most commonly done using various promotions that online sportsbooks provide. Unfortunately, some fail to properly read the terms and conditions associated with these promotions. These terms and conditions are often very specific, and can sometimes prevent matched betting from being possible at all.

Some of the common terms and conditions connected to sportsbook promotions include:

Any of the rules listed above can prevent matched betting from being possible, in certain circumstances. For example, a boosted odds bonus may only be provided on a select sporting event that does not feature odds that do not work for matched betting. I always spend a considerable amount of time making sure I fully understand the rules connected to each bonus. Only then can I determine whether that bonus can be used for matched betting.

Our Tested Tips

I, and the other experts at MinimumDepositBettingSites.com, have studied the most effective ways to engage in matched betting for years. This is a unique way to earn money through sportsbooks, yet does not constitute real gambling. For that reason, millions of sports fans around the world are trying to learn the best matched betting strategies.

Keep the tips listed below in mind to help guarantee your matched betting journey will be a profitable one.

  1. Do not deviate from your strategy: Whether you are engaging in matched betting without free bets, or with free bets, it’s always key to stick to your specific strategy. Do not chase larger profits to risk losing money. This would be gambling. Ensure that all outcomes are covered with your wagers to ensure a profit and always stick to the plan.
  2. Double-check your math: One of the most important aspects of matched betting is crunching numbers to ensure that placing both the back bet and lay bet will result in a profit. Double-check your math before making these bets to guarantee you will earn money, regardless of the outcome of the event you are wagering on.
  3. Always place your back bet first: Online sportsbooks have the ability to shift their odds at a moment’s notice. Due to this fact, it’s important to always make your back bet through a sportsbook before placing your lay bet through an exchange. Once your back bet is made, you can do some math to ensure your lay bet placed at an exchange will guarantee a profit.
  4. Use a legitimate oddsmatcher: As I explained earlier, an oddsmatcher tool can be extremely helpful when matched betting. This is used to compare the back odds at an online sportsbook with the lay odds available through betting exchanges. It’s always recommended to rely on these tools to save time and ensure you can earn a profit.
  5. Join a matched betting community: There are many online forums dedicated to matched betting. Here, you can ask questions and get advice from thousands of other matched bettors around the world.

Last Notes

Matched betting has proven to be an exciting and effective way to guarantee profits. It’s extremely important to understand that this is not gambling. It requires using mathematics to cover all different outcomes for a sporting event and placing wagers that will ensure at least some profit is earned, regardless of what happens.

Matched betting without free bets is not exactly the most common strategy. It still remains a viable way to earn guaranteed profit – particularly when following some of the strategies listed on this guide page. There are several ways to engage in matched betting with no free bets and each can result in serious profits.

There are plenty of matched betting success stories. Unsurprisingly, there are also quite a few stories of people failing to follow the correct rules and losing money when matched betting. By sticking with proven strategies, doing the proper analysis, and ensuring the math checks out, you can guarantee yourself some earnings. Join one of our recommended US online sportsbooks today and start to lock in profits by matched betting.

Alex Windsor

Alex is the Head of Content here at Minimum Deposit Betting Sites, leveraging his immense experience in the sports betting and iGaming industry to steer the boat and make sure all of our content is up to par and of the best possible quality.