Matched Betting: What are the Risks?
Punters are always on the lookout for newer and better strategies in the ever-changing world of online gambling. Matched betting is a prevalent strategy. What’s matched wagering? Should you consider it as a betting strategy for your gambling activities? Is it likely to return dividends on your wagers?
As with all betting strategies, there are many things to consider regarding matched wagering. In this article, we’ll define matched wagering. We’ll also inform you about some of the risks involved and prepare you to avoid or deal with those risks.
However, at this junction, we find it necessary to inform you that we can’t guarantee success when you’re using a matched betting strategy. There are risks involved, and there’s no such thing as a sure thing in gambling. At most, we can inform and teach. The risks, however, are yours and yours alone to deal with.
Matched Betting Defined
What is matched betting? The concept of matched wagering will be a familiar one for those of you who are familiar with or have practised, arbitrage betting.
Matched betting is the act of placing two separate bets, on two opposing teams or players, at two different sportsbooks, but for the same game or match.
Matched wagering aims to minimise the risks of your betting activities and to ensure that you make a profit on at least one of the two wagers.
When practised correctly, matched wagering can be a powerful tool in any punter’s arsenal. Unfortunately, despite the strategy’s apparent ease, many things could go wrong.
Kinds of Bets in Matched Betting
Matched betting involves two kinds of bet: the back bet and the lay bet. A back bet is, in the most straightforward terms, when you back a team or player. In even simpler terms, you’re betting that someone will win. The only way to win this type of wager is for your chosen team to win.
A lay bet is when you do the reverse and bet against a team or player. To win a lay bet, the team that you wagered against must lose or draw.
That’s it. Only the very simplest types of wager are involved in matched betting. This is because, to be fair, matched wagering is an incredibly simple system.
There’s little to no risk to your finances themselves. If you’re wise about how you practice this strategy, then other risks are minimal.
Enough chatter, let’s take a detailed look at exactly how matched betting works.
How Matched Betting Works: the Precursor
Thus far we’ve told you that much betting means betting both for and against a specific outcome at two different bookmakers. However, that’s a vastly oversimplified explanation.
For example, if we only told you that much, then you might just as well be getting involved in arbitrage betting. Additionally, you’d never have known that matched betting actually involves using free bets. At this juncture, we’ll provide a detailed and in-depth look at all of the nitty-gritty of matched betting.
Matched wagering starts when you find an operator with a free bet or other promotional offers that you can take advantage of. Typically, the sportsbook or operator will require you to make a real money bet to qualify for the free bet.
Occasionally, they may also offer you free bets as long as you’ve made a qualifying deposit. For the sake of argument, however, we’ll be operating on the standard idea of once you’ve made a qualifying bet, you get one or two free bets in return.
How Matched Betting Works: the Process
The first step is to place a qualifying bet. You’ll have to read the bonus offer terms and conditions to determine what constitutes a qualifying bet. This is tedious, we know, but necessary if you want to make a success of matched betting.
Once you’ve made your qualifying bet, head over to a betting exchange and bet against yourself (also known as laying a bet). Most betting exchanges charge a 5% commission. You’ll make approximately 95% profit regardless of whether the outcome you initially wagered on becomes a reality.
That’s just the qualifying bet, though. After you’ve successfully made your qualifying bet, and probably turned a small profit as well, they’ll reward you with a free bet.
Some operators may even offer two or three free bets at different time intervals. If you repeat the process that you followed with your qualifying bet. Lay your bet at a betting exchange, and you’ll still make 95% profit, but without having to pay for the initial stake.
In other words, you’re making a 95% profit off of money that wasn’t yours, to begin with. Isn’t this a fantastic, almost risk-free approach to wagering? But let’s have a detailed look at the risks involved.
Is Matched Betting Risky?
There’s a reason why, when somebody engages in potentially dangerous activities, we hear the words “that’s a gamble”.
The very nature of gambling and betting is risky. So much so, that gambling is defined as being risky. The definition of gambling is to risk your money on a venture that could earn you more money.
Looking at things from that angle, there’s no such thing as a risk-free gambling or betting strategy. But, how does matched wagering compare to other betting strategies? Is it riskier? Is it less dangerous? Does it depend on how well you use the strategy?
Matched betting can be one of the riskier strategies out there. However, from a different perspective, matched wagering is also likely to return dividends on your wagers. Since you’re using free bets and promotional offers, there’s almost no risk to your finances.
Nonetheless, there are no guarantees, and we can’t guarantee that matched betting will win you anything. That’s just a risk you’ll have to take.
What Are the Main Risks of Matched Betting?
As is usually the case, matched betting has quite a few associated risks. However, unlike many other strategies, the main risks associated with matched wagering are not financial.
Instead, the main risks associated with this strategy are along the lines of legal and policy issues. Many operators frown on the use of any sort of strategy that reduces your risks. It’s not unusual for such operators to incorporate a clause about this into the terms and conditions.
They call this clause a minimised risk strategy clause, and it states that the operator withholds the right to not only suspend but also ban, any player found using a strategy that reduces risk.
You should be relatively okay for the most part, provided that you don’t use a matched betting strategy at two operators from the same group. However, some operators have a clause that goes as far as allowing them to ban players caught using matched wagering strategies at any operator.
As with similar strategies, such as arbitrage betting, it could be useful as long as you understand how the strategy works and know your operator.
However, if you don’t do it right, it could also turn out to be disastrous. Many operators view matched betting much like a casino would see counting cards: it may not be illegal, but they’re going to kick you out if they catch you doing it.
Casinos get rid of matched bettors so regularly that there’s even a word for getting kicked out. Operators call it “gubbing someone”.
Can you avoid the Risks?
Matched betting doesn’t involve any financial risk. However, matched betting is still precarious. If operators catch you, you may soon run out of sportsbooks where you can use the strategy.
What can you do to mitigate the risks? Is there any way of avoiding the risks to make this strategy entirely risk-free? If you can’t avoid the risk entirely, can you at least minimise them?
These are very valid questions and interesting ones that we’re going to answer in detail. To understand how you could potentially mitigate the risks involved with this strategy, you must first understand where the roots of the risk are.
Unbelievable as it may seem, most sportsbooks and bookies don’t want you to succeed. They want you to place wagers. They want you to keep coming back and placing new, bigger, and more ridiculous bets.
Sportsbooks are businesses. They’re not on the side of any particular punter, nor are they rooting for one specific team or contender. They simply want to make their bottom line every month.
Bookmakers don’t offer free bets and promotional offers to help you become more successful in your betting career. Bookmakers offer free bets to help encourage you to spend money at bookmakers. Therefore, believe it or not, they’re not particularly happy when people use free bets overly successfully. Accordingly, most casinos and sportsbooks have a system that measures how well punters do. If you do too well with your average bet, that raises a red flag. If you only ever appear on the website to take advantage of promotional offers, that also raises a red flag.
How Do You Beat the System?
You can beat the system, and make sure that the operators don’t flag you like a matched bettor. All you need to do is build a profile that’s bigger than your match betting activities.
Pretend to be stupid. That’s a foolproof strategy. Imagine that you know absolutely nothing about betting. Place at least three ridiculously random bets for every promotional offer that you take advantage of.
Place bets with average odds, and if you want to blend pick a team to bet on regularly. You can use the following key to beat the system. The key to not letting an operator gub you is simple. You mustn’t look like what you are: a very intelligent punter. If you use a minimised risk strategy to make a vast amount of profit in a short time, it shouldn’t be obvious.
There is, of course, one other aspect to not being caught and kicked off or gubbed from any operators. You might not have guessed this, but we believe that you’re reasonably intelligent and you’ve been doing this all along.
However, we’ll state it very plainly for anyone who might be lagging behind a little. No matter how dull, monotonous, tedious or nonsensical it may seem, you have to read the terms and conditions when you’re using a matched wagering strategy.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this matched betting strategy article and that you’ve learnt a lot about the risks involved. Matched wagering is a sound financial strategy if you follow a few basic guidelines. To recap, read the operator’s terms and conditions, read the bonus terms and conditions and make sure that you don’t just take advantage of promotional offers and free bets. You should also make a wager for fun now and then. If you always have betting success, then the operator will flag you quickly. We wish you all the best with your matched betting career, and may the odds be ever in your favour.