Over the past few years, esports has been booming more than ever, as has online gambling. Wagering on esports can be a blast, but even the most skilled bettors can only expect to win a little more than 50% of the time. If you have been looking for a way to make some sure cash while betting, you might have heard of a practice called “matched betting.” This is where you use back bets, lay bets, and free bets for a near-guaranteed profit. It can be a good way to build up your account so you have more money with which to wager on esports. Below, we explain exactly what matched betting is and how you can do it, step-by-step.
What is Matched Betting?
When you participate in matched betting on esports (or other sports), you make opposing back and lay bets on a single event. As part of the process, you factor in a free bet, which allows you to walk away with a profit.
Some sites may take umbrage with matched betting, but most will ignore it so long as you do not abuse bonuses. Just check the rules for the sportsbooks you are using to make sure you are taking the right approach.
How to Do Matched Betting Step-by-Step
The easiest way to understand matched betting is simply to list out the steps. Here is how to do it.
1. Join a regular sports betting site and a betting exchange.
First you will need to sign up on a regular online sportsbook as well as a betting exchange. A betting exchange is a special type of betting site where you can bet against fellow bettors, not just against the betting site itself.
Important: There must be a free bet promotion available to you at one of these sites. If you can grab them at both, that is even better.
2. Deposit cash and accept free bets.
Make your deposits at the regular sportsbook as well as the betting exchange.
3. Display decimal odds.
The ideal format for the odds for matched betting is decimal odds. It allows for the quickest and clearest odds comparisons. You will need that in order to proceed.
4. Make a back bet and your lay bet.
So far, so good, right? Okay, now, you need to do the following:
- Make a back bet on an event.
- Make a lay bet on that same event on the other site.
Here is the thing though—you cannot pick just any event. You need to pick one where the odds are close between the two bets. You also want to choose an event that has relatively low odds all around.
There is another caveat as well. The point of this first set of back and lay bets is to qualify for a free bet. That means that you need to make a wager that does qualify you. Check the terms and conditions for the free bet offer you are trying to claim to see what the minimum odds are. Then, make sure that the bet you are placing meets the requirement.
You will lose a nominal amount of cash on this first set of back and lay bets—but you will also be able to claim the free bet. You can now proceed to the matched betting step below.
5. Repeat the steps above, but with a free bet.
It is time to find another event to wager on. Once again, you will be placing a back bet and a lay bet. The odds should be similar between them.
The difference is that one of the bets you place at this point is now a free bet.
Doing the math, you will discover that if you are wagering the right amount and you have chosen appropriate odds, you should be able to profit regardless of which team wins the event.
The amount of money you make on each matched bet is not going to be a lot. But if you hunt down a lot of free bets and you do matched betting over and over again, the amount will start to add up. You can find websites that compile ongoing lists of current free bet offers. The process will become faster and easier as you go as well. Eventually, you will run out of free bet opportunities (at least until sites run fresh promotions for established customers), but before you do, you could make hundreds of dollars.
For that reason, matched betting is not a replacement for learning how to do value betting on esports in the long-run. But it is a great way to bring in some short-term profit and to learn more about how free bets and odds work.
Now you know how to do matched betting! Do enough of it, and you might build up your bankroll in time to place larger wagers on some of the biggest upcoming esports events.