The concept of matched betting
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. Online betting outlets, betting exchanges, have become popular in recent years for they allow betters to bet without official odds-makers. In essence, the person placing the lay bet acts as a bookmaker.
Continued matched betting taking advantage of existing customer reload offers doesn’t work quite the same way. Rather than backing and laying on the exchange to guarantee a free bet no matter what the outcome the person will back on the bookmaker, lay on the exchange and hope for the desired outcome to occur and reward a free bet. Calculators can help work out if the qualifying cost and potential reward from the free bet is enough to justify the potential risk of not getting a free bet. Similar to playing poker it’s considered profitable in the long term to continue making these low risk wagers where the qualifier might be pennies compared to the potentially hundreds made if the refund event occurs for a free bet.