What is a Qualifying Bet in Matched Betting?

Person placing qualifying bet on matched betting website

What is a qualifying bet?

A qualifying bet is crucial in matched betting. Qualifying bets assist bettors in earning money from bookmakers' free bet offers.

To understand what a qualifying bet is, it's important to know how matched betting works. Additionally, it's crucial to understand the use of free bets and how to convert them into real profit.


Matched Betting: A Brief Overview

Matched betting (A.K.A free bet conversion) is a technique that takes advantage of the promotions, free bets and bonuses offered by online bookmakers.

It's a way to extract guaranteed profits from these offers, regardless of the outcome of a sports event. The key is to make two different bets: one with the bookmaker and another with a betting exchange.

You make the "back" bet on the event to occur, while you place the "hedge" bet on the event not to occur.


Read More: What is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide


The Significance of Qualifying Bets

Qualifying bets are integral to matched betting. They are the initial steps in unlocking free bets from bookmakers.

Bettors must place a qualifying bet first to be eligible for most free bet offers. The purpose of this initial bet is to qualify for the free bet itself. The qualifying bet creates the necessary conditions for the bookmaker to credit the bettor's account with the free bet amount.


Components of a Qualifying Bet

A qualifying bet comprises two components: the "back" bet and the "hedge" bet. You place the "back" bet on a specific outcome, such as a particular team winning a football match.

You place the "hedge" bet on the same outcome not occurring. Betting exchanges facilitate the "hedge" bet, allowing bettors to act as both the punter and the bookmaker.


Calculating the Qualifying Bet

The key to successful matched betting lies in careful calculation. To minimize loss on the qualifying bet, you must closely match the odds on the bookmaker and the betting exchange.

Online matched betting calculators are invaluable tools for determining the exact stake amounts for the "back" and "hedge" bets.

These calculators take into account the back odds, hedge odds, stakes, and potential commission on the exchange to provide the optimal stakes.


Minimizing Losses on the Qualifying Bet

The first bet may result in a slight loss due to odds and commission. However, the bookmaker will compensate by offering a free bet.

The goal is to minimize this initial loss to maximize the profit gained from the subsequent free bet. The small cost of the "qualifying loss" is nothing compared to the value of the potential free bet.


Unlocking Free Bets

Once the qualifying bet is settled, the bookmaker rewards the bettor with a free bet of a predetermined value.

You can use this free bet to place a bet without risking your own money. The key to turning this free bet into profit lies in the subsequent process of placing the "back" and "hedge" bets on opposing outcomes, just as with the qualifying bet. The bettor retains any profit from the free bet.

Read More:  How Much Money Can You Make Matched Betting?


Qualifying Bet Strategies

You can employ several strategies to enhance the outcome of the qualifying bet. One popular approach is to choose selections with close odds between the bookmaker and the exchange.

This reduces the qualifying loss, making it easier to profit from the free bet. Additionally, choosing markets with higher liquidity and lower commission on the exchange can further optimize the results.

It is not crucial to know all of these when getting started with matched betting, but they can be useful to take note of further down the line.


Importance of Terms and Conditions

It's essential to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions of each bookmaker's offer.

Different bookmakers and sportsbooks have varying requirements for qualifying bets, such as minimum odds and specific markets.

Failing to meet these conditions might lead to not receiving the free bet. Being meticulous in adhering to the terms ensures a smooth journey through the matched betting process.



In the realm of matched betting, the concept of the qualifying bet is the gateway to accessing bookmakers' free bet offers.

It's a strategic step that requires precision in calculating stakes and aligning odds between the bookmaker and the exchange.

Although there may be a small loss at first, the subsequent free bet and its profits compensate for it.

By learning how to make qualifying bets, bettors can make risk-free profits through matched betting.

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*DISCLAIMER: We're legally required to state that there is no guarantee of specific results each month. The amount of money that you earn can vary dependant on the time and effort that you commit each month.