What is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide

Matched betting app being used by man on smartphone

Matched betting is one of the US's fastest-growing side hustles, with 26 states having opened their doors to the money-making trend since 2019.

But although thousands of Americans are signing up to matched betting platforms each month, many aren't aware of what it involves, how it works and how you can use it to level-up your income risk-free.

Don't worry! We've got your back. Below we've answered the key questions to help you kickstart your matched betting journey and start adding $1,000s to your bank each month with this side hustle.


1. What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a risk-free process that involves placing bets to cover every outcome of an event and guarantee a profit. Also known as free bet conversion, it involves betting on opposing outcomes of the same event to unlock a sportsbook promotion, which is then redeemed for cash.


Having started in the UK in 1999 and boomed in in the 2000s and 2010s, to date, more than 400,000 people in Europe have used matched betting to make money online.

Now matched betting is available in the US, and with more states welcoming it by the month, it's become an increasingly attractive side hustle for the everyday American looking to earn extra cash from the comfort of their home.


2. How Does Matched Betting Work?

Matched betting works by placing a bet on one outcome of a sporting event to unlock a free bet promotion, before placing another on the opposing outcome to eliminate any risk. The bettor then repeats this process on a different sporting event using their free bet to guarantee a profit.

Put simply, this is the matched betting process in five easy steps:

  1. Sign Up: Register with a sportsbook that offers a free bet or a sign-up bonus for new customers.

  2. Place a Qualifying Bet (Back Bet): Place a bet with your own money on a specific outcome. For example, you might bet on Team A to win a football match.

  3. Place a Hedge Bet (Lay Bet): Place a bet against that outcome with a different sportsbook. This means you're betting that Team A will not win. By completing step 2 and 3 you have matched your bet. All outcomes are covered and your returns will cover all costs making it risk-free.
  4. Repeat the Process: Once the game has concluded and you have received your free bet, repeat steps 2 and 3 on a different game, using your free bet for one team.

  5. Withdraw Your Profit: After the required bets have been completed, you'll have a guaranteed profit. You can then withdraw this profit from the bookmaker.

Unlock a Suite of Matched Betting Guides with ProfitDuel


3. What is a Sportsbook?

An online sportsbook is a digital platform that allows individuals to engage in sports betting by placing bets on various sporting events.

Put simply, it's a betting site that sets up bets, like DraftKings, Fanduel or BetMGM.

Sportsbooks play a crucial role in the matched betting process. They are the ones that offer the free bets and promotions that matched bettors can then turn into cash, and it is on their sites that you place your qualifying and hedge bets.


4. How Much Can I Make Matched Betting?

How much you can make matched betting depends on a range of factors, including how much time you dedicate and how large of an initial bankroll you start with. However, in the US the average matched bettor earns between $300 and $2,000 per month.

For those who spend a few spare hours a week matched betting, $500 to $1,000 per month is the more achievable range. But for those looking to maximise their earnings, certain matched betting affiliate programmes can help everyday Americans to earn anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 extra a month, risk-free and with little startup costs.

With more and more companies looking to affiliate programs to boost sales, and more individuals looking to monetize their social audiences as affiliates, it's an increasingly popular method side hustlers are turning to generate a passive income. 


5. Is Matched Betting Legal?

Matched betting is legal in the US, but you must live in a state in which online sports betting is legal to access it. Currently, 26 states have legalised online sports betting, with many more states tipped to legalise it in the coming months and years.

Worth noting: just because matched betting isn't available in your state doesn't mean you can't make money from it. More and more Americans are going on 'matched betting road trips' where they travel from state to state and earn thousands of dollars making use of the sportsbook promos available in each one.

A fun, risk-free and totally legit way of topping up your bank while travelling the country with your friends or family.

Read More: Can I Do Matched Betting in the USA?


6. Matched Betting vs Traditional Sports Betting: What's the Difference?

When people hear the term 'matched betting' for the first time, they tend to suspect it must be very similar traditional sports betting, but actually, the two differ greatly.

Here are the five biggest differences between matched betting and traditional betting:

  1. Risk Level: Traditional sports betting is highly risky activity and often demands years expertise and an eye for odds to predict outcomes accurately. Matched betting, though, doesn't rely on luck. Its risk-free, beginner-friendly process guarantees profit regardless of the outcome.

  2. Role of Free Bets: With traditional sports betting, free bets and sportsbook bonuses only play a small part in your betting strategy - mainly offered when you first sign up. But with matched betting (AKA free bet conversion) they are your main source of income, and you can make use of new free bets several times a week.

  3. Skill Level: Because of the huge range of sports markets, bet types and sportsbooks that exist in the US, to be a well-rounded sports bettor takes a fine-tuned skill set. With matched betting though, no betting skills are needed due to the simple processes and range of beginner guides that some platforms offer.

  4. Community and Support: Traditional sports betting is often an individual pursuit, where success depends on an individual's knowledge and skills. Matched betting, instead, has a strong online community where members often share strategies, tips, and support through channels like Discord and Facebook. This creates a collaborative environment for both beginners and experienced bettors.

  5. Long-term Profits: The unpredictable nature of sports betting makes building long-term profits over several years a rare and challenging task. With the matched betting technique though, providing you stick to the guides, you can accurately plan your income from your activity every month.


7. Do I Need Any Betting Experience to Start Matched Betting?

The short answer - no! Absolutely anyone can get involved with matched betting, providing you live in a state where matched betting is accessible and have a spare bit of cash to get started (at least $50).

Where previously matched betting was reserved for sports betting gurus with years of experience, today the range of beginner guides, walkthrough videos and customer support that certain platforms provide has made making $1,000s from matched betting each month easier than ever before.


8. Do I Need a Separate Bank Account for Matched Betting?

You don't need a separate bank account to start matched betting, you can deposit and withdraw from sportsbooks/matched betting platforms using your main bank account.

However, it’s not a bad idea if you decide to set up a new bank account just for matched betting. Doing this can make it easier to keep track of your money and keep your day-to-day account clear of sportsbook deposit transactions (which may be hard to explain if you have to apply for a mortgage in the future).

Read More: How to Deposit and Withdraw From Sportsbooks


9. Do I Need to be Good at Math to Matched Bet?

Although basic math skills can help you along the way, you don't need to be great at math to matched bet.

The wide range of tools, software and calculators now available to beginner matched bettors means all you need to do to begin building profits is follow a few simple instructions and have a small pot of cash to get you started (as little as $50).


10. What Tools are Available for Matched Betting as a Beginner?

A range of tools exist to help you get started on your matched betting journey and make sure you continue to maximise profits months and years down the line.

From free bet conversion calculators that tell you how much to place to guarantee a profit, to software like The Dutch Matcher which scans sportsbook offers in your area 365 days a year and sets up the most profitable matched betting opportunities, today beginners have a variety of tools at their fingertips to make matched betting a breeze.


11. What are the Benefits of Matched Betting?

A risk-free way of boosting your bank online, matched betting can be a fantastic side hustle for beginners looking to level-up their income.

Here are five of the most powerful benefits of matched betting:

  1. Risk-Free: Matched betting helps cancel out risk by strategically placing opposing bets, ensuring that, regardless of the outcome, if you follow the process properly there's no risk of loss.

  2. Low Startup Costs: With a modest initial investment of as little as $50, almost any American can enter the world of matched betting, making it one of the most accessible and cost-effective side hustles in the US right now.

  3. Highly Flexible: Matched betting is entirely flexible to your schedule, lifestyle and location. You can make money from matched betting anywhere with an internet connection.

  4. No Betting Experience Needed: Beginners can dive into matched betting without prior knowledge of sports betting, thanks to step-by-step guides and readily available resources.

  5. Consistent Profits: By making use of sportsbook promotions and favorable odds across a range of sports and markets, matched bettors can achieve a steady stream of income, creating a reliable source of consistent profits.

Read More:  Matched Betting Glossary: An A to Z for Beginners


12. What are the Risks of Matched Betting?

When following matched betting guidelines, you have no risk of loss of capital or falling victim to any other financial or legal issues. However, there are three key considerations every beginner should make note of before matched betting:

  1. Human Error: If you make a mistake and don't follow the suggested process, for example placing a bet on the wrong event, this could result in a loss.

    How to Avoid: Always double-check your bets and choose a matched betting platform with plenty of walkthrough guides and a strong customer support team.

  2. Account Restrictions: Even though it's perfectly legal to matched bet, sportsbooks don't like it when the everyday American has an edge over them, so they may limit your account if they believe your activity doesn't match that of a standard bettor.

    How to Avoid: Take a few simple measures, such as rounding your bets and using a betting exchange to lay bets, to give your account the best possible chance of avoiding being limited.

  3. Time Commitment: Matched betting isn't a 'Get Rich Quick' scheme. It's a proven side hustle that can guarantee you thousands of dollars each month if you put the hours in. Because of this, you must put time aside to hit your financial goals.

    How to Avoid: Spend anywhere from a few hours a week working through matched betting offers and walkthrough guides to build profits and sharpen your matched betting game.


13. What are Some Tips when Matched Betting?

To maximize how much you can make matched betting, and help make your experience flow that bit smoother, follow these five top tips:

  1. Get to Know the Process: Understanding the ins and outs of matched betting is crucial. Use everything from matched betting blogs to custom guides written by matched betting experts (available with paid memberships) to familiarize yourself with the process, key terms, and strategies.

  2. Use a Dedicated Bankroll: Separate your matched betting funds from your regular finances. This ensures better control, easier tracking of profits and minimizes the risk of unintentional misuse of your budget.

  3. Make Use of Helpful Tools: Leverage specialized tools and calculators designed for matched betting - from free bet conversion calculators to dutch matchers. These resources can streamline the matched betting process, finding the best odds for matched betting to maximize returns..

  4. Track Your Profits: Maintain an accurate record of your bets and profits. Profit tracking not only keeps you organized but also provides valuable insights into your overall performance and allows for continuous improvement. You can carry this out on a basic level on spreadsheets, however, specialized tools like profit trackers help you avoid inaccurate miscalculations and give you greater insight into progress.

  5. Sign Up For a Trusted Platform: Above all, signing up for a reputable betting platform is the No.1 tip you should follow for the most safe, enjoyable and profitable matched betting side hustle. Find a platform with a proven track record, user-friendly interface, strong customer support and a reasonable subscription fee to avoid unnecessary stress and watch the profits roll in.


14. What are the Best Matched Betting Sites for Beginners?

You can access a handful of matched betting sites in the US today. But right now only one stands head and shoulders above the rest for beginners.

Why? Because it helps beginners turn their matched betting side hustle into a multi-thousand dollar income stream in a matter of weeks.

ProfitDuel has over 10 years of experience in the matched betting industry. Having set up in 2010 in the UK as OddsMonkey, since that point we've helped more than 400,000 Europeans level-up their income with matched betting, appearing in publications like Vice along the way.

And it won't take you long to see why.

With a library of beginner guides, walkthrough videos and hundreds of sportsbook offers, earning profits with risk-free matched betting has never been easier.

But what makes us a cut above the competition? Our friendly matched betting experts are on hand to help whenever you need them. Got a question or ten? Book a one-to-one and you'll see why our customer support is unrivalled.

The best part?

Right now we're offering new members a 14-Day Free Trial with ProfitDuel. That's right, we want to give you a taste of locking in your first risk-free profit and show you just how easy it is to make $100+ in with less than an hour's work.  

Free Trial: Start your 14-day free trial with ProfitDuel

Still not convinced? Well, how about we take it a step further and show you exactly how easy it is to make money matched betting with ProfitDuel in four simple steps below.


15. How to Start Making Money Matched Betting: 4 Simple Steps

Follow these four simple steps and discover just how easy it can be to start your matched betting side hustle and level up your monthly income at times and places that suit you.

1. Sign Up for a Matched Betting Platform

ProfitDuel free trial screen

The first step is to sign up for a matched betting platform. As we've mentioned in the last section, for beginners, no matched betting platform in the US offers a better service, product and support than ProfitDuel.

But regardless of who you sign up with, this step should be pretty simple: enter your name, email and other account details, verify your bank details and you're good to go.

2. Read Walkthrough Guides

Matched betting platform guide screen

This step only takes around 15 minutes, but it can have a major impact on your profits in the early days.

Run through the range of beginner guides and walkthrough videos your matched betting platform has to get to know the process. At ProfitDuel our three beginner walkthroughs should take you less than 15 minutes to get you started.


3. Follow Instructions Using the Dutch Matcher

Matched betting platform dutch matcher

A Dutch Matcher is a matched betting tool that matches two different sets of odds from two different sportsbooks that could result in a profitable matched betting opportunity.

The purpose of this tool is to save matched bettors hours manually scrolling through different sportsbooks and events to try and find suitable opportunities, before spending even more time calculating potential profits and placing bets.

The ProfitDuel Dutch Matcher takes things a step further. It scans all suitable sportsbooks in your area, runs through the most profitable odds they're offering on events, matches those with a different sportsbook and sets up the offer for you.

All this leaves you to do is follow the few simple instructions outlined in the 4-minute Dutch Matcher video you watched earlier, and you've just bagged yourself a profitable matched betting offer (some of which can earn you $750 a shot).

4. Withdraw Your Profits

Sportsbook account screen on laptop

Once the event you placed your free bet on has finished, you'll be ready to cash in your profits.

To do this, log into the relevant sportsbook/s, withdraw your winnings via your preferred method, and boom! You've just taken your first step toward levelling up your income with matched betting. The best part? It didn't cost a dime.

That's right, we're mentioning it again, cause it's so good of a deal that we feel you'd be kicking yourself if you didn't take the chance while you had it.

Sign up for for your 14-day ProfitDuel Free Trial  and we'll guide you through making $100+ with your welcome offer. Still happy? Stay on board to earn $1,000s more in the following weeks. 

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Sign up for our 14-day free trial and earn $100+ risk-free. Still happy? Stay on board to earn $1,000's more. 

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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.