What is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide

Matched betting app being used by man on smartphone

Matched betting is one of the fastest-growing side hustles in the United States. Since 2019, 26 states have opened their doors to this money-making trend.

But although thousands of Americans are signing up for matched betting platforms each month, many aren't aware of what it involves, how it works and how you can use it to significantly increase 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 thousands of dollars to your bank account each month with this side hustle.


1. What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is a risk-free process that involves placing bets on every outcome of an event to 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 the 2000s and 2010s, to date, more than 450,000 people in Europe have used matched betting to make money online.

Now matched betting is available in the US. 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 broken down in five simple steps:

02. How does matched betting work section

  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 game.

  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 sportsbook.

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 wager 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 turn into cash, and it is where 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 maximize their earnings, certain matched betting affiliate programs can help people earn anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 extra a month, risk-free and with little startup costs.

With more and more companies looking at 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 legalized online sports betting, with many more states destined to legalize it in the coming months and years.

It's important to note that just because matched betting isn't available in your state it 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 by making use of the sportsbook promos available in each one.

A fun, risk-free and totally legit way of bolstering your bank account while traveling the country.

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 to traditional sports betting, but in reality, the two are very different.

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

  1. Risk Level: Traditional sports betting is very risky and often demands years of expertise to predict outcomes accurately. Matched betting, though, doesn't rely on any luck or skill. It's a risk-free, beginner-friendly process that guarantees profit regardless of the outcome.

  2. Role of Free Bets: With traditional sports betting, free bets and sportsbook bonuses (such as profit boosts) only play a small part in your betting strategy. 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: Becoming a well-rounded sports bettor takes a fine-tuned skill set and years of work. With matched betting though, no betting skills are needed due to the simple processes and range of beginner guides that some platforms offer, like ours.

  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, insights, and support through channels like Discord and Facebook. This creates a collaborative environment for all members regardless if they're beginners or experienced bettors.

  5. Long-term Profits: Sports betting is unpredictable. It's challenging to be profitable long-term. With matched betting though, providing you stick to the guides, you can accurately gauge your income from your activity every month.


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

NO! Absolutely anyone can get involved with matched betting, as long as you live in a state where matched betting is accessible and you have a spare bit of cash to get started (at least $50).

Previously, matched betting was reserved for sports bettors with years of experience, but 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 might make it easier to keep track of your money and keep your day-to-day account clear of sportsbook deposit transactions.

Read More: How to Deposit and Withdraw From Sportsbooks


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

NO! Although basic math skills can help you along the way, you don't need to be great at math to partake in matched betting.

That's where we come in. The wide range of tools, software and calculators now available to beginner 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 maximize profits months and years down the line.

From free bet conversion calculators that tell you exactly how much to place in order to guarantee a profit, to softwares like The Dutch Matcher which scans sportsbook offers in your area 365 days a year and sets up the most profitable matched betting opportunities. It's never been easier for a complete novice to be successful matched betting.


11. What are the Benefits of Matched Betting?

A risk-free way of making money online. Matched betting is a fantastic side hustle anyone looking to make easy passive 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. In other words, it's a win-win betting strategy

  2. Low Startup Costs: With a modest initial investment of as little as $50, almost anyone can enter the world of matched betting. It is 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: Anyone can dive into matched betting without prior knowledge of sports betting, thanks to the step-by-step guides and readily available resources we have.

  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. Many sportsbooks also offer VIP programs which can get you prizes and higher 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 an error may occur. For example, placing a bet on the wrong event could result in a loss.

    How to Avoid: Always, 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 completely 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 time and effort in. As a result, 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 start making serious passive income.


13. What are Some Tips when Matched Betting?

To maximize how much you can make during the process  and help your experience flow that bit smoother you can, applying a range of matched betting strategies and tips is a smart move. Here are 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. These range 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 keeps you organized and 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 inaccuracies, miscalculations, and give you better insights into your 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. We just know of one! 


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 almost half a million customers increase their income with matched betting. And you may have seen us in national publications like Vice along the way.

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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 session and you'll see why our customer support is unrivaled.

The best part?

Right now we're offering new members a 7-Day $1 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.  

7-Day Trial: Start your trial with ProfitDuel for only $1

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 is to start your matched betting side hustle and increase your monthly income at times and places convenient to 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, 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 sportsbooks, withdraw your winnings via your preferred method, and boom! You've just taken your first step toward increase 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 your 7-day ProfitDuel $1 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. 

Give it a go - it won't be there forever.New call-to-action



Sign up for our 7-day full access trial for just $1 and get all of our software, strategies and support to make $1,000s.

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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.