What is Matched Betting? A 5 Minute Guide [USA]

You’re here because you’ve likely heard a little bit about ‘Matched Betting’. Maybe you’ve heard exciting things like ‘earning thousands of dollars’ or ‘a side hustle anyone can do’. Sounds tempting.

I’ve been matched betting across the world for over 10 years, so let me share exactly what matched betting is (and isn’t!).

But don’t just take my ‘word’ for it. I’ll also explain all the basic concepts of matched betting, so you can decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

Matched betting is only possible in a few states
It’s possible to earn money through matched betting in any US state that has legalised online sports betting. Currently, that is limited to New Jersey, New York, and Arizona only. Matched betting is coming to more states soon.

Read more: Matched betting in New Jersey.

Defining ‘Matched Betting’

Matched betting, also known as ‘no-risk betting’, is a scientific method of making a profit from bookmakers’ free bets and promotions by placing bets on all possible outcomes of a sporting event or game.

This is done by using a mathematical formula to ensure that regardless of the outcome, a profit is made. You are never expected to ‘risk’ any of your own money.

Matched betting is considered a risk-free way to make money from gambling, as it does not rely on luck or chance, but rather on a systematic approach to betting. It requires a basic understanding of odds and markets, as well as a thorough understanding of the terms and conditions of bookmakers’ promotions.

While it may seem complex at first, matched betting is a straightforward and profitable way to make money online. It’s been my source of side income for over a decade, so let me show you exactly how it works.

The Concept of Matched Betting

The first thing any new matched bettor needs to understand is that sportsbooks are heavily incentivised to sign up new customers. They hope to find gullible gamblers who’ll keep throwing money at losing bets.

They do this by offering sign-up bonuses and regular incentives to keep people gambling.

We aren’t susceptible to their advertising games though. Instead, we can take advantage of these offers to guarantee ourselves a profit.

The easiest way to understand is through a live example, so let’s pick a concept most people are familiar with. The New York Yankees.

You don’t need to know anything about Baseball. You just need to know they’re a Baseball team.

Betting on Both Sides

When the Yankees are playing a match, there are only two outcomes:

  1. The Yankees WIN.
  2. The Yankees LOSE.

That makes life very easy as we can place two bets and cover every possible outcome. Whatever happens in the match itself, one of your bets will win.

In a scenario where one bet loses, and one bet wins, you won’t find yourself in a very profitable position. The losses will simply cancel out your winnings.

We’re back where we started.

Well, not quite. We only bet so we can qualify for a sportsbook bonus or incentive.

We’ve placed two bets to cancel each other out, but qualified for a monetary bonus. These come in lots of forms, but most commonly it’s a risk-free bet.

For a matched bettor like you and I, these risk-free bets are basically free money. Let me show you how.

Wagering with Sportsbook Incentives

We’ve already shown how you can place two bets to cover every outcome of a sporting event.

You can use the sportsbook bonus and repeat the exact same process.

Let’s say we put our free bonus on the New York Yankees to win their next match. We’d place another competing bet on their opponents, which would balance out the two bets again.

However, critically, this time we would choose to bet a very specific amount. By adjusting our stake at the second bookmaker, we can guarantee the same profit regardless of which bet wins.

Simple Matched Betting Terminology

If you’re completely new to the world of sports betting, things may be a little confusing for you. That’s ok. It’s actually an advantage not to know anything about sports.

Matched betting is all about taking the emotion and feeling out of betting. Instead, we bet based on formulas and mathematics that ensure we’re playing a risk-free game.

However, knowing some betting terminology can be helpful to follow along, so here are some of the most common terms:

  • Sportsbook – A company that allows customers to bet on a range of different sporting (and non-sporting) events.
  • Free Bet – A bonus provided by sportsbooks, often offered as an incentive to sign up or continue gambling. Can be used to bet on any event without wagering your own money.
  • Dutching – The concept of betting on the same sports event with multiple sportsbooks to cover all possible outcomes.
  • Moneyline – The simplest form of betting where you bet on who will win the event outright, regardless of how much they win by.
  • Point Spread – A popular form of betting in the USA, where the underdogs are given a handicap in a game to level the playing field. A bet only wins once the point spread has been adjusted to the final score.
  • Vigorish – The commission or fees charged by a sportsbook. You aren’t charged the “vig” after the bet has won. Instead, the sportsbooks build their profit margin into the odds by offering odds that are slightly worse than the real market odds of the event happening

What Do You Need To Start Matched Betting?

Laptop, Phone or Tablet

Most companies have responsive websites or mobile applications so you can get Matched Betting from any smart device.

Internet Connection

Having a stable internet connection makes sure you’ll have no issues when placing bets and open you up to more opportunities.

The Right Age & Address

In order to register with US sportsbooks, you need to based in a state that has legalised online sports betting, as well as being aged 21 or above.

Time and Patience

Matched Betting is highly lucrative with just a few hours a week, but you will need to invest your time to learn the concepts

How Much Can I Earn?

Matched betting has two primary sources of income: Introductory Offers and Ongoing Offers. Each of these sources can be very profitable, although there is often a limit to the amount of ongoing offers that will be available to you.

Introductory OffersThe most lucrative time for Matched Betting is when opening new accounts. If you live in a state that support online sports betting, you can comfortably earn over $4,000+ just from signing up to sportsbooks.
Ongoing OffersWe can also take advantage of ongoing offers and events, putting in a few hours of effort each week. From this, we can earn more than $1000 each month as a side income.

Get Started Matched Betting

It’s possible to start matched betting immediately by signing up with sportsbooks and start placing your bets. There are even free calculators that will help you calculate the right bet size.

You can even read our full (free) guide to matched betting which gives step by step instructions.

However, everyone should consider signing up with a matched betting service for two main reasons:

  1. Access tools that allow you to check for the best possible betting combinations to make the most profit.
  2. Join a community of experts who can help you navigate every bet you place.

There aren’t many options for matched betting services in the USA right now, although thankfully one of the best UK services launched their US service. We’d highly recommend you check out ProfitDuel.

Top Service

ProfitDuel makes the process of matched betting quicker, simpler and more profitable. They provide useful tools for identifying the best bets, along with a growing community of members who can help you whenever you get stuck. We've been a member since they first launched.


  • Easy to use bet-finder tool.
  • Detailed guides for beginners.
  • Facebook and Discord communities.
  • Highly lucrative casino offers.

Frequently Asked Questions

About The Author

Website | + posts

David has been matched betting for over 10 years, with experience profiting from bonus bets in the UK and Australia. He's made over $30,000 from just a couple of hours each week and funded travel across the world. He struggles to understand why matched betting isn't more popular when it's the perfect side hustle.

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