Your Guide to No-Risk Matched Betting

Dear Rich Lifer,

One of the most popular ways to make extra money online is also one of the least talked about in the US.

Unless you’re from the UK or Europe, you likely haven’t heard too much about matched betting.

The reason being that up until 2018, sports betting was illegal in the United States.

In 2018, however, the supreme court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional.

PASPA was passed in 1992 and served as a blanket prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting, save for a few states (e.g. Nevada) that were grandfathered in under the previous allowances.

With the abolishment of PASPA in 2018, this has opened the door for states to begin legalizing online sports betting.

Before we get too far along, let’s make one thing clear that we are not suggesting you should gamble your money away in the traditional sense.

As you’ll soon find out, matched betting is a no-risk way to play bookmakers against one another to profit off cash bonus incentives.

Done correctly, matched betting is a guaranteed legal way to make some extra money.

What Is Matched Betting Exactly?

As we said, matched betting is the process of extracting bonus money from online sport bookmakers, and turning it into cash, without risking a dime.

We’ll get to the how-to in a second, but first it’s important to understand that because sports betting is still in its infancy in the US, this opportunity is only available because sports books are offering attractive sign-up offers worth hundreds of dollars right now.

This is great news for anyone just finding out about matched betting because these kinds of offers won’t be around forever.

Analysts are already predicting the industry will grow by 10x, and exist in 80 percent of US states by 2025.

How Does Matched Betting Work?

In the UK, matched betting works like this:

Step 1: Unlock your bonus cash

First, you’ll need to open an account with a bookmaker and place a qualifying ‘back’ bet on a game (i.e. England to win). If the outcome comes true, you win the bet and the winnings. If England loses or draws, you lose your stake.

To guarantee that you don’t lose your stake, what you do is match your bet with the opposite outcome (called a ‘lay’ bet) through a betting exchange.

This way, if England loses, you lose your stake with the bookmaker but you cancel out your loss with winnings from the betting exchange.

You’re probably wondering how you can make a profit if you’re canceling out your bet?

The point of this initial ‘qualifying’ bet is not to make money, it’s to unlock bonus cash and sign-up offers from bookmakers. Most bookmakers offer sign-up incentives based on initial deposits and bets placed above certain odds.

When you place your qualifying bet, you may actually lose a small amount of cash on the conversion since bookmakers and betting exchange odds may differ slightly. But don’t be alarmed since that small loss will be covered through step 2 with the incentive cash you just unlocked.

Step 2: Place your bet with your bonus cash

Now you’re essentially gambling with someone else’s money. Follow the same steps as above, placing one bet with a bookmaker and the opposing bet with an exchange. Whatever the outcome ends up being, you’ll profit.

Since matched betting is so popular across the pond, there are all kinds of matched betting calculators that will calculate exactly how much you need to bet to maximize your bonus offers.

One Big Caveat…

Before you go open an account, there is one problem. Currently in the US, betting exchanges are almost non-existent.

Betfair, the largest betting exchange in Europe, is the only exchange currently running in New Jersey for horse racing. Otherwise, there aren’t really any betting exchanges, yet.

What Does This Mean?

Until more US states legalize online gambling, betting exchanges won’t be as prevalent as in the UK and the rest of Europe.

But that doesn’t mean you still can’t take advantage of matched betting. Another strategy that uses similar principles is called ‘dutch betting.’

Essentially what you’re doing is placing bets at multiple bookmakers that achieve the same result as placing a bet through an exchange.

Dutching Example

Let’s say DraftKings has a great introductory offer that gives you $250 in bonus money for depositing the same amount. But, you only get the winnings from your bonus money and not the money itself.

Imagine there’s a tennis match with odds +165 to -240 for player A against player B on DraftKings. You place your $250 free bet on player A. If player A wins you get $412.5 (remember that you only get the winnings not the payout).

What if player A loses?

To protect your money, you open up another browser tab and log into another bookmaker, let’s say ResortsCasino. You find the same game and notice the odds are +165 to -290.

You place your bet on player B this time, making sure that if player B wins, your payout is $412.5, the same as DraftKings.

You can figure out exactly how much to bet by either doing the math yourself or using an online calculator. In this case, you’ll bet $307.

What happens next…

If player A wins, you lose your $250 in DraftKings, but you win $412.5 from ResortsCasino. Because you only put in $307, this means you profited $105.5.

And if player B wins, you lose your $307 in ResortsCasino, but you win $412.5 with DraftKings. Again, you just profited $105.5.

Tennis is a great sport to bet on because there are only winners and losers, no ties. As you can see, matched betting or ‘dutching’ works 100 percent of the time if you are 100 percent certain of what exactly will happen for each scenario.

A Word of Caution

You can’t do matched betting without reading the fine print. Every bookmaker is legally obliged to share their terms and conditions.

You must read through the T&Cs of the bonus incentives to know exactly how much you need to bet and over what odds to unlock the cash. You’ll lose money in matched betting if you overlook this step.

Since matched betting is still relatively new in the US, a lot of offers are pretty straightforward so don’t let this scare you away. Just be diligent and you’ll be on your way to building a risk-free side hustle.

To a richer life,
The Rich Life Roadmap Team

You May Also Be Interested In:

How Much Should You Invest?

You can calculate your initial investment using an initial investment formula, but you need to be comfortable with the amount you are investing. If not, it’s moot.