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Who wouldn’t want to get on board with the idea of guaranteed wins from betting? The idea that you can actually guarantee a profit sounds too good to be true right? Wrong. In this article, we’re going to look at matched betting – a maths strategy that practically guarantees you profits every time.

With matched betting, you are simply taking advantage of the hundreds of betting offers, free bets and promotions that you can find at all the top bookies in South Africa. So, if you want to find out more – and why wouldn’t you? Then read on…

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What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting, also known as lay betting, back betting or even double betting, is a low-risk form of sports betting. It is a way in which punters take advantage of the free bets and promotions that are offered by top South African betting sites to ‘guarantee’ a profit. The reason this is popular is that it’s generally seen as one of the only risk-free strategies. This is because it is based on maths rather than chance, unlike many other betting strategies.

It works so well because it involves covering all different outcomes of a sporting event by placing two different bets. So, whatever player or team wins, you will have that eventuality covered – and hence you stand to make a profit. Since there are so many free bets on offer, there’s no limit to what you can do. All it really takes is a simple match betting calculator, and knowing what to do.

Matched betting is not only available in South Africa. In fact, it is a process commonly used around the world, including the UK.

How Does Matched Betting Work?

Matched Betting is known as risk-free betting – and for good reasons, as this is one strategy that relies on maths as opposed to luck.

But how does it work? Do you need to be a mathematical genius to benefit from the strategy? Well, although some degree of mathematical knowledge does help, you don’t need a maths degree to start making a profit. It is pretty straight forward.

1. Backing a Bet

The first part of the process is Backing a Bet. This is simply where you are putting a bet on a team/player/horse to win. This is a standard bet where you bet on who you think will win. If you pick South Africa to win the rugby, then you have ‘backed’ South Africa.

2. Laying a Bet

This is the opposite of backing, where you bet against your team/player/horse. You are placing a separate bet that they will NOT win. If this is a rugby match, for example, this would cover a draw or a loss. As such, all of the possible eventualities are covered. This is the part of the process that would require you to register at a Betting Exchange as this is where you can make lay bets.

3. Liability

It is important to note that lay betting does not work the same as a standard bet. If your lay bet loses, you would be responsible for paying out the punter’s winnings (stake x odds) which would be known as your liability.

If your lay bet does win, you get to keep the stake, but minus a small commission set by the betting exchange. In terms of matched betting, the idea is to place a lay bet that simply cancels out your back bet and ensures that you get a win, no matter what the outcome of the event is.

4. The Result

When the result comes in, at least one of your bets will be a winning one. If you have calculated the size of the bets correctly, then you will have won and been in profit, which is why this is generally considered a risk-free betting strategy.

How to Place a Matched Bet

Once you know what you are doing, how to place a match bet is relatively simple. You just need to follow these steps:

Step 1:

Use one of the links below to create a new sportsbook account and receive a free bet. Pick a promotion that you can take advantage of. BoyleSports‘ bet $10 and get $40 in free bets is perfect for matched betting.

Step 2:

Before you can place a matched bet you need to receive your free bet. In order to do this, start by finding an oddsmatcher in order to find a suitable match to bet on. In South Africa, we recommend you use OddsMonkey since it includes a free trial. Use the filter options to find an suitable bet, ensuring that it fulfills the offer’s conditions and is available from your sportsbook. It’s best to find a market featuring very close odds for both back and lay bets.

Step 3:

Go on a betting exchange to place your lay bet. We recommend using Matchbook as it is the only reputable betting exchange currently avaialble in South Africa.

Step 4:

Use the free calculator on OddsMonkey to calculate your worst-case loss using the odds and fees featured on the sportsbook and betting exchange. Feel free to test the results of different bets in order to find the best worst-case result. The closer the odds are, the less likely you will be to lose more than R 20 if your bet loses.

Step 5:

The idea of losing R 20 might not sound appealing, but by completing the requirements of bonus you now have a free bet to play with. You now simply need to follow Steps 2 through to 4, although this time you should seek higher odds. Notwithstanding, you should keep the difference between back and lay odds to a minimum.

Step 6:

Use the OddsMonkey calculator once more to check potential returns. You need to change the bet type on the calculator to free bet.

Matched Bet Example

Start With A Qualifying Bet

You decide to sign up to BoyleSports’ in order to receive your $40 free bet. Once you have created an account, you proceed to OddsMonkey in order to find a suitable qualifying bet. You decide to wager on Chippa Utd vs Bloemfontein Celtic over 2.5.

Our Stake – $10
Our Back Odds – 2.0
Our Lay Odds – 2.02
The Betting Exchange commission – 5%

The calculator tells us that our lay stake needs to be $10.15 and that our liability is $10.35.

There are now two possible outcomes:

  • Chippa Utd wins with more than 2.5 goals and you win your back bet. You will win your bet (stake x odds) = 2.0 x $10 = $20. However, you lose your lay bet which has a $10.35 liability – so this actually means that overall, you are down $0.35.
  • Bloemfontein Celtic loses so you lose your $10 back bet stake. However, your lay bet is successful so you win the $10.15 stake (minus 5% commission is $9.64) In this scenario, you are down $0.36.

In both scenarios, you stand to make a small loss. However, the second matched bet is where the profit starts. You’ve now unlocked your free bet.

Now Place Your Matched Bet

You decide to stick with soccer and find another upcoming match in South Africa between Golden Arrows vs TS Galaxy. Using OddsMonkey once more, you decide to bet on a market where Golden Arrows will be winning at halftime.

Our Stake – $40
Our Back Odds – 5.0
Our Lay Odds – 5.2
The Betting Exchange commission – 5%

The calculator tells us that our lay stake needs to be $31.07 and that our liability is $130.49.

There are now two possible outcomes:

  • Golden Arrows wins at halftime and you win ($40 x 5.0) $200. Removing your lay bet liability and your original back bet you are left with ($200 – $130.49 – $40) $29.51. That’s a very decent profit indeed.
  • Golden Arrows is not winning at halftime, so you lose your $40 free bet stake. However, your lay bet is successful so you win the $31.07 stake (minus 5% commission is $29.52).

As you can see, in either case, you stand to make practically the same amount of money, risk-free.

How do Betting Exchanges Work?

Betting exchanges are online sports betting marketplaces where sports fans bet against each other. This is different from your typical online sportsbook where you’re placing a bet against the bookmaker directly. The exchange is there to match punters up and act as the middleman. It takes a commission on all winning bets and does not sway odds in its favour. As a result, you’re much likelier to find the best odds on betting exchanges than sportsbooks.

You can access betting exchanges, as well as online sportsbooks, via their main website or mobile apps.

The Top-Rated Betting Exchange In South Africa

In order to complete a successful matched bet, you will need an account with a sportsbook and a betting exchange. The choice of betting exchanges in South Africa is extremely limited. Matchbook is a reputable and powerful betting exchange featuring over 30 different sports and thousands of matches and events. By creating an account with Matchbook you will be able to place lay bets and benefit from no-risk matched betting.

0% Commission on all sports for 30 days

  • Competitive commission
  • Good market liquidity
  • Great visual and design on site
Matchbook is a peer-to-peer betting exchange designed for smart bettors who want more value. Offering deep liquidity and low commissions, Matchbook returns maximum value to bettors.

Understanding Matched Betting T&Cs

When you claim any free bet offer or promotion to take advantage of the strategy, there will always be terms and conditions that you need to be aware of. Unfortunately, free bets aren’t simply yours to do as you want with – there will be certain terms and conditions that you will need to fulfil before you can claim your free bet. Here are the main terms and conditions to be aware of:

New Customers Only

Often, the best free bets promotions will be reserved for new customers. This means that you will need to sign up with lots of different betting sites to get the best offers to profit from this strategy.

Use Promo Code

Some of the best free bet offers for matched betting will need you to enter a promo code in order to claim. Make sure you enter the promo code exactly as it is given to claim your free bet.

Minimum Odds

In order to claim your free bet, your qualifying bet will need to be on minimum odds, which is normally 1.5 or 2.0. This means that you cannot place your bet on a sure thing, or a heavy favourite.

Free Bets Rewarded as 2 x $15 Free Bets

This means that you will get 2 lots of $15 in free bets, so the bets that you make with your free bet will be $15. You need to consider this when factoring in how much your matched bet will be.

Payment Restrictions Apply

Often, free bets and promotions will have payment restrictions attached. Sometimes, you cannot make a qualifying bet when using e-wallet payment methods such as Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, EcoPayz and more. It is essential that you check to see the qualifying payment methods allowed when claiming your free bet.

Market Restrictions

Sometimes, you cannot place your qualifying bet or free bets on certain bet types or markets. This is often the case with multiples, tote bets or accumulator bets. You will also generally not be able to use the cash out feature on qualifying bets or free bets. When claiming your free bet offer, you need to see if this is valid only for specific sports, matches or markets.

Playthrough Requirements

If you think the free bet offer looks particularly generous, then look to see if there are any playthrough requirements (wagering requirements) attached. If there are playthrough requirements attached then you will be required to place a certain number or value of bets before you can claim any of the winnings from your free bet. This can very much affect whether or not it is in your best interests to choose this particular free bet promotion for the purposes of matched betting.

Expiry Dates

It is worth noting that all free bets and promotions you can use for match betting, South Africa, will come with expiry dates. These are the dates by which you need to have used the free bet and made sure that all the terms and conditions are fulfilled. Generally, the best promotions will offer more flexibility. As such, we recommend that before you claim your free bet offer, make sure that you already have in mind the matched bet opportunity that you want to use it for.

Geographical Requirements

If the bookmaker is a global bookmaker and not just a South African betting site, then be sure to check out the geographical restrictions attached to the matched bet promotion offer. Some free bet offers are valid only for certain countries or regions, so you need to make sure that you live in a region that qualifies to claim the free bet promo.

Using Free Bets to Place Matched Bets

The secret to making profitable matched bets is by choosing the right free bets bonus. As you saw in our previous example, it is the use of free bets that turns the profit. When making your qualifying bet and matched bet, you are set to make a small loss. However, it is the second match bet where the profit is to be found. As such, it is essential that you choose a flexible and generous free bet offer that you can take advantage of.

Bet $10 Get $40

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Free Bet up to $25

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Free Bet Worth up to R25

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R200 Deposit Match

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However, it is worth noting that it isn’t just welcome bonus free bets offers that you can use for matched betting, there are other existing customer promotions worth looking at:

Types of Betting Reload Offers

Aside from welcome bonus free bets, here are some other existing customer betting promotions that you can take advantage of:

Free Bet Clubs

Many betting sites in South Africa will have free bets clubs, which reward punters with weekly free bets if they make qualifying free bets throughout the week. You could use this free bet as your back bet and lay the bet at the betting exchange. However, free bet clubs usually offer $5 free bets, so the profits would be smaller. Sportingbet has a great free bets club to take advantage of!

Soccer Money Back Offers

On certain games and markets, some bookmakers will offer risk-free money-back offers. This is perfect as you stand to lose nothing if your back bet loses. If you lay this bet, then your lay bet will win. Your losing stake will be returned as a free bet which you can then use for your second matched bet. The great news is that since the sport is so popular in South Africa you will find plenty of soccer betting sites to choose from.

Cricket Matched Betting Offers

At times of popular cricket tournaments and test matches, there will very often be a number of cricket offers to take advantage of, so it is worth keeping an eye out. Playa Bets offers plenty of cricket promotions.

Accumulator Offers

A popular accumulator offer is Acca insurance, which gives you your original stake back as a free bet if one of your legs lets you down. This is another way to get hold of a free bet, although this is more of a risk as you would need the rest of your Acca legs to be successful. Betiton is excellent for Acca boosts!

Price Boosts

Price boosts will see very generous odds being offered on one outcome. The strategy relies on finding the most generous odds, so it is worth checking out price boosts to see if you can take advantage of the offer. Comeon! leads the way when it comes to price boost offers!

Matched Betting Software

If you aren’t a mathematical whizz, then you will need to rely on a matched betting calculator to work out your lay bet stake to cover the initial back bet. You will be able to find several excellent free matched betting sites that will allow you to use a special calculator for free in order to maximise your profit margins. This is a vital part of the strategy, so you need to make sure that you can access the best-matched betting calculator and best software.

Free Matched Betting Sites

There are plenty of matched betting sites that all promise to help you make a profit. However, when starting out, it might be that you would prefer to sign up with a free site to minimise your risks. Although you won’t generally get as big profits, these are great for risk-free matched betting startups.

However, there are several issues with free matched betting sites, which means that in the long run, it would be financially more beneficial to sign up with a paid site. Firstly, with free sites, you are at higher risk of being gubbed – so your account is more likely to be restricted and you will be able to take advantage of fewer offers and promotions. You will also be likely to make fewer profits in the long run. On average, punters using free sites earned substantially less compared to paid sites.

How Much Can I Earn with Matched Betting?

This very much depends on you – what sites you use – paid or free – and how much you do it. To maximise your winnings, you simply need to take advantage of all the free bets and promotions on offer. To do this, make sure you have access to the best-matched betting software and calculators. Sign up with a number of betting exchanges and make sure you find the best-matched bets to offer the highest profit potential.

Is Matched Betting Legal in South Africa?

Yes, this is perfectly legal in South Africa and all around the world. However, it is worth noting that although it is legal, some betting sites will not tolerate it. If they suspect you of taking advantage of their bonuses for matched betting purposes then they may limit your account.

Matched Betting South Africa Final Thoughts

Risk-free matched betting makes a lot of sense and is a great way to turn over a profit by taking advantage of free bets offers. It is a logical and easy strategy for punters once they know what they are doing. With the use of good matched betting software, there can be some good returns to be made. All you need to do is understand the basics of match betting, find a site that offers a calculator and you are ready to get started. This is one of the better ways to bet on sport, with a better prospect of making money.


What Is Match Betting?

No-risk matched betting is where you place two separate bets covering all outcomes of a sporting event and turning a profit. To do this, you need to use the best betting sites’ promotions and free bets offers.

Does Matched Betting Work?

If you know what you are doing, then this is the best way to make money from betting - as the mathematical strategy guarantees a profit. However, you need access to free bets and promotions, a good betting exchange site and a matched betting calculator.

What Is The Best Betting Site For No Risk Matched Betting South Africa

In order to get started with match betting in South Africa we recommend you open an account with Matchbook and a reputable sportsbook such as BoyleSports.

How long does matched betting take?

On average, matched betting will take up between 15 minutes and an hour per day, although it really depends on how many bets you intend to place each day. Once you've figured out what you're doing it should take you around 10 minutes to complete a bet.

Is match betting a scam?

At first sight, matched betting might very well look like a scam, but it really is not. Thanks to the use of helpful tools, such as OddsMonkey, the process is simple, fast, and effective. This is why so many players in South Africa are matched betting right now.

About James Fuller

James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.