Is Matched Betting Risk Free?

11 min read

20 Jun 2024


Anything with ‘betting’ in the name, does sound potentially risky. So is Matched Betting risk-free? The short answer is yes it can be. But crucially, you can choose your own level of risk.

Profitable Matched Betting offers range from those that are completely risk-free to others that carry a risk but are still worthwhile doing. The beauty is that you can choose which to take.

If you’d prefer no risk at all, then you can stick to simple Matched Betting offers with guaranteed risk-free profits. Alternatively, you can take on more advanced Matched Betting techniques which carry a slight risk but with potentially higher returns.

The key is knowing what to do and how to do it, and there’s a whole range of guides, tools and calculators out there to help you.

So, let’s take a look at how you can make money from Matched Betting and how to choose the risk level that best suits you.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Matched Betting?

Losing money is undoubtedly one of, if not the, biggest concern when it comes to starting any side-hustle. If you’re looking for extra ways to make money, then the last thing you want to do is end up out of pocket.

It’s not the only potential risk though, Matched Betting can come with other concerns, so we’ll take a look at each of these in detail below.

Can You Lose Money Matched Betting?

When doing risk-free offers such as bet and gets or free bets, the simple answer is no, but only if you follow the process exactly.

If you don’t follow the guides, don’t place enough bets or decide to take on some more advanced Matched Betting techniques, then there are some risks, but these are minimal.

There are three main costs associated with Matched Betting and we’ll go into these and the risks attached below.

Start-up money

Matched Betting can be started from as little as £50. So straight away, that makes it more affordable than most side hustles out there.

The start-up money is not a sign-up fee though. It doesn’t go to a third-party to allow you access to sites or tools, it’s simply your first investment into Matched Betting.

That initial investment allows you to place your first bookie and exchange bets, which in turn means you receive your first offer, which results in you making profit.

If you place those bets correctly, you are guaranteed to receive the full 100% of your start-up money back, plus profit, so it is therefore risk-free.

In order to keep making profits, you need to keep ‘reinvesting’ that money into bets which in turn creates more profit as you go. At no point will that start-up money be at risk, as long as you place the right bets.

One thing to mention here is that although you can start from £50, the more money you start with the quicker the profits will come.

That’s simply because starting with more money allows you to place more bets quickly instead of having to wait for each result, withdrawing money and then reinvesting it. No matter how much you start with, all start-up money in Matched Betting is risk-free if you follow the process correctly.

The best start you can give yourself in Matched Betting is to join a free trial.

The trial by Outplayed is a completely free service, giving you step-by-step guides on how to place the bets, what bookies to use and what offers to take to lock in risk-free profits.

Membership Fees

If you decide to pursue Matched Betting, then the best way to maximise profits is to sign up to a Matched Betting company such as Outplayed.

These not only find all of the offers for you, but they give you detailed instructions on placing the bets, and more importantly give you Matched Betting tools including odds finders and Matched Betting calculators.

They do come with a fee though, so you have to make sure that you’re going to commit to Matched Betting in order to cover this fee.

The good news is that you can pay annually or monthly and you can stop the monthly payments anytime you choose.

Plus, if you follow the guides and offers they provide, you will easily make the monthly fee back and plus lots more profit each month so the risk is extremely low.

Advanced Matched Betting Techniques

Once you are more familiar with the basics of Matched Betting, there are more complex offers you can start playing with. With the more advanced offers, comes an added risk, but in return the rewards are better.

The risk is also minimised with something called +EV. This means that every offer is analysed, tried and tested to make sure that on the whole you can expect a positive expected value from it.

These advanced offers should only be tried by experienced matched bettors who understand them well enough and have the budget to do them. So this poses no risk to new matched bettors.

Can You Make Money From Matched Betting If You Know Nothing About Sports Or Betting?

Sports betting is simply the tool that is used in order to make profit. Much like an artist needs a canvas to create a masterpiece or a chef needs a kitchen to cook.

The sport, the outcome of the sport, or your knowledge of the sport bears no significance on how much profit you can make from Matched Betting.

In order to be a successful matched bettor you just need to be able to follow instructions and be organised.

I mentioned earlier that in some cases it might even be an advantage if you don’t know sport or sports betting. What I meant by that is Matched Betting is just about the data.

You place bets based on the statistics and the amount of profit you will make. You don’t place bets based on knowledge, experience, emotional attachment, or whether you fancy a team to win, or a player to score.

The less personal association you have, the more clinical and data-led you can be. Of course, you can still do these things, even if you love sports and betting, it’s just not an essential part of Matched Betting.

Not knowing about sports and sports betting is therefore not a risk when it comes to Matched Betting.

What Happens If You Make A Mistake When Matched Betting?

We’re all human and mistakes happen, whether we’re Matched Betting or not. Of course, if you place an incorrect matched bet then there is a risk of losing money.

However, there are ways to minimise this risk. If you place an incorrect bet with a bookie, say you accidentally bet £50 instead of £5, there are a few ways to correct this.

Firstly, many bookies will offer you an instant cash out for the full amount so you can cancel it off immediately.

Secondly, because Matched Betting involves you placing two bets – one with the bookie and one with the exchange, if you place the incorrect bookie bet you can alter your exchange bet accordingly so that it balances out.

The best way to minimise this risk is to read through each guide and watch all of the video tutorials until you fully understand it.

The great thing about joining a Matched Betting company such as Outplayed, is that they provide a strong support team, forum and social media network who can help problem solve and rectify mistakes before they lead to issues.

Outplayed are the only Matched Betting service to provide live chat and phone support so you can speak to an experienced expert who can help you through any mistakes.

This minimises the risk considerably and means you become part of a Matched Betting community that works well to provide advice and guidance if you need it.

How Much Time Do You Have To Give To Matched Betting?

Matched Betting is one of the smallest time-steelers when it comes to making additional money.

While many side-hustles involve you physically driving around delivering, filling in endless surveys, sales, tutoring, supplying products or services, Matched Betting can be done whenever and wherever you choose, even from a mobile phone.

Matched Betting is fully flexible and can be done around your other commitments and most importantly, you can do as little or as much as you like.

For many, it is an hour every morning, some do it over lunchtime, while others prefer evenings or weekends. Some matched bettors do no more than a couple of hours a week while others will do it almost full-time. The offers are there every day, so it’s up to you how much you choose to do.

Matched Betting therefore offers little or no risk to your precious time to spend with family and friends.

Is Matched Betting Only Short-Term?

It is true that a lot of Matched Betting offers are for new customer sign-ups.

Bookmakers entice new customers with valuable offers of free bets and free casino spins. For some potential matched bettors, this is a risk, because once you’ve exhausted all of the initial welcome offers, they believe the money dries up.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The sign-up offers are often the easiest and quickest promotions to do, for sure, but in many cases the bigger value offers come after the initial sign-up.

After all, the bookies are in constant competition with each other to come up with the biggest and best offers to retain customers. So why not make the most of it?

As long as the sports betting companies continue to offer promotions, there will always be opportunities to make money from Matched Betting. Many matched bettors I know have been doing it for several years.

Will Matched Betting Affect My Credit Score?

The quick answer is no. When you sign up to a bookmaker or exchange, no hard credit checks take place. This means that there is no record on file of you Matched Betting or depositing money into bookmakers with regard to credit checks.

However, it is important to say that when applying for a mortgage or a loan, often it is necessary to provide three to six months of bank statements. In this scenario, a series of deposits and withdrawals with bookmakers on your statement may come under scrutiny.

Although you would know it was for Matched Betting and not gambling, the mortgage lender would not be able to distinguish the difference and may interpret it negatively.

It is therefore always advisable to set up a separate bank account used solely for Matched Betting. This means all of your Matched Betting transactions are completely separate from your usual incomings and outgoings and will therefore leave no trace whatsoever on your main financial records.

Is Matched Betting Gambling?

Absolutely not. In fact, the majority of Matched Bettors I know are firmly against gambling. It sounds crazy, right? But often matched bettors are so focused on taking as much value as they can from the bookies, that it wouldn’t occur to them to place a bet without some guaranteed profit.

Matched Betting is not about taking risks, making punts or trying to predict outcomes of sporting events. It’s actually the exact opposite. It’s about using and manipulating the bookmakers’ promotions so that you can take guaranteed profits regardless of the outcome of the sport.

Therefore, there is no inherent risk to Matched Betting if done correctly. No matter the result or score of a sporting event, you win anyway.

Is Matched Betting Legal?

Matched Betting is 100% legal and can earn you significant amounts of tax-free cash. There are no legal implications whatsoever to Matched Betting, so you don’t have to worry.

There are, however, some unhappy parties as a result of Matched Betting, which are, yes you’ve guessed it, the bookies themselves.

Bookmakers want punters to lose, it’s their business model. Yes, they want some winners along the way to keep people happy and to shout about to entice more customers in. But ultimately, they want the majority of customers to lose.

Matched bettors don’t lose. They might look like they're losing when the bookie bet doesn’t come off, but in that scenario it means the exchange bet has won anyway.

But if a bookmaker believes that a customer is taking too much value from them in terms of winnings or offers, then they can refuse further promotions or even close the account.

When this happens, it doesn’t mean that you lose your money. If a bookie decides to close your account, they will advise you to withdraw all funds first. If not, there is a comprehensive appeal process that ensures you won’t lose out.

If they prevent you from taking part in promotions, which is often referred to as ‘gubbing’, it doesn’t necessarily mean Matched Betting has to stop. It just means you sometimes have to get more creative and that’s when the more advanced Matched Betting techniques can come into play.


To summarise, a large proportion of Matched Betting is risk-free. Certainly, if you follow the guidelines exactly and stick to the basic Matched Betting offers such as welcome offers and ‘bet and gets’ then you can do it completely safely.

In other areas, you can minimise the risks considerably by opening up a separate bank account and joining a Matched Betting company such as Outplayed to take advantage of their support team and Matched Betting tools and calculators.

Once you are more familiar with Matched Betting, you might want to take on more complex bets which increase your risks but deliver bigger rewards, but this is a choice. Even then, it is a strategic risk which has been analysed as providing a positive expected value.

Ultimately, no part of Matched Betting is about taking risks. In fact, it is fundamentally about removing risk so that you can use offers to your advantage to make guaranteed risk-free profits.

Updated: 4 Jul 2024

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The Author

Lynsey has been writing in the iGaming and sports betting industry for almost a decade. She has three years of experience in Matched Betting and enjoys sharing her expertise and knowledge to help others.

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