Alternatives to Matched Betting
April 15, 2021
Matched betting has become very popular over the last few years. If done correctly, you can take advantage of a variety of free bets and offers at bookmakers to guarantee a profit (see our guide on matched betting). However, finding new free bets and offers can get more difficult as time goes on. Therefore, people have started asking if there are any alternatives to matched betting.
Although nothing can mirror matched betting completely, there are a few other strategies that can improve your chances of winning money at gambling sites. Some of them work in a very different way though, and you are not always guaranteed a profit. So, we’ve put together this guide to explain each method in more detail.
Casino Bonuses with No Wagering Requirements
If you switch from sports bets to casino games and slots, most online casinos will give you a bonus for joining as a new player. But these often have wagering requirements. When a casino bonus has wagering requirements, it means you can’t just withdraw what you win straight away. Instead, you are forced to continue placing bets until you reach a certain target.
For example, you get a free spins bonus and win £20. But it has a wagering requirement of x30. This means you must use the £20 you won to place more bets until you have bet £600 overall (£20 x 30 wagering requirement = £600). This is very hard, and most players will likely lose all the money before reaching that £600 target.
But some casinos offer bonuses without wagering requirements. This is much better as anything you win is yours to keep – with no restrictions or obligations. You simply play the bonus as normal but anything you win is considered real money. You can choose to withdraw it straight away if your balance is high enough.
As these are games of chance, you’re not guaranteed to win. However, you have a much better chance of winning overall because the wagering requirements have been removed. You can easily find a no wagering requirements casino these days too. Players prefer these bonuses so more sites are starting to offer them. In the best cases, a casino will offer a no wagering bonus with no deposit needed. So you just need to create an account to get it.
Going back to sports, arbitrage betting, also known as arbing, is similar to match betting. You do not use free bets or offers though. Instead, you take advantage of odds that have been structured favourably.
When you make an arbitrage bet, you cover all the possible outcomes of a given event. For example, you bet on a horse to win a race at one bookmaker but also bet on the same horse not to win the race at a betting exchange. In some cases, the odds will be structured so that you are guaranteed a profit no matter the outcome.
In the above example:
- Horse wins = profit from bookmaker
- Horse doesn’t win = profit from the exchange
Crucially, the profit from the winning bet must cancel out the loss from the losing bet. This guarantees a profit in the end.
To find out more about this match betting alternative, read our guide on arbitrage betting.
Continuing with sport, value betting is when you bet on an outcome that a bookmaker has underestimated. In other words, there is a better chance of something happening than the odds suggest.
You will often find that a variety of bookmakers have different odds for the same outcome. This is because there are lots of different factors involved when calculating the probability of an outcome.
However, some bookmakers are more accurate with their odds than others. They are also quicker to update their odds based on new information (such as if a team’s star player gets injured). These are called “sharp bookmakers”, and they can provide a more accurate representation of an outcome occurring.
You can use odds from sharp bookmakers to compare odds at other bookmakers (known as soft bookmakers). Occasionally, you will find a soft bookmaker with odds that are much more favourable for the outcome. This is a value bet.
Value betting is a long term approach. It is much riskier than match or arbing because you’re not covering all the possible outcomes. You will most likely lose individual bets at times and your profits/losses can vary significantly. However, in the long run, it is possible to gain an edge with value bets.