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Matched Betting Explained to US Bettors

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Welcome to our latest guide here at CaptainGambling, where we’ll explain the matched betting strategy in full. First and foremost, the most important thing for you to know is that it is not possible in the US at this time.

Don’t go anywhere though - just because matched betting isn’t possible in the US doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternatives. Join PromoGuy for free to find out how you can win more bets and increase your bankroll today. It only takes minutes, and free sports betting picks are also waiting for you!

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Matched betting explained: What is matched betting?

Matched betting is used to take advantage of online betting offers in a way that locks in guaranteed profits. These offers can come in the form of free (or risk-free) bets, enhanced odds and cashback offers. Matched bettors have to place bets that qualify them for these promotions and then place bets using the bonuses.

The best matched betting strategy involves placing a back bet (in other words, backing a selection to win) at a betting site and then using a betting exchange to lay it (in other words, betting against that outcome winning).

When placing matched bets to qualify for offers, your aim is to minimize your loss, whilst when you use your free and enhanced bets, you are aiming to maximize your returns.

In order to eliminate matched betting risks you need to use advanced mathematical calculations and have an encyclopedic knowledge of sports betting markets. Alternatively, you can use a specialist matched betting site that does all the hard work for you. These sites tell you the very best matched betting offers available, and provide you with a matched betting calculator that outlines the best bets to place and which stakes to use.

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Matched betting explained: An example of a matched betting offer

  1. A new customer offer at an online betting site is giving new customers a $30 free bet if they sign up and place a bet of at least $15 on any sports market.
  2. By using a matched betting site, you can find that the best option for your qualifying bet is to place $15 on Everton beating Liverpool in an upcoming EPL game. Everton are priced at +500 with the bookmaker and the price for laying that bet at an exchange is +510.
  3. If you place a $15 bet with the bookmaker and lay it at the exchange with a stake of $14.75 you can minimize your loss and qualify for the $30 free bet.
  4. The reason for this is that an Everton will see you gain $75 at the bookmakers, but make a loss of $75.25 at the betting exchange. If the game finishes in a draw or a Liverpool win, your back bet will lose but you will make a profit of $74.75 at the exchange.
  5. In both cases, the net result is a loss of 25 cents.
  6. Now, we have qualified for the $30 free bet and can use no risk matched betting to guarantee a profit from it.
  7. This time, the matched betting calculator tells you to use your free bet on Leeds United to beat Chelsea at odds of +500. You also need to lay this bet at odds of +550 at an exchange. The optimum stake for this lay bet is $24.59.
  8. If Leeds win you will be $150 up from your free bet, but liable for $125.41 at the exchange. Any other outcome (i.e. a draw or a Chelsea win) would give you a $24.59 profit at the exchange, but see you lose your free bet.

As you can see, the result of the game makes no difference. Either way, you are $24.59 up. If you factor in the qualifying loss of 25 cents, you have made an overall profit of $24.24 regardless of what happens in either fixture.

Is matched betting an option for players in the United States?

Unfortunately not. The Federal Wire Act of 1961 was put in place to prohibit betting to be conducted across state lines. Since then, all betting markets have to solely take place in a single state.

The impact of this means that market liquidity levels are small as there are a limited number of players in each market. This makes it virtually impossible for a betting exchange to operate successfully, as they would not have enough liquidity to cover winning bets. For this reason, there are no legal betting exchanges currently operating in the United States. Consequently, matched betting is not a viable option for US players.

There is no indication that the Federal Wire Act of 1961 is going to be amended or removed in the near future, so it seems extremely unlikely that matched betting will be an option available to US gamblers in the next few years.

Matched betting explained: The EV betting alternative

Whilst matched betting is not possible in the United States, players can use a number of alternative betting strategies. One such strategy is EV betting -  a low-risk gambling strategy that looks for positive value in betting markets and uses it to take advantage of betting offers.

The term expected value (EV) refers to the average winnings you can expect to make if you placed the same bet repeatedly at exactly the same odds and under the same circumstances. EV is established by assessing a wide range of factors that help establish the long-term value of a bet. EV eliminates short-term factors such as luck which could impact upon a single running of an event.

The aim of the strategy is to find positive EV betting options and use them to increase the chance of profiting from promotions.

How can you profit from EV sports betting?

EV betting is most easily used in casino betting, where the odds are often fixed and the variable factors are limited. However, EV sports betting is a much trickier proposition.

When bookmakers put together markets they apply a small commission to their odds. This is known as ‘vig’ or ‘juice’ and is what enables betting firms to make profits. The problem for gamblers is that vig skews the odds in the bookmakers’ favor and makes it harder to find positive EV.

For this reason, an EV betting strategy primarily looks at promotions. These offers effectively shift the odds towards the player, thus making it easier to find positive EV.

So how can you find betting options with a positive EV? The difficult way is to carry out extensive research and trawl the sports betting markets. The easier option is to use a specialist EV betting site. These sites provide you with EV betting tools such as calculators and guides. They will help ensure you find the best EV betting options and use them correctly.

If you think that an EV betting strategy could work for you, using a specialist site is the best way to proceed. It will save you a lot of time, ensure you do not miss out on any promotions and help you fully understand how the strategy works.

Conclusion - Matched betting explained

Hopefully, this article has given you a firm understanding of what matched betting is about. It is an excellent no-risk option for locking in profits, so it is very unfortunate that players in the US cannot use the strategy. However, EV betting does represent a viable alternative that can lead to some excellent returns.

Although calculating EV can be tricky for sports betting markets, expert EV betting sites can save you a lot of time and do the legwork for you. Having said that, if you do want to use EV betting, we highly recommend that you take the time to fully learn about the strategy and develop a strong understanding of how to find and place positive EV bets.

In conclusion, EV betting represents a strong option for US players. It is not entirely risk-free, but if done correctly it can severely reduce the risks associated with conventional betting.

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Matched betting explained FAQ 

💵 Is EV betting right for me?

EV betting is a relatively low-risk betting strategy, but (unlike matched betting) it still involves gambling. So before you commit to taking up EV betting, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of doing so. You can read more about EV betting and other strategies at CaptainGambling.com./faq-item]

It is very difficult to answer this with any degree of certainty. US laws are regularly subject to amendments and alterations. This means that the whole situation surrounding matched betting could be entirely different in a few years. To get the very latest relating to US federal gambling law, you can regularly read the news articles at CaptainGambling.com.

📣What are the best promotions for EV betting?

The answer to this will change on a day-to-day basis. Sports betting sites regularly update offers for both new and existing customers. By reading the expert guides at CaptainGambling.com you can discover the very latest and best sports betting offers. In many cases, these will be offers that you can use an EV betting strategy to exploit.

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