Master Matched Betting in Ireland 2024: A Comprehensive Guide to How it Works

Last Updated on 05/29/2024

I often find people are put off the concept of matched betting in Ireland because they think it’s illegal. While bookmakers are not necessarily huge fans, it’s not against the law here.

For those of you new to the concept, matched betting involves betting on both sides of an outcome at different sportsbooks. One of the bets has to be made using a free bet or a bonus so you don’t pay for the outlay. As a result, you can maximise the chance of making a profit regardless of the outcome.

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💡 What is matched betting? Explained

As I briefly explained above, matched betting works by betting on both outcomes of the same market at two different sportsbooks. To increase the chance of making a profit or at least break even, you will need to use a betting bonus for at least one of the wagers. That way, you don’t pay for your stake.

📝 Example:

Let’s say you’re looking at betting on Liverpool vs Manchester City. On one betting site, you might bet on Liverpool to win with your real money. On the other hand, you might use a free bet token to bet on City and the draw. That way, you receive some form of payout regardless of what the outcome is.

If the calculations are done right, you should at least break even. However, as always with betting nothing is guaranteed and I should emphasise that there are still risks involved.

There is nothing that outlaws matched betting or similar strategies in Ireland, so it is not illegal. However, online betting sites in Ireland naturally aren’t thrilled about the practice, and I have often found that it is against the T&Cs on many platforms.

That being said, the bookies will only pull you up and ban you if they catch you and believe that they are being cheated out of their own profits in some way. Don’t get me wrong, the bookies aren’t daft, and they will undoubtedly spot what you’re doing as they have got great resources. However, they tend not to take action until it negatively impacts them in a notable way.

🥁 Matched betting Ireland – Pros and cons

As with all betting strategies, and everything in life in general, there are upsides and downsides to matched betting. I have highlighted the main pros and cons below:

  • Not illegal in Ireland
  • Can help to manage potential net losses
  • Maximises the chance of a profit
  • Relatively flexible
  • Makes the most of bonuses
  • Against the T&Cs of many bookies
  • Calculations can be tough

⚙️ Why you need to use matched betting offers for it to work

One of the key elements in making matched betting work is using bonuses. Theoretically, you should at least break even by betting on all or both outcomes of an event. However, as an insider, I can tell you that the bookies alter the odds slightly to protect their profits.

This means that if you were to bet on both outcomes without using a bonus for one of them, you would be guaranteed a small loss in most cases. By making use of a bonus, you don’t have to pay for one bet and therefore have a better chance of making a profit if you have to rely on your “lay bet” (the backup bet).

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🥇 The best bonuses for matched betting in Ireland

You can check out the current promotions for the betting sites in Ireland on the banners on this page. I update them regularly and the rankings are based on my expert opinion as well as those of the team.

Each bonus reviewed on this site has been used and tested by me or another online gambling expert. As a result, you can trust the accuracy of the ratings and the fairness of each bonus report.

Here is a quick overview of the best bonus types for matched betting followed by a more detailed explanation:

  • Free bet
  • Risk-free bet
  • Deposit match

🔝 The top matched betting free bets

Free bet tokens are by far and away the most ideal bonus type for matched betting. This bonus type acts as a single stake worth a certain value, so you don’t have to pay for the bet on this outcome, which is integral to making matched betting work, as I explained. You can check out the best matched betting free bet types here.

🏃 Risk-free bets

This bet type works the same as a free bet, just that you only get your free bet token if your qualifying bet loses. As a result, it isn’t quite as well suited to matched betting because you have in a roundabout way paid for your stake.

🤝 Deposit match

This type of bonus is paid in the form of credits that can be used across multiple bets. It is paid out to match a certain percentage of your deposit, usually 100%. While these bonus credits can work for matched betting, they usually come with high wagering or turnover requirements which can cost you in the long run.

🧐 Is matched betting no-risk? 

Absolutely not, I cannot stress enough that in no way is matched betting in Ireland a risk-free practice. While the aim of the game is to ensure a profit, you are always at risk of losing money when gambling in any way, shape or form.

👍 My top tips for matched betting in Ireland

Matched betting isn’t the most straightforward of practices, and definitely isn’t something I would recommend for beginners. If you are looking into it for the first time, here are my top five pieces of expert advice:

🧮 Do the maths, then do it again

This is a betting strategy that only works if a profit win can be guaranteed on either side. To be absolutely sure of this you are going to have to do the maths and triple-check that your calculations are correct. 

🧑‍🏫 Use the right bonuses

Make sure that bonus offers you are using, whether it be free bets at a no deposit sportsbook or something else, are applicable to what you’re trying to do.

📝 Check the T&Cs

Read the small print carefully, and if matched betting is strictly prohibited by either of the bookies you are using, abort the mission and don’t bother. If you get caught, you could lose your full outlay and get banned from both sites.

🔽 Start small

As I said before, nothing in the world of sports betting is risk free. Regardless of how well-planned your matched bet is, only use a small stake.

📊 Consider a betting exchange

One of the biggest barriers to matched betting is the profit that fixed odds sportsbooks use to guarantee their profits. Besides bonuses, another way to work around this is to place one of your bets on a betting exchange instead.

🔬 A step-by-step matched betting guide

If you do want to give matched betting a go, I strongly advise that you do your homework and approach with caution. To simplify the whole process, I have put together an easy step-by-step guide in the table below:

Step one:Sign up to at least two sportsbooks
Step two:Claim the welcome offers
Step three:Choose a fixture to bet on
Step four:Do your calculations based on the odds of both outcomes, your outlay and bonus bet usage
Step five:Place your back bet first
Step six:Place your main bet second
Step seven:Watch the game
Step eight:Get your payout from whatever outcome wins

🧑‍⚖️ Matched betting Ireland – Conclusion

The main thing to take away from this article is that matched betting requires some experience and decent mathematical knowledge to pull off. It’s not something I would recommend for beginners and should never be viewed as a risk-free betting strategy (because no such thing exists). If you do feel ready to give it a shot, remember to read the T&Cs of both betting sites first and to make sure and use a free bet for at least one outcome.

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❓ Matched betting Ireland FAQ

🏐 What is matched betting?

Matched betting is basically the practice of using promotions and bonus offers on betting sites to cover all possible outcomes of a match. If done correctly you can ensure profits, break even or mitigate your potential losses.

💰 How profitable is matched betting?

The profitability of matched betting varies depending on the bonuses you are using and the market/odds you are covering. Generally, you can expect around 50-80% of the free bet value as a potential profit. However, you should also be aware that there is still the possibility of a small loss.

Yes, matched betting is legal in most countries but it’s an unregulated practice. Moreover, the bookies don’t like it and will often explicitly prohibit it in their terms and conditions. That’s why I strongly advise reading the small print first.

🔒 Is matched betting guaranteed profit?

No, there is always the risk of at least a small loss and no profit is guaranteed. On a wider point, there is absolutely no way to guarantee a profit from online sports betting or any gambling practice.

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

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