← Back To Blog

Matched Betting Glossary

April 30th, 2019 Matched Betting

We’ve put together this matched betting glossary to help you learn more about some of the words and terms you’ll come across when you do matched betting with OddsMonkey. You’ll find a few terms below or download the full pdf version here.

External sites used in matched betting


Also known as a bookie, a bookmaker is someone who takes bets, calculates odds and pays out on winning bets. Originally, bookmakers started out at the racecourse, offering odds on horse races. Harry Ogden is widely considered to be the first bookmaker in the UK, having opened a business in the 1790s.

The 1845 Gaming Act stated that the only gambling allowed in the UK was at race tracks. However, this all changed in 1961, when the government legalised betting shops. Now, you can find bookies on the high street or online. Examples of bookmakers include Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill.

The amount of money bookmakers pay out to the winner of a bet is determined by the odds the punter took when they put the bet on. This information will be shown on your bet receipt.

Bookmakers are an essential part of matched betting as they allow you to place your back bet and are the source of offers and promotions.

Betting Exchange

A betting exchange is a site where people can bet against each other rather than against a bookmaker. They differ from bookmakers by letting you bet against outcomes, instead of for. For example, a bet placed at the bookmaker on a football match means you’re betting on a team to win. If the team wins, you win your bet but if they lose or draw, you lose the bet. However, at the betting exchange you’re betting on a team ‘to not’ win. This means that if your team wins, you’ll have lost the bet, but if they draw or lose, you win.

Exchanges usually charge commission (between 2%-5%) on winning bets. Examples of betting exchanges include Betfair and Smarkets.

The exchange is an essential part of matched betting as it allows you to place a lay bet against the opposing back bet.

Welcome offer details

Welcome Offer

There are so many bookmakers out there. And they’re all desperate to stand out from the crowd and encourage you to sign up to them. How can they do that? Many bookies offer some sort of incentive to encourage you to open an account with them. These offers vary depending on the bookie, but are often along the lines of ‘bet £x, get a £x free bet’. That means that when you open an account with them and place a bet using your own money, you’ll then receive a free bet to use. jostling to be noticed, they need some way to encourage customers to sign up with them instead of someone else.

These sign up offers are a brilliant way to get into matched betting. OddsMonkey can show you how to minimise your losses when betting using your own money and then how to unlock real value from the free bet part of the sign up offer.


A deposit is the amount of money you put into your bookmaker or betting exchange account. You won’t be able to place a bet if you don’t have enough money in your account. If this is the case, you should receive an onscreen prompt, notifying you that you’ll need to make a deposit before you can place your bet.

A matched betting deposit bonus could refer to a type of bookmaker offer that you can unlock value from. An example of this could be ‘Deposit £10, get a £5 free bet’. Once you’ve made a deposit, match betting can help you turn that free £5 bet into real money.

Free Bet

A free bet is a promotion offered by a bookmaker to encourage you to sign up to their service. Matched bettors take these free bets and turn them into real money. Free bets are one of the most important things to a matched bettor, as it’s where their profits are extracted from.

Free bets are usually offered to new customers who sign up to bookmakers: “Bet £10, get a £10 free bet”. As well as welcome offers like these, free bets are sometimes also offered to existing customers, that just depends on the individual bookie and the types of promotions they run. Here at OddsMonkey, we find all the latest free bet offers and show you how to match bet them, with tools and video guides.

Useful to know


In matched betting, your float is the amount of money you have available to bet with. It’s money that you keep solely for matched betting and add to with any profits you make. Building your matched betting float up over time means that you can do multiple offers at once. Without having to wait for your bets to settle and money to come back into your account. This is something that can happen if you start matched betting with a relatively small float. To give yourself a good start, we’d recommend setting aside a matched betting float of around £100, although if you can’t afford that, you can matched bet with less.


So, what is liability in matched betting? Well, it’s something you’ll come across at the betting exchange, whether you’re matched betting or simply lay betting. It’s the amount of money you need to have in your exchange account to cover your lay bet. Essentially, it’s the amount you stand to lose if your lay bet loses. Remember though that in matched betting, that money will always be covered by what you win from your back bet at the bookmaker. Your liability in matched betting isn’t at risk, it just needs to be available in the exchange before you will be able to place your lay bet.

OddsMonkey’s calculator will show a liability amount, so you’ll always know how much you need in your exchange account.

Stake Not Returned

‘Stake Not Returned’ is what happens when the original stake isn’t returned when the bet wins. For example, a bet of £5 at odds of 5.0 will return only £20. 5 x £5 equals £25, remove the stake, and you’re left with £20.

You’ll probably find when matched betting that stake not returned is very common when it comes to free bets. When bookmakers give you a free bet, they’ll pay the winnings if the bet wins. However, you don’t get the stake back like you would with a normal bet.

When you’re matched betting using a free bet, you can use the ‘stake not returned’ mode on the OddsMatcher calculator. This will help you correctly calculate your stake amount and potential profit.

Wagering Requirement

In matched betting, wagering requirements are usually found at the online casino but they can also be seen at the bookmaker. A wagering requirement is a specific instruction which tells you how many times your ‘winnings’ have to be played before you can unlock either a free bet offer or withdraw funds. Wagering requirements could also take the form of restrictions on which markets you can bet on, the type of bet you can place and the maximum value of individual bets.

Wagering requirements are particularly important as they are often the key to triggering a bonus. This can then be turned into real money.

Life After Welcome Offers

Enhanced Odds

Enhanced odds are another type of sign up offers that are available when you open an account with a bookmaker. They’re different to the free bet offers as bookies offer a significant price, or odds, boost on a sporting event to new customers. These generous giveaways are a marketing tool often offered by the bookie to encourage new sign-ups.

In matched betting, enhanced odds offers provide fantastic value and are a great way to make some extra money from your bets.

Enhanced odds are usually centered around the biggest sports events of the day or weekend. As with any offer, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions of enhanced odds before placing any bets.

Price Boost

Price boosts are where a bookmaker increases their odds on a selection (or multiple selections) as a method to both attract new customers and keep current customers active. For example, a horse might have originally been priced at 3/1 but then a price boost means it’s now available at 4/1. Bookmakers will generally cap the maximum amount customers are able to bet on each boost, in order to limit the bookmakers’ liability.

In matched betting, price boosts can be used to lock in a profit if the lay odds available at the betting exchange are lower than the boosted back odds offered by the bookmaker.

Reload Offers

Your matched betting journey doesn’t begin and end with new account offers. ‘Reload offers’ are offers that are targeted towards existing bookmaker customers, which means that you can still make money even if you’ve had a bookie account for a while. When it comes to reload offers, there are so many different types. For example, some reload offers are triggered when a qualifying bet is made. Others may take the form of free spins in the casino in order to promote a tennis tournament. Make sure you always check the T&Cs of offers before placing any bets.