Matched Betting Glossary

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Matched bettingmatched betting glossary is definitely my favourite side hustle right now. I’ve been doing it for around two months, and my earnings are at £711.21.

That’s legitimate and tax free cash!

I spend about 30-60 minutes every other day on matched betting, and on the whole it’s been pretty easy.

My main issue?

When I first started – as someone who’s not a sports fan and had never placed a bet in her life – there were just so many new words!

There is definitely a whole new vocabulary that goes along with matched betting, and it can be off putting to newcomers.

I’ve been collecting all the jargon I come across in one place as I go along and created this matched betting glossary, so other newbies can benefit too. Feel free to bookmark or pin this page and come back to it.


If you’re curious about how much you could make matched betting, I recommend you head over to (previously known as Profit Accumulator) and work through their free trial offers.

They have video guides to talk you through your first few bets, and you can make up to £40 this weekend with their free trial membership. No commitment required!

Outplayed membership is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland. If you’re based elsewhere, please look into your local gambling laws before you start matched betting.

Disclaimer: links to in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a commission if you sign up. Happy to promote a service I use and love!

Anyway, here it is:

Matched betting glossary

(for dummies like me!)

Bookmaker, bookie – this is a company that offers betting services. You bet money on what you think the outcome of an event will be, and the bookie pays you if you guessed correctly. Examples: Coral, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, and literally hundreds more! Traditional bookies are physical shops, but matched betting can be done entirely online.

Betting exchange, exchange – you can place bets at a betting exchange, the same as at a bookie. The difference is that at an exchange, you are betting against other people – not against the company. Anyone can bet on whatever they want at an exchange. This is important because only exchanges offer lay bets (see below). Examples: Betfair, Betdaq, Ladbrokes Exchange.

Back bet – this is what most people think of when they think about betting. When you place a back bet, you are simply betting that something will happen. For example, if I bet that Chelsea will win their game on Saturday, I am putting a back bet on them winning, or backing Chelsea to win.

Lay bet – A lay bet is the opposite of a back bet. When you place a lay bet, you bet that something won’t happen. If I put a lay bet on Chelsea for this Saturday, I am betting that they won’t win. This covers Chelsea losing or drawing. Lay bets are only possible at an exchange and they are the magic that make matched betting work. Basically in matched betting, you always place a back bet at a bookie and then an equivalent lay bet at an exchange. This means that whatever happens, you will win in one place and lose in the other – breaking (pretty much) even.

Free bet – free bets are what it’s all about. All bookies (and some exchanges) offer free bets from time to time, either to entice new customers or reward current customers. This is how we make our money in matched betting.

Qualifying bet – in order to get your free bet, you will almost always have to ‘qualify’ by betting real money first. For example, Coral is currently offering a £20 free bet to new customers who sign up and bet £5. The initial £5 is your qualifying bet. We remove the risk of the £5 qualifying bet by placing a lay bet at an exchange.

Qualifying loss (QL) – although ‘laying’ a bet removes risk, we almost always make a small loss on qualifying bets. This is usually less than £1. We don’t mind making a small loss here, because we qualify for a much larger free bet. However, we should try to keep our QLs down to make the maximum profit.

Liability – this is the amount of money that you need in your account in order to place a lay bet at an exchange. It is the amount that is ‘at risk’ when you lay a bet. However, in matched betting, if done correctly, your money is not really at risk, because if you lose the liability in the exchange, you will win an equivalent amount in the bookie!

Stake not returned (SNR) – this is a type of free bet where the initial stake (the money that you bet) is not included in your winnings. If I bet £20 at odds of 1.5 and win, I will get £30. However, because £20 was my own money to start with, I only actually made £10 profit. If I place a free bet of £20 at odds of 1.5, and the stake is not returned, I will come away with £10. Most free bets are SNR.

Stake returned (SR) – In the above example, if the free bet stake was returned, I would walk away with £30 of pure profit! SR free bets are quite rare. If you do come across them, there are usually conditions attached, so have a look at the T&Cs.

Wagering requirement (WR) – a bet with a wagering requirement means that you have to bet your winnings several more times before you can withdraw it. Not all bookies do this, but some high value offers have a wagering requirement. If I win £20 at a bookie with a five times wagering requirement, I have to bet £100 (20×5) before I can make a withdrawal. This only applies if you keep on winning at the bookie! If you lose all the money out of the bookie then you don’t have to wager any more (and if you have been matched betting correctly, then the money that you ‘lost’ at the bookie will be waiting for you in the exchange)

Acca/accumulator – an acca is basically several bets all rolled into one. If I bet on Chelsea, Liverpool and  Everton all to win their games this weekend, that is an acca. All three bets have to win for me to win the acca. Matched betting with accas is a more advanced technique so I won’t get into it here. Outplayed and plenty of other matched betting sites have training on how to deal with them.

Single – basically, just one bet. A single bet on a single result.

Double – a bet on two different results in two different events. The most simple kind of acca.

Multiple – a multiple is any kind of bet of multiple results. Acca and multiple are essentially the same thing, although there are other more complicated kinds of multiple as well. You don’t need to worry about these as a beginner as you will only be placing singles for a while!

Odds – this is the number that represents the return you will get from the bookie if your bet wins. They can come in different formats. The most common are decimal (e.g. 1.5) or fractions (1/2). It’s easiest if you change the odds format at all the bookies you use to decimal. If you can’t do this for whatever reason, there is a good free odds converter here.

Evens – no, this isn’t the opposite of odds! An ‘evens’ bet means a bet with odds of 2.0 (1/1).

Gubbed/gubbing – if you are gubbed from a bookie, it means that the bookie has stopped giving you special offers and free bets. Sometimes they will do this if you are winning too much, or if they see that you are only doing special offers and basically not ‘providing value’ to them. It doesn’t mean that you are banned altogether or that you are in big trouble – it simply means that you won’t be eligible for special offers. Outplayed has a lot of advice on how to avoid being gubbed.

Mug bet/mugging – a mug bet is a bet that is not attached to any special offer or free bet. Basically it is designed to make you look like a typical gambler and not a savvy matched better! When you start doing a lot of matched betting, you should do some mugging so that the bookies don’t get suspicious and gub you.

Skrill/Neteller/Moneybookers – these are e-money services similar to Paypal. They are popular with matched betters because you can move money around very quickly. There are no long waits like when you have to transfer money to or from your bank. However, a lot of bookies do not accept these for sign ups and qualifying bets. You might want to look into them when you get more advanced at matched betting, but it is not recommended to start with.

What do you think? I hope this helped any newbies who are just as clueless as I was. Is there any more matched betting jargon you’re confused about? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to help!

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Matched betting glossary

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