Getting good at poker doesn’t happen overnight. It can take several thousands of hands for you to pick up the skills and knowledge which are essential to be a successful and profitable poker player. Therefore, during the learning process, it’s likely that you will lose money. This is a huge obstacle to overcome for many poker players is how do you continue to learn when it’s costing you money? You may be confident that your skills will pay off in the long-term but if you don’t have the funds to reach that point, is it worth continuing?

Whether you play sit ‘n’ go’s at Pokerstars or at this cardroom which has quite a lot of large tournaments, the games which have the best rewards cost money to play.

One channel which many poker players use to continuosly boost their poker bankroll is through matched betting. It’s a proven and relatively straight-forward method which suits poker players well as they are generally quite savvy when it comes to value betting and placing bets.

What Is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is the process of extracting value from betting promotions. These are usually sports betting offers such as free bets but you can also apply matched betting to casino, bingo and even poker betting offers.

The process of extracting value varies depending on the type of betting offer but as the most common type of matched betting offers are free bets, we’ll briefly explain how it’s possible to lock in a profit from these regardless of whether your bets win or lose.

Many bookmakers offer free bets to both new and existing customers. A typical free bet offer would look something like this:

‘Place a £10 bet on football and get a £10 free bet’

A normal punter would play this offer by placing a £10 bet on football and hope that it wins. Regardless, they will receive a £10 free bet and place that on another event and hope that it wins. The punter could get lucky and win one or both their bets but they could also lose both of them leaving themselves £10 down. This is essentially gambling.

However, there is another way to play this offer using matched betting methods.

When matched betting, you place an additional bet called a lay bet. This is when you bet on something not to happen which means that you cover all possible outcomes. Lay bets are placed on a betting exchange.

For example, you could place a £10 bet on Arsenal to beat West Ham with the bookmaker and then place a lay bet on Arsenal on the betting exchange. This means that if Arsenal win, your bet with the bookmaker wins and if Arsenal draw or lose, your bet with the betting exchange wins.

You won’t make any profit with the above bets and in fact, you will most likely make a small loss. However, as you have placed a £10 bet with the bookmaker, you will have qualified for a £10 free bet.

You can then repeat the process of backing and laying another bet. This time using your free bet and as you are using a free bet istead of your own money this time, you can tweak the stakes so that it’s possible to return an overall profit regardless of the outcome.

The above offer has an expected profit of around £7.50 and as there are a number of these offers available on a daily basis, you can see that the profit could add up to sizable amounts over a period of time.

If this offer was available once daily, that would be an expected profit of around £225 a month. As there are dozens of bookmakers with offers such as this, it is possible to make a lot more profit.


Just like poker, matched betting takes a little time to learn and to get to grips with. However, once you get the hang of it, the process is relatively quick and easy. Therefore, it can be the perfect side-hustle for when playing poker.

If you’re playing in a tournament, you will no-dount have a few minutes here and there as others play hands or when there’s a break. You could use this time to complete a few betting offers using matched betting to give your poker bankroll a boost.

Remember, the profit from one single offer may not seem like much but multiply that a number of times throughout the day, week, month or year and it’s easy to see that it’s worth it.