What is the difference between Bonus Bet, Cover Bet and Lay Betting

Matched Betting requires you to place two bets on each event and so it begs the question, why are there 3 different types of bets?

Bonus Bet, Cover Bet and Lay Betting are all a part of Matched Betting and you must fully understand each bet type before you begin!

First off, let's make sure you know what Matched Betting is.

What is Matched Betting?

Matched Betting is a risk-free system that allows us to profit off of the bonuses bookmakers offer to their customers. The most common and profitable bonuses are the signup bonuses which can earn us up to €100 per signup.

Matched Betting is considered risk-frees because we guarantee ourselves the profit no matter the outcome by covering all outcomes of an event. To cover all of the outcomes we place a BONUS bet, COVER bet or Lay bet. By using ⅔ of these methods our bets are fully covered and all aspects of gambling is gone.

Learn more about Matched Betting.

Now we know what Matched Betting is, let’s dive into the three different bet types.

What is a Bonus bet?*

The Bonus bet is the bet we place on the bookmaker of which we are trying to profit from. If we were completing the Bet365 Signup bonus, the Bonus bets would be the bets we place on Bet365.

The Bonus bet is always the FIRST bet we place when Matched Betting. This is extremely important for you to understand.

Oddshero integrated oddsmatcher

Using the Oddshero oddsmatcher(above) you can see that it is telling us to place a bet on a National Hockey League match between Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators.

The oddsmatcher shows you the two bets you have to place, with the Bonus bet highlighted in blue on the left.

We can see that it is telling us to place a bet on the Away team.

Now we know what our Bonus bet is going to be, then all we have to do is click Open Bet365 and place the bet using the Stake amount that is shown.

Before you place the bet it is important to DOUBLE CHECK that the odds match with the odds on Bet365.

Once we have placed the BONUS bet, we have to cover the other outcomes and there are two ways for us to do this - COVER bet or Lay bet.

*The BONUS bet is sometimes referred to as a BACK bet. These terms are interchangeable.

What is the COVER bet?

The COVER bet is the system we use here at Oddshero to cover our Bonus bet to eliminate all of the risks involved.

By placing a COVER bet it means that no matter the outcome, we can expect to profit.

Unlike a Bonus bet, the COVER bets are placed on a sports betting exchange and not a bookmaker.

A betting exchange is a peer-to-peer betting platform that allows players to bet against one another instead of a bookie. There are many advantages to using an exchange over a typical bookmaker but for Matched Betting we will only use them for covering our bets.

Betfair Exchange and Matchbook are the two betting exchanges we recommended you to use.

Read more about the Pros & Cons of each exchange through the links below

Betfair Exchange


Using the example above of our BONUS bet, we now have to place the COVER bet on a betting exchange.

a43 3

Here you can see that the oddsmatcher is telling us to place the COVER bet on the Home team.

Again, the oddsmatcher automatically tells us the Odds and Stake needed to cover the bet. It also tells us which exchange we should be using in the brackets at the top of the red square(Matchbook pictured).

Now we know exactly what bet to place, how much to stake and the specific betting exchange, we just have to repeat the process from the BONUS bet and our bet is now COMPLETELY covered.

It really is that simple!

What is Lay Betting?

Lay Betting is almost identical to the COVER bets expect from the fact you’re placing a bet on one team not two.

You can only lay bets on a betting exchange, where it is an extremely popular method of sports betting.

By placing a LAY bet, it means you're taking action against somebodies BACK bet and you will profit if the team doesn't win.

The pink icons display the Lay odds

Above you can see the Betfair exchange platform and the two options available to bettors. The two colours blue and pink differentiate the BACK bet and LAY bet.

Remember that the BACK bet is the same as the BONUS bet. In this case it is just on a betting exchange and not a bookmaker. JUST IGNORE THE BLUE!

The PINK icons are what we will focus on and these are how we place a lay bet.

If we were placing a BONUS bet on Manchester United to beat Tottenham Hotspur then our LAY bet will need to cover the other two outcomes of the match.

The other two outcomes are a Tottenham WIN or a Draw and these are the two things we need to make sure we cover with the LAY bet.

In the PINK LAY section there are 3 odds available to us but we would only focus on the 2.88 next to Tottenham. This number reflects the odds for Tottenham Hotspurs NOT to win and it is the bet we must place.

When we place the 2.88 LAY bet on Tottenham we are actually betting against another person who has backed Tottenham to win.

However, we do not need to focus on whether or not the bet wins because our BONUS bets on the bookmaker will be the opposite of our LAY bet.

LAY betting does the exact same job as a COVER bet and it is entirely up to you which method you use. (Oddshero uses COVER bets)

Understanding Bonus, Cover and Lay Bets are essential for all Matched Bettors to know, so please get in touch if you have any questions!



Join our Facebook group to keep up to date with everything Matched Betting!

Get The Best Articles and News To Your Inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.