Matched Betting Key Terminology: What is the difference between a Bonus Bet, A Cover Bet and Lay Betting?

Matched Betting uses a different kind of lingo to the one you might be used to. Even if you’re into sports betting, it doesn’t mean you already know what terms like bonus bet, cover bet and lay betting mean.

You’re at the right place if you would like to learn more about some of the most common words and phrases used in Matched Betting. We are now going to discuss all of these terms in detail, explaining what they mean and what their main differences are.


The name says it all – a bonus bet is free bet you receive from the bookmaker. Although bookmakers are giving it for free, in most cases, you do need to deposit some money in order to qualify for the bonus. Let’s say the bonus offer is 100% of your deposit, you’re going to receive a $50 free bet after you’ve funded your account with $50 of your own money.

The reason why bookmakers are giving away these kinds of bonuses is to attract the players to sign up and keep on betting. Almost all online bookmakers are offering at least some kind of bonus you can make use of. In a majority of cases, the bonus in question is a welcome bonus. Players qualify for this type of bonus after registering an account and making their first deposit.

Apart from the bonus meant for newcomers, many online bookmakers also offer other kinds of bonuses. It could be a deposit reload bonus, a New Year bonus, or some other kind of incentive meant to keep the players interested in betting at the same bookmaker.

Matched betting

Sometimes these bonus deals seem too good to be true. The problem is that they often aren’t. Many times, bookmakers will give an amazing-looking bonus only to attach some kind of condition with it, which is often very hard to fulfil. The most common of these bonus conditions is the so-called wagering requirement. How it works is that in order to turn the bonus funds into withdraw-able money, you need to wager the bonus bet several times, depending on how big the wagering requirement is.

This means that actually getting anything from the bonus bet is very hard. Of course, this is only true if you rely on luck. It’s a whole different story if you decide to use mathematics to clear the wagering requirements. Matched Betting is a method based on mathematics, which can help you clear the bonus quickly, with no risks involved.

The creators of Trademate have produced a new sports betting software for Matched Betting called Oddshero. Start your Matched Betting journey today with Oddshero.

To be a successful matched bettor, the key is to combine the bonus bet with a cover bet in such a way that no matter what happens, you win money. The obvious question at this point is: what is a cover bet?


In Matched Betting, arbing, and some other no-risk betting strategies, a cover bet is the one you make to ensure profits if your bonus bet loses. Your cover bet should be placed on the outcome that’s opposite to the one you bet on with your bonus bet. For example, if you bet on Houston Texans against Buffalo Bills with your bonus bet, you need to put the cover bet money on the Bills.

Considering that the bonus bet is free, you’re basically just putting real money on the cover bet. In turn, this means that regardless of which outcome wins, you will make a profit. If your bonus bet wins, you’re going to clear the bonus requirement and receive real money from the bonus-giving bookmaker.

Because you’re going to win money in either case, Matched Betting is considered a sure bet strategy. With this tactic, you always win. Of course, only under the condition that you do everything right.

Finding the right bets and placing the right kind of money on each possible outcome can sometimes be really tricky. This is why most Matched Bettors decide to use some kind of help. In most cases, the help comes in the form of a Matched Betting software, such as Oddshero.


Lay betting lets you get the most out of Matched Betting. By using a betting exchange to lay bets, you’re basically betting that an outcome is not going to happen. If you lay Houston Texans, you’re practically putting your money that they are not going to win.


In the case of a 3-way bet such as a Football game in the Premier League, laying a bet basically means betting on Double Chance. If you’re laying Liverpool against Manchester City, you are betting that Liverpool are not going to win. If the outcome is either a Manchester City win or a draw, you’re going to win your lay bet.

This brings out the question of why should you use a betting exchange at all? Why do lay betting if you can simply bet on Double Chance at a bookmaker? The reason is that with lay betting, you get to offer your own odds, thus improving your potential profit. Of course, for that to happen, someone needs to accept your bet.

With lay betting, you’re assuming the role of a bookmaker. You get to offer the odds, as well as choose your liability, which refers to the amount of money you’re going to have to pay out to the bettors if their bets win.

This might seem overly complicated, but you got one major advantage. With the help of a Matched Betting tool like Oddshero, you don’t need to put too much thought into which odds to offer or how high the liability should be. The tool will take care of everything, ensuring you get the highest-possible, betting as least money as possible.


Matched betting with Oddshero

Matched Betting is usually done with one bookmaker and one betting exchange. The bookmaker in question is the one giving the bonus. It’s simple and easy to do Matched Betting this way, especially if you’re using Oddshero for this purpose.

Another advantage of doing Matched Betting this way is that you can get better value at betting exchanges than at other bookmakers. The reason is that you have the option to tweak the odds. If someone accepts your bet, you have the potential of much bigger returns.

We’re still not done talking about the advantages of using betting exchanges for Matched Betting. One more thing that makes exchanges better than Cover Bookmakers – using a betting exchange means that you are not going to get gubbed!

The thing is that betting exchanges make their money by charging a fee on bets (usually just on winning bets). The players bet against each other, not against the exchange. Who is going to win is something exchanges don’t care about. So, even if your lay bets keep on winning, they’re not going to care. You can think of betting exchanges as Matched Betting-friendly zones.

The same is not the case with Cover Bookmakers. If you win, you’re going to take the money straight out of their pocket, which is something they hate. Thus, the chances that you’re going to get your account suspended, or at least limited, increases.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that all bookmakers are bad for Matched Betting. There are many Asian bookmakers out there that offer really high odds on underdogs, something Matched Bettors can take advantage of. As those underdogs rarely win, your cover bets are probably not going to win too often. If you decide to go with this option, your source of Matched Betting profits is probably going to be the Bonus Bookmaker, not the Cover Bookmaker.

The final advantage of using Cover Bookmakers for Matched Betting is that this option is free with Oddshero. You can use the free version of their tool if your choice is to use two bookmakers for this purpose. There are dozens of Cover Bookmakers they work with, so you can surely find one that’s good enough for you. Still, if you’re serious about your Matched Betting strategy, we do recommend using the paid version of Oddshero.

Start your Matched Betting journey for free with Oddshero here!

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