Is Matched Betting Permissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I’d like to know whether matched betting is allowed? This is a form of betting that does not involve gambling and therefore the outcome is not out of one’s control. As such, would this not be permissible?


I pray you are well. 

Matched Betting

Matched Betting is basically a form of betting which involved betting for something, and against it, so there is a win regardless of the outcome. Although it could be argued that the chance element is missing from this process, it would still be impermissible to engage in it if one had to pay to enter into the process. Also, each individual bet would be impermissible because of the chance element found in it.

Payment, even if it is just a few pennies to qualify to enter into a ‘free’ bet would still render the entire transaction impermissible. This would be considered riba (interest) as one stands to gain more money than he initially gave to enter the bet. This would be a form of interest, and therefore haram.

No Payment Betting

Any bet or raffle from which one stands to benefit without paying anything to participate would be permissible. This is similar to the one way bet which the fuqaha has deemed permissible. This is when one person accepts the risk and liability without any contribution or liability from the other.

(Abu al Hajj, al Bayan)

Avoiding Gambling

Just as with wine, Gambling has been declared to be “filth from the handiwork of the Devil.“ (Qur’an, 5:91) It’s better to avoid all forms of it, even if there is a seeming loophole. Sometimes the complexity of the matter can make it seem like there is no impermissibility. Don’t fall for this.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.