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To cover the basics, I am trying to keep this as simple as possible. Randomized trials, especially clinical trials, can become very complex, with many groups (arms) involved in one study. Regardless of how many groups are in a study, random allocation (or randomization) is used to ensure the groups are comparable.

In matching, the researcher may match for, say, race and sex. So for a matched pair of white females, the researcher would then randomly assign one subject to the treatment group and the other to the control group. After all the matched pairs have been assigned, the two study groups would then have the same race and age distribution, as well as about the same distribution for other variables because of random allocation.