Betting Exchanges and Lay Betting – An Introduction
Betting Exchanges and Lay Betting – An Introduction
Why A Betting Exchange Offers You The Key To Successful Gambling
Too many gamblers are still living in the ‘dark ages’ and will
only ever place a bet with a traditional bookmaker.
They either can’t be bothered to learn how the exchanges work
or simply don’t realise the features and value that can be had
when betting within an exchange environment.
Believe me, using a betting exchange is very easy, and if you
are not already using at least one exchange you should join one
immediately after reading this article…
I’m not saying that a betting exchange should be used for all
your betting. There will still be occasions when a traditional
bookmaker will offer more desirable odds than those that are
available on the exchanges. However, in the majority of cases
you will find better value on the exchanges and additionally
there are other VERY IMPORTANT features that only the betting
exchanges offer. More on this later…
–> So What Is A Betting Exchange?
Put very simply, betting exchanges are a secure place where
members of the betting public can exchange bets with each
other anonymously, at odds that they specify themselves. The
exchange companies simply act as the ‘middleman’ and match
As there are no bookie margins to factor in, prices are very
often more desirable. The betting exchange companies make their
money by taking a commission payment on your winning bets. This
is usually in the region of 3 – 5%, but even taking this into
account, it’s very common to find better prices on the exchange.
The cumulative effect of better prices when combined with a good
staking plan, can make the difference between you generating a
healthy profit or a bad loss. Using an exchange does not mean
you will automatically win more frequently! You still have to
find good value winning bets yourself or via a professional
tipster but it’s the effect of getting a better return on your
winning bets that will boost your betting bank and protect you
during losing streaks.
Most people use the betting exchanges on the internet, but you
can also place bets on the telephone.
–> Betting Exchange Advantages
As well as regularly finding better prices when backing a
selection, exchanges also give the gambler some other very
important advantages over traditional bookmakers.
–> Some of the key advantages are:
1) The ability to LAY a selection if you think it will not win.
2) The ability to BACK or LAY a selection to be PLACED. (This
is very different to the well know Each Way bet offered by
bookies and can be very powerful).
3) Betting IN RUNNING on many events INCLUDING HORSE RACING.
This can give you many advantages and opens the door to new
methods that may secure you more profits.
4) If you are very successful, you will not have the exchange
company threatening to shut your account down.
5) The ability to TRADE on price movements in betting events
to guarantee yourself a profit regardless of the result.
6) Arbitrage Opportunities. Bookie and exchange price
discrepancies often allow you to take a NO RISK bet.
Those are some of the key benefits of using a betting exchange
and I will dig deeper into these and explain how you can use
them to your advantage in future betting articles.
For the remainder of this article, lets concentrate on point 1,
LAYING a selection to Lose.
–> LAYING To Lose – A Major Advantage Of The Betting Exchanges
Probably the most important feature of a betting exchange is
the ability to LAY a selection. But what does laying a
Laying a selection is often referred to as ‘Playing the role
of a bookmaker’. Like a bookie, you offer a price against a
selection / event happening (eg. a certain horse to win a race
or a football match ending as a draw). You only do this if in
your opinion there is a great chance that the horse won’t win
or the football match will not end as a draw. The betting
exchanges simply match your lay bets with other customers who
think the opposite of you (eg they think the horse will win or
the match will end as a draw).
–> Lay Liabilities
The odds that you offer determine how much money you will need
to ‘pay out’ if the selection actually wins (just like the
bookie does when you have a winning bet with them). So if you
were to place a lay bet of £10 at 5.0 (4/1) against a selection,
you would be liable to pay out £40 from your account if that
selection won (The other punter gets their £10 back plus £40
profit). If however, the selection does lose you get to keep
the £10 staked by the other punter (just like the bookies have
done with all your losing bets all these years!).
It’s as simple as that.
Now, you might be thinking ‘great, I’ll simply lay all the rank
outsiders and clean up’. STOP! Don’t even go down this route.
If you keep placing lay bets on selections trading with very
high odds (eg 50/1), you will win regularly but when 1 of them
comes first you will probably wipe out all your winnings and
more! A single £10 lay bet at 50/1 would see you liable for
paying out £500 should the selection win!
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you decide upon a sensible
upper limit for lay odds and stick to it no matter what. Just
think about how many favourites get turned over in horse races
every day of the year that are perhaps available to lay at very
short odds like 1.5 (1/2). Your liability on a £10 lay bet at
these odds is only £5, or £50 on a £100 lay bet. I like to keep
my lay bets at odds below 4.0 (3/1) but that’s just my own
personal choice but it gives you something to go on.
–> Flexible Odds / Placing an Order
The odds you offer obviously need to be realistic in order to
be matched, but if you are not happy with the current price
being requested by other punters you can simply place an
‘order’ in the exchange at your odds and hope that somebody
eventually accepts your offer. (eg you may feel that the current
price of 3.0 (2/1) is too high a price to lay a certain
selection, so offer a lay bet at 2.75 (7/4) instead). If your
lucky the price may well be matched. If the event starts without
your lay bet being matched, your bet is simply cancelled so you
Lay Betting might sound very confusing to the exchange newbie,
but believe me it soon becomes very straightforward and you will
find yourself laying selections much more frequently than you
think. Let’s be honest, it must be easier to pick a horse you
feel will definitely lose in a average 12 runner race, than
find the single winner!
Well that’s it for part 1 of my betting exchange articles.
In part 2, I will be explaining the Betting Exchange Place
markets and how you can benefit from them.