Betting exchanges have become popular as they allow
bettors to bet against other punters. You can either place bets on an event where others have offered odds, known as ‘backing’
or you can offer odds on an event known as ‘laying.’ Laying is what bookmakers do. A betting exchange is where
the backers and layers are put in touch with each other online.
In exchange betting you can often find better
odds. Betfair is the world’s number one betting exchange and offer odds that are on average 20% better than traditional bookmakers,
who usually offer fixed odds. Betfair does not offer odds itself, it just provides a system where existing backs and lays are compared and matches the orders,
so there is no profit margin calculated into the odds presented.
Betting exchanges can attract a large volume of betting
activity. Premiership live games on Betfair regularly see over £1 million changing hands.
Exchanges usually offer prices in the decimal
format so odds of 2:1 (1/1 + single stake) becomes 3.0.
A betting exchange bet could work like this:
say you wish to oppose Michael Schumacher at the Monaco GP and the exchange
shows a back price of 2.98 and a lay price of 3.0. If you fancied the odds you’d lay at 3.0. This is effectively the
same as backing the field at 1/ 2. So to win £10 you’d have to risk £20 by laying at 3.0. If Schumacher loses you’d
win £10 but if he wins you’d lose £20.
Betfair offers in-play betting which allows punters to take each other on from
start to finish of an event. Betfair offers more in-play markets than any other betting exchange. During in-play the odds
change to reflect the changing circumstances of the event leading to a dynamic betting environment. The explosion of live
televised sport lies behind the popularity of in-play betting.
Another aspect of betting exchanges is that you can
request better odds. You have to be realistic though or no other punters will take you up on your offer. To achieve this go
the betting exchange and register the odds you want.
Another example of how to bet on a betting
exchange could be: you go online to Betfair and see someone has offered 1.50 on a home win for Man Utd. vs. Fulham in the Premiership. You decide to back the bet. You enter your stake and the bet is on. If you win you must pay 5% commission
on your winnings. If you only bet £20 and the person who has layed wanted someone to bet £50, the remaining £30 will be offered
to other bettors.
Betfair offers a host of betting markets ranging from Finance to Football, Big Brother to Baseball, with all entertainment and sports covered. If you fancy a bet against other
punters on a betting exchange, it could be well worth checking out the markets and odds on Betfair.