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Betting Exchanges

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How to Open an Account | The Basics of Betfair
What does an exchange offer you and how do you use it?

With Betting Exchanges you can either back or lay a favourite and also get the best odds as you are betting against other punters not against a traditional bookmaker. Odds are consistently around 20% better as there is no Bookmaker to take a profit. You will only pay a small percentage of your winnings in commission to the Bet Exchange.

Below are some of the reasons you should choose a betting exchange over a Traditional Bookmaker.

1. Better Odds: Clients may take the best available odds on the exchange for their bet or can request better odds.

2. Ability to Lay: Bet Exchanges allows clients to offer their own odds on selections not winning an event.

3. In-Running Betting: Bet Exchanges will frequently offer ‘In-Running’ betting markets on horseracing and all other live televised events.

Most punters will have heard of the 'betting exchanges’ by now, and many will have experienced them already. The ‘exchanges’ are becoming increasingly popular, and are matching more and more of punters’ money every month as more people sign up and realise the benefits that they offer – not least the fact that it is a chance for normal folk to act as the bookmaker.

Here I shall briefly look at what the exchanges are, what they have to offer you, and also give you a step-by-step guide to get you started on the exchanges.

Betting Exchanges are basically a tool to bring punters together to bet against each other. It is person-to-person betting, using the ‘exchange’ as the go between.

Punters can back their fancies just as they would do at a traditional bookmaker, but they can also now ‘lay’ a price – i.e. bet AGAINST a team winning, rather than bet that they do win.

Open a new Betfair Account

There are many exchanges on the Internet now, but the biggest & best by far is Betfair, and should be the first stop for all new punters.

If you haven't yet opened a Betfair account, I will now run through the steps to open your account and receive your free £20 bet.
They have a huge range of betting markets and users so there is never a problem of getting your bets matched. Not only that but Betfair will give new account holders £20 free plus a bonus payment after three months of an amount which depends on your betting activity over those first three months.
See the terms and conditions when opening your Betfair account
You must enter a code (which is below) when opening your account in order to be eligible for the free £20 and bonus. Unless you enter the code correctly (or open your account without the code, you wont get your freebies.
1) To open your Betfair account:
2) Go to http://www.betfair.com
Click the "Join now" link at the top of the pageHow to Join image

3) Enter your details in to the Pop-Up screen
4) Enter the code 3RTMRNEND in to the Refer and Earn box (See screen shot below) and click "next" to continue with the account opening process.


Remember, you MUST enter the Refer and Earn code in full and correctly.
3RTMRNEND If you do successfully open your Betfair account using the above code, then Betfair will:

  • Credit your account with £20 after you have placed bets of a sufficient amount to earn 50 Betfair points*
  • Credit your account with a further bonus after three months based on your betting activity over that time*
    *Please refer to the Betfair terms and conditions when opening your account, or afterwards log-in to your account and click the refer and earn link.

The Basics of Betfair

Here I cover the basics of the Betfair interface, and how to use it. It's easy to make mistakes if you dive straight in, so we recommend having a look through this section first.

The Market View

Market view

When you first go to a market, this is what you will see. From here, you can see the odds available for each selection, and the amounts available to back or lay on each one. You can see from the above that £9,114 is available on Man Utd at a price of 1.26 (just above 1/4 in fractional odds). The odds in the boxes further left on the Back side, are the odds people are requesting to lay. Conversely, the odds to the right on the Lay side are odds backers are wanting.

Backing a Selection

Backing betfair

Once you click on a selection to back, you will be presented with this screen in the right hand panel of Betfair. Simply enter your stake, and you will be informed of the potential profit. You can enter bigger odds if you wish, and that would then be placed on the lay side of the exchange until another punter is willing to lay at that price.

Laying a Selection

Laying betfair

Clicking on a selection to lay will bring up this part of the screen on the right. Here you will be told of your liability (what you stand to lose), and whatever is in "Backer's Stake" is what you would win if the bet is successful.

Once you are satisfied with your bets, simply click "Submit" and you will be asked to confirm your bet(s).

What does an exchange offer you and how do you use it?

The betting exchanges consistently offer the punter a bigger price about their fancy than the high street bookmakers, and offer the extra advantage that you can ask for a better price than is on offer, and hope that someone will come in and match your request.

Another advantage of the exchange is the ability to alter your position during a long term event (as well as some ‘live’ football matches). For instance, if you backed Man Utd for £10 at 10/1 back in July, you could now lay them 2/1 (bet against them winning the league) in order to guarantee a profit either way – you could offer £30 of your potential profit, in order to win £15 if they fail – thus covering you initial £10 stake.

 - In this example, your first bet, at 10/1 would result in a £10 loss if Man Utd fail to win the league, while a £100 profit if they are crowned champions.

 - In the second bet, you are laying Man Utd for £15 of your opponents money, to £30 of your. If Man Utd win the league, you would lose £30 from this bet, but if they fail, you would win £15.

 - When the two bets are both accumulated, Man Utd  winning the league would return a £100 profit from bet 1, and a £30 loss from bet 2, thus a £70 profit. If they fail, bet 1 would lose you £10, but bet 2 would win £15. Thus a £5 profit.

 - As you can see, you would have made a win-win situation in this example.

Successful exchange players also use the exchanges since they are not punished for winning. If you take several big wins from a bookmaker, the likelihood is that your stakes will be limited or your account closed. Not so with online exchanges - all players are more than welcome.

The main advantage from the exchanges is simply the ability to lay a price rather than back it. Suppose Liverpool are 3/1 to win a game, but you think it is even more unlikely than that. You could offer 7/2 about Liverpool winning the game (effectively betting at 2/7 that they WON’T win).

You can lay or back any market that the exchange offers, so you could offer the book about correct score in a football match, England winning the test match or Andy Murray winning the tennis, or back a football team to draw. In short, you are the bookmaker on the exchanges and can lay one or a number of runners in a market as you see fit. The options are vast.   

Explaining how to use an exchange can be difficult, and new players often find it difficult to grasp at first. But believe me, once you master it, you will find that the days of hanging around in smokey betting offices are long gone. They appear daunting at first, but anyone can get the hang of the exchanges quickly.

I would recommend that new players keep stakes to a minimum whilst they are learning to use the sites, since mistakes are easy to make until you are familiar with the differences. I would also suggest sticking to ‘backing’ prices for your first few bets until you become familiar with the concepts.

Also remember, exchanges are all about competition, so if you feel that a better price should be available, don’t feel that you must take the price on offer, simply adjust your ‘ask’ to a bigger price when backing, and hope someone lays you the bet.

If you have any problems or need further assistance please don't hesitate to contact me.

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