How to Open an
The Basics of Betfair
What does an exchange
offer you and how do you use it?
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
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
Open a new Betfair
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
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
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
1) To open your Betfair account:
2) Go to
Click the "Join now" link at the top of the page
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.
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
- Credit your account with a further bonus after three
months based on your betting activity over that
*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.
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
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
Backing a Selection
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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