BETTING ON AN EXCHANGE
The racing betting bet types and sports betting bet types sections of this website explain the bet types available to punters using the exchanges. However it’s important for punters to understand the potential benefits betting exchanges can offer. Whilst punters should be aware that there are various exchanges operating, we recommend Betfair. An exchange needs to be popular and have many customers for it to work effectively. The more popular the exchange or event is, the more liquid the market will be and the better the available price. This is why we recommend Betfair over the other exchanges at this point in time.
VALUEBetter value odds with BETFAIR
The betting exchanges generally offer better value odds at any given moment because punters are betting against punters directly with no bookmaker margin factored into the price.
CHOICE & PRICE
One of the big advantages of the exchanges is that you can choose the price at which you want to bet. This is not possible with bookmakers. On an exchange you choose to back an outcome at $5.50 even if the current price is only $5. If the price fluctuates and someone matches you’re $5.50 you’ve secured the price you wanted to get for that outcome.
CAN BET THAT AN OUTCOME WILL LOSE
There are more betting options available to you because you can bet any outcome on an event to lose, as well as to win.
BACKING THEN LAYING OFF
One of the advantages of exchange betting is that you can back and lay the same outcome during the same event. This is especially useful during in-play (live) betting and tournament betting. For example, you might think that an outcome is the wrong price (too high) but not necessarily think that they will win the event. You can back them at $5 believing they are really a $4 chance. If the market corrects and they come into $3, you can lay off your bet at the $3 leaving you with a bet to nothing of $2 x stake. Whilst this may be possible to do with a bookie too, the process is more cumbersome and you will have to do the maths yourself, whereas the exchange (ie Betfair) will always display your net position on every possible outcome for the event.
TOURNAMENT BETTING EXAMPLE – Sharapova’s price before the Australian Open tournament
Sharapova’s price before the tourament started was a generous $44. A succesful $100 bet will return $4,400.
SHARAPOVA’S PRICE PRIOR TO WOMENS FINAL
Having made it through to the final, we are now in a position to ‘LAY’ off our bet and guarantee a profit. We will LAY Sharapova at $2.32 to win $1300 effectively costing (2.32 x 1300 = $3,016).
We have successfully guaranteed a profit before the final. If Sharapova wins we will collect $1,384 and if she loses we will collect $1,300. You do not need to wait until the event finishes in order to make a profit.
LAYING AN OUTCOME THEN BACKING IT BACK
The reverse as explained above, if you believe a team is too short, you can lay them initially and then back them back when they reach a higher, better price.
EXCHANGE ALWAYS DISPLAYS YOUR NET POSITION
Whilst you may think this is a minor advantage, it comes in very handy when you have multiple bets on the same event. The exchanges make it much easier to keep track of your net position for that event. For each potential outcome, the exchanges place your current win / loss position.
BET TO NOTHING
Successful trading of an outcome can lead to a scenario where you cannot lose no matter the outcome. If you back an outcome at a price that moves in, you can lay off and either have a bet to nothing on your desired result, or have a small collect on either result.
IN PLAY BETTING (LIVE BETTING)
The exchanges offer a great live betting experience. The odds update instantaneously with the progress of the event. This means that the price you see is the price you will get (with the exception of phone betting where you must put through your bet). It also provides punters with an opportunity to trade on the event ie. back an outcome and then lay that outcome once the price moves. This can be performed several times during a match or an event. Tennis matches in particular fluctuate regularly.
The exchanges are particularly useful when it comes to tournament betting whether the sport is tennis, golf or other tournament sport. The prices offered on outsiders represent much better value on the exchanges than they do with the bookies. Not only this, but you can back a player at the start of a tournament and lay off during the tournament as their price moves in.