Exchange betting explained

Exchange betting is the placing of bets on outcomes to win or lose, with other bettors, not bookmakers. Exchange betting allows you to place bets on an outcome to lose, which is called a lay bet. There are several other benefits that exchange betting delivers over an above what you might receive with your bookmaker.

Benefits of exchange betting


Betting exchanges generally offer better value odds at any given moment because punters are betting against punters, and not directly with a betting site. The bookmaker margin is not factored into the price, typically making the odds more generous.

Choose your price

One of the big advantages of exchange betting is that you can choose the price at which you want to bet. This is not possible with bookmakers. On an exchange, you can choose to back an outcome at $5.50 even if the current price is only $5. If the price fluctuates and someone matches your $5.50, you will have secured the price you wanted to bet for that outcome. It is not possible to choose your price with other horse racing bet types.

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.

Your net position is displayed

While 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.

Achieve a 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

Exchange betting offers a greater 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. It also provides you 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.

Tournament betting

Betting exchanges, are particularly useful when it comes to tournament betting whether the sport is tennis, golf or any 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.

Trading bets on an exchange

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 then back the outcome 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 bookmaker too, the process is more cumbersome and you will have to do the maths yourself, whereas the exchange displays your net position on every possible outcome for the event.

Trading bets – Tournament betting example

To explain the theory of trading bets on an exchange in practice, we will take you through the price fluctuations on Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open tournament.

Example that shows how tradings bets on a betting exchange is possible. The before price for Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open.
Sharapova’s price before the tournament started was a generous $44. For this example, we will assume to place a $100 bet, that if successful, will return $4,400.

Sharapova’s price shortens before the final

Example that shows how tradings bets on a betting exchange is possible. Maria Sharapova's to win the Australian Open during the event has come into $2.32.
Having made it through to the final, we are now in a position to ‘lay’ off the bet and lock in a profit. We will lay Sharapova at $2.32 to win $1300 effectively costing (2.32 x 1300 = $3,016).

Example that shows how tradings bets on a betting exchange is possible. The image shows that if Sharapova wins the final, our bet will collect $1,384. If she loses the final, our bet will collect $1,300.
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 is also possible. 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 betting can add immeasurably to your online betting experience.