Exchange bets are types of wagers that occur on a betting exchange. Lay bets are matched with back bets at odds decided by supply and demand. The most popular betting exchanges are Betfair and Smarkets.
Betting exchanges rival fixed-odds betting sites and parimutuel operators. In a betting exchange platform, each market's betting option will allow you to either:
- place a back bet to win if that outcome occurs
- place a lay bet to win if that does not outcome occur
For example, imagine a horse race with seven runners and you think the horse named "What a Rider" will win. You back that horse. That bet will be "pending" until it gets matched with somebody who places a lay bet, which shows is they believe this horse is going going to win.
A guide on back bets and how back betting works on betting exchanges like Betfair. We compare backing with laying, and with fixed-odd betting. Back betting is very different from regular single bets as you can observe market dynamics, the depth of the market, as well as the liquidity of it.
Our guide to lay betting covering the different lay betting strategies, systems, as well as the common risks and some lay betting tips. Being a good lay bettor means understanding the mathematics of bookmaking, or making the book. This is because, in simple terms, lay punters are playing the role of a bookmaker, setting their own odds.