Betting companies come and go. They merge to form bigger
companies. Or they mutate into completely different types of company.
Betting exchanges are no different. So here you will find an up to date
list of all the best-betting exchange sites looking to attract your
List of all the best Betting exchanges
It’d be rude to start with any other betting exchange than betfair –
the company that first brought us the option to lay a bet. Betfair is
still the power house when it comes to ‘exchange betting‘. And
although they seem to have taken their eye off the ball in recent years,
to put their focus on promotioning their traditional sportsbook, no
other betting exchange has stepped up to take there mantel. But the list
of betting exchanges below show companies have come along to put
pressure on them.
Betdaq have been around for a long time now, and have always looked
the most likely to topple betfairs dominance. Their main issue seemed to
be a lack of financial firepower to make that last push. That looked to
change once Ladbrokes bought them out. But as of yet betdaq have still
not overtaken the market leaders. It’s still an excellent betting
exchange, with plenty of liquidity on the main markets.
As mentioned above, Ladbrokes and betdaq are one company. And as such, there is no point in them operating two different betting exchanges. Ladbrokes exchange, is therefore, exactly the same as betdaq’s. Albeit designed to fit in with their sites design. The only real reason to sign up to both is to take advantage of two sign-up bonuses.
Smarkets have identified where they think betfair are going wrong and
attacked that weakness. And it seems to be working well for them.
Commission is a standard 5% for betfair customers, so to take away their
customers, smarkets aren’t shy in advertising they take only 2%
commission. This difference is massive, and can swing a losing system
into one that makes a small profit.
It’s hard to do anything to stand out as a betting exchange; they’re all just peer-to-peer betting markets where the punter offers up the action. But one thing matchbook does a little different is the offering of short-priced odds. Here you have the option of giving a price to 3 decimal places. Whether this is a good thing or not, I don’t know. I’m happy with two decimal places because this is what my money has. No need for rounding up or down if you are punting in small amounts.
Betting Exchanges & Lay Betting
Too many gamblers are still living in the ‘dark ages’ and will only
ever place a bet with a traditional bookmaker. They either can’t be
bothered to learn how the exchanges work or simply don’t realise the
features and value that can be had when betting within an exchange
Believe me, using a betting exchange is very easy, and if you are not already using at least one exchange you should join one immediately after reading this article… Betfair is now the biggest Betting Exchange.
I’m not saying that a betting exchange should be used for all your
betting. There will still be occasions when a traditional bookmaker will
offer more desirable odds than those that are available on the
exchanges. However, in the majority of cases you will find better value
on the exchanges and additionally there are other VERY IMPORTANT
features that only the betting exchanges offer. More on this later…
So What Is A Betting Exchange?
Put very simply, betting exchanges are a secure place where members
of the betting public can exchange bets with each other anonymously, at
odds that they specify themselves. The exchange companies simply act as
the ‘middleman’ and match peoples bets.
As there are no bookie margins to factor in, prices are very often
more desirable. The betting exchange companies make their money by
taking a commission payment on your winning bets. This is usually in the
region of 3 – 5%, but even taking this into account, it’s very common
to find better prices on the exchange.
The cumulative effect of better prices when combined with a good
staking plan, can make the difference between you generating a healthy
profit or a bad loss. Using an exchange does not mean you will
automatically win more frequently! You still have to find good value
winning bets yourself or via a professional tipster but it’s the effect
of getting a better return on your winning bets that will boost your
betting bank and protect you during losing streaks.
Most people use the betting exchanges on the internet, but you can also place bets on the telephone.
Betting Exchange Advantages
As well as regularly finding better prices when backing a selection,
exchanges also give the gambler some other very important advantages
over traditional bookmakers.
Some of the key advantages are:
1) The ability to LAY a selection if you think it will not win.
2) The ability to BACK or LAY a selection to be PLACED. (This is very
different to the well know Each Way bet offered by bookies and can be
3) Betting IN RUNNING on many events INCLUDING HORSE RACING. This can
give you many advantages and opens the door to new methods that may
secure you more profits.
4) If you are very successful, you will not have the exchange company threatening to shut your account down.
5) The ability to TRADE on price movements in betting events to guarantee yourself a profit regardless of the result.
6) Arbitrage Opportunities. Bookie and exchange price discrepancies often allow you to take a NO RISK bet.
Those are some of the key benefits of using a betting exchange and I
will dig deeper into these and explain how you can use them to your
advantage in future betting articles.
For the remainder of this article, lets concentrate on point 1, LAYING a selection to Lose.
LAYING To Lose – A Major Advantage Of The Betting Exchanges
Probably the most important feature of a betting exchange is the
ability to LAY a selection. But what does laying a selection mean?
Laying a selection is often referred to as ‘Playing the role of a
bookmaker’. Like a bookie, you offer a price against a selection / event
happening (eg. a certain horse to win a race or a football match ending
as a draw). You only do this if in your opinion there is a great chance
that the horse won’t win or the football match will not end as a draw.
The betting exchanges simply match your lay bets with other customers
who think the opposite of you (eg they think the horse will win or the
match will end as a draw).
The odds that you offer determine how much money you will need to
‘pay out’ if the selection actually wins (just like the bookie does when
you have a winning bet with them). So if you were to place a lay bet of
£10 at 5.0 (4/1) against a selection, you would be liable to pay out
£40 from your account if that selection won (The other punter gets their
£10 back plus £40 profit). If however, the selection does lose you get
to keep the £10 staked by the other punter (just like the bookies have
done with all your losing bets all these years!). It’s as simple as
Now, you might be thinking ‘great, I’ll simply lay all the rank
outsiders and clean up’. STOP! Don’t even go down this route. If you
keep placing lay bets on selections trading with very high odds (eg
50/1), you will win regularly but when 1 of them comes first you will
probably wipe out all your winnings and more! A single £10 lay bet at
50/1 would see you liable for paying out £500 should the selection win!
A major issue with betting exchanges is getting your bet on. Are
there enough people offering a decent price for you to be guaranteed a
bet. All the above exchanges offer a reasonable amount of liquidity on
the main markets – as the screenshot below will show you. But it you are
betting smaller markets, you will have to investigate yourself which
betting exchange suits you best.
Here is a semi-final Champions League match, showing the liquidity on
the home team for each of the exchanges. Also listed are the amount
already traded on the market. (screenshots were taken several hours
As you can see all the exchanges have relatively good liquidity. I have also listed the exchanges from highest turnover to lowest. Which is an indication of the most popular betting exchange. But if I were you, I’d sign-up for an account with all the companies. Because as you can see, even with betting exchanges, odds can change slightly. Meaning a better payout depending on the firm you bet with.
Lay Betting might sound very confusing to the exchange newbie, but
believe me it soon becomes very straightforward and you will find
yourself laying selections much more frequently than you think. Let’s be
honest, it must be easier to pick a horse you feel will definitely lose
in a average 12 runner race, than find the single winner!