Betting Exchanges

Matched betting exchanges act as the middle man allowing customers to bet against each other. You can back a selection to win, lay it to lose or trade the odds, by backing and laying the same horse at different odds. They also enable you to bet in-running during a race.

Backing A Horse To Win

This is very much like the traditional way of betting on a horse race. You are betting a horse to win the race. However unlike with traditional bookmakers, the odds are being set by other punters, who are betting that the horse will not win. Usually betting in this way you get your bets matched at better odds than those currently on offer via the bookmakers.

When Betting Exchanges first came on to the scene, being able to take a higher price was a distinct advantage, however the traditional bookmakers reacted to this new way of betting and introduced Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) prices, which in general, over the long run, out perform taking a a price on the betting exchanges.

The one advantage the exchanges still hold, is that if you are a successful bettor, you will not get your account closed down, where as if you consistently win at BOG prices, it is likely the bookmaker will withdraw that option from your account, or in some cases actually close your account down.

Where as traditional bookmakers allow you to back a horse as either a win bet or an each-way bet (a bet to win and a bet to place) the exchanges treat the win and place betting markets as 2 totally separate bets. Therefore if you think a horse is likely to run well, but you are not confident it will actually win the race, you can back it simply to be placed. This can be particularly useful in races where there is a particularly strong favourite, or a race with a high number of runners.

Laying A Horse To Lose

This is one of the 2 areas that really set the betting exchanges apart from the traditional bookmakers. Instead of backing the horse to win, you are backing it not to win. You can either set your own odds, or lay at the odds being asked for by punters backing the horse to win.

Similarly you can lay a horse in the place market, where you are betting that the horse will not finish within the places. This can get more tricky, but the odds can be rewarding if the horse does fail to place.

Trading The Odds

The other area that sets betting exchanges apart from traditional bookmakers is the ability to trade the odds. This can be done either before the race, during the race, or a combination of the two (e.g. back a horse before the race and then lay it once the race goes in-play).

You can trade the odds via the betting exchange sites, but it is much easier to do if you use specialist software such as BF Bot Manager or Bet Angel to trade. See the Betting Bots section for more details.

Here is a screenshot taken from Bet Angel software.

Bet Angel

Trading in-running can be tricky, unless you're an experienced odds trader and really requires a televised feed that is as close to live as possible. For anyone looking to start trading, it is a lot easier to begin by trading the odds markets prior to the start of a race. The best training we've seen for this is BF Scalper. They offer over 40 hours of online lessons and examples. They've trained thousands of members how to trade the pre race odds, some of which have progressed to full-time Betfair traders.

BF Scalper