Compared to other betting sites Betfair offers you interesting alterations of the common betting system. They are known as “back” and “lay”-bets and we will explain to you how you can use these betting system for your own purpose. This article shows you step by step how to place sports bets at betting exchanges like Betfair.
Now it’s time to explain how betting exchanges by comparison to normal bookmakers work in generally. In figure 1 you can see an usual 3-way-bet market of the game Leicester City against Manchester United. There are also other betting markets for over/under or h2h bets.
figure 1: 3 way bet market at betfair for Leicester vs Man United
What exactly is a “back”-bet?
First of all, at Betfair “back”-bets and their odds are always marked in blue.
Secondly, a “back”-bet is practically a common sports bet where you put you stake on a certain outcome of a bet. You are betting FOR something. If you bet 10 Euro on Manchester United you win the amount of your stake times the odds.
In this example (figure 2): 10 Euro times 1.67 = 16.70 Euro minus the amount of your stake of 10 Euro would make a clear profit of 6.70 Euro.
figure 2: Placing a back bet on Man United
The only difference to a regular sports bet is that your bet is not against the book-maker but against another betting exchange-user (who bet on a different outcome of the game in question). Additively, as you see in figure 1, the provider set a ceiling amount which you cannot over bet.
Attention: Bear in mind that Betfair charges a commission of up to 5 % from the profit of your bet that means your account will only be credited by 95 % of the profit you generate. If you lose your bet you do not have to pay any commission.
figure 3: Betfair screen after placing a back bet on Manchester
What is “lay”-betting?
This is a bet where you don’t bet on a specific outcome of a game but you bet AGAINST it. To be exact, in this scenario you will hold the position of a book-maker. If you’re not happy with an odd offered, you can offer a bet to other users and you decide at what odd you want to do so.
Here in figure 3 you see how you set the odd you want to offer and also the maximum amount a so called Backer (your counterpart who buys your bet) can bet.
By offering a “lay”-bet you get a double chance bet. As you bet AGAINST Manchester United in our sample you win your bet if Leicester City wins and also if they draw. Before you place a bet you can check the Premier League fixtures and results to see who is matching up.
figure 4: Placing a lay bet against Manchester United
So now you sell your bet for 10 Euro at an odd of 1.68. This means your betting account looks like this (see also in figure 5):
If the Leicester City wins you win 10 Euro
If they draw you win 10 Euro
If Manchester United looses you lose 16.80 Euro. (10 Euro x 1.68 = 16.80 Euro – stake 10 Euro = 6.80 Euro clear loss)
figure 5: this is how your screen looks at Betfair after placing a lay bet
We hope that this brief introduction into “back”- and “lay”-bets at betting exchanges helped you to understand this complex topic. As you can see there are more betting strategies than just the common bet against the book-maker. In the German Bundesliga or Premier League Market you will always find enough people which will back or lay your bets. To build a successful betting concept it is essential to invest a little bit of time to fully understand the betting market. Conclusively we want to show you another strategy which can be very fertile, if it is done right.
“Laying the Draw”-Strategy
To begin with, this strategy is not really for beginners. It takes a certain comprehension of the betting market and also the field (e.g. football) you want to bet in.
But this is how it works: First you search for a game in which you expect a goal within the first half. So you compare earlier games of those teams and check if the teams are prone to score a goal in the first 45 minutes or if one team is the favorite.
In the next step you place a “lay”-bet at Betfair on a Draw. So you bet that either Team A or Team B wins. You offer an odd of 4.5 with a stake of 10 Euro.
In this scenario you would:
lose 35 Euro on a Draw (10 Euro stake x 4.5 odd – 10 Euro stake = 35 Euro)
win 10 Euro on a Team A Win
win 10 Euro on a Team B Win
The next step is to wait for the game to start and a goal to be scored. If a team scores the odd on a Draw increases (to e.g. 6.8) and you place a “back”-bet on the Draw. Now you place 6.62 Euro on the Draw which would mean you get the profit of the “back”-bet” of 38.40 Euro (6.62 stake x 6.8 – 6.62 stake = 38.40) in case of a Draw.
In case of a Win of either Team A or B you will get your 10 Euro from the “lay”-bet decreased by the amount of the “back”-bet (10 Euro “lay”-profit – 6.62 Euro “back”-loss = 3.38 Euro clear profit).
In case of a Draw you will get your “back”-profit decreased by the “lay”-loss. (38.4 Euro “back”-profit – 35 Euro “lay”-loss = 3.4 Euro clean profit)
Team A wins: 10 – 6.62 = 3.38
Team B wins: 10 – 6.62 = 3.38
Draw: -35 + 38.4 = 3.4
As you can see you will not make a lot of money with every bet, but if you use this strategy more often you can of course yield some good profits. The only case in which you would lose your stake of 35 Euro is, if the game drawed 0-0.
But firstly, we minimized that risk by doing a profound research before the game(s) and secondly, statistically speaking only 6 out of 100 football games draw 0-0.
Hint: Place your “back”-bet on the Draw quickly after the first goal as the odd is the highest immediately after the goal. You can also keep your stake for the “lay”-bet small so in case of a 0-0 Draw your losses will be minor.