Betdaq Versus Smarkets? Which is the better betting exchange?

Can’t decide between betting exchanges? Our handy quick fire side by side comparison of Betdaq versus Smarkets should help you make a more informed decision for your sports trading.

BETDAQ or Smarkets, where’s your smart money?

Betfair might be the largest betting exchange, but two horses are trying to close up on the rails behind. BETDAQ and Smarkets have enjoyed different starts in life, but their offerings are not dissimilar and will be familiar to Betfair regulars.

How did BETDAQ and Smarkets get started?

BETDAQ was originally part of the Global Betting Exchange group of companies founded by Irish businessman Dermot Desmond in 2000. It started trading in 2001.

In 2013 it was acquired by Ladbrokes, and then became part of the enlarged LadbrokesCoral group in 2017.

BETDAQ is now the second largest betting exchange (first is obviously Betfair) in the UK and the largest betting exchange technology provider in the world.

Smarkets was founded by American Jason Trost (see our CEO interview here) with a merry band of investors, opening for public trading in 2010. Several rounds of funding followed and by March 2015 the business had reached $1 billion in trades.

It unveiled a brand refresh early in 2018 and received much press for its model of having a self-managed workforce who all get to see and vote upon each other’s salaries.

Smarkets has also made great strides in bringing the betting exchanges to other parts of the world. For example, Smarkets signed a multi-million dollar contract with partners in Indiana and Colorado that will see Smarkets betting shops introduced in these states, along with betting exchanges. Also, Smarkets has created dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android users that, together with their pioneering live charts and other features, help Smarkets remain one of the most popular betting exchanges in the world.

What sports do BetDaq and Smarkets cover?

BETDAQ has a wider range of sports markets, covering: football, horse and greyhound racing, golf, cricket, tennis, American football, darts, rugby union and rugby league, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, boxing, mixed martial arts, Australian rules and F1.

While Smarkets is the only one to cover handball, it has a narrower selection with football, horse racing, American football, baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, darts, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, motorsports and both rugby variants.

Non-sporting selections on offer from Smarkets and BetDaq

Smarkets likes its politics, offering markets from Brexit to who the next Prime Minister will be and the US election results. You can even bet on whether Donald Trump will be impeached. There are also some television and entertainment markets, such as likely winners of Strictly Come Dancing.

BETDAQ sticks to sport for its traditional exchange markets, but it does have a casino offering the usual range of slots, table games, together with arcade games and virtual sports. It has popular sports pools syndicates to join.

Betdaq vs Smarkets: Betting Markets and In-Play Betting

Both BETDAQ and Smarkets boast a large number of betting markets on premium sporting, political and entertainment events, which makes this a neck and neck contest when it comes to the betting markets. However, a slight advantage here goes to Smarkets.

Namely, Smarkets has added more new betting markets for football fixtures, such as First Goalscorer, Anytime Goalscorer, Clean Sheet bets, and a couple more we can’t see in BETDAQ. The Asian Handicap betting markets are present in both exchanges, but Smarkets was the first to include it in their betting offer.

On the other hand, BETDAQ has a bigger choice of sports you can bet on, which can more than make up for the smaller number of betting markets.

The final showdown between the two exchanges regarding the betting markets comes down to who has the better in-play betting options. Both exchanges have detailed and tailored statistics for the hottest betting events across all the sports they support. The chart that portrays the current state of the game is detailed and helps you keep track of all the action and what other punters are betting on.

The in-play betting offers a good range of betting options from both exchanges, the pending periods for in-play live bets are regulated quickly, and the odds are competitive. However, Smarkets seems to be the winner in this Smarkets v Betdaq clash and the main reason would be the number of betting markets for live events in all sports.

Unfortunately, neither BetDaq nor Smarkets have live streaming options, which is a significant handicap for both operators. The introduction of the live streaming options would definitely bring more popularity for their in-play betting and improvement in that regard.


In terms of reliability, both BetDaq and Smarkets score highly on the test. Both exchange platforms process millions of matches per year and have a large share of the market. However, a slight advantage here goes to BetDaq. Here’s why.

First of all, BetDaq processes more than £75m-worth of bets weekly, second only to Betfair. They also claim to process around 18 billion orders per year, and despite that significant number of orders, no crashes of their site have been noted for hundreds of days. Betdaq’s site remains strong even on the busiest betting days of the year, like the Premier League’s kick off or the Grand National race.

On the other hand, Smarkets is known to have experienced some difficulties at first, particularly due to the site’s growing popularity. As more punters wanted to join Smarkets and match their bets, the site couldn’t handle the traffic, and there were periods of downtime. However, it is worth noting that that is a thing of the past for Smarkets. They have invested a lot of resources and technology in both the scalability of their site and its functionality, so we can safely say that Smarkets is as reliable as any other betting exchange.

Still, given its rough patch at the beginning, the upper-hand here goes to BetDaq. Players should also know that there are no guarantees all sites will work at all times, so having accounts at more than one could be a viable strategy in case one of them crashes.

BetDaq and Smarkets Liquidity

Liquidity is one of the most important factors when deciding on the best exchange platform. In essence, the liquidity represents the amount of money that is waiting to be matched, and the better the liquidity, the better the betting exchange platform. In recent years, both BetDaq and Smarkets have shown excellent results in terms of liquidity, which has allowed them to challenge Betfair as the top betting exchange platforms.

Of course, Betfair still holds leverage over the other two, but the margin seems to be decreasing. Both BetDaq and Smarkets have great liquidity when the leading sports are concerned, such as football, horse racing, greyhound racing, tennis, basketball, and cricket. However, if you want to bet on more peculiar markets, such as TV shows, entertainment, or who will win the Nobel prize, you might have to wait a little to get your bet matched.

The contest between BetDaq and Smarkets is tied in this regard since both exchanges have shown improvement, but not enough to be the leaders in the field.

ering the usual range of slots, table games, together with arcade games and virtual sports. It has popular sports pools syndicates to join.

Commission rates comparison

BETDAQ  and Smarkets both charge 2% on net winnings in any market.

However, there are some instances where the commission rates change. For example, Smarkets is known to have a 0% commission offer for selected users as a part of their promotional strategies. On the other hand, BetDaq has even taken it a step further, which is why it can be said that they hold leverage when commission rates are concerned.

Namely, as of 2019, BETDAQ charges a 0% commission on the majority of sports on its platform. The fact is that BETDAQ will charge commission only on football, cricket, horse and greyhound racing. Bets on basketball, tennis, and all other sports will have a 0% commission.

Current promotional offers from Betdaq and Smarkets

More promotions are available at BETDAQ.


  • New customers up to £1,000 cash back
  • Bet £10, get £10 on virtuals
  • Play virtuals Mon to Thurs and get £10 of your losses back as a free bet for the weekend
  • Saturday horse racing, 20% boost on net winnings
  • On casino, for new customers, bet £10, get £30


  • For new customers, pick one Premier League team and get five £10 risk-free bets across five matches.
  • An alternative is £50 of free bets on horse racing

Much to admire on both betting exchanges

Both BETDAQ and Smarkets offer slick and regulated platforms, including mobile apps. BETDAQ has the wider range of sports, promotions and a casino, but Smarkets offers non-sporting exchanges, including politics and entertainment.

Compare BetDaq and Smarkets to all the other betting exchanges here

How do BETDAQ and Smarkets Fare Against the Competition?

In the following paragraphs, we will match BETDAQ and Smarkets against their competition and see how they fare against them in all aspects, such as commission rate, liquidity, the betting markets, and more.

BETDAQ vs Betfair

It is safe to say that the direct clash between BetDaq and Betfair is a clash of titans. Both exchanges have been around for almost 20 years, and both have managed to win over the masses. Betfair has managed to do so by offering the biggest amount of sports you can bet on. Over 30 different sports provide dozens of markets, even for less popular events. BETDAQ is not far behind either with its offer of sports and markets, but Betfair holds sway here.

On the other hand, BETDAQ has a flat 2% commission on all wins, while Betfair’s commission is 5% generally, thus giving BetDaq the upper hand here. What’s more, BetDaq has a 0% commission on all sports except cricket, football, horse and greyhound racing. Betfair also has some discounts for loyal punters, but they are still nowhere near BetDaq’s commission policy.

However, when it comes to liquidity, no betting exchange can match Betfair. Betfair has the best liquidity in the business, and you can lay even the most peculiar bets relatively quickly.

Also, you will find a live streaming service in Betfair that you won’t find in BetDaq, which possibly tips the scales in Betfair’s favour in the end. However, if not your first choice, then BetDaq should definitely be among the top picks for the second best.

Smarkets vs Betfair

Smarkets and Betfair are often considered to be the two best betting exchanges. Even though Betfair has more customers overall, Smarkets is not letting the guard down and is trying to match the offer of Betfair and provide the same services, better commission rates, and other promotions to attract customers. Its flat 2% commission rate on winning bets attracts the customers who don’t want to pay the 5% that Betfair charges. On the other hand, the choice of sports and betting markets tips the scales to Betfair’s favour.

When it comes to reliability and liquidity, Smarkets still has room to grow, especially given the problems they encountered at first, which was never the case with Betfair.

When it comes to payment methods, both Smarkets and Betfair have a large number of choices, including debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and many others. Smarkets even offers Trustly as a payment method, which is not seen in Betfair.

The bottom line is that both Betfair and Smarkets are outstanding solutions, and only a few things differ between the two, so the choice comes down to your personal preference.

BetDaq vs Matchbook

Here are two betting exchanges pretty evenly matched. Both BetDaq and Matchbook have 2% commission charges and much in the same markets. However, BetDaq holds sway when it comes to the 0% commission on specific sports, as well as the welcome bonus offer which gives new customers £10 in free bet when they place a £10 first bet on exchange at odds of 2.0 or higher. Moreover, there is a £10 cashback offer from BetDaq for the losing bets placed on virtual games on the exchange, which is something that can’t be found on Matchbook.

The liquidity and reliability are quite good at both betting exchanges, and so are the odds presented. However, you can see that Matchbook’s odds are represented in three decimals, which takes some getting used to since most other matched betting exchanges use only two decimal odds. Still, the important thing is that the odds are better in most cases than in regular sportsbooks, which makes the duel between the two so contested.

Smarkets vs Matchbook

It is no easier making a clear-cut decision on which betting exchange is better in a duel between Smarkets and Matchbook than it was for any of the previous. Apart from the design of the site and some minor differences, both of these betting exchanges can be a winner. Both platforms have a wide range of matched betting options, ranging from the major football, basketball, and racing markets, to those special markets like whether the UK will reach a deal with the EU, and many others. The in-play betting works a bit better with Smarkets since the layout is a bit more user-friendly. The 2% commission is the same for both betting exchanges, but Matchbook charges a  5% commission on Specials, while Smarkets has the same commission rate for all, which ultimately gives it leverage.

BetDaq vs Ladbrokes

Given the fact that Ladbrokes bought BetDaq back in 2013, you can assume the two betting exchanges will share a lot of things in common. It can even be said that the Ladbrokes exchange is just a rebranded BetDaq exchange mirroring it in almost all aspects, from the choice of sports and betting markets to the commission and live betting choices. On the other hand, Ladbrokes has a dedicated poker app you can download for premium poker experience which BetDaq does not offer.

Also, their mobile apps function much in the same way, which basically points out to the welcome offer from BetDaq that takes the lead over the one at Ladbrokes, and finally tips the scales to BetDaq’s favour.

Smarkets vs Ladbrokes

Smarkets is a betting exchange platform focused solely on matched betting, as opposed to Ladbrokes which also offers casino games, poker, classic sportsbooks, and more. When it comes to the betting markets, both Smarkets and Ladbrokes have a significant range of sports and betting options, as well as similar liquidity. However, the tradition of Ladbrokes is good enough to give it leverage in terms of reliability. On the other hand, Smarkets and Ladbrokes have the same commission rates, as well as similar payment methods. Still, the design of the site and the smooth user experience give Smarkets small leverage there. Also, the welcome bonus from Smarkets gives you a chance to begin your betting exchange adventure with bonus cash, and you won’t get that from Ladbrokes.


The battle between BetDaq and Smarkets has proven to be a close contest, and it can be said that both betting exchanges have everything punters need, from lucrative bonus offers, commission rates, liquidity and betting choices, to fast and secure payment methods and fair gaming environment. Head now to any of the two, claim their bonus offers and see which one suits your betting style the most.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Aideen O.
Aideen O.
Obsessed with the sport and bet relates, Aideen is responsible for the editorial direction of Betopin and has covered sports for more than 15 years. He became editor-in-chief of the site in 2013. Aideen specializes in covering all things sports & casinos, having reviewed dozens of sportsbooks and casinos. Aideen was previously reviews editor at other sports sites, and his work has appeared in Important sports portals. Email: 40 Patrick St, Waterford, X91 X3KF. 353-653-83514

Recommended Casino Sites

Spin Casino
T&C’s Apply
fruitkings casino review
FruitKings Casino
Jackpot City Casino
lucky days casino
Lucky Days Casino