What Is Back and Lay Betting and How It Works to Make Money

What Is Back and Lay Betting and How It Works to Make Money

If you are unfamiliar with the terms such as back and lay betting, matched betting, and other similar phrases, you probably haven’t come across betting exchanges. These platforms offer slightly unconventional ways of sports betting. On them, you can actually bet against other individuals rather than traditional bookmakers. One of the most important aspects of this betting system is that players get to choose to either back or lay a bet.

The following guide will tell you all about these exchanges, such as the famed Betfair exchange. It will explain how they work and how you can increase the potential profit by using back and lay betting.

How Do Back And Lay Betting Work?

Betting exchanges represent the complete opposite of classic sports betting and bookmaker sites. The main difference lies in the fact that these platforms act as middlemen that help two bettors connect and bet against each other.

You can even see it as a matchmaking service where two players agree on the odds and stakes offered for an event and then bet against each other. Some bettors also view a betting exchange as a sort of a stock exchange — only instead of stocks, players use betting odds. No matter what your perception of betting exchanges is, all of their features are made possible thanks to back and lay bets.

On common betting sites, players only have the option of placing a back bet. In other words, they can only wager on a certain outcome. However, on a betting exchange, the option of laying a bet is also there. Lay bet is a type of wager where you bet that a specific outcome is not going to happen, thus effectively assuming the role of a traditional sportsbook.

Unlike standard bookmakers that simply offer odds that cannot be affected in any way, on betting exchanges, betting account holders are the ones that dictate the odds and agree on them.

The betting exchanges get their revenue from a commission they charge for the services rendered, regardless of whether your bet is a losing or a winning one. The commission usually goes from 2% to 5% on the winning bets.

Back and Lay Betting Explained

The entire concept of back and lay betting is very easy to grasp. Let’s break it down in detail.

What is Back Betting?

In regular sportsbooks, players are always backing bets, meaning they are betting on particular outcomes. On the flip side, the bookmaker is laying that same game or betting on the opposite outcome. Let’s illustrate this further by using a Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea as an example.

If you back Leicester to win at the odds of 2.0 and invest £10, you can take home the guaranteed profit of £20 if you turn out to be right. If Chelsea prevails or it is a draw, you lose everything to the bookmaker. The same works for any betting exchange platform. However, by offering the odds that are not so high — or better yet, those that are always in their favour — betting sites make sure they win all the time. With a betting exchange, you have the option of adjusting the odds yourself, and if there is someone to lay your odds, you have a match.

What is Lay Betting?

To lay a bet means to bet that an outcome won’t happen, thus assuming the role of a bookmaker. Placing a lay bet is equally as easy as placing a back one. Let’s take a match between Barcelona and PSG as an example. Say you want to lay Barcelona —your bet will be a winning one if PSG wins or the game ends in a draw. It is similar to placing a double chance bet.

Still, there are some aspects of lay betting that can be a challenge to grasp, and one of those is the lay bet liability. Namely, when you opt to back a bet, your liability is your stake, so regardless of the odds, you only stand to lose the amount you’ve wagered in the first place. When laying a bet, the bet liability takes the lay odds into consideration.

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Say you are keen on betting on the turf, and you lay a horse at the odds of 1.30. This effectively means you are offering someone the odds of 1.30 for their back bet. If you lay that horse with £20, your possible return will be a total of £26.40 should your bet win. But, if you lose, you are liable to pay the backer £6.40 for their £20 bet.

You can calculate your liability by using a simple formula: Liability = Backer’s stake * (Lay odds – 1) or by using a lay bet calculator offered by the betting exchange site.

How to Make Money Using Back and Lay Bets

First of all, it should be noted that there is no foolproof way to win money every time you bet. Nevertheless, there is more than one betting strategy that can help you maximise your chances of success when backing and laying bets. Some of these are sports trading and matched betting.

Sports trading is a more recent betting strategy where you place two bets against each other on the same game so that the profit is guaranteed. This is where you can be taking advantage of betting exchanges to the fullest — just make sure to lay low and back high, and you are bound to be successful.

Another way of making money when you lay bets or back them is through matched betting. What lies at the core of matched betting are free bets and other promotions offered by betting sites. Most of these sites offer free bet promotions to their new clients. Your job is to use them and back a team to win. Then, you can go to a betting exchange site and lay the same outcome. No matter how the match ends, you will win, either at a sportsbook or at a betting exchange. Another great thing about this betting strategy is that you only need to invest your own money at the exchange since you can use the bonus funds from the bookmaker at the sportsbook.

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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: aideen@betopin.com 40 Patrick St, Waterford, X91 X3KF. 353-653-83514

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