What is the Betfair Exchange and how does it work?

An alternative way to bet than regular sportsbooks, the exchange offers players the chance to be on both sides of the wager

The Premier League season is just around the corner and bettors will no doubt be preparing their wagers for the opening weekend.

Liverpool open the campaign on Friday, August 9 with a home clash against newly-promoted Norwich City, whilst Sunday sees a blockbuster clash as Chelsea head to Manchester United.

That second fixture, in particular, is set to attract plenty of bets, with the Betfair Exchange offering punters a different way to get involved as opposed to regular sportsbooks.

What is the Betfair Exchange? 

The Betfair Exchange is the world’s largest sports betting exchange. It follows the model of a stock exchange but replacing share trading with betting odds on events in the world of sport, politics and entertainment.

On any betting market, there are two sides of the bet. On one side, there are those who think an event will happen (backers) and on the other, those who think it won’t happen (the layers). 

Backers and layers get bets ‘matched’ as long as they agree on a price (the odds) that an event will or won’t happen.

How does the Betfair Exchange work?

The Exchange allows customers to bet against each other rather than a traditional bookmaker. By matching customers, rather than taking the risk itself, the Exchange provides the option to ‘lay’ – betting on something not to happen.

Betfair Exchange main

Betting against other customers removes the need for the margin that fixed-odds bookmakers incorporate into their prices and provides the opportunity for a more efficient marketplace, which is why you can often get better odds on the Betfair Exchange.

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Instead, customers pay a small commission, but on winnings only.

Betting exchanges allow users to find odds and markets they want and you only need to find another member willing to take on the risk, or in other words to lay your bet.

For instance, if you want to place a £10 bet on ‘Both Teams to Score – Yes’ in Liverpool vs Norwich on the Betfair Exchange at odds of 11/8 (2.38), this would return a profit of £13.60 and you would need someone else willing to risk £13.60 to win £10 on both teams not scoring.

How do I sign up to the Betfair Exchange?

To get involved, simply follow this link or any of the other relevant ones on this page. From there, sign up for a Betfair account as usual.

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