Betting exchanges

Betting exchanges are somewhat different from traditional bookmaker systems. The point of betting exchanges is to bet against other players not against the bookmakers. You can either be the bookmaker and offer odds for a particular event or bet on the odds offered by other players. You can also do both at the same time: offer a bet and take one from others.

Gamblers whose betting activities have traditionally been restricted by bookmakers (normally for winning too much money) have found these sites a boon since they are now able to place bets of a size unrestricted by the exchange - the only restriction is that one or more opposing customers need to be willing to match their bets. Moreover, the odds available on a betting exchange are usually better than those offered by bookmakers, in spite of the commission charged, because the middle man is eliminated.

If your bet is not matched you get your stake back.

Betting exchange sites

Betfair is one of the oldest and most popular betting exchanges. A lot of people play here so you have lots of people to bet against.

[bs]Betsson[/bs] is a bookmaker but they also offer exchanges between their customers.


  • Better odds
  • Possibility to choose your own odds
  • Trade your matched bets
  • Live betting
  • Take the bookmakers position (lay position)


Not currently suited to unrestricted multiple parlay betting. Betfair does offer accumulators but these are limited in number and type.

Back bets

A "Back" bet is a bet on something to happen. It's like the traditional bet you can make at bookmakers.


Laying a bet means you are betting on something not to happen. For example, you think that Team A will not win and lay that bet. If someone thinks Team A will win a competition, he will back that selection. The layer and backer agree on the stake and the odds. If the team loses, the layer keeps the backer's stake. If the team wins, the layer will pay the backer the winnings based on the odds agreed. As the layer, you are in full control of how much you wish to risk and how much you could win.


Trading is one of the best and most unique things about Betfair. Trading is having more than one bet in a market; seeking to improve your position or lock in a profit on all possible outcomes. When trading, you want to lay at a low price and back at a higher price.