If you’re interested in placing ‘lay bets’ as well as the more traditional ‘back bets’, then you will need to look for an online betting exchange rather than a traditional online bookmaker.
Online betting exchanges differ from traditional sites in that they allow punters to bet against one another and it is this which makes both types of bet possible.
Best Betting Exchange: Betfair vs Betdaq
There are only two main exchanges worth considering, Betfair and Betdaq, and the major differences between these are explained below:
|Liquidity||As by far the largest betting exchange in the world, Betfair’s liquidity is second to none. Their high volume of punters ensures excellent liquidity for popular events and even smaller events still boast better liquidity than can be found elsewhere.||As the second largest exchange in the world, you might expect Betdaq’s liquidity to be almost as good as Betfair. That is unfortunately not the case, however, as Betdaq are still far smaller than their main rival and as such you may struggle to get your bets on when it comes to lesser events.|
|Range of markets||Users of the Betfair Exchange can choose between upwards of 25 major categories of market. These include almost every sport under the sun as well as other special events. Numerous competitions are covered for the biggest sports and even smaller events boast a large number of different types of market.||Users of the Betfair Exchange can choose between upwards of 25 major categories of market. These include almost every sport under the sun as well as other special events. Numerous competitions are covered for the biggest sports and even smaller events boast a large number of different types of market.|
|Live Streaming||Horse racing and some other sporting events (including football) can be streamed live through Betfair Live Video. The available sporting events are free to view for all customers with a funded account, whilst horse races can be watched if a customer has placed a minimum £5 matched bet on that race.||Horse racing and greyhound racing only, with races available to be watched by customers who have placed a bet of at least £0.50 on the races.|
|Promotions||My Betfair rewards program offering the chance to earn bonuses and free bets every month of up to £100 in value.||Promotions rarely offered – currently zero running.|
|Opening Bonus||Bet £10 get £30 New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. Please Gamble Responsibly. T&Cs apply.||Up To £1,000 Cash Back Up to £1,000 commission back at the end of the first 30 days as withdrawable funds. Standard 5% commission rate applies. Not available to API, RDT or Trading Tool customers. 18+. T&C's apply.|
What is an Online Betting Exchange?
Now that you know the main differences between the two biggest betting exchanges around, it is worth taking a moment to consider just what is meant by the term ‘betting exchange’. In essence, a betting exchange is a forum in which punters can bet against one another and therefore can place one of two different types of bet.
What Is Back Bet?
The first type of bet possible through a betting exchange is a ‘back bet’. This is essentially the same as a traditional bet, in that you are betting that something will happen. You might bet, for instance, that Manchester City will win the Premier League, that Lewis Hamilton will win the next F1 Grand Prix or that snow will fall in London on Christmas Day.
What Is A Lay Bet?
The second type of bet available through a betting exchange, meanwhile, is a ‘lay bet’ and this is something very different entirely. In fact, it is the opposite of a ‘back bet’ in that you are gambling on something not occurring. Such a bet, therefore, might be that Manchester City will not win the Premier League, that Lewis Hamilton will not win the Grand Prix or that snow will not fall. What a betting exchange essentially allows you to do, therefore, is to play the bookmaker to another punter’s ‘back bet’ and to win if their bet fails.