Matched Betting Guide

Laying (bet against)

Unlike traditional bookmakers, on a betting exchange you can make money out of something losing, by laying a selection. Laying a bet means you are betting on something not to happen – a match not to end in a draw, a horse not to come in first, a rugby team not to win by over 7 points.

It might sound new, but you’ve probably been doing it unconsciously for years. Have you ever had a bet with a mate, it might have been over a game of a pool, or a football match on TV. Two opposing sides, two opposing opinions. He’s backing his team – if they win, he wins. If they lose, you win – you’ve effectively layed his bet by betting on something not to happen i.e his team NOT to win.

Essentially when you lay a bet you adopt the role of a traditional bookmaker, the lay stake is the amount you stand to win and your potential liability i.e pay-out should the backers bet win is the amount you stand to risk. Remember when laying you’re now offering bets to a potential backer.

Take the following horse race, we are going to lay Fol Hollow, in this example we will stake £10 laying Fol Hollow at decimal odds of 4.00.

In fig 1, you can see that if Fol Hollow wins the race, we will make a loss of £30.00, however if any other horse wins we will make a profit of £10.00.

Betfair laying screen

Following on from the previous model in the backing section, we have created a visual aid to show how laying works. Again, your risk is shown on the left, the betting exchanges risk is shown on the right. Note, the exchanges risk is in fact your potential profit (minus 5% commission), and your potential risk is in fact the exchanges potential reward, hence the name risk / reward balance. Again, both parties involved risk an amount of funds in order to gain a potential amount of profit from the other.

What happens if I win my lay bet?

The scale tips to you, minus 5% commission deducted from profit.

What happens if I lose my bet?

The scale tips to the betting exchange.

The figures and odds used in the balance model are dependent on the actual bet you intend to place. In this example we will use the stake and odds from the horse race example above.

Laying Video

To learn more about matched betting, please proceed to the next step, Backing & Laying an outcome simultaneously

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