Understanding Betfair?

In this guide we’re going to introduce you to Betfair Exchange and explain why this site is so important and exactly how it works. We’ll take you step by step through the Betfair sign up process and show you in detail how to place bets with this site. Remember every matched bet involves both a BACK and a LAY bet and since you’ll be placing most of your Lay bets with Betfair. It’s vital that you have a full understanding of how to place them.
Please note, Betfair is NOT a traditional bookmaker, instead it’s a Betting Exchange. This makes it possible for people with opposing views on similar betting events to bet against each other. And this happens every hour of the day all over the world. Betfair plays a vital role in this process since they match the opposing Back and Lay bets from random people and then take a small commission from the winning side.

Betfair is easily the world largest betting Exchange and this makes it a great choice for any matched bettor since there will more than likely always be someone else to match your bet and bet on the opposing view.
Betfair is listed on the London stock Exchange and is a UK public limited company. Its has global outreach and its reputation is solid. Again this makes it a great choice because once your matched betting activity builds momentum, you’ll likely keep £100’s in your Betfair Exchange account. Of course you can withdraw your funds at any time, but it always good to know that your money will always be safe due to Betfair’s size and outstanding reputation.

To start earning from Matched Betting, you’re going to need to open an account with Betfair to cover your Lay bets. We’ll now take you through the process of opening an account with Betfair Exchange and point out some key features aswell. So here we go, step by step …


Fill out the sign up form. Note the promo code “VAL222” will be already be showing. This will entitle you to a £20 cash refund if your first £20 bet loses. Click Agree and Open an Account


The next screen you see will be the deposit screen. Note, you don’t need to deposit anything at the moment, were just showing you how it works.
Whenever you make a deposit at Betfair, the funds will go into your Betfair wallet and whenever you place a bet with Betfair the funds will be deducted from
this. Basically you do not need to make a deposit each time you want to bet if there is already funds in your Betfair wallet. We recommend that you top up your wallet using a debit / credit card or via PayPal. Note credit card payments have a small fee so use a debit card / PayPal if you can. The minimum deposit amount is £5


With your account opened we’ll now explain how to use Betfair. The Betfair Exchange homepage can be quite overwhelming to begin with, but please don’t worry as it’s actually very easy to navigate. The main areas to pay attention to are that you’re on the actual betting exchange, the sports menu and the search box. 

 1 . May seem obvious, but this mistake is made by many, please make sure you’re on the Betfair Exchange tab and NOT the sportsbook. Remember you can only place Lay bets on the exchange

 2 . Use the sports menu to easily navigate to any betting market. Its listed by sports to start with, then broken down into leagues and markets after. Simply follow the instructions on Automatcher or our matched betting system to view the exact path you must follow to find the correct market. For example …
In Betfair Exchange navigate to Football > Europe > UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 > Wed 12 Apr > Atletico Madrid v Leicester City > Match Odds.

 3 . The search box is handy if you need to quickly search for a specific event. For example you need to find the Atletico Madrid v Leicester match, you’d just need to type Leicester into the search box.


Now you understand how to navigate Betfair, we’ll now show you how to view the actual betting markets and explain how this works. To do this click on any of the football matches shown on the homepage, for example Atletico Madrid v Leicester. You’ll then be taken to another screen that looks like this. Note you can also access the same screen using the left hand sports menu, this is just a quicker option.

You’ll notice on the left hand sports menu that Atletico Madrid v Leicester match is now showing, and all of the “markets” relevant to this match are shown below. Note, a market is just a specific thing you can bet on that is related to the event. For example, first goalscorer, correct score and match odds.
In this example we’re interested in the Match Odds, this is where you try to predict the (90 mins + injury time) outcome of a match i.e Atletico win, Leicester win or it’s a Draw. So you’d now click on match odds on the left hand sports menu.

The final screen you’ll see is the exact betting market you want to bet on for your particular sporting event, in this case Atletico Madrid v Leicester. This is where you can actually bet against other people.

On the left hand side it shows the selections or outcomes you can bet on, in betting terminology a selection is just one of the available choices you can bet on. In this example, in the match odds market we can bet on Atletico to win, Leicester to win, or the match to end in a Draw.
You’ll see the corresponding odds for each selection over on the right. Lets look at the BACK odds to begin with; these are shown in the BLUE boxes. Remember when you place a BACK bet, you are betting for a particular outcome to happen. The available odds are shown in bold and the total amount you can bet at those odds are shown in the smaller £numbers underneath.

For example, you could BACK the Draw at odds of 5.5 and stake a maximum of £415 at those exact BACK odds. This basically means you could bet up to £415 on the Draw at odds of 5.5, of course you can always bet less than this amount.
Lets say you wanted to BACK £10 on the DRAW at odds of 5.50. If the match ended in a Draw, your return would be £55. (Stake x Decimal Odds = Overall Return) and your overall profit would be £45, because your own £10 stake is included in the return.
However if either Atletico Madrid or Leicester won the match, you’d lose your £10 bet.

Now let’s take a look at the LAY odds, these are shown in the PINK boxes. Remember when you place a LAY bet, you are betting for a particular outcome NOT to happen. The available odds are shown in bold and the total amount you can bet at those odds are shown in the smaller £ numbers underneath.

For example, you could LAY the Draw at odds of 5.6 and stake a maximum of £1185 at those exact LAY odds. This basically means you could bet up to £1185 AGAINST the Draw at odds of 5.6, of course you can always bet less than this amount.
Let’s say you wanted to LAY £10 on the DRAW at odds of 5.60. To cover the liability of this bet (the amount you’d have to payout if your bet lost) you’d need £46 in your Betfair account. (Stake) * (Lay Odds – 1) = Liability

NOTE - Your liability is always locked away from your account until the bet is settled and either returned to you along with your winnings or lost if your bet loses.

If your LAY bet was correct and the match didn’t finish in a DRAW, i.e either Atleico Madrid won or Leicester won, you’d win £9.50 (£10 Lay stake minus 5% commission). Remember when you LAY a bet your LAY stake is what you stand to win (minus betfairs 5% commission) and your liability is what you stand to lose.
If your bet lost i.e the match ended in a DRAW, you’d lose the £46 liability you had to put down to cover the bet.

The liability might seem high for a relatively small return, potentially risking £46 to win just £9.50, but remember betting odds represent how likely something is to happen or not. In this case, its highly likely that the Atletico v Leicester match won’t end in a draw and this is why the LAY return is relatively small in comparison to the potential payout.You never know who you’re actually winning money off as this information remains anonymous. When betting with Betfair you just see the available odds and how much you can stake in total at those odds.

So to sum it all up, you can see that Betfair effectively acts as a middle man, matching opposing BACK and LAY bets from random people across the globe and taking a small commission from the winning side of the bets for facilitating the service
We hope that Betting Exchanges and Betfair Exchange in particular is now a little clearer for you, if you have any questions whatsoever about this guide, please post your comments below, post in our matched betting forum or contact us via email or on Skype - FreeBets4all and we’ll be more than happy to answer you. 
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