Back and Lay Betting | How It Works and How to Make Money

There’s been a lot of talk about backing and laying bets lately. The reason is simple - you can get a better value for money, better odds, and you can even do match betting to ensure profits will come your way. To find out how back and lay betting works, all you got to do is keep on reading the article!

Recommended to Read Next: Beginner’s Guide to Lay Betting

3 Key Takeaways:

  1. Betting exchanges allow you to act as a bookmaker by laying a bet (betting against a certain outcome).
  2. When backing and laying bets at betting exchanges, you’re betting against other players.
  3. Learning how to back/lay bets is crucial for becoming successful at matched betting and trading.

What Are Betting Exchanges and How Do They Work?

The launch of Betfair, the world’s first betting exchange sparked a sort of revolution in the world of sports betting. Instead of being stuck with only what sportsbooks have to offer, players now have the option to take the role of the bookmaker.

A betting exchange is a marketplace where players can back or lay the outcome. Basically, you can bet that a certain outcome will happen (back) or that it won’t happen (lay). If you’re laying a bet, it means that you’re betting that any other outcome will happen.

If you’re placing a back bet, it’s as if you were betting that the outcome in question is going to happen, the same way you would do in a regular sportsbook.

Even though there are some similarities between betting exchanges and sportsbooks, the two are not the same.

The main difference is that traditional sportsbooks make profits by offering less efficient odds. Even if you covered all the outcomes of an event in a sportsbook, you would not make money. The odds are set in a way that the house always wins.

With betting exchanges, on the other hand, the bettors don’t bet against the operator. Instead, they bet against one another. So, how do betting exchanges make revenue? By taking a small commission on winning bets.

Backing and Laying Explained

Placing Back and Lay Bets.

Sportsbooks have been around for centuries. One of the main reasons for that is that their modus operandi is pretty straightforward. Players get to wager their money on the outcome of a match or a race.

If the player wins, the sportsbook loses and the other way around. To make sure the second scenario happens more often, sportsbooks offer odds that always go to their favor.

When betting at a regular sportsbook, you’re ‘backing’ an outcome, while the bookmaker is ‘laying’ the same bet. With betting exchanges, you have the option not only to back bets, but also to lay them. In simple terms, betting exchanges let you assume the role of a bookmaker.

A betting exchange acts as a middleman between a backer and a layer. That said, in order for a wager to take place, there needs to be a bettor to back an outcome and a bettor to bet against it, that is, to lay the outcome.

Both the backer and the layer need to agree on the odds and stakes before the wager is accepted. If the backer wins, the layer is liable to pay out their winning. If the opposite happens, the backer’s stake (minus the commission) is added to the account of the layer.

What Does It Mean to Lay a Bet?

Laying a bet means betting against a certain outcome. You’re effectively wagering your money that something will not happen.

You can lay a bet on literally anything that comes to your mind, but there’s no guarantee that another player will be willing to back it.

For instance, laying Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League outright means betting that the Austrian side will not win the competition. The trouble is that there probably aren’t too many bettors who would be willing to bet that this team will actually win the trophy.

This is why most lay bets are made on favorites. If your gut is telling you a major favorite like Napoli is going to get knocked out earlier than expected, laying should be your choice. This way, you’re effectively betting that any other team apart from Napoli is going to lift the Champions League trophy in May.

Apart from laying on outrights, you can also lay bets in individual matches. You can bet that one of the three potential outcomes will not happen, namely home win, away win, or draw.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Lay a Bet

How to lay a bet is something that’s best explained with an example. Let’s take a Champions League clash between Napoli and Red Bull Salzburg to demonstrate how laying works.

Considering that Napoli are famously tough at home, you might wish to back them not to lose. If this is your choice, you have two options before you. The first one is to go to an old-school sportsbook and place a double-chance bet on Napoli/Draw.

The trouble is that the bookies have no intention of giving away their money, hence, the odds on your selection are not going to be too attractive. Instead, a much more profitable option would be to lay Red Bull Salzburg at a betting exchange.

Example of Back/Lay options at a Betting Exchange.

To lay Red Bull Salzburg, you need to click the box in the ‘Lay’ column, that is, the one saying 4.2. The odds in question are the ones those backing this team are getting. And the number you see below the odds is the amount of money that’s been staked on Red Bull Salzburg.

As you’re taking the role of the bookmaker, the potential amount you can win is equal to the amount backers have staked. You do have the freedom to choose how much money you want to win, which can be higher or lower than the amount backers have already placed.

If you go with the figure you see below the odds or a smaller one, your bet will be instantly matched. But, if you want to get bigger profits, you will have to wait until a backer matches your bet.

Example of placing a Lay Bet on a Champions League game.

In this particular example, we’ve chosen the maximum amount that’s matched automatically. That’s the amount we’re going to get if Red Bull Salzburg don’t win the game.

But, in order for this bet to be accepted, we need to have at least €1091.20 in our account. The reason? That’s how big the liability is.

In the world of betting exchanges, the word liability refers to the amount of money a layer potentially has to pay out to the backer (or backers).

So, if Red Bull Salzburg did manage to win this game, we would have to pay out a total of nearly 1.1k. And in the case of a home win or a draw, we would get backers’ stake money, that is, €341.

Basically, this means that by laying Red Bull Salzburg we are wagering €1091.20 for a potential profit of €341.

How to Make Money with Back and Lay Betting?

There are many ways to make money on betting exchanges, the most obvious one being backing/laying bets. Although this method can be pretty profitable, it does come with a risk. After all, backing and laying is just another form of betting.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce the risk, there are two methods you should take a closer look at – trading and matched betting.

Although it’s not a 100% bulletproof method, sports trading is an easy way to make quick money. The second method is matched betting, which guarantees profits, but it does require a little more effort.

What is Sports Trading?

Sports trading is a method to make money by backing/laying bets at betting exchanges. As a matter of fact, some exchanges like BETDAQ even promote some trading tools.

To explain how trading works, we’ll once again need to use the Napoli vs Red Bull Salzburg game as an example. Let’s say you’ve backed Red Bull Salzburg with €10 before the match at the price of 4.00.

Betting that Red Bull Salzburg will not beat Napoli in the Champions League.

If the Austrian side manages to win the match, you’re going to get a profit of €30, minus the commission. Speaking of the devil, how high the commission is depends on which exchange you’re using.

It differs from one exchange to another, plus, some exchanges have different commission rules. For instance, the commission at Betfair depends on the package you’ve chosen and/or your location. Still, in most cases, the commission on winning wagers is about 5%.

So, in this particular case, your potential profit after commission is €28.5. Sounds good, but you can’t be certain a huge underdog such as Red Bull Salzburg is going to beat Napoli at San Paolo.

The good news is that there is a way to ensure your profit. All you need is a little bit of luck at the beginning of the game. If Red Bull Salzburg manages to get a lead early on, the odds on them are going to drop. At the same time, the odds against them are going to go up.

And that means that laying Red Bull Salzburg is going to make guaranteed profit. If the odds on the lay are 4.00, placing a €10 bet is going to get you a potential profit of €28.5. So, no matter how the game ends, you’re going to more money than what you started with.

What is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is pretty similar to trading, the main difference being that profits are guaranteed. How this is achieved is by taking advantage of sportsbook bonuses.

Sports betting is a competitive business, which is why sportsbooks have to come up with ways to attract customers. One of the most common methods they’re using is giving away sign-up bonuses.

And these deals usually come in the form of match deposit bonuses. What this means is that you’re going to get a bonus that’s equal to your first deposit.

You can use that bonus to make money through a betting technique called matched betting. What you need to do is use the bonus funds to place a bet, backing a certain outcome at a sportsbook. Then, it’s time to use your own money to lay the same outcome at a betting exchange.

No matter what happens, you’re going to get profits, the reason being that you’ve placed your money only on the lay bet. You’ve used the free bet for backing.

And the best thing is that there are ways to boost your profits even more. Finding high odds on both back and lay bets is the key.

The bad news is that finding the right odds on your own is almost a mission impossible. The good news is that Oddshero is software that can do the hard work for you!

How to Maximize Your Profits in Back and Lay Betting?

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to put a little bit of effort in order to make it. Luckily, with the help of Oddshero, the amount of effort you need to invest is minimal.

Oddshero is a tool with the purpose of presenting you with the bets you should place. Thanks to this tool, you can cash-out signup bonuses with only a few clicks.

You might think that you could do the same with some other matched betting tools, but there’s one thing that makes Oddhero stand out from the crowd. Instead of providing you with two back bets, which is standard practice, the premium version of this tool enables you to use back + lay option.

Apart from finding the right bets for you, Oddshero will also find the best signup bonuses, as well as provide you with insight into how much money you’ve earned so far.

Don’t trust us that Oddshero is your golden goose? Why not give it a try and see for yourself? Get your free trial here!

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Betting exchanges let you lay bets, that is, bet against a certain outcome.
  2. By laying bets, you’re assuming the role of a bookmaker.
  3. This is something you can use to make sure profits come your way regardless of the outcome.

What to read next:

Beginner’s Guide to Lay Betting

Getting Gubbed, Limited, Restricted

How to do Matched Betting on Football

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