In the past if we didn’t fancy a football team to win, but couldn’t decide if we fancied a draw or the other team to win – we would have needed to place a bet on the other team to win with a bookmaker, and another bet on the draw (probably needing to use two different bookies).
Or we would have just backed the other team to win, or the draw, and possibly lose – just gifting money to a bookmaker. These days if we don’t fancy a football team to win, it is easily sorted, we simply lay that team on one of the Betting Exchanges.
On a Betting Exchange, under peer-to-peer betting we now have the option to simply take a bet off another punter who wants to place a bet on that football team to win. This is known as laying.
So if I were to lay a team and that football team wins, then I would pay out at the odds already agreed when I took the bet. Or if the football team loses, I (the layer) keep the money that was placed on the bet.
Once the bet is placed, the money in both accounts is frozen, so that the loser of the bet can’t quickly withdraw their cash if the result goes wrong. Then once the match is finished, the money is paid out to the winner of the bet, minus commission. You don’t pay any commission if you lose, only if you win, or make any profit.
Example Of A Lay Bet
West Brom are at home to Man Utd, West Brom are 3.00 (2/1) to win. I don’t think West Brom will win, so I wish to lay them.
I go onto the Betting Exchange and see there is plenty of money available to lay West Brom at 3.00 (2/1), so I lay them for £50.00. Immediately £100.00 (£50.00 x 2/1) is frozen in my Betting Exchange account, meaning I can’t withdraw it.
If West Brom win, I will lose the £100.00. While if West Brom don’t win, I will win £50.00, and my £100.00 will also be returned to my account.
Liquidity On A Betting Exchange
At the moment Betfair are the biggest and most liquid Betting Exchange in the market place, they are also my preferred choice.
It is essential to make sure that there is plenty of liquidity if you are planning to trade a football match of sporting event. Most major live UK football matches don’t tend to be a problem, but if you were planning on trading a match in South America late on a Wednesday night (for example), you need to be aware that there might not be too much money available in play to get your back matched.
Believe me, there is nothing worse than needing to be able to lay a bet, and there not being any money there to match your bet. It happened to me once betting on a pre match friendly, which is pretty much why I am very selective on which football matches I trade these days.