sports betting

Best Betting Exchange Sites

Betting exchanges list

Betting sites come and go. They merge to form bigger companies. Or they mutate into completely different types of company. Betting exchanges are no different. So here you will find an up to date list of all the best-betting exchange sites looking to attract your business.

List of all the best Betting exchanges

  • Betfair
  • Smarkets
  • Ladbrokes
  • Betdaq
  • Matchbook

It’d be rude to start with any other betting exchange than betfair – the company that first brought us the option to lay a bet. Betfair is still the power house when it comes to ‘exchange betting‘. And although they seem to have taken their eye off the ball in recent years, to put their focus on promotioning their traditional sportsbook, no other betting exchange has stepped up to take there mantel. But the list of betting exchanges below show companies have come along to put pressure on them.

Smarkets have identified where they think betfair are going wrong and attacked that weakness. And it seems to be working well for them. Commission is a standard 5% for betfair customers, so to take away their customers, smarkets aren’t shy in advertising they take only 2% commission. This difference is massive, and can swing a losing system into one that makes a small profit.

As mentioned above, Ladbrokes and betdaq are one company. And as such, there is no point in them operating two different betting exchanges. Ladbrokes exchange, is therefore, exactly the same as betdaq’s. Albeit designed to fit in with their sites design. The only real reason to sign up to both is to take advantage of two sign-up bonuses.

Betdaq have been around for a long time now, and have always looked the most likely to topple betfairs dominance. Their main issue seemed to be a lack of financial firepower to make that last push. That looked to change once Ladbrokes bought them out. But as of yet betdaq have still not overtaken the market leaders. It’s still an excellent betting exchange, with plenty of liquidity on the main markets.

It’s hard to do anything to stand out as a betting exchange; they’re all just peer-to-peer betting markets where the punter offers up the action. But one thing matchbook does a little different is the offering of short-priced odds. Here you have the option of giving a price to 3 decimal places. Whether this is a good thing or not, I don’t know. I’m happy with two decimal places because this is what my money has. No need for rounding up or down if you are punting in small amounts.

Betting Exchanges & Lay Betting

Too many gamblers are still living in the ‘dark ages’ and will only ever place a bet with a traditional bookmaker. They either can’t be bothered to learn how the exchanges work or simply don’t realise the features and value that can be had when betting within an exchange environment.

Believe me, using a betting exchange is very easy, and if you are not already using at least one exchange you should join one immediately after reading this article… Betfair is now the biggest Betting Exchange.

I’m not saying that a betting exchange should be used for all your betting. There will still be occasions when a traditional bookmaker will offer more desirable odds than those that are available on the exchanges. However, in the majority of cases you will find better value on the exchanges and additionally there are other VERY IMPORTANT features that only the betting exchanges offer. More on this later…

So What Is A Betting Exchange?

Betting Excange Sites

Put very simply, betting exchanges are a secure place where members of the betting public can exchange bets with each other anonymously, at odds that they specify themselves. The exchange companies simply act as the ‘middleman’ and match peoples bets.

As there are no bookie margins to factor in, prices are very often more desirable. The betting exchange companies make their money by taking a commission payment on your winning bets. This is usually in the region of 3 – 5%, but even taking this into account, it’s very common to find better prices on the exchange.

The cumulative effect of better prices when combined with a good staking plan, can make the difference between you generating a healthy profit or a bad loss. Using an exchange does not mean you will automatically win more frequently! You still have to find good value winning bets yourself or via a professional tipster but it’s the effect of getting a better return on your winning bets that will boost your betting bank and protect you during losing streaks.

Most people use the betting exchanges on the internet, but you can also place bets on the telephone.

As well as regularly finding better prices when backing a selection, exchanges also give the gambler some other very important advantages over traditional bookmakers.

Some of the key advantages are:

  • The ability to Lay a selection if you think it will not win
  • The ability to back or lay a selection to be placed. (This is very different to the well know Each Way bet offered by bookies and can be very powerful).
  • Betting in running on many events including horse racing. This can give you many advantages and opens the door to new methods that may secure you more profits.
  • If you are very successful, you will not have the exchange company threatening to shut your account down.
  • The ability to trade on price movements in betting events to guarantee yourself a profit regardless of the result.
  • Arbitrage Opportunities. Bookie and exchange price discrepancies often allow you to take a NO RISK bet.

Those are some of the key benefits of using a betting exchange and I will dig deeper into these and explain how you can use them to your advantage in future betting articles.

For the remainder of this article, lets concentrate on point 1, laying a selection to Lose.

Major Advantage Of The Betting Exchanges

Probably the most important feature of a betting exchange is the ability to LAY a selection. But what does laying a selection mean?

Laying a selection is often referred to as ‘Playing the role of a bookmaker’. Like a bookie, you offer a price against a selection / event happening (eg. a certain horse to win a race or a football match ending as a draw). You only do this if in your opinion there is a great chance that the horse won’t win or the football match will not end as a draw. The betting exchanges simply match your lay bets with other customers who think the opposite of you (eg they think the horse will win or the match will end as a draw).

Betting Exchanges – Large Choice of Markets

Everybody has their favourite sports that they like to bet on and unsurprisingly the traditional betting sports of Football, Horseracing, Cricket and Golf are also the most popular sports on the Betting Exchanges. However we think you’ll find the range of markets that you can bet on to be pretty amazing, that’s the beauty of the exchanges, virtually every sport imaginable is covered.

If you can’t find the event you’re after, which will be some achievement, then with most Sports Betting Exchanges you can just contact them with your suggestion and more often than not you’ll get your request up. There’s also a lot more on the Betting Exchanges than sport, you can bet on award ceremonies like the Oscars, on stock market indices, on political elections and on who will win big TV events like Big Brother or X-Factor.

betting exchange markets

Lay Liabilities

The odds that you offer determine how much money you will need to ‘pay out’ if the selection actually wins (just like the bookie does when you have a winning bet with them). So if you were to place a lay bet of £10 at 5.0 (4/1) against a selection, you would be liable to pay out £40 from your account if that selection won (The other punter gets their £10 back plus £40 profit). If however, the selection does lose you get to keep the £10 staked by the other punter (just like the bookies have done with all your losing bets all these years!). It’s as simple as that.

Now, you might be thinking ‘great, I’ll simply lay all the rank outsiders and clean up’. STOP! Don’t even go down this route. If you keep placing lay bets on selections trading with very high odds (eg 50/1), you will win regularly but when 1 of them comes first you will probably wipe out all your winnings and more! A single £10 lay bet at 50/1 would see you liable for paying out £500 should the selection win!

How do betting exchange Sites make their money?

An exchange generally takes a cut of any winnings in commission so you would expect to give betfair 5% smarkets 2% of any profit you make, although the more you bet means the less commission you pay. 


Liquidity is everything when it comes to Betting Exchanges, the more ‘liquid’ a market is, the more money there is in it and when that relates to Betting Exchanges, it means the more chance there is of you finding a match for your bet. This is why you can find some great odds in Betting Exchanges and it’s what should make Betting Exchanges a key part of your online betting strategy.

To give you an example of Betting Exchange liquidity, at Betfair every month, 100,000 of their customers place bets. At peak, they match up to 15,000 bets a minute from members in 85 countries.

As mentioned above, as more and more people join Betting Exchanges, the liquidity grows and grows, offering you even greater betting opportunities


Lay Betting might sound very confusing to the exchange newbie, but believe me it soon becomes very straightforward and you will find yourself laying selections much more buy viagra online frequently than you think. Let’s be honest, it must be easier to pick a horse you feel will definitely lose in a average 12 runner race, than find the single winner!

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