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Back-to-lay and lay-to-back betting on the Betfair Exchange

There’s something that sets the Exchange aside from the rest of the betting industry and that’s the ability to give punters a chance to guarantee profit on a trade. This is known as having a green book, essentially meaning any outcome will result in a positive outcome on the bet. There are a few different ways to do this, the most common are the Back-to-lay and Lay-to-back methods, both of which are effective ways on ensuring a green book.

Wanting to figure out the best ways in which to get into the situation where all outcomes result in you profiting from this trade? Here’s how you can get into this position.

Prepare and understand how to adjust your position in the market, in that you can then lay bets at shorter prices than you’ve backed them. This is essentially beating how the market has moved and getting into a position prior to the market moving. In the example of Over 2.5 Goals, an early goal coming and moving the market massively, giving you the opportunity to lay the selection at much ‘higher value’ odds than your initial trade.

These methods have different variations based upon the number of selections in a market, such as Binary (Over/Under) and three or more outcomes.

The first of those would be a Binary outcome, I’ll use Over/Under as the example. It’s as simple as it gets with just two possible outcomes.

For example, a match may have Over 2.5 at 3.00 and Under at 1.50 for Over 2.5 Goals, so you’d back Over 2.5 Goals at 3.00 with £10.

The match begins and there’s an early goal, with the odds on Over 2.5 Goals now dropping to 1.50, essentially switching with the original odds. You then have two options of what you can do to guarantee a profit on this trade and give yourself a green book.

The first method is to lay Over 2.5 Goals with £10, at odds of 1.50 that will cost you £5, this essentially gives you a £15 free punt on Over 2.5 Goals landing, with zero liability on whether or not the matches finishes with Over 2.5 Goals.

The other option available to you is to lay for a larger amount than your original trade. If you lay Over 2.5 Goals at 1.5 for £15, you’d then have a green book with both selections giving you a profit on your stakes. It’s seeing these opportunities, which is crucial in trading, by taking advantage of the events of the match.

The second of the variations is a market with three or more selections, the easiest example would be a football match (1X2).

With the increasing number of outcomes, it becomes tougher to guarantee a green book. You’re essentially spreading the risk by including more possible outcomes.

You’ve got a football match, with Team A priced up at 2.62, the draw at 3.20 and 3.20 for Team B. The simplest way I can explain this is to use the draw market example, where you’d back the draw at the odds of 3.20, hoping that when the match is coming to a close, the score remains level. You could lay the draw at 1.70 in the 70th minute and guarantee a profit across the three selections. With the added outcomes, the probability and risk spreads more and this makes it tougher to establish yourself a green book.

In conclusion, you’re using these methods in order to remove the risk and the chance of losing. It’s the dream for all bettors and specifically traders, eliminating all risk associated with the trade. As I mentioned above, the more outcomes possible, the more the risk is spread, but you can still apply these methods to other events, such as a horse race.

Here are some

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