What is this?
Each weekend (and some midweeks) I’ll be picking out my best Lay bet. That is my best value bet of the weekend on a selection that I think will NOT happen. And I will be laying that bet on the Betfair exchange.
If you already have a ‘regular’ Betfair sportsbook account then you can use the same login details to access the Betfair exchange. If you don’t have an account then you can get set up here.
What is a Lay bet?
When you place a traditional bet with a bookmaker, you are ‘backing’ that bet. In taking that bet, the bookmaker is ‘laying’ your bet.
So, when we Lay a bet we are basically acting as the bookmaker and taking that bet from another punter, on the Betfair Exchange. For example, if someone wants to back Manchester United to win at odds of 2.0 (Evens), then we can choose to Lay that bet – i.e. we are betting that Manchester United will not win.
How much can I win/lose?
When you place a bet with a bookmaker, the amount you can win is fairly straightforward, You place £10, you can lose £10. How much you can win, is obviously dependant on the odds of your bet.
When Laying a bet, we need to flip this on its head. The
amount you can win is dependent on how much the person backing the bet has
staked, but the amount you can lose is dependent on the odds (note you will always
know before you place the bet how much you can lose, and can never lose more
than the amount of funds that you have in your Betfair account).
The amount that you can lose when Laying a bet is known as your liability.
Laying bets at odds-on has a lower liability. For example, if you lay a bet at 1.50 for £10 you are liable for £5 and will win £10 if the bet lands. But if you lay a bet a [3.5] for £10, you are risking £25 for the chance to win £10.