Guide To Lay Betting

We’ve put together a short video to explain exactly what lay betting is and how to do it.

Just click the video below to get stuck in.

With lay betting there are three key points which set it aside from traditional betting.

  1. Lay betting is betting on something to NOT happen. So if you ‘lay’ Manchester United you are betting on them to lose or draw.
  2. Lay betting uses decimal odds, not fractional.
  3. Traditional bookies do not accept lay bets. The main platforms that do accept them are Betfair Exchange and Smarkets.

Decimal odds are fairly easy to figure out. Here you have two options:

  • Simply divide a fractional odd and add 1.

E.G. 2/1 is 2 divided by 1 (2) add 1. Therefore 2/1 in decimal odds is 3.0

How to place a lay bet on Betfair:

For this tutorial, we’ll use Betfair but other platforms work in exactly the same way. Betfair offers both fixed odds betting and lay betting.

  1. Click on the ‘Exchange’ button. That will take us to the part of the platform that offers lay betting.
  2. You can navigate to whichever event you want to bet on.
  3. There are two sets of buttons:
    • Blue ‘back’ buttons
    • Pink ‘lay’ buttons
  4. Back betting on these platforms works just the same as usual. You click on the blue box next to ‘draw’ if you think it will be a draw and then enter your stake in the stake box.
  5. To place a lay bet, you do the same thing but select the pink ‘lay’ box by the option you DON’T think will happen. So if you are predicting it to NOT be a draw, you click the pink box by the draw option.
  6. IMPORTANT: When you place a lay bet, the amount you stake IS NOT the amount you are risking. The amount you are risking is your liability. So for example, if you enter a stake of £10 here the actual liability is X.
  7. The reason the amount you can lose is bigger is because you are essentially becoming the bookie and, in this event, it’s more likely a draw WON’T happen than it will happen. The bigger the odds, the higher your liability will be with a lay bet.
  8. As for how much you’ll win if it’s not a draw, that’s always the same as your stake, so a £10 lay bet, stands to win £10 if successful, regardless of the odds.

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