Betfair Exchange Betting Guide

How To Bet On The Betfair Exchange

The Betfair Exchange is the oldest and largest betting exchange in the world it has a simple and easy to use interface and a huge range of markets which makes it the ideal exchange to begin using for new and inexperienced matched bettors. Take a look through the below video and guide for an overview of the Betfair Exchange.

Betfair Exchange Explainer Video

Click here to open an account with Betfair

Betfair Exchange Layout & Interface

When you first log in to Betfair you will see that there are lots of different categories on the website.

The exchange part of the site is the 2nd category along and should not be confused with the sportsbook section of the site which operates like a standard bookmaker.

Although the two sections look very similar you will notice that on the exchange you have the addition of pink lay boxes. If you only see blue boxes then you know that you are not in the correct section.


Situated on the left-hand side of the home page there is a list of all of the different sports available. Selecting one of these sports will open up the subcategories and events available within that sport.

In the middle section, you will see banners advertising any promotions that might be on offer and, below this, a list of the big sporting highlights for that particular day or days ahead.

Alongside the events, you will see the latest odds and liquidity for that particular event, which we will look at in more detail shortly

On the right-hand side, there are quick links available to popular sports and, also, other promotions from other areas of the site that might be available to you

Across the top, you will be able to access your balance information, deposit and account options. Also at the top is a search bar which you can directly type into to find specific events. This is particularly useful when you are trying to find more obscure markets.

Placing Bets on the Betfair Exchange

By the sides of each event, you will see blue and pink boxes with odds and monetary values. These boxes are where you can place back and lay bets directly from the exchange home page. Blue for back and pink for lay. Although a quick way to place a bet this can be confusing when you first start out.

To make things a bit easier, if you select an event it will open up that events own section which displays the odds more clearly. When you open up an event you will see a screen like this:

On the left-hand side will be a list of all the different markets that you can bet on for that event. In the middle will be the selected market so in this case match odds. Below this, depending on what the event is, you will generally see other popular markets that are available

On the right-hand side, you will have your betslip area where, when you have a back or lay bet selected, this will appear here. Any open bets you have on an event will be displayed under the open bets tab.

Let's now take a closer look at the central section and the odds and liquidity

Within the central area you have:

  • The possible selections available within the market, so in this example Brazil, Mexico and Draw
  • The blue and pink boxes display the back and lay odds and the amount of money, or liquidity, available in this market.

In Betfair, the blue boxes represent a back bet and the pink boxes represent a lay bet. A back bet means that you think the event you are betting on will happen. If I were to select the blue box for Brazil that means that I would be backing Brazil to win. Therefore, if Brazil were to win, my bet would win.

A lay bet means you are betting against an event happening. If I were to select the pink lay box next to Brazil, then this means I am betting against Brazil. Therefore if the match ends in a draw or Mexico win, my lay bet will win

In each of the back and lay boxes, you have the latest odds displayed in decimal format for that selection. Below these odds, you have a monetary value. This is the liquidity, how much money there is for that selection currently. If there is not enough money available in the market then a bet can result in the bet being unmatched. For more information on this please see the unmatched bets guide and video tutorial. By the sides of both back and lay odds you will see more odds and money. This is the odds queue for the selection. Once all of the money has been matched for a market then the next odds will move in place. So in this example, if bets are placed totalling or exceeding £46,565 Then the odds will disappear and be replaced with the next odds in the queue: 1.53.

To place bets you select either a back or lay box for the selection you wish to bet on, this will nearly always be the lay box when matched betting which loads the selection into the bet slip.

In the betslip you will see your selection, whether you are backing or laying, this is colour coded as well; blue for back and pink for lay.

You will see an odds box which is what odds you are placing your bet at. This can also be manually adjusted if you wish.

The backer's stake, which is where you enter your stake identified by the matched betting calculator. The liability for the bet will appear once you enter your stake. Your liability is how much money you will need in your account balance for a bet to match.

Once you have entered your stake, the place bets option will become active. To place a bet, select place bets, this will then either place your bets automatically or, if you have the confirm bets before placing option selected you will need to confirm the bets once more prior to placing.

If the bet has matched you will get a confirmation screen appear telling you that the bet has been matched. It is vital that you always wait for this before moving away to something else otherwise your lay bet might not match. Once the bet has matched then you will be able to see it within your open bets tab.

Betfair Commission Structure

As mentioned earlier, exchanges charge a small commission percentage, with Betfair this commission percentage is 5%. This 5% commission is charged on net winnings on bets placed. They do not charge commission on losing bets.

Commission Example

If you have £50 net winnings on an event the commission charged will be :

£50 x 5% = £2.50 commission charged

This commission rate is factored in when calculating your bets using the Profit Accumulator calculator, just ensure that you have the correct percentage entered for the exchange that you are using.

Also get more information about profit accumulator oddsmatcher

Betting Exchanges And Matched Betting

Betting Exchanges form the backbone of matched betting and without a betting exchange, we would not be able to make our profit. Matched Betting is a way of taking advantage of the hundreds of free bet offers dished out by bookies. Although it has betting in the name there is no real gambling involved as, unlike normal betting, we cover all possible outcomes of an event. This means regardless of the result we can make profit and turn those free bets into real cash!

Keen to Get Involved?

The great news is you don’t need to be a sports fan or betting fanatic to sign up and use Profit Accumulator. Many of our members are not sports fans and had never placed a bet in their lives but that doesn’t stop them from making some tax-free cash.

For more info on what matched betting is, check out these articles: