What Is Liquidity In Matched Betting? An Overview


22 Apr 2024

Updated: 22 Apr 2024

In Matched Betting, liquidity is the maximum amount of money that you can place on a lay bet at a betting exchange.

This amount of money is displayed underneath the lay odds at a betting exchange and can constantly change as more bets are placed by exchange users.

In this example from Matchbook, the odds are 3.95 and there is £839 available to lay at these odds. So the liquidity for this specific lay bet is £839.

In this post, you’ll learn what to be aware of when it comes to liquidity in Matched Betting and find out where these amounts come from.

What You Need To Know About Liquidity When Matched Betting

When Matched Betting, you simply need to make sure the amount of money available at the exchange for your lay bet is higher than your required lay stake.

If the liquidity available is the same or greater than your lay stake your lay bet will immediately get fully matched (taken) at the exchange and your lay bet is complete.

You can easily check the amount of liquidity available at the betting exchange of any bet you’re considering to use by looking at the “Available” column on the Oddsmatching software.

You can set the “Availability” filter to only show bets with lots of liquidity which is super handy to rule out any bets with small amounts of money available to lay.

You’ll be able to quickly check the required lay stake when you open the calculator from the software. This lay bet needs a lay stake of £4.88 and there’s £96.00 available so you’re good to go.

What If There Is Low Liquidity?

The best practice is to always ensure there’s plenty of money available before placing your back and lay bets using the tools mentioned. However, there may be rare occasions when a lay bet you want to place has low liquidity.

If the liquidity available is less than your lay stake your lay bet won’t get matched (taken by the exchange) or only get partially matched (i.e. only part of your total lay stake will get taken by the exchange).

If this happens - you don’t need to panic!

The good news is that this is a simple fix and there are a few different solutions:

1. If your bet is 100% unmatched, you can cancel the unmatched lay bet in your bet slip on the exchange. You’ll then need to enter the new current lay odds into the calculator which will recalculate your new required lay stake.

2. If there are still a few hours left until the event takes place, you can also wait in the queue and see if your lay stake is matched. Quite often, your bet will fully match with no issue and resolve itself - just don’t leave this until the last minute in the hope that it will be matched.

3. If part of your bet matched and part didn't, you have a partially matched bet. The Fixabet calculator can be used to help you work out what you need to lay at the available lay odds to sort this.

4. If you’re ever super stuck, we’ve got you! We have tools you can use to fix most bets and you can always ask if you’re unsure about anything using our support team.

Our experts are open and ready to help you 7 days a week. You can use email or live chat and we’re also proud to be the only Matched Betting service to offer phone support, so you give us a call if you ever think you’ve made a mistake or need a bet checked.

Can You Place A Lay Bet When There Is Low Liquidity?

If you’ve placed your bookmaker back bet and find that the current lay odds have low liquidity you can check the market depth to see if there’s more money available at slightly higher odds.

At Matchbook the available lay odds are in dark pink, you can also see how much money is pending (this is the market depth and comes from back bettor’s money waiting to be matched.

Here you can see there is £10 available at lay odds of 2.56.

There’s much more money (£186) available at odds of 2.58 - this is back bettor’s money who are trying to back this bet at higher odds of 2.58 instead of 2.56.

If you needed to lay this bet with a higher stake than the £10 available at 2.56, you can use the ‘Part Lay Active’ feature to calculate the additional stake needed at the higher odds of 2.58 using a Matched Betting calculator:

You’ll be able to take the available £10 at the lower 2.56 lay odds and also place the remaining amount needed using the money available at the slightly higher 2.58 lay odds.

Similarly, when you select the lay odds, you have the option to change them to a better price and join the queue for those odds. For example, you could lower the odds above to 2.54 from 2.56 - this means the money you lay on this bet will appear under the blue back odds and wait in the queue for a back bettor to match your bet.

Be aware though - there’s never any guarantee you’ll get matched at this price and in general it’s best to take the available lay odds so your bet is matched and your position is locked in.

How To Avoid Low Liquidity Bets When Matched Betting

In addition to always checking the available liquidity at betting exchanges, there are a few good practices to follow when placing bets to avoid low liquidity.

When placing matched bets you should try to bet on popular sporting events, such as Premier League Football and also on popular betting markets such as the match winner market.

For horse racing try to place your bets on the day of the race - not before, otherwise, there’ll often be very little liquidity available. It’s also recommended you avoid placing your bets in the hour before the start of a horse race as at this time both lay odds and liquidity can change rapidly, making it difficult for you to place your lay bets successfully.

Where Does Liquidity Come From?

Betting exchanges are a special kind of betting website that enables random people to bet with each other - either back or lay bets.

As you’re Matched Betting, you’ll mainly be laying bets at the betting exchange so we’ll focus on where the liquidity of the lay odds comes from.

At Matchbook the back odds (in blue) of 1.41 have £3,857 of liquidity available, and the lay odds (in pink) of 1.42 have £304 of liquidity available.

The available liquidity on the lay odds (£304) comes from a group of back bettors, who want to place an opposite back bet at odds of 1.42 at the betting exchange.

Each of the back bettors in the group has stated a stake amount that they want to bet at odds of 1.42. As a simple example, one in the group might want to bet £4, another £100, and a third £200.

The entire group’s bet stakes combined add up to £304 – the total available liquidity of the lay odds.

Now you understand the liquidity of the lay odds, the same idea applies to the liquidity of the back odds too as they both work in the same way but just the other way around.

Does The Liquidity Of The Lay Odds Change?

Yes – all the time.

At any point, another back bettor might join the group and also say they want to bet at odds of 1.42, and that they want to bet £100. If this happened the liquidity available (or total staked by the entire back bettor group) would increase to £404.

Alternatively, one back bettor in the group may change their mind and cancel their bet. This would cause the liquidity (or total staked by the entire back bettor group) to drop by whatever that bettor’s stake was.

New back bettors who want to bet and/or existing back bettors cancelling their bets are the first reason why the liquidity of the lay odds can constantly change on the exchange

There can be thousands of back bettors constantly adding or cancelling their bets on an outcome at any one time. This means the liquidity available then might constantly change.

What If There Is No Liquidity?

It’s possible there can be no liquidity on some lay odds if nobody has placed any bets on a certain market.

Matchbook display a grey “make offer” box that replaces either the blue back odds or pink lay odds.

Our lay bets can only happen when there’s money available from back bettors for the exchange to take.

You can request a back or lay stake at odds you want, but if no bettors are willing to match your bet at those odds then your lay bet can’t be taken.

This is why it’s advisable to avoid any markets which have either not formed yet because the event isn’t taking place for a long time or the event is just not popular enough for people to want to bet on it.


Liquidity can at first glance seem to be something quite complicated but once you’re aware of what it is and how it works you can make sure you’ll avoid any issues on your Matched Betting journey and you’ll be ready to learn our top Matched Betting tips to help you maximise your profits this year.

Interested In Getting Started Matched Betting?

You can start learning for free with our free trial and make your first profits today!