Using shared liability to get more done


12 Jan 2021

Updated: 23 Feb 2023

There is nothing more frustrating in Matched Betting than getting stopped in your tracks from completing more offers because you’re out of liability (balance to cover your lay bets) in your exchanges.

Members starting out with small bankrolls will know this feeling well and most times have to wait patiently for their current bets to settle and free bet profits to roll in before they can move on to the next offer.

How can we solve this?

By taking advantage of a smart technique known as Shared Liability.

What is Shared Liability in Matched Betting?

In the vast majority of cases, when you place 2 (or even more) lay bets on DIFFERENT OUTCOMES (or selections) WITHIN THE SAME MARKET at the same betting exchange your liability gets split between them and causes an overall reduction in your total amount of liability needed to place those lay bets.

(Horse racing 'place' markets are an exception to this - see the tips section below for guidance on shared liability in 'To Place' markets).

Why is Shared Liability really useful in Matched Betting?

Shared Liability can allow you to place more lay bets at the exchange without needing to add any more balance.

How does Shared Liability work?

Platinum and Diamond Members can watch and read a full guide about shared liability here. This guide is well worth a look as it explains shared liability in depth and more importantly – shows you how to work out when you can take advantage of using it.

As a quick example...

Tottenham are playing Man City in the Premier League.

You’ve just used a £10 free bet on Tottenham to win at a bookie at odds of 4.33. You’ve layed this off at Smarkets using your 0% commission at odds of 4.4.

Your lay stake would have been £7.57, and your liability £25.74.

You had £26 in Smarkets balance when you did this bet so now you’ve got just 26p left.

What a pain – you now can’t do that Qualifying Bet for that Bet £10 Get £10 reload offer you saw at another bookie – you’re going to have to miss out on it.

Or not!

As Man City’s odds to win are much lower than Tottenham’s are (1.85 at the bookie and 1.89 to lay at Smarkets) – you can actually do your £10 reload Qualifying Bet on Man City without having to deposit anything more into Smarkets.

You just need a lay stake of £9.79 and a liability of £8.71.

How is that possible though? You only have 26p in your Smarkets balance – not £8.71?

As Tottenham have the biggest liability in this instance (their odds are highest in this game), if you take your £9.79 lay stake you need to use for your lay bet against Man City from the £25.74 Tottenham liability you already have, you can work out that if you place your Qualifying Bet you will end up having a new OVERALL liability of just £15.95 (give or take a pence) – instead of the £25.74 liability you have now. This sharing of liability happens because it's impossible for both of those lay bets to lose (at least one has to win in the exchange).

After placing this Qualifying Bet on City your Smarkets balance will actually increase to £10.05.

A few tips on using Shared Liability in Matched Betting

  1. Do not attempt to try and use Shared Liability until you have a good understanding of liability. Our What is Liability in Matched Betting guide is the place to go if you'd like a great refresher on this.
  2. Use the Platinum and Diamond Guide on Shared Liability here to make sure you understand WHEN exactly you can use Shared Liability to your advantage. If you have a lay bet on a market - practice playing around doing other lay bets of varying stakes on other outcomes in that market if necessary to help you work out what's going on and how the overall liability changes. (Don't actually place the lay bets). Even if you're not great at math you will soon pick up what's going on.
  3. If you choose to keep your accounts healthy through doing Mug Bets try to take advantage of Shared Liability as much as possible. When you are using our Oddsmatching software to find your Mug Bets if you see a bet on an alternative outcome in a market you've already bet on and the match between the odds is pretty decent, do your Mug Bet on that rather than a whole other outcome in a different market. Anytime you can save up liability in your exchange to do more bets you should.
  4. If you are doing each-way bets on horse-racing offers shared liability on the 'place' markets won't occur until after you've bet on more horses to place than there are available places. For example, if you are laying on the 'To Place 3' market, shared liability won't occur until you are laying off a 4th horse in that market. Shared liability basically comes into force when it's impossible for all the lay bets to lose. It's possible for 3 horses to finish in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but impossible for 4 horses to do so.

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