The Wonderful World of the Betting Exchange
If you had explained the concepts of a betting exchange to a punter only a few short years ago, they would have probably looked at you as if you were mad because you would have been describing something which would be every punter’s dream.
Fast forward a few years and what we now have is a reality, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the betting exchange offers profit-making opportunities which few other industries can even think about matching.
Everyone knows how lucrative being a bookmaker can be and the betting exchange offers punters the opportunity to become a bookmaker in their own right by giving them the ability to lay bets as and when they see fit.
There is however a learning curve to be able to consistently win on a betting exchange, and this is why some punters fall short in their attempt to master the exchanges, they are not prepared to put in the groundwork first, so they fall by the wayside when they come across the first hurdle.
How to Approach Exchange Betting?
Different punters use the bet exchange for different purposes, matched bettors use the exchange for laying off their bets in order to take advantage of bonuses and promotions which are offered by various sportsbooks.
Some punters just like to lay the occasional bet if they have an opinion that their selection is likely to lose whilst other punters look for value, and if the exchange price of a particular selection is higher than they think it should be, they will back it at the exchange as opposed to backing it at a sportsbook.
Finally, and without a doubt the most difficult skill to get the hang of is trading the prices on the exchange, jumping in and out of trades many times on the lead-up or during an event, scalping profits along the way.
It is entirely up to you which aspects of the bet exchange you decide to get involved with; it could be one or all of the methods listed above, but one thing is for sure, the opportunities to make good profits from a bet exchange are wide and varied.
Who’s on the Best Betting Exchanges List?
The main thing to remember when it comes to choosing from the best betting exchange list is that selecting which one to do business with largely depends on the amount of liquidity which is available on the markets you wish to get involved with.
If the liquidity is not there, you will basically be wasting your time because your bets won’t get matched at decent prices, that is if they get matched at all.
You will sometimes see new betting exchanges come to market and whilst the intentions will usually be good, it is not worth getting involved with them until they have built up their customer base, in the meantime it is highly advisable that you stick with the big boys in the game because that will make your life so much easier.
At the time of writing, the list all betting exchanges are widely regarded as being the best betting exchanges list with Betfair most likely offering you all that you will ever need in terms of a betting exchange.
The Beauty of Betfair
- up to £30 Free Bets
- Easy to navigate Website
- Engaging Bets
- In-Play Betting
- Licensed by GBGC
- Minimum deposit: £10
New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. #AD
If you have been involved in online betting for any length of time, you will probably already have an account with Betfair. They are regarded as the number one betting exchange, and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow over the years.
Back in the day, the first betting exchange was a site called Flutter, and it was based on the premise of using your football knowledge to bet against your mates.
This was a completely new concept which captured the imagination of punters all over the UK, and it wasn’t long before Flutter was bought out by another new exchange by the name of Betfair.
The rest, as they say, is history!
The liquidity on Betfair on most markets blows every other exchange out of the water and just watching the markets for a greyhound race, or an in-play football match is something of an education in itself.
The way that the prices move, and the amount of money involved is, and it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that the money-making opportunities for the astute punter are enormous.
If there were one negative about Betfair it would be that they have been known to go down during an afternoon race meeting which wouldn’t be such a big problem if you had just placed a bet, and that was that, but if you are trading on a particular race it could leave you facing some losses.
What most punters don’t seem to realise though is that it is possible to telephone your bets through to Betfair, so you should always have everything set up first, just in case anything untoward happens with their betting exchange platform.
It is also noteworthy that it is only bet exchange bets that can be placed over the phone, not fixed odds bets.
It would also be a good idea to have another bet exchange account opened which you could use to see if they are offering any better prices on a particular event or which you could use if Betfair went down for any reason.
Look at the Markets on Smarkets
- Peer-to-peer exchange betting
- Fast and well-maintained website
- Popular for alternative and novelty betting markets
- In-Play Betting
- Minimum deposit: £10
*T&C apply; Visit bookmaker’s website for details. #AD
Smarkets is a betting exchange which has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and they seem to have picked up a lot of custom from those punters who are interested in matched betting.
The reason for this is because they charge one of the lowest amounts of commission in the industry at only 2% across all accounts whereas Betfair operate on a sliding scale which starts at 5%.
This can make a big difference to matched bettors concerning their overall profit, so it is of little wonder why Smarkets is so popular with them.
On top of that, it is a very well-run bet exchange, the customer service is excellent, and their operating platform seems to be extremely robust.
What About Betdaq
- Good range of events
- Free withdrawals
- Engaging Bets
- Deposit instantly
- Licensed by UKGC
*T&C apply; Visit bookmaker’s website for details. #AD
For some years, Betdaq was always considered to be number 2 to Betfair in terms of the punters bet exchange of choice, but it would be fair to say that they have been knocked off that perch by Smarkets.
They have since been taken over by Ladbrokes, and in an attempt to regain market share, they have also reduced the commission to 2% across all betting exchange bets.
It looks like they are heading back in the right direction and over the months and years ahead, who knows, they might start challenging Betfair again. In the meantime, your best bet would be to open an account with Betfair if you haven’t already, as well as using Smarkets and Betdaq should Betfair be having an off day or if you want to get involved in matched betting.
These are the only betting exchange site that you should consider holding accounts with at present but keep an eye out for any developments in terms of exchanges which are trying to get on the best betting exchanges list.
Betting Exchange Sites Software
Due to the enormous popularity of the betting exchanges, various software companies have got involved by offering software which can give you the edge when placing your exchange bet.
The way they do this is by connecting with the API of the exchange in question which will, in turn, enable users to place their orders on the exchange in a fraction of the time which is might usually take.
The best way to find a software which suits your requirement would be to look at your betting exchange of choice where you will be able to see a list of their recommended partners.
One of the most reputable software providers would be a company called Bet Angel, and as they work with a number of different exchanges, they should have something to suit everyone’s needs.
One of the major benefits of software such as this is that it makes it far easier for punters who are interested in trading the markets to get their bets on in a far quicker time frame which means that they are far more likely to be able to get their bets matched.
This is due to what is known as one-click betting if you are not using software to place your bets it is a case of clicking on the price you want and then confirming the bet.
As one-click betting software is linked directly to the API of an exchange, the bet is placed with one click of the mouse which saves a lot of time.
You might not think that a few seconds saved would make much of a difference, but as soon as you start trading on a bet exchange, you will realise that a few seconds can mean the difference between a profit and a loss.
These software companies also offer what is known as a ladder interface; this is where you can click on a selection in a horse race for example and instantly see the weight of money which is waiting to be matched on both the lay side and the backing side of the horse.
This interface helps traders see which way the market is likely to move, long before traders who are just using the exchange will be able to.
When you take these points into account, it is not difficult to see why Bet Angel and similar software providers have such an enthusiastic customer base.
Why Matched Bettors Use Skrill on Betting Exchange Sites
All matched bettors will agree that the betting exchange is the most important part of their operation and with that in mind, they need to be able to move funds around over a short space of time between sportsbook and betting exchange.
This is even more important for matched bettors who have a limited bank so to explain this more clearly, let’s look at an example.
You have a betting bank of £1,000, and you have just taken advantage of an offer from Betfair where you have received a £50 bonus and placed on a 10/1 shot in the 3.00 at Exeter.
Sod’s law means that the horse wins, so you have £500 in your Betfair account which you need to withdraw and get back into the betting exchange so that you can take advantage of more offers from other sportsbooks.
If you had made your Betfair deposit by debit card, you would have to wait five working days for the funds to land back into your account which would severely slow down your matched betting activities.
However, if you make the deposit with Skrill, you could have the funds back in your Skrill account and deposited back into the betting exchange in a matter of hours and be ready to take advantage of the other offers that are out there.
You Should Treat Betting Exchange in the UK as a Business
If you are interested in getting involved in trading on the betting exchange, it is important that you treat it as a business and understand that it will take some time for you to reach the kind of standard where you will be able to make a decent profit with every passing month.
If you take the time to carry out some research, you will realise that some professional betting exchange traders make the kind of money that you would expect to see a barrister or TV star make.
If it takes you a few months to get the hang of trading on the exchanges, compare that with the many years of study it takes for a barrister to reach the level where they earn what they do. You will no doubt realise that it will not only be time well spent but you will actually be earning by doing something that you love, and not many people can say that, can they?