Lay Betting Explained – What Is This Type of Bet All About?

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The simple explanation when talking about lay betting is that it is betting on a selection to lose.

It really is as simple as that.

Understaning a lay bet

Due to the developments of the betting exchange, a normal punter can act in the very same way as a bookie and use their judgement to bet on a selection to lose an event.

What’s more, whereas a bookie has to lay every selection in every event across a sporting card, a punter can pick and choose to lay a bet in whatever event they want. Being able to bet in this way is a massive advantage.

Anyone of a certain age who has been betting in the high street bookies for any length of time will be able to see how much the opportunities have changed for your run of the mill punter.

It was not too long ago when a punter would have had to place a minimum bet of a treble on the home win, draw, away win markets (the only markets that were available on football matches) and they would also have had to pay a tax of 10% on either the stake or the winnings from the bet.

How times have changed, now all you have to have is a funded betting exchange account, and you can lay any selection which you think has a poor chance of winning.

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If you are not familiar with the laying concept, how about this for an example for those who are asking what is a lay bet in horse racing?

Berties Girl is running in the 5.30 at Exeter and is priced at 3/1.

There are ten runners in the race and on studying the form it soon becomes apparent to you that Berties Girl doesn’t like soft ground, all her best runs have come on firm ground and today’s forecast going at Exeter is heavy.

You decide to lay Berties Girl on Betfair and as you have, waiting until just before the off you are pleased to see that she is available at 3/1 (4.0 decimal odds on Betfair).

The bet is placed so you will have nine horses running for you if any of them win you will have won the bet.

The race finishes and your judgement prove to be correct; Berties Girl finishes third so as you laid the bet for £10, that is your profit.

That is basically lay betting explained in a nutshell, but as a word of warning to those bettors who are exploring this type of bet for the first time, unless the selection that you are laying is odds on, if your selection does end up winning, the amount that you lose will be more than the stake.

In the Berties Girl example above, of that horse had gone on to win the race you would have lost £30.

Go to the Next Level with Back and Lay Betting

You will often hear people talk about back and lay betting on the same selection and this is more commonly known as trading.

A profitable trade will present itself when the lay price of a selection is lower than the back price so if a selection is backed and then the price moves in, it is possible to lay the same bet and lock in a profit.

Some fantastic examples of back and lay betting like this can be seen in the horse racing markets, especially in the minutes before a race starts or if you are confident enough after the race has started.

Be warned though, the price can move against you so instead of making a profit from back and lay betting, you could just as easily be looking at a loss.

Liquidity Is the Key


When getting involved with lay betting, it is important that you only use a betting exchange which can boast of high liquidity in terms of the funds which are available on the lay side of the bet.

Betfair is the number one choice for many punters when it comes to lay betting, and it is not difficult to understand why.

As an example, let’s say that you want to lay a horse in order to take advantage of a reload bonus which you have been offered by a sportsbook.

You have accounts at several betting exchanges so you take a look at which exchange can offer the best price to lay your horse, but when you look at the amount of money available to lay, there is simply not enough to cover your bet.

This means that your bet will not be taken for the full amount, whereas an exchange with enough liquidity would mean that the bet could be placed without a problem.

Is There a Good Lay Betting System?

You will often see adverts which are promising a good lay betting system but laying bets is often no more than common sense.

Back to lay betting strategy

For example, you may have just read the news that a star football player has injured himself before a match, and as he is the leading scorer, it might be a good idea to lay that team.

Your research may uncover the fact that in another match, both teams have scored at least three goals in their last ten matches so it might be a good idea to lay the 0 – 0 correct score or if you are a little bit more adventurous, lay the under 2.5 goal market.

This type of betting offers the punter the opportunity to carry out a little research.

Unfortunately, most punters would prefer a quick fix and are not prepared to carry out the necessary legwork, which is obviously great news and more profits for those who do.

Is It Worth Getting Involved with Lay Betting?

If you are interested in matched betting, you will be involved with lay betting as a matter of course, because it is a big part of the matched betting method.

If you are interested in betting solely as a method of laying bets, it is definitely worth getting involved, but you should be aware that it really is a matter of practice makes perfect.

Once you have learnt the art laying bets though, you will be in a position to use your new-found skill to make profits on demand, and it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

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