So Who Are Smarkets and Are They Any Good?
Few people would argue that the Betting Exchange market has been dominated by Betfair since peer to peer betting became popular back in 1999.
The betting exchange business model can be a hugely profitable, as Betfair have proved and as a result, many betting exchanges have come and gone over the past fifteen years or so since Smarkets came to market in 2008.
Punters could have been forgiven for thinking that it was just another case of ‘same old, same old’ but Smarkets have proven the naysayers wrong because they are now regarded as a top-drawer betting exchange with many punters preferring to do business with them over Betfair.
* New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
It would be fair to say that there is a more personal feel to Smarkets than with other sportsbooks and betting exchanges and this can be confirmed if you take a look at the Smarkets blog which keeps customers up to date with the latest news.
- Excellent Sign Up Offer
- Various betting markets
- Advanced live betting facility
- Regulated by UKGC
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Minimum deposit:£10
Do Smarkets Meet All of the Licensing Requirements
There is no doubt whatsoever that Smarkets meet every licencing requirement which is expected of them so are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and are regulated outside of the UK with the Maltese Gambling Commission.
They are also a big advocate of responsible gambling and go to great lengths to ensure that help is given to any of their customers who are experiencing problems with their gambling.
What About the Smarkets Sign up Bonus?
The Smarkets welcome bonus is prone to change throughout the course of the year but at the time of writing it is an excellent offer in the form of 5 x £10 risk free bets.
The way it works is that on signing up with Smarkets you are invited to choose a Premier League football team and you can place a £10 bet on each one of their next five matches and if you lose, the £10 will be refunded to your account.
To choose your Premiership team you will be directed to that section of the website, where it is just a case of following the instructions to choose your team.
There are two points that you should bear in mind with the first one being that any deposit by Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or pre-paid debit card will not qualify for this offer.
The second point is that you will also see an offer for a £10 welcome bonus on both the Smarkets website along with their various promotional materials.
This £10 welcome bonus is obviously not as good as the £50 bonus so make sure that it is the £50 Smarkets sign up offer which you claim instead of the £10 Smarkets sign up bonus because you can’t claim both of them.
How Do the Markets and Bets Compare to Betfair
The big problem which every new betting exchange faces is the amount of liquidity which is available on the various betting markets which are on offer.
What usually happens is that the betting exchange needs to supplement the liquidity themselves until enough customers sign up and start placing trades themselves.
This is all well and good for the most popular markets but a quality betting exchange needs to offer adequate liquidity across the entire range of markets.
In the early days, Smarkets did struggle with this aspect of their operation but most industry insiders will agree that the liquidity across the Smarkets markets is more than adequate for the requirements of most punters.
If you could get hold of a Smarkets bot to compare the prices across the top betting exchanges, Smarkets would no doubt compare favourably.
The most popular markets on Smarkets are as you would probably expect, football and greyhounds racing but the bets on offer are extremely diverse and include bets on the entertainment markets such as Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity along with a selection of political betting.
Placing a bet on Smarkets will be a little different to what you may be used to if this is your first experience of using a betting exchange, but it is just a case of clicking on the event you would like to place a bet on and then deciding if you are going to place a back or lay bet.
The back price will have a green background and the lay bet will have a blue background so if you are happy with the price on offer, click on the price and the option to choose your stake will appear directly underneath the event details.
Enter your stake and then hit the grey ‘Place Bet’ button.
You need to be aware that if you are placing your bet in the minutes before the event starts, the price on offer will be prone to change very quickly.
How Do the Odds Compare with Smarkets Competitors?
As the Smarkets betting platform is based on the peer to peer model, the odds-on offer is based on supply and demand.
It is a well-known fact that the odds-on offer at a betting exchange offer a first-class indication of the direction of any market so if you are quick on the draw, arbitrage opportunities will present themselves, especially if you are comparing the Smarkets odds with those of a smaller sportsbook.
When you compare the Smarkets odds with those at other betting exchanges such as Betfair and Betdaq you will find that as a rule, there is not really much in it but something which does make a big difference is the amount of commission which is payable on your winnings.
The commission at Betfair starts at 5% and is reduced on a sliding scale depending on the amount of turnover which is put through your account.
The majority of Betfair customers are paying around 5% in commission but Smarkets customers pay 2% across the board.
This figure is prone to change but at the time of writing, the commission figure of 2% means that the Smarkets odds are quite often more attractive than those on offer at Betfair.
Smarkets Comes into Its Own with Live Betting
Betting on a betting exchange comes into its own when used for live betting and Smarkets is no exception.
Something that you should be aware of though is that because you are actually betting against other Smarkets customers as opposed to betting against a sportsbook, you need to be quick when you are placing your trades.
Think about it for one minute.
Let’s say you are placing an in-play bet on a Championship football match between Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion and the in-play odds of 2.28 appeals to you.
To place the bet, you have to click on the 2.28 odds, then enter your stake and finally, confirm the bet.
This will only take a few seconds but during a live event, that could be a few seconds too long.
The answer to this problem would be to look at third party software providers who link directly to the API of a betting exchange and enable users to place the bet with one click instead of three.
A simple Google search will present you with various software providers such as Bet Angel who will be able to provide you with everything you will need and if you are thinking with getting involved with the live play on the horse racing markets, one click bet placement software will be something of a necessity as opposed to a luxury.
If You Are Looking for Live Streaming, You Will Be Disappointed!
There are few negative aspects with Smarkets but the fact that they don’t offer any live streaming services to their customers will be a disappointment to some of their customers.
It is what it is though so if live streaming is something which is important to you it might be a good idea to have another window open on your computer and watch the race with a bookie like William Hill but don’t forget you will have to place a token in bet in order to watch a live race.
Cashing out a Bet with Smarkets
Cashing out a bet on Smarkets is very straightforward and all you have to do is to open up the event that you have placed a bet on and click on the ‘TO’ (Trade Out).
Smarkets will then work out the size of the bet which needs to be made in order to calculate the Smarkets cash out.
It should be noted that the ‘TO’ option saves the punter precious seconds when it comes to cashing out, otherwise they would have to work out the size of the back or lay bet themselves which is often easier said than done when time is of the essence.
Bet on the Move with the Smarkets App
- Native Andorid and iOS app
- Live bets
- Smart Design
Smarkets were quite late with the Smarkets app, compared to their competitors but most of their customers will agree that it was worth the wait.
There is the option to go into the settings and change the colour of the screen before you even start and there is a seamless transition between the desk top and mobile versions.
The Smarkets mobile really easy to find the selections which you are looking for and there is a two-click bet placement which is set up in such away which menas that the user is protected in terms of making an error in staking and bet selection.
There is a bet search facility which is lightning fast and you can also see the amount of cash which has been traded in the market in which you are interested in.
Smarkets mobile is available in both Android and IOS so if mobile betting on a betting exchange is something that interests you, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
What Are the Smarkets Deposit Methods and Withdrawal Options?
Something which you don’t see very often is that Smarkets actually recommend that you use a Visa Debit card for your deposits as opposed to any other methods.
They say that this recommendation is in place because of free deposits and unlimited withdrawals but you would have thought that would have been the case with the likes of Skrill and Neteller.
Anyway, the choice is obviously yours when it comes to your preferred Smarkets deposit methods and there are all of the usual options available, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, debit and credit card along with bank transfer and Trustly.
All of these methods have a minimum deposit amount of £10 apart from bank transfer and Trustly which have a minimum of £20n and £40 respectively.
When it comes to withdrawals, the card and bank transfers are given as five days where as the web wallets are quoted as between one and two working days.
You will find though that withdrawals made back to web wallets are usually processed within a few hours depending on the time of the day.
If you are making a deposit in order to claim the Smarkets sign up offer it is important that you remember that any deposit by a web wallet does not qualify for the Smarkets sign up offer.
|Smarkets Banking Options|
|Football, Tennis, Greyhounds, etc.||£10||3-5 Working Days|
Is There a Limit to How Much You Can Bet?
As Smarkets is a betting exchange, the only limit to how much you can bet on a particular selection is determined by the amount of liquidity that is available.
Most punters will agree that this is a breath of fresh air when compared to the limits which are often put in place by sportsbooks, especially if you are a punter who has already placed a few winning bets.
When it comes to making a withdrawal from your account, apart from PayPal there are no limits relating to the size of the withdrawal, with PayPal there is a withdrawal limit of £5.5k.
As in common with sportsbooks such as William Hill, Smarkets operate what is known as a closed loop system for withdrawals.
What this basically means is that any withdrawal will automatically go back to the source from where the deposit was made but all withdrawals need to equal the level of net the deposits which have been made by each source.
This can sometimes cause confusion but the way to look at it is to give an example.
Let’s say you have made multiple deposits over the previous months using Paypal, debit card and Skrill.
You have deposited £500 with PayPal, £300 by debit card and £500 using Skrill.
You have withdrawn a total of £100 to PayPal, £300 by debit card and £400 to Skrill.
After your latest Skrill deposit you have won £600 but instead of the full £600 withdrawal going back to Skrill, £400 of the withdrawal will have to go back to PayPal.
Ready to Register an Account?
It goes without saying that Smarkets is an account that you should seriously consider opening, even if you mostly do business with Betfair or one of the other top betting exchanges.
Opening an account is extremely straightforward, all you have to do is click on the green ‘Create Account’ button which is situated in the top right-hand corner of the home page.
You will notice that there is a Smarkets referral code option which you fill in if someone has referred you and we will talk about how you can be rewarded for giving out a Smarkets referral code in a little while.
It is then just a case of filling in your personal details and registering your preferred payment method.
Remember though, if you are claiming the Smarkets sign up bonus, deposits made with a web wallet will not qualify for the Smarkets sign up offer.
Wondering How to Place a Bet?
As with any betting exchange, placing a bet with Smarkets is a little different to what you may be used to with a sportsbook as there is also the option to lay a bet, but once you have placed a few bets you will realise how straightforward it is.
Assuming you are taking advantage of the Smarkets sign up offer, before you place your first bet you will need to go through the process of signing up for the Smarkets sign up offer and then when you make your first bet, look for the next game which your chosen team is playing in and click on the match.
If you are happy with the odds on offer, click on the green back button and you will instantly see that the option appears where you can place your stake and place your bet.
When you have placed your bet, you will be able to see all your betting activity by clicking on the ‘Your Bets’ tab on the top right-hand corner of the web page.
Is There Another Decent Smarkets Free Bet Offer
As well as the Smarkets sign up offer, they also offer a Smarkets referral code which can prove to be lucrative due to the fact that you can refer up to fifty people and you will both receive a free £10 bet once they have deposited and placed a bet.
Deposits made by web wallets do not count for the Smarkets promo code and the way that it works is that you can access a Smarkets referral code from within your account and this is the code which you give to your friends.
What About the Customer Support?
There are the usual customer support options such a telephone and email but the live chat should be your preferred contact method.
The live chat operators are extremely knowledgeable and it is usually the case that any questions are answered quickly and efficiently and what’s more, you don’t usually have to wait long to be connected.
Is Safety and Security a Smarkets Priority
Smarkets are regulated by the UK Gambling Commision(№33562) so you can be assured your account is safe and secure.
When you receive a KYC request it has to be conducted through the dashboard of your Smarkets account and Smarkets also offer a self-exclusion option.
It should be noted that should you wish to take advantage of the self-exclusion option, you will not be able to log into your Smarkets account under any circumstances, even if you want to.
The Smarkets Conclusion
Having read this Smarkets review, you will hopefully realise that this is an account that you should seriously consider opening an account with.
If you are unsure about opening a Smarkets account, take a look at the Smarkets blog and you will get a feel for the way that Smarkets is run.
The people behind this exchange are determined to give their customers a service of the highest standard and this fact alone should impress you immensely.
As soon as you hit the Smarkets login button after you open your account, you will see why many industry insiders believe that it won’t be long before Smarkets challenges Betfair for the title of the best betting exchange on the market.