Exchange: Get Started with Betfair Exchange

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Our Betting Exchange is the first platform ever built to allow for customers to bet against one another rather than betting against a bookie. To make things easier there are a number of things that are good to understand about the Exchange before you place your bet.


Within each market on the Exchange you'll see the basic layout like this:

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What are the Blue and Pink Columns?
The blue column and the two columns to the left of this show what's available to back. Back betting is betting how you already know it. The selection you back is the outcome that you want to happen.

The pink column and the two columns to the right of this represent what's available to lay, learn more about lay betting below

What is Lay Betting?
A lay bet is to place a bet for something not to happen.

  • In a football match, laying a team would be to bet for them not to win. So you will win your bet if they lose or draw.
  • In a horse race, laying a horse to win, would be betting for any other outcome then that horse winning.

When placing a lay bet, rather than choosing how much you want to risk (your stake) you choose how much you want to win. The objective for the layers is to win the backers stake.

The amount you pay is known as 'liability'. The liability is what the backers will win in the event your bet is a loser.


What are the Numbers?
To make sense of this you need to know what the numbers represent.

  • Numbers in bold show you the odds.
  • The best value odds for backing and laying are shown in the coloured columns.
  • More on decimal odds.

Numbers underneath the odds show you how much of your bet should be instantly matched.

You are able to bet however much you like, whether is it more or less than these figures then:

  • If you bet less than the amount shown, all of your bet should be matched instantly (this means your bet is on!).
  • If you bet more than the amount shown, any amount over this price means that part of your bet will be unmatched for the time being.

Prices on the exchange move very quickly, especially in play, so you might not get matched for the amount shown as some of that price could have already been taken by the time you place your bet.

What are Matched and Unmatched bets?
If you bet has been matched that means it has been successfully placed and accepted by another player. As bets are matched against other customers, matched bets cannot be cancelled.

If your bet is unmatched then you will have a few options:

  • Keep the bet to see if someone is going to match this
  • Cancel the bet, the liability will be returned to your account and you can try again with different odds.
  • Take SP this will place your liability on the race at the Betfair Starting Price rather than the requested price.

Visit the Betfair Exchange