Before i go deep into lay betting let’s first understand what is back betting which you normally do on a typical bookmaker site.
Let’s take an example of India v SL 1st ODI match. William Hill are offering 1.67 for India. Let’s say you back India with £100 and India wins the match. You will make £67 profit on £100 stake. It’s all simple to understand as you do it without thinking. So what’s going on here?
When you are backing India you are effectively saying that “I want India to win with 1.67 odds”, if India wins you win.
You backed India but there must be someone to accept that back bet, who is that? Well that’s the bookie. Bookie accepts your back bet by laying the bet. So the bookie here is the layer. Bookie is laying the bet in this scenario.
As you can see the lay betting already exists but it’s only the bookie who can lay not us.
Betfair Exchange is a platform which lets punters bet against each other. It’s a new concept and on the exchange Betfair doesn’t act as bookie. They just charge a commission when you win, you pay no charges when you lose that’s all they do.
In lay betting instead of backing a bet you lay it. Which effectively means you are acting as a bookie and accepting the back bet from the backers on the exchange.
Let’s take the India v SL example again. On Betfair exchange India’s lay odds are 1.7 – see the odds in pink. The odds in blue are back odds.
When you lay India with 1.7 you are effectively backing India to lose. If India loses the match you will win. If India wins you lose.
It’s just that simple.
“When you lay a bet and team loses you win” – Just remember this sentence in the beginning. After some time you will get hang of it and it will be all clear.
In back betting you win when team wins. In lay betting you win when team loses.
A clever question here would be, hey hang on. Why so much fuss. Why not just back Sri Lanka instead of laying India. Why to create so much confusion.
You are right. That’s another way to achieve the same which is winning when India loses.
However it’s not that simple when it comes to doing math which I’ll explain later. And don’t forget the one click scalping which can’t be done without lay odds.
In lay betting your make same profit as your stake which is also termed as “Backer’s Stake”. Basically you keep the backer’s stake which is exactly what traditional bookies do.
Remember the back odds of 1.67? When you backed India with £100 it’s the backer’s stake. When India loses bookie pockets this stake and you lose £100 and bookie wins £100. Bookie here is the layer so layer’s winnings is £100 which is basically backer’s stake.
In this process of backing and laying two parties entered into a transaction.
First party is backer who placed a back bet of £100 @ 1.67 and the second party is layer )or bookie who layed the odds or accepted the backer’s bet @ 1.67. If backers loses his money will go to layer. If layer loses then his money will go to Backer.
Unlike bookies, who always accept your back odds, on exchange there must be a backer to match your lay odds. If there are no backers at that odds then your bet will not be matched and it’s termed as “Unmatched Bet”
As I explained above in lay you win the backer’s stake. So if you layed India with £100 @ 1.7 then you win £100 if India loses.
Loss = (lay odds – 1) x lay stake
In this example your loss will be (1.7 -1) x 100 = £70
This £70 will go to backer who has backed India to win @ 1.7.
I hope it’s all clear now!
Drop a comment below if you require any further clarifications.