Lay betting explained: The OpenOdds Guide
Last updated & tested: 2020-03-08
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Although it can take a little calculation, we can all use lay bets to make money fairly easily. Rather than picking a winner, it’s common to see lay betting explained as trying to back a losing result through using different lay betting sites together to get a nice profit.
A few pointers about this article:
- In this piece you’ll get a solid introduction into how lay betting works
- You’ll learn how to potentially profit from lay betting
- Information on how to find the best lay betting sites
How does lay betting work?
In order to use lay betting systems like this, you’ll have to find odds at the right kind of betting exchange that allow you to safely make multiple bets that can work together to give you a profit.
Such is the success of lay betting systems that they have spawned various other names. So if you hear anybody talking about arb betting or matched betting, then the chances are that they will have had lay betting explained to them at a betting guide as a way of getting one back over the bookies!
Great UK bookmakers to check out
Making profits from lay betting systems
So now that we’ve had the basics of lay betting explained, we’ll have to see how these can be applied to a sportsbook.
The first thing to understand in discovering how lay betting works is that you’ll need to find a good selection of bookies who offer a range of odds that you can play off against each other to produce a profitable outcome.
This is why lay betting is a good option for football or Aintree horse racing wagering as these are popular markets amongst bookmakers. And you’ll expect to find plenty more competitive odds to use for lay bet rather than in a niche sport such as volleyball or table tennis.
The next thing to think about when using this system is that you are actually be playing the role of the bookmaker, and you will be selling your bets via betting exchanges to try and predict the chances of a particular sporting outcome not happening.
From here, you’ll have to try and match all of the possible outcomes regarding a sporting event to ensure that whatever happens, you still manage to get a winning bet.
And some punters have managed to successfully use lay betting tips like these so as to guarantee themselves a profit. So let’s have a look at a good bet example that should be able to answer any questions of how does lay betting work.
How does lay betting work in a practical test?
Let’s take a look at an example of horse racing lay betting to see how we could use this betting strategy.
If you had a good feeling that the favourite in a horse race wasn’t going to win, you can lay the selection on your betting slip through a bookmaker who allows this kind of betting.
Laying a bet will allow you the alter the odds to match the price you want, and input the amount you want to win, but remember you will have to find a backer who will match your bet.
The backer is very important as, if the horse that you selected to lay won, you would have to act like the bookmaker and make a payout. This means that you could end up paying the backer their stake multiplied by the odds – after you’ve taken their stake from the eventual amount.
But by carefully selecting odds from different sources, you can be smart and play the bookies off against each other so that you take advantage of their varying odds to give you a winning result no matter what the outcome.
So what lay betting is really about is using the competitive betting market to stay one step ahead of the bookies.
Popular alternatives to lay betting
Although lay betting is an obvious big hit in the sports betting world, it’s not the only method out there that has proven to be a success.
This is especially so as lay betting has become fairly controversial as it’s been viewed to be fairly simple to fix the results of a sporting event so that a horse doesn’t win a race, or a football player doesn’t score a goal.
So good alternatives to try include the rising method and the fixed wager betting strategies. Having these types of betting explained might not be quite as risk-free as the lay betting approach, but they can also give us a good way to keep our wagering budgets in check.
The fixed wager betting strategy means that you’ll have a standard amount of money to wager each time you place a bet – regardless of the outcome.
Whilst it might not always give us the most spectacular payouts, it does mean that your winnings will gradually rise in a way that’s easy to keep track off and it will be safe from the dangers of overly emotional wagering.
The rising method is another popular betting strategy. This requires the punter to double their bets every time that they make a loss. Again, it might not produce big payouts, but it’s a good way to cover your losses and enjoy betting for longer.
How to find the best lay betting sites
We have already had lay betting explained as a way of finding suitable odds on the same sporting event from a variety of different bookmakers. So how does lay betting work in relation to what you can find on a standard bookmaker’s website?
Thankfully there’s a growing selection of bookmakers who are starting to act as betting exchanges that allow punters to sign up in order to buy and sell various combinations of bets.
In particular, many experienced sports betting enthusiasts have been laying on Betfair for a living for quite some time now, as this bookmaker has realised how popular this betting strategy is amongst punters.
But whilst sportsbooks like Betfair have earned themselves a great reputation for this betting exchange service, it always is a good idea to use a decent betting comparison website to make sure that you are seeing a solid selection of all of the latest betting odds.
There’s nothing worse that formulating your perfect lay betting strategy only to find that one of the bookmakers has changed their odds at the last minute. So be sure to act decisively with a betting comparison website to make sure that your carefully considered betting scenario doesn’t fall apart at the final hurdle.
And don’t forget that all bookmakers charge a commission. Whilst this may appear to be a negligible amount for a standard bet, as soon as you use many different bookmakers for your lay bets, it can all add up, so don’t forget to factor in these costs into your lay betting system.
First steps in your lay betting strategy
Hopefully we have answered any questions regarding how does lay betting work, and so now it’s time to put it into use. Don’t forget that this works best on betting markets like football derbies and horse racing where there’s a competitive range of odds to use. And remember to always use OpenOdds to make sure that you are getting the best odds possible for your lay bet.
Why Betfair are a great option for lay betting
Betfair have really captured punters’ imaginations through their comprehensive lay betting features, as well as their interesting live betting options.
Not only does this bookmaker make it remarkably easy to use their betting slips to mark out a lay bet, but they’ve also backed it up with some remarkably competitive odds that should be good for formulating a failsafe lay betting strategy.
They were also one of the first UK bookmakers to really embrace the trend of lay betting. And by using their website as a great betting exchange, it helps even a newcomer to lay betting make a head-start in buying and selling bets relatively easily.
So if this is your first attempt at lay betting, be sure to give Betfair a try. Whilst they might be known for traditional wagering options, they’ve certainly adapted to the changing times with ease.
Choosing Betdaq for a good alternative
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However, we should also mention that Betdaq have emerged on the scene as one of the best specialist betting exchanges around.
Whilst the brand might be unfamiliar to many punters out there, Betdaq have gradually become one of the lay betting specialists, and it’s a great place to try and improve your back and lay strategy.
Rather than presenting you with the standard list of traditional bets, the Betdaq website makes it easy to see the odds and wagering amounts for different back and lay options.
So whether you are trying a lay bet on a Champions League match, or are seeing the options on a horse racing event, you can quickly buy and sell your bets with the bare minimum of tricky mental calculations!
Smarkets are a great new force in lay betting
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Lay betting has become so popular that there’s no end of smaller betting exchanges popping up that allow you easy ways of buying and selling your bets.
Smarkets has definitely taken advantage of this trend by becoming a relatively new market leader in sports betting exchanges.
Once again, they’ve provided a user-friendly website that quickly allows the punter to inspect all of the top markets to trade your bets on. And with some handy welcome bonuses, it’ll provide all of us with a great introduction to lay betting.
Why everyone should try lay betting
For too long we’ve been used to just betting on the winner. But lay betting gives us a far more interesting way to approach sports betting, as it gives us the power to buy and sell bets to make a handy profit.
Whilst betting on the losing option might not sound massively exciting, it shows how we can enjoy a betting system that’s less prone to risk than the traditional winning bet option.
And by using handy items like a sports betting bonus and a betting comparison website, we can all enjoy using lay betting to finally win one over on the bookmakers!