What is a Betfair Exchange, and how does it work?

  • The Best Liquidity
  • Huge Amount of Markets
  • Great Prices
  • Cash Out
  • High Limits
  • Streaming
Harry TheTrader 11 minutes
Bonus icon

£20 Cashback

Place a qualifying bet of maximum £20, within 7 days of account opening. If your bet loses, Betfair will refund your stake in cash, up to a maximum of £20.
Get bonus £20
Promocode: TheTrader

Chapter 1

How does Betfair Exchange work?

How does Betfair Exchange work?

We start the article with some basic information about the Betfair exchange.

• How it works?
• How it differs from a traditional bookmaker?

Let’s get started!

If you are still reading this article, you probably have some experience and have bet on typical bookmakers at least a few times before.

And now you are wondering how you can get an advantage by playing on the Betfair Betting Exchange? Is it possible?

Let’s find out!

When placing traditional bets, the bookmaker providing you with the offer is responsible for accepting it from you.

Alert Blue icon

Did you get it? Do you want to know about the other differences between an Exchange and a Sportsbook? You can easily find all the answers here.

On the Betfair Exchange, this works a little differently. You always bet against other members of the Betting Exchange.

It means that you bet against other people. This is how it works: 

Betfair Exchange explained in two sentences – exactly! 

What is more, you are responsible for the odds that you want to choose.

So basically, for example, you can bet with much higher odds than a typical bookmaker offers, provided that some of the other members like you will accept them.

Over/Under 2.5 goals betting slip

Chapter 2

How to place a bet? – step by step guide

How to place a bet? – step by step guide

Are you new to trading?

Don’t worry!

We will explain:
• How to place a bet on Betfair?
• How to navigate on the exchange?

It’s time to find out!

All right, now when we know that we bet against other members of Betfair Exchange, we still have multiple other questions like: “Why do we have Back / Lay bets available there?”; “What is the difference between them?”; “What happens if no one accepts our bet?” 

First of all, we need to choose the market in which we want to place our bet.

But, wait, how are we supposed to do that?

That’s simple!

Go straight to the Betfair page and choose “Exchange” from the subcategories on the left side.

Exchange button in the header of Betfair website

Then we can see a list on the far left side:

  • American Football
  • Athletics
  • Australian Rules
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Esports
  • Football
  • Gaelic Games
  • Golf
  • Greyhound Racing
  • Greyhounds – Today’s Card
  • Handball
  • Horse Racing
  • Horse Racing – Today’s Card
  • Ice Hockey
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • MotorSport
  • Netball
  • Olympics
  • Politics
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Snooker
  • Special Bets
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

As we can see, we can choose from various kinds of popular sports and many more.

The most popular on Betfair Exchange are Horse Racing, Football, and Tennis

As soon as we choose our desired sport, for example, Football, we can move on.

Now we just need to find our football match. 

Find the football match on Betfair

Betfair makes it easy for us. 

There are many filters that we can use to accelerate the process. They are extremely helpful and thanks to that, we do not have to spend time looking for our match.

There is nothing left to do other than pick our match.

Take this example of West Brom’s match against Wolves. Let’s explain what we see right here. 

Available Markets on Betfair

First of all, on the far left side, you can see all the markets that Betfair Exchange provides in this match. 

Once we choose any, it will show up in the middle of the screen. It is a very useful option that you will use many times!

very useful option of betfair

Now let’s move to the next interesting question

Back and Lay odds at Betfair

The amounts in the white box are money that is already matched or partially matched.

This means that at these odds, a certain amount of money was recently traded by other people. 

When it comes to the amounts in the blue and a pink box, they mean that this amount of money is pending approval, so every single member of Betfair Exchange may take it.

If you want to see other available amounts depending on the odds, you can click the graph on the left side of “Over 2.5 Goals,” and a pop-up window will appear.

There you can see all the interesting things when it comes to the market’s “over 2.5 goals” like matched amount, lowest & highest odds, available and traded amounts, and whole volume.

lowest & highest odds on Betfair

Ok, now you have a much better understanding of how it works and what it looks like, but let’s go back to the main question: “How do I place a bet?”

Simply go back to the desired market and choose BACK or LAY next to the market you want to bet in. You can set your own odd in the ‘Backer’s odds’ window (LAY BETTING) and set the amount on the right in the ‘Backer’s stake’ window that you want to bet, then you can just click ‘Place bets’.

Your bet will be processed in a few seconds, but it doesn’t mean that your bet will be matched. Someone needs to accept it – put simply, that means that any other Betfair Exchange Member needs to play the exact opposite bet of yours.

You will be kept informed as to whether your bet is matched, partially matched or canceled.

Canceled means that no one accepted your bet in the last minutes. What does partially matched or matched mean?

Before you place ANY bets, there is one extremely important thing!

Make sure you have read the whole article, where we explain the difference between BACK and LAY bets.

You will find out the basics that are necessary before placing any bets on Betfair Exchange.

Chapter 3

Back & Lay – what’s the difference?

Back & Lay – what’s the difference?

Check out the differences between Back and Lay.

Check out where you can practice for FREE!

You will never again have troubles distinguishing Back and Lay bets.

Let’s take a look!

A question thousands of people are asking, yet the answer is a basic thing that every Exchange Player should know.

However, while the answer itself is uncomplicated, the analysis of individual markets can be overwhelming for beginners. We will explain this using two tables as an example.

How to understand lay betting whe bet on goals
How to understand lay betting whe bet on final result

Easy as that, right? If it continues to be hard – just read this guide. There you’ll find all the information you need to start placing back and lay bets like a professional trader!

Let’s move on to the correct interpretation of money flow.

First, we must remind you of an important point. As we all know, Betfair Exchange allows every single member to bet against each other. 

Why is this so important?

Because another Betfair Member needs to accept your bet. It means that if you bet ‘BACK OVER 2.5’, someone needs to bet precisely the opposite if you want your bet to be matched.

Another Betfair Member needs to accept your bet

Here is an example of using Betfair Exchange in-play and pre-match; if you choose BACK over 2.5 with odds of, let’s say, 2.41, your bet will appear on the right LAY side. 

So if you bet BACK, your bet will appear on the opposite side, because as we already said, if you want to have your bet matched, someone needs to play the opposite bet – LAY in this case.

What is more, every single amount of money that you can see in the blue box means that the other member played LAY and is awaiting approval. 

Same the other way. 

If you see a certain amount of money on the LAY side, it means that someone played BACK and is awaiting approval. Odds aren’t locked in place because bets are being offered and matched all the time.

If the odds you like aren’t showing, or there is not enough money available to bet: you can place an offer and wait for someone to match your bet.

Don’t want to risk your money?

Still not sure how to use Betfair Exchange?

We get it, and that’s no problem at all! The Betfair site provides a special Exchange Simulator, and you can try out a demo account totally free!

Just visit THIS page and practice as much as you want! Check it out for yourself! This will help you to understand how BACK & LAY works. It’s an excellent feature available for beginners!

Chapter 4

How to lay an accumulator on Betfair?

How to lay an accumulator on Betfair?

Looking for a way to lay your accumulator?

You’ve come to the right place!

Here are three simple ways to do that!

Let’s check them out!

All right, now that we have a basic understanding of how BACK & LAY works when it comes to single bets, we can ask another question.

Is it possible to lay an accumulator on Betfair? How does it work with Betfair Exchange multiples? The answer is really simple: Yes, it is, and there are many ways!

First of all, let’s explain what an accumulator (ACCA) / multiple bet is.

Wikipedia says:

“A double, treble or accumulator. A linked series of win singles where all the return from the first selection is automatically staked on the second selection as a win single and so on until all selections have won, thus giving a return, or until one selection loses in which case the whole bet is lost.”

Alert Blue icon

To know more about acca betting please read this guide.

Common sense tells us that it is simply more than two single bets that are combined into one bet.

Double is a bet on two selections, and it’s not hard to figure out that treble is a bet on three selections.

When it comes to Accumulator (ACCA), we’re talking about four or more selections.

It’s trivially simple when it comes to single bets. We just back or lay our desired selection to cover the outcomes, and we will get a profit whatever the final result is.

It is much harder with accumulators as they consist of multiple bets combined together into one, and you have to know how to lay them in order to return an overall profit properly.

Don’t worry; we’ll show you a couple of ways to do it here!

Method 1: Calculators

Probably one of the easiest ways: just use one of our tools to calculate everything for you, especially the best possible lay stakes for each leg. 

It saves your time manually looking for matches, and we all know how long that can take!

Moreover, it helps to amass ACCA with the biggest value.

Method 2: Pre-made Accumulators

Method 2 - Pre-made Accumulators

Nowadays, it’s not only bookmakers that offer special bets. And sometimes it’s about boosted odds, sometimes just a compilation of selected matches.

OddsBoost at Betfair

The truth is that you can take advantage of it only if your matches are exactly the same. It’s not complicated at all because bookmakers put together your matches, and you can easily add them to your betting slip.

Then the only thing you have to do is enter the stake and simply place the bet. 

The great advantage of it is that you can win, whatever the final result is.


Once you put together your matches on your bookmaker into one multiple bet, you can play a LAY bet on the exchange if only they offer such ACCA with the same competitions.

Thanks to that, you can LAY the entire accumulator just as a single bet, and you do not have to lay single matches individually.

Sounds awesome, don’t you think?

Method 3: Spreadsheet with your ACCA matches

As you may have guessed, it requires much more work.

If any bookmaker or exchange doesn’t have a pre-made accumulator with your matches, you have to play lay bets manually.

You need to gather the BACK & LAY odds from the exchange and your bookmaker. 

You need to make sure that your matches are played at a different time.


You need to know the final result of the previous match to decide whether or not to play a LAY bet on the next one.

You need to have a time gap to check the final result of the first match and play a lay bet on the second leg.

Moreover, make sure that your bookmaker or exchange provides similar odds for each section if you want to lay your accumulator.

This is important because if there is a big difference between the odds on your ACCA and the odds that you want to play LAY on, it might mean that your accumulator is not profitable.

As soon as we create a special calculator for this method, we will announce it right here.

Join our Telegram Channel to be up to date; check our tips, Betfair trading systems that work and tutorials!

Chapter 5

Matched Betting on Betfair

Matched Betting on Betfair

One of the most popular ways to make money on Betfair!

A simple example in a few steps.

Check out how it works in practice!

You will find out that it is easy!

Matched betting is heavily associated with free bonuses and special offers.

Football, Horse Racing, and Tennis markets have plenty of free bets and reload offers, so these sports are really good to bet on.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t place a matched bet on any other market. 

This kind of betting lets you make a profit without losing any money.

It’s just about placing a back bet on your bookmaker and laying precisely the same bet on the exchange.

Sounds interesting? 

Let’s take a look at how it works in a few steps:

  1. In order to get a free bet of, let’s say, £50 with your bookmaker, we have to place a qualifying bet of £50.
  2. Once you are qualified for the free £50 bet, let’s turn it into profit. Claim the free bet and try to find the other event/match with comparable odds as Betfair Exchange. The only thing you have to do now is place a free £50 back bet and lay exactly the same event on the exchange. 


Event: Villareal vs Barcelona

Bookmaker offers odds of 3.0 for Villareal to win.
Exchange offers odds of 3.0 to lay (which means Draw or Away)
Now you play BACK Villareal at 3.0 for the free bet on the bookmaker.

Then you play LAY Villareal at 3.0 on the exchange for £34.

Current odds bets screen

If Villareal wins, you get £100 with the bookmaker, but on the other hand, you lose £68 with the exchange. If Villareal loses, you lose a free bet, but you win £32.30 (after commission).

No matter what the final result is, you are left with net winnings of £32.30

Great value, simple as that!

You can use our special matched betting calculator which is available on our website.

Join our community [CLICK] to be up to date!

Chapter 6

Betfair commission

Betfair commission

In this section you will learn about:

• What commissions does Betfair charge?
• What does it depend on?
• Are there any extra charges for people who win a lot of money?

Take a look at how much commission you will pay!

When it comes to Betfair commission rates, it looks straightforward. They charge commission only on winning bets which means that you don’t pay any commission on losing bets.

How much do you need to pay?

Check it out below.

Commission rates depend on your chosen package at Betfair exchange
The default market base rate (MBR) at Betfair Betting Exchange

What happens if I lose my bet?

You won't pay the comission if you bet loses

Premium Charges

Do you win a lot?

If so, be ready for extra charges. This applies to less than 0.5% of Betfair Customers.

Alert Green icon

In a nutshell: If you are not profitable and you keep making a constant profit, expect to be contacted by Betfair.

You are eligible if:

  • You make a persistent profit
  • You bet in more than 250 markets
  • Your generated charges are less than 20% of gross profits

Find out more about this rare possibility right HERE.

Chapter 7

Free bets on Betfair

Free bets on Betfair

Here are the ways to get Free Bets on Betfair.

Check out how much you can get with the current promo code.

Find out how to withdraw your promotion funds!

Depending on whether we are a new or existing customer, Betfair has different offers

When it comes to new Betfair customers, there is the possibility to get £30 of free bets.

Alert Green icon

The special Betfair offer is available for everyone from the UK or Republic of Ireland using promo code: ZBGC01.

The only thing you have to do is deposit a minimum of £10 using a credit/debit card or ApplePay. Then you are supposed to place a minimum of £10 on the Sportsbook.

After settlement of your qualifying bet, a £30 Sportsbook free bet will be deposited into your account.

How to get these free bets?

1. Open a new account using promo code: ZBGC01.

2. Verify your phone number by SMS.

3. Deposit at least £10 using a Debit card.

4. Place a £10 bet on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of @1.5 or greater.

5. Qualifying requirements must be completed within 30 days of account opening

Chapter 8

Betfair Cash Out

Betfair Cash Out

In this section you will learn:

• What is Cash out and partial cash out features on the Betfair Exchange?
• How does it work on Betfair?

We are about to find out!

Sometimes, we just have a hunch that the selected event will not go according to plan.

Thankfully, we have the Cash Out option available on Betfair Sportsbook and Betfair Exchange. It’s a great way to guarantee a profit regardless of the final result. 

It’s worth noting that we can either cash out the full amount or choose how much we want to take and leave the rest of our stake to run.

Visit THIS page to find out more about how the Cash Out feature works.

Chapter 9

Betfair App

Betfair App

• Where can you find the Betfair app?
• Which systems it supports?
• Are there separate apps for the exchange and sportsbook?

We have the answers!

Do you think Betfair has only one app which allows you to place a bet?

Nothing could be further from the truth!

They provide plenty of exchange apps related to categories such as Trading, Mobile, Automated Betting, Data, Commercial, Arbitrage, and other Top Rated Mobile Apps.

For now, there are 36 available apps & software that may surely help you. 

The most interesting and probably the most desired by Betfair members are apps for betting.

We have to mention that there are two separate apps for the Sportsbook and the Exchange.

These are available for free on Android and iOS. 

If you want to find out which other apps they provide, simply go straight to THIS page.

Most of them have a Free Trial so that you can try them out!

Chapter 10

Liability on Betfair

Liability on Betfair

What is Liability?

We check it and present a very simple example

that will shed light on this topic for you.

Let’s not waste any time!

To put it simply, liability is the amount that you could lose in the worst case.

Your return for a win is just adequately your stake minus commission.

Current odds bets screen

Here’s an example:

If you place a LAY bet at 1.2 for £50, you are liable for £10 and will win £50 if the bet proves correct. That’s why people usually prefer to play a LAY bet.

You need to remember that if you LAY a bet with odds at 4.0 for £50, you are risking £150, and you have a chance to win £50 only.

If you have any issues, just use our calculator, which will help you set appropriate stakes on a LAY bet. 

Chapter 11

Betfair Live Chat

Betfair Live Chat

• Having any troubles setting up an account?
• Are you unable to deposit funds?

Find out how to contact customer service.

Do you have any problems with verifying your account or struggle with sports promotions?

Or maybe your case is related to deposit and withdrawal methods? Betfair may help you, whatever your issue, thanks to LIVE CHAT, which is available 24/7.

Betfair live chat for customers

What is more, Betfair offers Telephone Betting that’s available from 08:00 – 00:00 GMT by English-speaking Betfair brokers. A minimum unit stake of £50 or €50 is required.

Further information about Betfair Help Centre is available right HERE.

Chapter 12



And what do you ask about most often?

Let’s take a look!

The answers to these questions better be solidified!

How does Betfair Exchange work?

Betfair provides the platform which allows you to bet against other Betfair Members like you and takes a small commission on winnings. A betting exchange takes on no risk at all because in order to compete with a traditional bookmaker, they do not risk going head-to-head with their customers.

How to make money on Betfair Exchange?

There are several methods that may help you to make money in the long term. Of course, it depends on your budget, tactics and your availability.

How to claim a free bet on Betfair?

If you are a new customer, remember to use the Betfair promo code: ZBGC01 while you deposit funds to your account.

How to withdraw money from Betfair Exchange?

Simply click on your balance and then choose ‘Withdraw.’ Then you can withdraw funds to your registered credit/debit cards or use alternative methods like MuchBetter, Bank Transfer or Express Bank Transfer – the latter charges a £6 commission.

Could you tell us about Betfair alternative?

Sure. You can get this information here.

Top Betting Offer from Thetrader!

Have you just startied your betting adventure?
Get an exclusive bonus available on the market!
£50 Sports Bonus and £50 + 50 spins casino bonus