Lay the Field System Explained in Details

Lay the Field strategy explained by Therader

Are you fond of horse racing? Do you like to bet on it or trade it? If yes – this article will help you to get more profit from it using the Lay the field strategy!

We’re going to find out:

  • How does this system work?
  • Is it legal?
  • Is it still profitable?

Dive in and get all the information prepared for you!

Harry TheTrader 2 minutes

Are you in search of a strategy that has been tested and trusted over the years?

One that has been existent for as long as the Betfair Exchange?

Well, you are in luck!

Here you will find out about the lay the field strategy and how you can implement it effectively into your trading.

Chapter 1

How Does the Lay the Field System Work?

How Does the Lay the Field System Work?

Lay the Field strategy opposes the customary systems we all know. The most common thing in all forms of gambling is staking on a predicted winner. Well, this system is the exact opposite.

When you are laying the field, you are not trying to bank on the winners but the losers.

Regular traders would be familiar with the term, lay bet. It implies betting on the probability of an outcome not happening.

So if others are trying to come up with regular bets of staking on a winning horse, you could choose to lay on such a horse which means you are betting on the horse not to win. 

However, laying the field has a lot more to do than betting on one horse not to win. As you may have guessed from the name, in this case, you are staking on all horses in the race to lose.

It doesn’t sound right, yeah? Well, think about it, it is virtually impossible for all horses in the race to win.

So if there are ten horses in the race and you lay the field, you win nine and lose one. Now it’s starting to make sense, isn’t it.

The Betfair exchange doesn’t work like the regular bookies. In order to lay the field, you need to find someone placing the opposite bet, we call it the matched bet.

So you are basically laying against someone who is backing the same horse to win.

If such a horse loses, you take the cash; if the horse wins then you are at the losing end.

The challenge comes when you don’t find a matched bet to lay against. It happens because some horses are obvious underdogs and no bettor wants to risk their money on such.

However, there is a way to make it work. We call it in-running.

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In this article you can check how this strategy works in Greyhound racing.

How does it work?

You lay at your desired exchange price and make sure to keep it all through the in-running times of the race.

When you do this, there are four possible scenarios:

  • If only one bet is matched and the selected horse wins; it is a loss for you.
  • If two bets are matched, it is a breakeven and your money is intact.
  • If three or more bets are matched, you win.
  • If no bet comes out matched then it is neither a win or loss.

With in-running, you are capitalizing on potential price changes in the race.

It is the main reason why the strategy works.


horse racing

In a race of ten horses, if you decide to lay the field at a price of 3.00 at £10.

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At this point, your potential profit or loss depends on the number of bets that will match in-running.

If five bets are matched, and none of them emerges as the race winner, you stand to gain £50. 

If out of the five matched bets, one wins the race, it is still a win scenario for you.

You win £40 from the four and pay out £10 for the odd one. In the end, you still gain £30.

It’s that easy! 


  • The system has a high winning probability
  • A matched bet emerging as the race winner doesn’t necessarily give you a loss.
  • Potential wins are very attractive


  • There is a tendency of not seeing any matched bet to lay.

Chapter 2

Tips and Tricks From Experts

Tips and Tricks From Experts

At times, getting the hang of the strategy is not enough to help you win consistently.

That is why we are here for you; hang on and check out these tips and tricks from our trading experts to help you ace lay the field strategy.

  • Switch up the prices: It may be tempting to always lay on the same price at all times. It is best that you vary it because all games in horse racing are not the same. This way, you will excel long term in the game. 
  • Lay at multiple prices with measured risk: Laying at multiple prices would increase your chances of hitting one at least. However, most importantly, do it with measured risk. Never stake the whole bankroll.
  • Consider the market liquidity: If the market is liquid enough, there is a higher tendency of finding a matched bet to lay. Go for the big races.

Chapter 3

Bottomline: Should I Use Lay the Field System?

Bottomline: Should I Use Lay the Field System?

Laying the field strategy is undoubtedly an effective one. It isn’t new in the game and it won’t go extinct anytime soon.

If the strategy sounds appealing to you then what are you waiting for?

There is no better time to start than now.

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Most importantly, remember that no strategy is invincible. If you are looking for a 100% win rate, you won’t find it.

This is why you should stick to tested and trusted strategies like lay the field that will give you a better winning probability.


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