The growing popularity of exchange betting has moved the goalposts forever, allowing punters like you to bet on sporting events with even greater confidence. Lay Betting is one of the main reasons and, when used well, it can completely transform your approach to betting.
They say the bookies always win, and lay betting enables you to experience that first hand. While it may sound a little confusing if you’ve never tried it before, this guide aims to clear up everything and show you how it can be used to take your betting bankroll to greater heights than ever before.
What Does The Term Lay Betting Mean?
As a punter that has experience of traditional sportsbook betting, you’ll be used to backing outcomes. Whether it be predicting a team to win, a player to score, or a club to beat the Asian handicap doesn’t matter. Even if you bet on a market such as ‘both teams to score: no’, you’re hoping for an event to happen.
Conversely, lay means that you are betting on an event NOT to occur. Every bet is essentially a trade. When you choose to ‘back’, you are buying into a market. When you ‘lay’, however, you sell the market.
The best way to think about is to consider yourself as the bookmaker who is taking another punter’s bet. You will still be matching bets with other members as that is the basic principle that the exchange betting model revolves around. This time, however, you are on the opposite side of the deal than what you’d be used to from sportsbook betting.
Just remember that you want the market to lose when taking the ‘lay’ option, and you won’t go wrong with regards to selections. However, you need to ensure that
Working Out The Odds When Becoming The Bookie
Lay betting isn’t a difficult idea to understand, at least in terms of the selections, but you also need to consider the mathematics when working out the potential risk and returns. The role reversal isn’t limited to your mindset regarding the outcome of an event, and you must remember these key points when you use the lay option.
- The odds that the bet is matched at are what you are offering to the punter. They are NOT the odds you gain
- The punter’s stake is your potential winnings (minus commission) for if their bet loses
- Potential losses (exposure) are calculated by multiplying the stake by the odds. Known as ‘liability’
Calculating your potential winnings is as easy as looking at the ‘backer’s’ stake. When wanting to know how much you could potentially lose, the equation is:
Backer’s Stake x Odds – Stake = Potential Liability
The easiest way to dissect those points is to put it into practice.
Example 1: Standard Odds
Arsenal are playing Spurs, and you think Tottenham will either win or draw. As such, you want to lay Arsenal as you don’t think they will win. Conversely, the person who matches your bet thinks Arsenal will win.
We already know that you’ll lose money if Arsenal win, but gain a profit if they fail to get the victory. But, how much do you stand to win or lose?
If the bet is matched at odds of 2.1 (11/10) and the ‘backer’ has staked £20, which is theoretically handed to you in your role as bookmaker, the following outcomes are possible.
- Arsenal fail to win. As the ‘layer’, you win the £20 stake (minus commission) from the ‘backer’.
- Arsenal win. As the ‘layer’ you have to pay out the ‘backer’s’ winnings. Their £20 stake is multiplied by the odds offered. So, that becomes £20 x 2.1 = £42. However, you have to factor in that they have effectively given you £20 as their stake for the bet. Your bankroll will actually reduce by £22
Example 2: Odds On
Manchester City are heavy favourites to beat Swansea City. You offer the backer offs of 1.2 (1/5) and they stake £100. So they are essentially risking £100 in hopes of winning £20. To work out your situation, simply reverse it.
- Manchester City win, so you lose £20. The figure is calculated by using £100 x 1.2 – £100. You’ve essentially paid out £120, but £100 of that was the backer’s stake.
- Manchester City don’t win, and the £100 stake (minus commission) stay in your account
Example 3: Big Odds
Newcastle United are away at Chelsea. DeAndre Yedlin’s chances of scoring are very slim, so you offer big odds in order to entice backers. A backer places £10 on at odds of 51.0 (50/1) in hopes of gaining a return of £510. From your perspective as the layer, you simply flip the script.
- Yedlin scores first. You lose a total of £500 as you have to pay the backer £510, which includes their £10 stake.
- Yedlin isn’t the first goalscorer. The £10 (minus commission) that the backer placed on the event stays in your account
How To Utilise The Lay Betting Markets To Your Advantage
As is clearly visible from the three examples above, the contrast between potential winnings and liability can be huge depending on the market and the odds offered to backers. Ultimately, as long as the events you lay don’t happen, your bankroll will increase. Nonetheless, it’s important to build winning strategy.
Here are some of the best ways to generate steady returns from the concept of laying on the Premier League exchange markets, as well as other football events and other sporting occasions.
Little & Often: Many punters are happy to essentially throw a few pounds away in hopes of shooting for the big jackpot. If the odds are good enough, they may even back something as unlikely as Huddersfield Town to beat Manchester City by a 5-0 scoreline. The liabilities can be huge, but the likelihood is that you’ll have huge runs without losing a single trade. Besides, if things get a little worrying, you can always reduce potential losses during the match.
Small Losses, Big Payouts: While you don’t want to chase almost impossible bets, you can still use odds-on backers to boost your winnings. Arsenal are the only team to have ever gone a Premier League unbeaten, and even they drew 12 of 38 games. Picking a favourite and laying them until they fail to win is a tried and tested method, especially as the individual losses on each game will be relatively small. As long as the bankroll and staking plan is in place, this technique should produce positive results.
Beat The Momentum: Have you found out that a star player is unavailable for selection before it has become common knowledge? That may severely impact the chances of that team scoring, so you could lay them on a variety of markets. Once that information becomes public knowledge, others will start betting accordingly. As the odds on the back market increase, you’ll be able to trade out for a guaranteed profit regardless of the outcome.
Laying Goals: Another option, which plays on a similar idea of trading out revolves around laying the ‘Overs’ goal market. Statistics show that goals are more frequent in the latter stages of matches. Therefore, laying this market at the start of a game can work wonders. As the time ticks without a goal, the odds of backing the goals will increase. While it can be a risky tactic, this is one that many use to great effect. Embrace those philosophies in the second half of matches, and the odds will change even sooner.
Back To Lay: In addition to lay betting with a view to backing later on, you can try the opposite. Using the lay option to “green up” by guaranteeing profits no matter what happens can be highly rewarding. Similarly, when things don’t develop as expected, you’ll be able to minimise your losses. Both of those factors will lead to long-term productivity for high ROIs.
5 Things To Remember
The idea of lay betting opens the door to a whole new world of betting opportunities, and helps you become a sports trader than a traditional bettor. However, irresponsible behaviour can lead to major problems. Keep the following five statements in mind, and you won’t go far wrong.
- Your liability can be far greater than the potential winners. If you wouldn’t be prepared to bet £200 on a 1/100 shot with a bookmaker, do not offer someone odds of 101.0 just to win £2 from them
- The betting exchange platform will take a small commission from winnings. An important thing to remember
- Only matched trades impact bankroll. If nobody backs the outcome you’re trying to lay, no bet is confirmed
- Depending on how things develop during the match itself, you may wish to reduce your potential liability by backing the outcome too. In some cases, it may be possible to do this in a way that guarantees profits
- Laying a bet means that you expect an outcome NOT to happen
With those tips, a smart strategy, and strong staking plan, your hopes of winning are greater than ever!