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Whether you’re a casual bettor or a serious punter, putting the odds in your favour is always a priority. There are many contributing factors to consider – ranging from staking plans to quitting bad habits. Finding the best platform for placing your wagers is easily the most pivotal.

Weighing up the pros and cons of different bookmakers is one thing, but switching to exchange betting (See our introduction guide) could be the key to unlocking even greater riches.

Exchange betting has grown at an even quicker rate than bookmaker markets, with popularity attributed to many sources. By the end of this guide, the reasons for adding an exchange betting site to your betting portfolio will be clear.

Betting Exchange vs Bookmakers

Betting with bookmakers and exchange betting share a whole host of similarities. After all, they both offer you a chance to bet on the event of sporting outcomes, risking a percentage of your bankroll in the hope of securing extra money, similar to other investments.

Likewise, modern facilities in both parts of the betting arena allow bets to be placed once the action has started, thanks to the use of in-play betting (A link to our guide).

You can access bookmakers and exchange websites via a browser and smartphone Apps. There are several companies to choose from in either arena too. However, there is one main difference between the two. When betting against a bookmaker, you place a wager directly with the bookie.

When using exchanges, however, bets are taken by other punters. The only difference for the other players is that they believe the opposite outcome will materialise.

Betfair Exchange
Increase your betting potential with Betfair Exchange

Betting Against the Bookie vs Other Punters

Make no mistake; most exchange betting traders will have multiple bookmaker accounts. Nonetheless, betting against other punters rather than directly against the bookmaker brings a long list of potential benefits. So, when used in the right situations, exchange betting can be one of the greatest weapons in your arsenal.

Here are some key issues that should swing you towards opening an exchange betting account.

A Matter Of Opinions

Bookmakers have opinions regarding the outcome of any given sporting event. However, their primary concern revolves around balancing the books by efficiently setting odds to provide the house edge. They will generate long-term profits from their punters when they successfully do this.

When wagering against another punter, the contrast of opinions becomes pivotal. A good bet on the exchange is one that wins and pays fair odds. This is the only thing that matters to the ‘backer’ and ‘layer’. In many ways, this creates a better betting environment for both parties.

Meanwhile, the fact that other punters haven’t done the same level of research as the bookies means that you can sometimes use your knowledge to gain a huge advantage, even when using popular events like the Premier League betting exchange markets. Frankly, you’ll never gain that advantage over a traditional bookmaker, at least not on a major event.

The Chance To Lay

Have you ever backed an underdog to win when you thought the favourite wouldn’t grab the victory? Wouldn’t it have been easier just to bet against the favourite? Well, with exchange betting, you can – and not only through using the ‘double chance’ or ‘draw no bet’ markets.

Laying a bet means betting against a certain outcome. Aside from the match result, you can use this to bet against scorelines, goalscorers, and virtually any other market imaginable. So laying pretty much doubles your betting options in the blink of an eye. As such, your control over betting activities becomes more significant than ever.

No House Edge

The way that traditional betting works mean that the bookmakers will always win. That doesn’t mean that you can’t, as an individual, bash the bookies for huge profits. After all, if you have a knack for selecting winners and finding the value, you will be destined to see steady capital gains and ROIs. Overall, though, the bookies win due to the house edge.

House edge = mathematical advantage gained from pricing markets accordingly. If two teams on a ‘draw no bet’ market are priced 9/10 each, the bookies win £1 every time £10 is placed on each outcome.

This isn’t how exchange markets make their money. Instead, they take a small commission from winning bets. Trading a small percentage of winnings for better odds is a very fair deal.

No Limitations

As a responsible punter with a staking plan and bankroll management strategy, sticking to those methods is vital. Unfortunately, bookmakers look to limit their exposure and may place maximum limits on markets. This is especially true when looking at obscure leagues and markets.

Given that exchange betting providers make their money based on commissions, they actively want people to bet more regardless of who wins. So, while your stake could be matched by a 1,000 different punters, you could bet any stake on your chosen selection. For a high stakes gambler, this is a very considerable benefit.

A Chance To React

Traditional betting leaves a minimal opportunity to respond to developments within games, even with Cash Out opportunities. With exchange betting, there’s always a chance to trade out a percentage of your bet. And this isn’t only a great way to minimise losses.

Utilising opportunities is a key element for those wanting to guarantee profit from trading on exchange markets as the momentum of the action as well as the changing betting patterns. In many cases, picking winnings is secondary to trading at the correct times.

Exchange betting doesn’t only give you more options. It provides more control. While there are notable restrictions, such as not betting multiples, the exchange accounts are a crucial betting resource for anyone wanting to gain maximum ROIs.

The Big Three Exchange Markets

As the popularity of exchange betting continues to grow, smaller and smaller exchange markets continue to emerge. However, it’s important to remember that an exchange book is only as strong as its audience numbers. If there’s nobody to bet against, bets won’t get matched, which means there will be no winnings.

There are currently three main exchange markets that are worth your time. You can give yourself an even greater chance of success by signing up with the links below.

BetFair: Probably the biggest and most known exchange betting site. Sign up here to receive up to £1,000 in refunded bet commissions over the first 30 days.

BetDAQ: Now owned by Ladbrokes. An Irish exchange used by millions. Use this bonus for refunds of up to £1,000 based on commissions and betting points.

Matchbook: Another popular exchange book that offers up to £500 in refunded commissions over the first five weeks by signing up here.

Those are the three where you will find the markets you want and get your bets successfully matched at the best odds. However, it’s always worth keeping an eye out for emerging alternatives.

Embrace the Benefits of Exchange Betting

Despite the clear restrictions and the fact that you’ll need to learn how to understand the contrasting layout fully, exchange betting boasts several benefits that bookmaker punters cannot enjoy.

Whether used exclusively or in conjunction with a bookmaker, all serious punters should embrace the exchange markets with open arms.

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