Beginner’s Guide to Betfair

Beginners guide to betfair

How to get the most out of Betfair Exchange

When you first join Betfair it can be a bit confusing as for how to place a bet as it does not follow the same platform as most standard bookies but you should not discount it at this point as there are also some fantastic benefits that you only get on Betfair. These bets can all be placed on the Betfair App or desktop site and there are other supporting apps you can get as a Betfair user such as Tradefair.

These benefits include the ability to cash out your bets when the odds change, sometimes before the game has even kicked off. It also includes the ability to be able to ‘lay’ a bet as well as ‘back’ it. Our beginner’s guide to Betfair below will introduce lay betting to you, outlining the benefits this type of betting can bring. Open an account!

To begin with, you’ll obviously need a Betfair account, click the link below and sign up for a new account and receive  up to £100 in free bets

Click here for  £100 in free bets with Betfair

“New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.”

Beginners guide to Betfair – Overview

Betfair is the world’s leading betting exchange and allows you to place bets (back) or take bets (lay). The site pitches bettors against each other (although you’ll never know who) and in general has the best odds on most markets as the company only takes a commission off the bet so does not move prices to make more profit unlike a standard bookmaker. This makes Betfair one of the best companies to bet with. With extra options included such as allowing you to cash out your bets you can close your bets for a % of the profit before the end of the game/ event, see cashing out below.

Back or Lay?

The first thing you will notice on Betfair is the option to back or lay the bet. Backing a bet with betfair is the same as placing a bet with a normal bookmaker (except for the cash out option, see below) you are placing a bet at the offered odds on that specific outcome if it comes in you will win. With a lay bet you are taking the liability of the bet, in effect you are taking the role of the bookmaker. You are basically backing the fact a certain outcome will not happen. If you lay a bet at 3/1 to win £10 you will be liable for £20 if that specific outcome happens or you will win £10 if any other results happen, this is described as your “liability”.

Betfair use a colour scheme to prevent confusion when ‘backing’ or ‘laying’. All odds highlighted in a blue shading are ‘To back’ odds and odds highlighted in a pink shading are ‘To lay odds’. The example image below clearly shows this in action.

betfair back and lay odds

How your bets are displayed

If you go back into your market once your bet is placed you will see that your bet is displayed in terms of the outcomes, your possible losing outcomes will be a minus figure in red and your possible winning outcomes will be displayed in green.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are always used on Betfair. The odds shown in a decimal format includes your potential return multiplier as well as your initial stake. For example, a bet backed showing at 3.00, is the same odd as the fractional format 2/1. If you place a bet of £10,  it means your potential profit will be £20 and your stake back £10.

Automatically Cashing Out (greening up your book)

On a number of Betfair markets you can cash out your bet if the odds change in your favour, this allows you to secure a smaller profit regardless of the result. This means your bet is displayed as a green profit on every outcome of that market and is known as “greening up your book” You can either do this when you are given the option of click to cash out or you can do it manually (Manual cash out will be covered in Part 2).

Cashing out your bet means your stake (potential loss) is returned to your account and your profit is returned at the end of the event. If you place a back bet you will need the odds to come down to cash out and if you lay a bet you will need the odds to increase in order to cash out for a profit.

Manually cashing out a bet

In some cases, you do not get the option of click to cash out on your bets but this can still be done manually to secure your profit regardless of the result. You do this by laying off a bet you have backed, or backing a bet you have laid. To calculate a secure profit I use a site called and use the back/lay calculator then back or lay the suggested amount.

You can also see how your new bet will affect your current bet before placing it, this can be done on the website or by turning the iPhone app on its side to see. Using this method you can either make it an even book so you get the same return or you can “load” your winnings on one specific result.

For any further questions, you have about Betfair please follow us on twitter @bettingappscom