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How to Use Betfair: Exchange Basics

They say knowledge is power, well, I don’t entirely agree.

You see, I know a group of frogs is called an army, but does that make me powerful? No.

It just means I know a little bit about frogs.

Hello, and welcome to Step 6 of Betfair’s Path to Power, Exchange Basics.

Some knowledge is power though, like the betting knowledge I have that I am sharing with you today, or tonight, depending on what time you are watching this video.

The Betfair Exchange is betting in its purest form. It is one person thinking something will happen betting against another person who thinks something won’t happen.

In other words BACK or LAY betting.

When you place a Back Bet, you are betting on who you want to win. Say I think Chocolate Trumpet will win the 3rd at Flemington.

I just click here on the side of the Exchange, then I enter the stake I am willing to bet, in here.

Now I can accept the odds offered and my bet will be instantly matched or I can submit the odds I want, say a pineapple at $6.00. Hit confirm, and wait for someone to match it.

Your bet is either matched in full by someone betting against you making a Lay Bet, or returned as Unmatched.

Betfair will always let you know when your bet is matched.

Ah, my bet just got matched, so now all I do now is wait for the race.

If I win, Betfair takes a tiny slice from my winning pie, if the person I am betting against wins, Betfair takes a tiny slice out of there’s.

You will learn more about Lay Betting in Step 5 of Betfair’s Path To Power.

But right now, it is time for me to learn more about armys of frogs.

Till next time, may your punting be powerful and your knowledge be thirsty.

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More About Exchange Basics

Betfair and one other Australian bookmaker, BetEasy, offer punters the ability to back or lay bets, as opposed to back-only bets. There are of course, other betting exchange services, and some of those are certainly worthy of investigation, but Betfair and BetEasy are reliable from the perspective that you will not experience much in the way of malarkey when you decide to withdraw any dividends. Otherwise, comparing the two companies is something of a David vs. Goliath scenario, and we say that with complete disregard for the biblical implications at which it might seem that we are hinting.

Disclaimers aside, comparing Betfair and BetEasy is not our purpose here. We are instead going to look a bit at the whole idea of punters going head to head against each other on a betting exchange where one punter who wishes to back an outcome is matched against one who wishes to lay that outcome – Bookies Bets & Products, Australia.

Any punters out there, who engage in any kind of financial speculation, stocks, currencies, commodities, options for example, will quickly perceive the similarities betwixt a betting exchange and a brokerage firm.

Some will pause for thought and wonder why it took so long for bookmakers to get on board with the idea of acting as a matching service. Taking a little percentage of the action in this way is exactly how financial brokerages derive their revenues. They have no interest in whether your investment wins or loses, other than having you win enough to continue to speculate.

If we may be permitted to editorialize briefly, we would like to see a tab on the Betfair website that would provide ready access to all the potential lay markets, as it would seem that the only way to uncover them at present is to click on the event, and then look at the rules.

There does seem to be a recent development on the Betfair site where even though an event might be designated as a “Win Only Market,” a glance further down the rules section reveals that a market might be declared a “Cross-Matching” market. Cross Matching is Betfair’s effort to ensure that fewer customer bet requests will be unmatched. The precise details of how this will affect punters can be found here:

http://cross-matching.betfair.com.au/

Beyond that, here is a brief look at betting exchange basics and what a punter would need to do/know in order to participate in a betting exchange as opposed to matching up solely against the bookmaker.

• Lay betting is not available in all markets-Clicking on any market selection in which you have an interest takes you to the specific Betfair web page for that selection. On the right hand side of the odds panel is a section that will supply the rules for that selection. If “Win Only Market” is prominently displayed, that market cannot be lay-ed. An even simpler way to determine if a market can be lay-ed will be the presence of a “Lay” column alongside the “Back” column on the specific event page.

• Another exchange basic to keep in mind is that lay betting is generally lower in risk, because in the example of racing, all you need do to collect a dividend is lay a runner to not win. You essentially are backing every other runner in the field. The potential dividend is, of course, determined by the odds. Laying a favourite will obviously carry a larger potential dividend than will laying a longshot, since the reason that longshot carries such high odds is that it is extremely unlikely that it will salute the judge.

• If you want to have your lay wager matched against the back wager of another punter, keep these two exchange basics in mind:

1. You do get to specify how much of a stake you are willing to lay, but if you offer really good odds, you will most likely get matched, but your risk exposure has increased.

2. If you get into the market late, your lay wager might not get matched, or your back bet at what seems like very good odds might not get matched.

Both Betfair and BetEasy provide rather extensive educational resources that go into great detail regarding exchange basics and lay betting.

Some of the concepts might seem perplexing at first, because it is somewhat difficult to supply a written description that is simple and completely lacking the potential for misinterpretation. Language has that shortcoming oftentimes. Betfair offers an exchange basics video on their website, which can be found here: http://cross-matching.betfair.com.au/

Just as back betting can encompass much more than backing a favourite, with the quest for picking a winner at better-than-favourite odds entering into the mix, lay betting involves much the same from the perspective that even though it is easy to back the field against one runner, which is what is taking place when a lay wager is put on, it takes a higher degree of skill to lay a runner that will supply anything substantial in the way of a dividend.


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