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How To Use Betfair: Lay Betting

When you have power, you have a little sign on your desk that reminds you who you are.

Hello, I’m Stirling Gold and welcome to Step 7 of Betfair’s Path To Power. Lay Betting.

If you are lay betting, your betting on things that are not going to happen.

Say if you think Richmond will not win the AFL Grand Final, well instead of backing any other team to win it, you lay Richmond not to. That is Lay Betting at Betfair.

Simply pick lay, highlighted in red, set the liability you are comfortable with, say $20.00, place your bet, click confirm and then wait for other punters to back against it.

Ah, there is one now, someone has put $20.00 on the Tigers, like taking candy from a baby. Try Lay Betting, you may like it.

For more information on Lay Betting, you can contact Betfair at the help desk.

Join me next time for Step 6 of Betfair’s Path To Power, SP.

Until then, may your punting be powerful and your bets be beautiful.

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More About Lay Betting

Let us assume for a minute that you have a wagering account with Betfair and the date is a day or two prior to 13 April 2013.

Your intuition and your head, combined with your flawless analysis of the soon to be run T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick convinces you that Black Caviar’s 24 race undefeated streak will end. Looking at the quality field, however, you cannot reach a decision of which of the other competitors you should back.

Taking advantage of Betfair’s role as a betting exchange, Bookmaker Betting Apps, you decide to bet against her, placing a wager that at least one of the other thoroughbreds being tried that day can cover the 1200m of
Randwick turf ahead of her.

What you would have just done in getting that punt on is known as lay betting.

It is also true that what you had just done is throw away your money, because even though Rain Affair showed some promise in the beginning, by the time the last furlong came along, it was obvious that Black Caviar had no equal on this day. She coasted to the line with a three length lead over Epaulette and the rest of the field might just have well been racing at headquarters for all the closer any of them were.

Please do not let this one example of a poorly conceived punt sour you permanently on the concept of lay betting. At any rate, please forgive us for providing the above example at your expense; we realise that neither you nor anyone else would have laid Black Caviar, even against the quality field she bested that day.

Astute racing punters know that over the course of a season, a favourite in any race takes the post only about 1/3 of the time. From this alone, you could collect a dividend two times for every three punts by simply laying the favourite every time.

The potential shortcomings of this strategy are two-fold. For one, not even a bookmaker with Betfair’s resources make lay betting available for every event. For the other, thoroughbreds are notorious for defying statistics, seemingly at the most inopportune moments. Fractions seem to be something that plays a negligible role in a horse’s training.

Still, there are a considerable number or races that can support lay betting, especially in the bigger events that garner a lot of punter interest.

This is where Betfair’s role as a betting exchange becomes prominent. By matching punters who want to back an outcome with punters who want to lay an outcome, that is, wager for something to not happen, punters engaging in lay betting are acting as bookmakers with the extra assurance for the backers that those who are laying are legitimate.

Lay betting can be a trifle intimidating at first examination, something that can be said about any new activity that involves some degree of monetary risk.

Fortunately, Betfair and the other major online bookmaker that offers lay betting, CrownBet, have some excellent learning resources to assist punters to overcome that initial trepidation. Rest assured that this first phase is natural and will not last long. For any who are by nature conservative in their approach to risk, and we need to interject here that lay betting is particularly well suited to the risk-adverse, it is advisable to try it with paper betting. This will allow time to experiment with possible lay betting scenarios and to observe the potential outcomes based on real life events.

As we mentioned earlier, thoroughbreds, trotters and dogs have little regard for odds or probabilities. Remain aware at all times that even though lay betting against a favourite will be successful about 2/3 of the time, it requires sufficient numbers of events for the uncertain nature of racing to balance out.

It is entirely possible to embark on your lay betting journey at an inopportune moment when favourites experience a hot streak, but over the course of time, balance will be restored and favourites could very well go cold, providing the opportunity to recoup the losses accrued during the hot streak and profit on top of that.

This concept is exactly how casinos are run and is also responsible for bookmakers amassing large fortunes. Both know that staying in is the name of the game and that given time, the vagaries of lady luck will reward perseverance.

There are some considerably elaborate lay betting scenarios that can enter the picture. The possible permutations that are possible when in-play betting is taken into consideration can be astonishing. Include into this mix the concept of trading your positions as events unfold and you have so many options that the risk of second-guessing yourself is a potential temptation.

It will take some practice and experience to manage the intricacies of lay betting. It also takes some time for most punters to formulate a strategy that plays to their strengths and minimise their weaknesses.

Lay wagering could be, however, the ideal prescription for punters whose efforts at backing have gotten unproductive for some reason.

By no means are we saying that lay wagering is easy, or that it is a primrose path to riches. It is just a valuable tool that if deployed properly, can add to the fun and profitability of punting.


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