Betting exchanges are an excellent alternative to traditional sports betting because they offer high odds and a different way to place bets. We explain below everything you need to know before joining a betting exchange in Australia. You can learn more about laying bets, how odds are formed and some expert betting strategies.
Note that Betfair is currently the only licensed betting exchange in Australia. If you want to join a bet exchange, follow the link below and visit the Betfair site. Novice players can look at the rest of the article to learn more about Betfair and exchange betting in general.
Aussie punters don’t have much choice regarding bet exchanges, but luckily, Betfair is by far the best and most famous betting exchange website in the world.
Established in 2000 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, Betfair quickly gained traction worldwide, leading to the foundation of Betfair Australia in 2005. After merging with Paddy Power in 2016, Betfair became part of Flutter Entertainment and now proudly partners with major Australian events, such as the NRL, the Australian national cricket team, and Basketball Australia.
Betfair Australia provides a vast range of sports and racing events for wagering, including niche sports and international horse races. The platform also enables live betting without making a phone call, a unique advantage in the Australian betting landscape.
Some other standout features offered by Betfair include:
The Betfair Hub (great resource for punters, offering expert tips, previews, and betting advice)
A betting exchange is a platform that enables peer-to-peer betting, allowing users to bet against one another rather than against a bookmaker. Betting exchange sites act as a marketplace, matching users who wish to place bets with those willing to accept them.
One of the most important aspects of a betting exchange is the ability to engage in both back and lay betting.
Back betting is the traditional way of wagering, where a punter bets on an outcome to happen. For example, you bet on some horse to win a race.
Lay betting, on the other hand, is a concept unique to betting exchanges. When you place a lay bet, you are betting against an outcome occurring, effectively acting as the bookmaker. For example, you’re betting that a certain horse or a sports team won’t win that race or match.
Betting exchanges offer higher odds than bookmakers!
The odds at a betting exchange are determined by supply and demand, with the platform acting as a facilitator between punters. As a result, odds tend to be more competitive than those found at traditional bookmakers, offering better value to users. These odds are dynamic and can change rapidly as new bets are placed, so monitoring the market and acting quickly when an opportunity presents itself is essential.
Another great thing about betting exchanges is that they allow you to set your own odds, giving you more control over your bets compared to traditional bookmakers.
It’s important to remember that your odds must be attractive to other users, as your bet will only be matched if someone else is willing to accept your offered odds. Essentially, you’re trying to balance competitive odds and the odds you believe provide good value for the specific outcome you’re betting on.
Bet exchanges charge 3 - 10% commissions on winning bets
You may wonder how betting exchanges make money if they don’t have odds margins like regular bookmakers. Instead, exchanges charge a 3 – 10% commission on winning bets. Note that they usually have different commissions for different sports or racing. For example, this is how the commission structure looks at Betfair Australia:
Australian thoroughbred racing – 5 – 10% (depending on the state)
International racing – 5%
Sports – 5%
NRL – 10%
How to Bet at a Betting Exchange?
Placing a bet at a betting exchange in Australia can be a fun and exciting experience for newcomers and experienced bettors alike. Creating an account is simple and user-friendly, with a process that closely resembles signing up with online bookmakers.
Just follow these easy steps, and you’ll be done in no time!
Betfair is the only betting exchange in Australia, so head out to their website if you want to experience the thrill of exchange betting.
Verify identity and deposit
Upload identification documents, then deposit funds using your preferred payment method.
Browse and understand terms
Explore the betting market and familiarize yourself with common terminology like “backing” and “laying”.
Choose bet and set stake
Select the desired outcome, check the odds, and decide on your stake.
Confirm bet and monitor
Review bet details, confirm the wager, and keep an eye on the event’s progress.
Lay Betting Explained
If you’re new to online betting, you might have encountered the term ‘lay betting’ and wondered what it’s all about. Lay betting is a unique form of wagering available exclusively on betting exchange sites.
Unlike traditional betting, where you back a specific outcome to happen, lay betting allows you to bet against an outcome occurring. In other words, you act as the bookmaker, taking on bets from other users on a bet exchange platform.
To understand how lay betting works, let’s consider an example. In a horse race, you believe Horse A is unlikely to win. You can place a lay bet on Horse A, effectively stating that you believe any other horse will win the race. If your prediction is correct, you win the backer’s stake. However, if Horse A does win, you’ll have to pay out the backer’s potential winnings.
How to calculate liability when laying bets
Let’s use a real-life example from Australian horse racing to understand how to calculate the liability you’ll face when placing a lay bet. Suppose you want to lay a bet against Horse A in a race at odds of 6.0, and a backer is willing to stake $50 on Horse A to win.
When laying a bet, you need to determine your liability (the amount you’ll pay out to the backer) if the outcome you’re betting against occurs. Here’s how to calculate the liability:
Liability = (Backer’s Stake x (Odds – 1))
In this case:
Backer’s Stake = $50 Odds = 6.0
Liability = $50 x (6.0 – 1) = $50 x 5 = $250
In this example, if Horse A wins the race, you’ll have to pay the backer $250. However, if Horse A doesn’t win, you’ll collect the backer’s stake of $50 as your profit.
A lay bet calculator can be a helpful tool in determining the liability you’ll face if the outcome you’re betting against occurs. Your liability is calculated based on the odds and the backer’s stake.
When developing a lay betting strategy, it’s crucial to carefully research the events and markets you plan to bet on and consider the odds and potential liability involved. Additionally, practice good bankroll management and always gamble responsibly.
Pros and Cons of Lay Betting
There are several advantages and disadvantages of lay betting at betting exchanges in Australia. Here are some of the most important ones you should consider.
Flexibility - Lay betting offers the opportunity to profit from an outcome not occurring, opening up a vast range of potential betting options.
More control - You can set your own odds and choose which bets to accept, giving you greater control over your betting strategy.
Potential for profit - By carefully selecting which events to lay, you can maximize your chances of making a profit.
Liability - When you place a lay bet, you are potentially responsible for paying out the backer's winnings if the outcome occurs. This can be considerably higher than the backer's stake, so managing your risk is crucial.
Limited availability - Lay betting is only available on betting exchange sites, which may have fewer markets than traditional bookmakers.
Bookmakers Vs Betting Exchanges
Both classic bookmakers and betting exchange sites offer unique advantages and drawbacks, so it’s crucial to understand their characteristics to make an informed decision.
Traditional bookmakers provide a wide range of markets and events to bet on. When you bet with a classic bookmaker, you are betting against the bookmaker’s odds on a specific outcome. The bookmaker sets the odds based on their event assessment and incorporates a margin to ensure a profit.
On the other hand, betting exchanges act as a marketplace, connecting punters who want to bet against each other. Betting exchanges facilitate both back and lay betting, giving users more options and flexibility.
So, which is the best option for you? It depends on your preferences and experience. Classic bookmakers are an excellent choice for beginners looking for a user-friendly platform with a wide range of markets. They also tend to offer better promotions and bonuses than betting exchanges.
However, betting exchange sites are ideal for experienced bettors seeking more control over their wagers and more competitive odds. Exchange betting is best suited for those who have a solid understanding of the markets and are willing to invest the time and effort required to master the platform.
On top of that, betting exchanges almost always offer better odds than bookmakers because their odds don’t have margins built in. Also, exchanges let you set your own odds and see if another punter is willing to take the bet, giving you even more control over your bets.
Ease of use - Classic bookmakers are straightforward and user-friendly, making them an excellent choice for beginners.
Bonuses and promotions - Many bookmakers offer generous bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs to attract and retain customers.
Wide market coverage - Classic bookmakers typically offer a vast selection of sports and events, allowing you to find a market that suits your interests and expertise.
Less competitive odds - Due to the margin built into the odds, the odds offered by classic bookmakers may be less competitive compared to betting exchanges.
Limited betting options - Classic bookmakers generally only allow back betting, meaning you can only bet on an outcome occurring.
Competitive odds - The odds on betting exchanges are often more competitive, as they are determined by supply and demand, rather than by the bookmaker's margin.
Back and lay betting - Exchange betting allows you to bet for or against an outcome, opening up new opportunities for profit and betting strategies.
User control - On a bet exchange, you have more control over the odds and can choose which bets to accept or reject.
Commission fees - Betting exchanges charge a commission on winning bets. However, this commission is usually lower than the margin set by bookmakers.
Complexity - Betting exchanges may be more challenging to navigate for beginners due to the additional options and features.
Live Betting at Betting Exchanges
Australian laws forbid live online betting, however, local bookmakers have found a loophole and are now offering live betting over the phone. This means that every time you want to place an in-play bet, you have to pick the phone, give bookie a call and state your bet and stake.
This is very inconvenient, so many Aussie punters avoid betting live, even though it’s one of the most exciting ways to wager on sports. However, betting exchanges like Betfair have a solution for this!
Since betting exchanges don’t have to comply with the same laws as regular bookmakers, Betfair is able to offer live betting online on their website. This means that you can place live betting without picking up your phone!
Everything else is still the same. You can back or lay live bets and have access to very high odds betting exchanges are offering. Laying live bets is especially popular since you can’t do that at any other betting site.
The only downside is that you probably won’t have the same range of live markets as on traditional betting sites, but all the most popular bets will be there. Betfair offers a solid range of in-play markets which includes everything from match winners, next scorer, totals over/under and so on.
Matched betting is a popular strategy that takes advantage of the opportunities betting exchanges provide. Bettors use this technique to guarantee a profit from the free bets and promotions offered by bookmakers and betting exchanges.
The basic idea is to place two bets on the same event, one at a traditional bookmaker and another at a betting exchange, to cover all possible outcomes. Doing so allows you to take advantage of free bets and bonuses while minimizing risk and ensuring a profit, regardless of the event’s outcome.
Now, let’s look at a real-life example using Australian horse racing. Suppose a bookmaker offers a promotion: “Bet $10 on any race and receive a $10 free bet.”
Place a $10 back bet on Horse A to win the race at the bookmaker.
At the betting exchange, place a lay bet against Horse A winning the race.
Once the qualifying bet is settled, claim your $10 free bet from the bookmaker.
Use the free bet to place a $10 back bet on Horse B to win another race at the bookmaker.
At the betting exchange, lay Horse B not winning the race.
Regardless of the outcomes in both races, you’ll make a profit from the free bet. By following this matched betting process, you can take advantage of the promotions offered by bookmakers and betting exchanges in Australia, minimizing risk and ensuring a profit every time.
Arbitrage betting can get your account banned
As you can imagine, betting sites aren’t fans of matched betting, so there is a real possibility they will ban your account if they suspect you’re doing it. Note that matched betting is legal, and you won’t suffer any consequences. It’s just that bookies don’t like someone cutting their profits by using clever betting tricks like this.
Green Book Betting
Green book betting, also known as ‘trading for a green book,’ is another popular betting strategy that aims to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of an event. This technique takes advantage of fluctuating odds on betting exchanges by backing and laying a selection at different odds to secure a profit no matter the outcome.
This strategy typically relies on bettors’ ability to predict how the odds will move and capitalize on those changes. The key is to back a selection at higher odds and lay it at lower odds, locking in a profit in the process.
Now, let’s consider a real-life example. Suppose you back Horse A to win a race at odds of 10.0 with a $10 stake on a betting exchange. Later, due to significant support from bettors, the odds for Horse A dropped to 6.0.
Initially, you placed a $10 back bet on Horse A at odds of 10.0, which has a potential profit of $90.
With the odds now at 6.0, you place a lay bet against Horse A winning the race, ensuring that you cover your initial stake.
To do so, you lay Horse A at odds of 6.0 for a stake of $15, resulting in a liability of $75 if Horse A wins.
In this scenario, if Horse A wins, your back bet will yield a $90 profit, while your lay bet will have a $75 liability, resulting in a net profit of $15.
If Horse A loses, your back bet will lose the $10 stake, but your lay bet will win $15, again resulting in a net profit of $15. This is the essence of green book betting – securing a profit no matter the outcome.
Betting Exchange Tips & Strategies
We asked our in-house betting experts for tips on how to maximize your chances of winning at betting exchanges in Australia. You’ll find our top 5 betting tips down below. Note that following these strategies won’t guarantee a winning result but will surely boost your chances of turning a profit.
Focus on a specific sport or market – Specialize in one or two sports or betting markets you’re familiar with and passionate about. This will help you make more informed decisions and increase your chances of success.
Research and analyse – Study form, statistics, and trends related to your chosen sport or market. This knowledge will help you make better predictions and identify potential opportunities for profit.
Monitor the odds – Keep an eye on the odds movement for your chosen events and markets, looking for patterns and fluctuations that may indicate potential value bets.
Learn from experience – Keep track of your bets and review your performance regularly. Analyse your wins and losses to identify areas for improvement and refine your strategies accordingly.
Embrace flexibility – Take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by betting exchanges, such as in-play betting, trading, and green book betting. These strategies can help you lock in profits and minimize risk.
Betting exchanges are popular in Australia for a good reason. They provide new ways of betting, such as lay betting and usually have higher odds than regular bookies. You get much more control over your bets and interact with other punters, making the whole experience more fun.
Betfair is the only regulated betting exchange in Australia, but the lack of choice isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this situation. They are the best and biggest bet exchange in the world, meaning you’ll have access to all the latest features. Betfair has been doing business in Australia for over 15 years, so they know how to cater to local punters’ needs.
What is a lay bet?
A lay bet is a unique form of wagering available exclusively on betting exchange sites, where you bet against an outcome occurring instead of backing it. This means you act as the bookmaker, taking bets from other users on a betting exchange platform.
What is a betting exchange?
A betting exchange is a peer-to-peer betting platform that allows users to bet against one another rather than against a bookmaker. These platforms offer higher odds, the ability to back and lay bets, and the option to set your own odds. Discover more about betting exchanges and how they differ from traditional bookmakers in our detailed article.
Are betting exchanges available in Australia?
Yes, betting exchanges are available in Australia, with Betfair being the only licensed betting exchange in the country. Betfair offers a wide range of sports and racing events, unique features, and competitive odds. To learn more about Betfair and how to join, visit our full page dedicated to betting exchanges in Australia.
What is green book betting?
Green book betting is a strategy that aims to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of an event by taking advantage of fluctuating odds on betting exchanges. This involves backing and laying a selection at different odds to secure a profit, no matter the outcome.