the complete guide to understanding lay betting

What comes to mind when you hear lay betting?

You have probably been betting for a while and never come across the term because it is not known by a good number of bettors.

Betting has been around for a while now and the goal for both bookies and bettors is to make money.

Nobody goes into a venture without thinking about profit, and it is the same for betting.

Gamblers are always looking for ways to beat the bookies and this has led them to an alternative market where they are pitched against one another, without the bookie manipulating the odds.

Compared to normal betting options, some betting companies offer punters a market (Betting exchange) where they can bet against each other and the bookies will be the referee (for a fee, of course).

Lay betting has been around for a while, but it is been underrated by punters.

This article will give you a step by step guide on how lay betting works. It is a very detailed explanation for serious bettors who wish to make money with a type of matched betting.

What Is Lay Betting?

Lay betting can simply be said to be an option where a gambler stakes on an event not to come to pass.

This option allows you to take the position of a bookie, where you play the opposite of an event. A good example is if you think Manchester City with its array of lethal attacks cannot win the English Premiership league, even when you are not sure who will win it.

What you do then, is to simply bet that Manchester City will not win. As long as Manchester City doesn’t win the league after 38 league games, you win the stake.

Lay betting is an aspect of matched betting or arb betting that is gradually dominating the betting scene.

Lay betting is the opposite of back betting. While lay bettors bet on an event not to happen, a back bettor bets on the opposite; they bet that an event a lay bettor bets on will happen.

This type of betting happens on the Exchange market, and it is not common among bookmakers.

You will need to find a back bettor to be able to stake your bet. Both the lay bettor and back bettor will have to agree on the odds before this bet can be finalized.

Bookmakers provide a platform for the trade and in turn, get a commission.

Is Lay Betting Profitable?

Lay betting is a profitable endeavor if you are prudent and patient. The best avenue to make a profit in lay betting is by combining lay bets and back bets. Also, note that there are several free bet offers and refunds made possible at the exchange market due to lay betting.

To get profits from lay betting, you will need to join and know how to use a profit accumulator. This profit accumulator helps you source for all daily offers meant for bettors. It will also show you steps (which include slide and video presentations) on how to make a profit from daily lay betting.

Aside from profit accumulation, you will need to take these steps to make money from lay betting:

1. Get a good bookie: Not all top bookmakers offer the option of lay betting. You will need to check the ones that offer it and the ones best suited for you. Also, some bookmakers offer very low commission for both the back bettors and lay bettors. Check online for such reasonable bookies. There are a few who also give lots of offers and free bets on exchange and matched betting.

2. Avoid multiple lay bets: To make enough profit on lay betting, you need to avoid staking on multiple lay bets and concentrate only on single bets. In as much as it is tempting to ” spread your nets”, avoid being greedy.

3. Always do background checks: Carry out enough research (statistics and form) before placing a lay bet. These minor details go a long way in increasing the possibilities of your events not coming to pass.

4. Avoid fixed lay bets: Be careful with people touting to have fixed games both online and offline, 99% of supposed fixed games are frauds. These fraudsters have swindled lots of amateurs in lay betting with their claims. So stick to what you know.

5. Start small: As a newbie in lay betting, always start with small amounts. You will learn more and be confident as you progress in lay betting. Learn while taking minimal risks first before taking larger risks when you have learned more.

PS: Check out our beginner’s guide to football betting here.

What Is Liability In Lay Betting?

In lay betting, liability is the amount of stake you can lose, if everything goes south with your bet. Most punters prefer to lay a bet at add-ons so that their liability will be mitigated. A typical example is, when you lay a bet at 2.50 odds for 20 dollars, you are liable for 30 dollars and could win 20 dollars if the stake comes through.

It will be in your interest to check how much your liability will be and how much profit you will make eventually. Make sure your decimal is apparent (e.g 2.50) and not 250 or else you will suffer a financial suicide.

How Do You Place A Lay Bet?

To place a lay bet, you need a Betting Exchange. To get a Betting Exchange, you will need gamblers alike who are willing to back the odds you wish to lay. This means that, if there is no available back bettor, you can’t lay a bet.

This scenario implies that you need an amount of cash available at the Exchange market to lay a bet. To put this simply; when there is no one to bet with you, you can’t stake a lay bet alone. Also, keep your eyes open, as odds on bet change swiftly and it could be unavailable at any time.

Processes Of Placing A Lay Bet:

1. Find a reputable Betting Exchange

2. Get a bet at good odds

3. Find a back bettor

4. Agree on liability and stake

5. Lay a bet

Bookmakers With Lay Bet Options

Several bookmakers allow this type of betting option. However, the four most reliable ones are:


This exchange market lets you lay and back bets on all important sports. It is one of the most reputable bookmakers in Europe.


A. It gets 2% commission on lay betting on all winnings.

B. They have huge liquidity. Your money is safe with them.

C. These bookies offer 10% on deposits for all new customers.


This bookie guarantees low commission on all exchange betting on their site. It is a fast-growing bookie with numerous customers. It has a plethora of betting markets.


A. It also gets 2% on all wins on exchange markets.

B. It is a good alternative to popular bookmakers like beltway and bet fair.

C. It allows the exchange of multiple betting.


BetVictor is a very good bookmaker that offers exchange on all sports especially football.


A. Bet Victor gives 20% on deposits for new customers

B. A range of free bets and mouthwatering commission.

C. Safe betting platform with a user-friendly interface.


This is generally known to be one of the best betting exchange bookies in the world. It has a huge population of traders and exchange punters.


A. They have diverse markets of exchange types.

B. They collect only 5% commission on winnings.

C. Bet fair is a very reliable bank with huge liquidity.

D. New customers are guaranteed free 20 pounds. (T&C applies).

How Much Can You Win On A Lay Bet?

The amount of money you can win on a lay bet depends on the rules different bookies make. That is why it is important to read the terms and conditions attached to all transactions. Looking at lay bets which is between two individuals, we would think that there shouldn’t be a cap on the amount to win, but it is more technical than that.

While most of these betting exchanges do not have a stipulated amount that can be won, there is however a cap on daily maximum payouts. These maximum payouts can sometimes depend on the particular sport you are staking on, as the case is with Betfair.


Sports: Football – £1million

              Horse racing – £1 million

              Tennis – £500,000

              Snooker – £100,000

              Darts – £250,000

However, with other bookmakers/ betting exchange, it is not as strict as the above.


Minimum payout – £0.05

Maximum payout – £99,999


Minimum payout – £0.01

Maximum payout – £250,000

Lay Bet Example

You can lay a bet on any sports of your choice as long as it is available at the betting exchange. A vivid example of lay betting in football and basketball will be portrayed below;

Example Of Lay Betting In Basketball;

For example, if the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Hits have a game and you want to lay a bet on any of the team, you can lay a bet on, let’s say, the Los Angeles Lakers. By so doing, you are saying the Lakers will not win the game. This means as long as the other team wins the game, your bet is secured.

Example Of A Lay Bet In Football

It is the beginning of La Liga Santanda. With 20 teams, you go to the exchange and look to lay bet against Barcelona not to win the league. This is a very risky bet, but you are willing to bet with anybody that this year league will be won by other teams and not Barcelona.

Why Do People Prefer Lay Bets Over Other Options?

1. Some bettors find it easier to pick an event that won’t happen over the possibility. Some gamblers just like odd games. They like staking against the favourites.

2. Bettors lay bet because they think the odds are low, even when the probability is high. Some gamblers basically deal with odds. If they think they see a good odd for an event, they will just stake on it.

3. Some bettors engage in what we call trading. They believe their funds are safe if they lay a bet on an event and go back during the match to back such event. Lay betting affords such bettors to engage in such trade.

4. Most people that engage in lay bet do so because it seems safer than any type of gambling.

 Lay Bet Calculator

It will be in your best interest to know how lay bets are calculated. This will let you know your profits and liability.

Lay Stake: $10

Lay commission: 2%

Lay odds: 1.50


Liability: $5.00


Return: $10


Commission paid: $0.20


Profit after commission paid: $9. 80


If you lay a bet at $10 with the odds at 1.50, the betting exchange collects a commission of 2% on the exchange. Your liability will be half of your stake while return (profit) should be $10. However, the bookmaker, where the exchange takes place, charges a commission of 2%, making your total profit (if you win) $9.80.


Lay bet is a kind of match betting which is done at the betting exchanges. It is not like your regular kind of betting where you bet on fixed-odds by the bookmaker. With lay bet, you (the lay bettor) and your opponent (back bettor) agree to stake on an event that may or may not come to make a profit.

The role of the bookmaker here is to serve as a platform and they collect a commission on the winning. This commission percentage depends on the bookie that you use. The amount that you can make from lay bet depends on how much you stake with and the maximum amount your bookie allows you to withdraw.

We have mentioned some bookies that allow this type of betting exchange and the benefits they offer. If you do not know how to calculate your liability and profit with lay bet, the sample calculator provided above will help you in calculating with lay bet.

Lay bet can be safe and profitable if you follow the tips and guidelines given in this article keenly.