Until the turn of this century it was only possible to bet with a bookmaker or on course through the Totalisator (Tote) system. However, with the launch of the online betting exchanges such as Betfair and Betdaq that all changed.
The Exchanges allowed punters to wager against each other and completely cut out the traditional high street and on course bookmakers UFABET. This has led to an explosion of systems, software and how to books to supposedly help you profit from Exchange betting.
Whilst the Exchanges are an attractive proposition for those that want to lay horses to lose they do need punters who will oppose their view. The main way that they achieve this is to offer better odds than you can get from the traditional bookmaker. On average the Betfair odds tend to be around 20% higher than the starting price (SP).
This means that if you lay a horse to lose you are carrying a greater liability than a mainstream bookmaker would be for a bet on the same horse. The second problem is that the betting exchanges are not charitable institutions and they have to make a profit to survive. They do this by charging a commission on all successful bets and this is usually in the region of 5%.
The final draw back especially for layers is that there is no credit on the exchanges and all your liabilities have to be covered by money you have already deposited. For instance if you have transferred £100 to the exchange you could lay a horse for £10 to lose at 10.0 because your liability would only be £90 however you could not do the same bet for a horse priced at 12.0 as the liability would be £110. You should note that on the exchanges the stake money is always included in the odds so 10.0 is the equivalent of 9/1.
You should be aware of the facts but not let it put you off using the exchanges. There are also considerable advantages apart from the fact that you can lay a horse to lose. It is also possible to bet whilst a race or sporting event is in progress. As a backer you do get better odds especially if you are backing outsiders.
At first glance and if you read many of the system promoters sales letters making money from the exchanges is a piece of cake. That is not true; it requires the same degree of application and knowledge as any other form of betting. It gives you opportunities that did not exist before but there are also pitfalls.
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