By now you’ll have a solid understanding of Lay betting and some basic tactics used by Betfair punters. There are some advanced functions of Lay betting not utilised by all Betfair customers – lets explore trading & Laying the field in detail.
Prices constantly fluctuate on Betfair, which means you can lock in a winning position by Backing a selection at high odds, then Laying it at low odds, or vice-versa.
You don’t need to be a large punter – this can be done with relatively little money in your account.
Commonly referred to as Back-To-Lay & Lay-To-Back betting, trading on Betfair allows punters to bring a lot more meaning to Lay betting across a range of markets and events.
Back-to-Lay & Lay-to-Back Betting
Prices constantly fluctuate on Betfair, which means you can lock in a winning position by Backing a selection at high odds, then Laying it at low odds, or vice-versa. Back-to-Lay bets mean that you’re deciding to place a Back bet and then intend to Lay it off at a shorter price.
A Lay-to-Back bet is the exact mirror image of this sort of bet. You’ve laid something with the intention of Backing it later on at a bigger price. If both of these scenarios turn out as you predicted, you may be able to secure yourself a profit no matter the result.
Back-to-Lay Golf Example
You place $20 on Adam Scott to win The Masters before it goes in-play at $50.00. Before commission your potential winnings are $980. To reduce your risk and possibly ensure a profit regardless of the result, you can leave a series of unmatched Lay bets in place within the same market.
You place a Lay bet for $20 at 5.00, one for $20 at 3.00, one for $40 at 2.00, one for $80 at 1.50, one for $100 at 1.20 and one for $200 at 1.01.
All of these Lay bets will need to be selected to ‘Keep’ when In-Play starts. You will be prompted with this option when placing the bet.
Given the above example, if Scott gets off to a great start but eventually is beaten in the tournament, based on what price he traded at in-play the following could occur.
He trades at 5.00 but not as low as 3.00 – you get your $20 stake back and break even.
He trades at 3.00 but not as low as 2.00 – you’ll win $20 no matter the result.
He trades at 2.00 but not as low as 1.50 – then you’ll win $60 no matter the result.
Should he trade as low as 1.50 – you’re up to $140 and 1.20 and it’s up to $240.
If he was then to look sure to win but fail, given you’d have also been matched at 1.01, you’d be collecting the grand total of $440 about a losing selection.
If your selection wins, your winnings would be reduced to $758 because from your original winnings of $980, you will have paid out on the following for the lay backs – $80 for the first one, $40 each for the second, third and fourth, $20 for the fifth and a full $2 for the final one.
Of course, if you placed no Lay bets and Scott won, you’d collect the full $980, but by utilising these techniques you can reduce your risk, and lock in a profit regardless of the result.
Laying The Field
Laying one runner can be a good way to profit by opposing a horse that you don’t think will win, but by Laying multiple runners, you can significantly improve your chance of profiting from a race.
Laying a runner has always been a popular way to place a winning bet on Betfair – In a 10-horse race only one can win, so finding a loser has to be a much easier proposition. But when there’s only one winner that means there’s multiple losers – so why not attempt to profit of two, three or four runners?
There is a variation on the basic Laying that offers frequent reward, slightly lower profits, but lower risk. To cut a long story short you need to Lay two horses at 2.00 or less to profit, three at odds of 3.00 or less, four at odds of 4.00 or less and so on. So where can you find two selections to lay at this price?
In-running is a perfect place for these types of scenarios. Targeting a price of 3.00 in-running is effectively saying that the horse has to have a 33% chance of winning at some point in the race. You could envisage a number of ways in which a horse could trade at 3.00.
If you had a short flat race the favourite could get off to a slow start and drift slightly before recovering late on. Because of this drift, the second favourite will most likely shorten in price and this would give both a good chance of both trading at 3.00.