Lay Betting: How It Works

Lay betting is completely unique to Betfair. When you place a Lay bet you are betting on an outcome NOT to happen.

Find out how lay betting works by reading our examples and watching the creative video below.

Here’s some examples:

  • Winx not to win her next race
  • Australia not to beat New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup
  • Collingwood Magpies not to win the Grand Final

Essentially, you are offering a price that other people can Back bet with you.

What do the odds represent?

The odds you will see in the pink column of the market view, the Lay price, is the price that someone wants to place a Back bet at but is yet to be matched (an offer). You have the opportunity to take this offer straight away rather than putting your own odds up. Alternatively, you can enter your own odds, and see if it gets matched.

Broken down, there are three key components:

  • Lay odds – the odds which you are prepared to give someone wanting to place a Back bet.
  • Backers Stake – the amount you are prepared to let the backer bet with you. This is your potential winnings.
  • Liability – (Lay Odds) x (Backer’s Stake) – (Backer’s Stake). This is the amount you are risking.

Here is an example on Golf:

You don’t think Jordan Spieth can win the US Masters. And you see the Lay odds are $8. You decide to Lay Jordan Spieth for a Backers Stake of $50. This means your liability is $8 x $50 = $400 – $50 = $350. This means that if Jordan Spieth doesn’t come first, you will make $50 (the Backers Stake). If Jordan Spieth does win, you lose $350.

Why Lay bet?

Sometimes it can be easier to find a team or horse(s) that won’t win as opposed to finding the winner. In a 14 horse race there will only be 1 winner – if you can’t identify that winner it might be easier to find a horse or multiple horses that you know won’t win.

Another benefit of lay betting is the ability to ‘trade out’ of an earlier bet that you may have had.

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