Lay Betting

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

Here are some examples:

  • Nature Strip not to win his 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 at.



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 (more on matched bets later). You can 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 later or Lay using the Betfair Starting Price (BSP) which will be matched at the commencement of the given event. If your bet returns a profit, you will be charged a small commission.


Broken down, there are three key components:

  • Lay odds – the odds which you are prepared to give someone wanting to place a Back bet.
  • Backer’s 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 the AFL:

You don’t think West Coast can win the Premiership and the current Lay odds are $8.00. You enter a stake of $10.00. This means that someone on the other side is placing a $10 BACK bet at odds of $8.00.

In this scenario, your liability is $70, calculated by Lay odds ($8) x backer’s stake ($10) – backer’s stake ($10).

This means that if West Coast don’t win the Premiership, you will make $10 (the backer’s stake). However, If West Coast do win, you lose $70.


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 one 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 or make a “green book” which means to secure a profit regardless of the result. You will learn more about trading further into these tutorials.



Learn how to understand the market view

Now that you know the basics of a Lay bet, it’s time to understand the market view on the Betfair Exchange. It can be overwhelming at first but our simple guide will allow you to navigate it like an expert.

Click the NEXT button to progress to market view education or start your Betfair Basics tutorial here.