Matched & Unmatched Bets

As you have learned, on any betting market, there are two sides of the bet. On one side, there are those betting on an event to happen (backers) and on the other, those betting on an event not to happen (the layers).

Backers and layers get bets ‘matched’ as long as they agree on a price (the odds) that an event will or won’t happen.

You can get an indication of how much you can wager at a particular price in the market view.

However, when it comes to identifying when your bet has been matched, or how to manage unmatched bets, you have some options. We explore all possible scenarios below.


1. How Do I Know My Bet Is Matched?

When a bet is matched, it simply means two people have agreed on a stake and amount of liability. You will know this has occurred because matched and unmatched bets appear in separate sections of the bet slip.

In this example, we have placed two Back bets. Atop the slip, in the Unmatched Bets section, our Back bet on So Wicked at odds of $9.00 has not been matched. This means that no one on the Exchange is currently willing to Lay our selection at the price we have entered.

However, below that, we can see in the Matched Bets section that our Back bet on Sallys Day has been matched at odds of $3.85 for a $10.00 stake. If the runner wins, we stand to profit $28.50 from our $10.00 stake. This also means that another Betfair user is laying our runner. This user is risking $28.50 to win $10.00.

What about the unmatched bet? We’ll explore the options you can take below.


2. Dealing With Unmatched Bets

Sometimes you can’t get the total amount on at the odds that you want. The market may have changed (e.g. what was once odds of $5.00 has been taken and is now $4.60). Or you have entered odds that are above (for a Back bet) or below (for a Lay bet) what others are prepared to bet against (e.g. you want odds of $5.00 and the market is at $4.60). If your bet us unmatched, you have four options:

  • Change your odds to meet the market
  • Keep the bet and see if the odds get matched before the event starts or in-play – Find out more on In-Play Betting
  • On selected markets, choose to take the Betfair SP when the market turns in-play – Find out more on the Betfair SP
  • Cancel the bet

By default, all unmatched bets placed prior to the event are cancelled when the event turns in-play.

If you would like to take SP (on selected markets) or keep your bets in-play when the event commences, you can do this by clicking the circle for the option you want to take, and hit the yellow ‘Update‘ button.

This can be changed at any stage prior to the start of the event by clicking the ‘My Bets‘ button.


3. Partially Matched Bets

A ‘partially matched’ bet means that you have been able to get some of your stake or liability matched, but another part of it is yet to be matched.

For example, you have tried to Back Queensland in State of Origin for $100 at odds of $2. You see the message in your bet slip that only $50 of your $100 bet has been matched. This means you have $50 that you haven’t actually wagered yet because there isn’t a person (or persons) prepared to take the opposing view at those odds at that point in time.

Like the aforementioned unmatched bets, you have three options with your partially matched bet prior to the market turning in-play:

  • Wait and see if you get matched at that price
  • Change the odds to meet the market and see if they get matched
  • On selected markets, choose to take the Betfair SP when the market turns in-play – Find out more on the Betfair SP

Note: Your bet could be matched a split-second after the unmatched bet slip has been shown as above.

Just because it hasn’t been matched instantly does not mean it can’t still be matched.

Unmatched bets stay in the market as offers until you decide to cancel them.

It is much safer to amend the odds of your unmatched bet than placing multiple bets at different odds to get matched.

Be aware that the Betfair market screen will normally refresh every 30 seconds but the Betfair server can process hundreds of bets per second. In a busy market, prices and volumes will change constantly – don’t assume that the prices only change when you see them on screen. To view the latest prices, make sure you are logged in first and then click on the refresh button just above the market.


Read through the betfair betting glossary

That’s all you need to know about matched bets, unmatched bets and everything in between. In the last section of the Betfair Basics tutorial, we will be running you through a glossary of common terms seen on Betfair.

Click the NEXT button to progress to the Betfair Betting Glossary or start your Betfair Basics tutorial here.