Best betting exchanges
So the best betting exchanges available in 2020 are:
Before selecting your favourite betting exchange, it’s important to consider what you want to get out of your betting. The betting exchanges mentioned above all have different advantages and suit different bettors. The best betting exchange is very subjective so just bear this in mind when making a decision.
There are smaller, less popular exchanges like Ladbrokes Exchange but I’ve stuck to the larger outfits in this article.
What is a betting exchange?
For those of you that aren’t sure, a betting exchange is an online platform that matches gamblers looking to place opposite bets. They allow you to play the part of a traditional bookmaker.
Here’s an example to help explain.
If punter A wants to back Chelsea to beat Leicester City, punter B can bet the opposite and back Chelsea NOT to win. This is called a lay bet, a type of betting that isn’t available at traditional bookmakers.
Different business model
Betting exchanges work on a different business model compared to traditional bookmakers. They charge a commission on winning bets rather than building a profit margin into the odds like bookies do. This has various benefits as we’ll look at later.
Aspects of a great betting exchange
There are many different aspects to consider when picking the best betting exchange. Here are some of the things you should bear in mind:
- Range of markets
- Commission rate
- Amount of liquidity
- Quality of odds
- Customer service
- User experience
Let’s check out each of these in more detail.
Range of markets
One of the most important aspects of a betting exchange is the range of markets on offer. The more markets available, the more opportunity you have to place your bets. This is especially the case for any matched bettors out there.
The best betting exchange should have a wide range of sports categories and markets meaning there’s always something to bet on. Some betting exchanges even offer markets on chess matches…
As I mentioned earlier, betting exchanges work differently to traditional bookmakers. They charge a commission on winning bets rather than building a profit margin into the odds. If you lose a bet at a betting exchange, you don’t pay any commission.
The commission rate is one of the key aspects that differentiates the most popular betting exchanges. Obviously the lower the rate, the more profit you keep on winning bets. Commission rates vary but anything below 2% is great value.
Amount of liquidity
Another aspect that you should consider is the amount of liquidity at a betting exchange. When I refer to liquidity, I’m talking about the amount of money waiting to be matched on a given market. In simple terms, this is the number of people wanting to place a bet. The liquidity of a market is shown beneath the odds at a betting exchange.
The higher the liquidity the better, as it makes it easier to place your bets. The popularity of a betting exchange directly ties into the amount of liquidity in a market. The more popular the exchange is, the more punters there are waiting to place bets.
Quality of odds
Quality of odds is another aspect that you should consider when picking the best betting exchange. As with all betting, you should look to take advantage of the best odds possible as it means more profit on winning bets.
Carrying on from the point above, the odds at an exchange are directly affected by the number of punters placing bets. So the more punters there are placing bets, the higher value odds you’ll receive.
Whilst odds are generally fairly similar across the majority of markets, it’s worthwhile checking for the best value by using a process called line shopping.
You should expect great customer service from the best betting exchanges. At some point you’re going to run into a few issues. Whether it’s a dispute over winnings or a questions to do with lay betting, you need to resolve any issues promptly so you can get back to placing your bets.
In this scenario, the more support options a betting exchange provide the better. FAQs, live chat and phone/email support are all features a quality betting exchange should offer. If required you should also be able to speak to helpful, friendly staff with little stress.
The user experience of a betting exchange is another important aspect to consider. The entire process from depositing funds into your account to placing lay bets should be easy to do and completely stress free. Markets and categories should be easy to find whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro.
With so many punters placing bets on the move these days, it’s also important that betting exchanges work well on various devices and platforms.
Our final consideration when it comes to picking the best betting exchange is the reliability of the platform. It’s vital that you use reputable and trustworthy betting exchanges and only enter your personal details once you’re 100% satisfied.
You don’t want to place your bets only to find out they didn’t actually get accepted.
All the betting exchanges in our list use high-quality technology that is continually updated and maintained.
More about betting exchanges
Since their creation back in 1999, betting exchanges have had a major influence on the betting industry. They offer punters far more flexibility and value than traditional bookmakers. They allow you to trade bets like you would on the stock market and allow you to lock in a profit before an event has even started.
Betting exchanges have facilitated matched betting and are one of the key ingredients to making a risk free, tax free profit online.
History of betting exchanges
The first betting exchange, Betfair, was founded in May 1999 and completely changed how the betting industry functioned. Since then, there have been a number of competitors enter the marketplace: Betdaq, Smarkets and more recently Betconnect.
Betfair remains the biggest and most popular betting exchange but they are facing increased competition from the likes of Smarkets and Betconnect who are introducing innovative ideas.
Back and lay betting
At a betting exchange, you can back (buy) an outcome like you would at a traditional bookmaker or you can lay (sell) an outcome. Let’s check out this in more detail.
What is back betting?
Back betting is the most common and popular type of betting. This is the concept most bookmakers are built around. With a back bet, you are betting on an outcome to happen, Chelsea beating Leicester for example.
Let’s say you want to stake £20 at odds of 2/1 (3.0 in decimal format) on Chelsea to win.
If Chelsea did beat Leicester, you’d win £40 from your bet and you’d also get your stake of £20 back. Overall, the bookmaker will return £60. If you lost the bet, the bookmaker would keep your £20 stake: