Matched betting relies upon laying (betting against). You will probably be unfamiliar with laying. Laying is betting that something won’t happen. So if you lay bet Roger Federer to beat Andy Murray, you are betting that he won’t win. You lay a bet at a betting exchange and they charge a small commission if you win. Let’s imagine you lay bet £10 on Federer at odds of 3.00. When laying, the stake amount is what you want to win, not what you want to bet. Your liability varies depending on the odds and the lay stake. So for our example your liability would be £20. Confused? This is one of the more difficult area to get your head around. But in short your liability is the Stake X Odds – Stake.
If you win the bet, i.e. Federer is beaten by Murray you will receive your £10 stake back – 5% commission.
If you lose the bet, i.e. Federer beats Murray you will lose £20.
A betting exchange is basically the middleman that matches up people that back and people that lay, and when doing so, take a small commission – usually 5% from the winner’s profit. This means everything is safe and above board. Popular exchanges include Betfair and BetDAQ. Odds on betting exchanges are dictated by the market and can change very quickly.
There are a few things to watch out for when betting at a betting exchange, the liquidity of an odd can change quickly. This may result in you not getting all your bet matched. So it is best when starting out to choose a selection where there is lots of money available.
So let us return to laying a bet and explain exactly how it works. The money you stake in a lay bet is actually the money you want to win and not the money you are willing to risk. We’ll say that again, it is the money you want to win, not the money you want to risk! Your risk is calculated in the following way, take the stake, multiply it by the odds and minus the stake (stake X odds – stake), this will show you how much you are risking to invest anything on matched betting first learn properly what is matched betting.