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Explanation of BETFAIR Horse Racing and sports betting exchange

Feb 25, 2014

A betting exchange is basically a website where you can make a bet with other members on sporting events and horse racing. Let’s say you believe the Maple Leafs will win a game - you can be sure there will be someone out there that thinks they will lose. Betfair acts as a conduit between the two opinions, and holds the money until the bet is settled. Think of a bar, with 2 guys who have a bet while watching a match. Betfair would be the barman, who both guys give the money to and he minds it until the match is over and then hands the money to the winner. It’s that simple and there are 100’s of thousands bet on every game, ensuring liquidity on every event.  

Betfair allows you to take action on a horse to lose or to finish out of the money (1st 2nd or 3rd) and/or they also allow you to bet horses to win or finish in the top 3 positions. 

Here’s how it works:

If you really believe a horse will lose, you can decide to 'lay' it (see the pink area in the screenshot).



Let's say you want to lay a horse on Betfair that is available at 4-1, for example (best lay odds are displayed in the pink box) .That works out at 3-1 in traditional odds (always take away one)

So, if you believe the horse will lose, and you want to win say $10 on that belief, you simply enter 10 into the 'backers stake' box (pink) and go ahead with the bet.

If the horse loses, you keep the 10 bucks but if it wins, you must pay out $30 because you more or less became a bookie and offered 4-1 (3-1 in Betfair odds because you always take away one point).

When you first have a look at Betfair, it may seem very daunting with a myriad of numbers but once you get used to it, you will see the benefits, and may actually prefer it.

By the way, if you go to the Betfair website, it lets you play around with the odds and enter prices, to see what your liablility etc. on a bet would be. Obvioulsy it won’t let you place a bet if you don't have a funded account, but it is a handy way to learn by entering different stakes etc.

How do you work out Decimal odds. The most simple way we can explain this is by telling you to take away one!

For example - If you see a horse on Betfair, and it’s price is 13, you simply take away one. 13-1 = 12. Therefore the price in traditional odds is 12-1

A few more examples:

A horse that is displayed on Betfair at 15.

15-1 = 14. Therefore the price in traditional odds is 14-1

A horse that is displayed on betfair at 3.5-1

3.5-1 = 2.5. Therefore the price in traditional odds is 2.5/1 (5/2)

A horse that is displayed on betfair at 5.5.

5.5-1 = 4.5. Therefore the price in traditional odds is 4.5/1 (9/2)

Once the race is over and marked official, you will instantly be credited with money won. 

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