A betting exchange is a type of market for peer to peer wagering. They are similar to sportsbooks in that people can sign up and place bets on various events, but they are different because the exchange itself does not offer the bets. At a sports exchange, you can be the person backing the wager and you can be the person laying the bets. Sorry – no decent US betting exchange exists – instead check out our list of USA betting sites.
At online betting exchanges, anyone can create bets and then be matched with people who are willing to take them. You can simply look for and take them like at a normal sportsbook or you can create your own and wait for other people to accept those bets. It’s almost like trading options on the stock exchange.
Exchanges make a profit by charging a small commission on all winning bets. This commission is generally in the 5% range, which makes it cheaper than a traditional sportsbook.
How to Bet At Peer To Peer Exchanges
You can place wagers by signing up for an account, logging in and looking for bets that you want to place. If you see one you like, you can either back it (bet that the outcome will happen) or lay it (bet that the outcome will not happen). Or if you don’t see anything you like, you can choose your own odds and wait for someone else to come along and accept your order.
If you create a bet, you can limit your maximum potential loss by stipulating the most you are willing to lose. Your bet will be modified based on the odds you have offered. For example, if you offer odds of 2.0 and are only willing to risk $100, the maximum amount for someone taking your bet would be $50.
Advantages of Betting Exchanges
The greatest advantage is the cost itself. A normal sportsbook takes a much higher commission through the use of juice. Exchanges only charge a flat 5% on all winning wagers.
Another advantage is they let you act as both the bettor and the bookmaker. You can browse and place wagers the simple way or you can create your own and book action on them yourself. This allows for much more in depth strategy than simply picking bets at sportsbooks. This also makes it possible to find better odds than at any regular sportsbook.
They can also be used to lock in profits. If you back and lay opposing bets with the right odds, it is possible to make a profit no matter the outcome of the match. It is not easy to lock in profits, but it is definitely possible.
Finding the Best Place to Go
The best places are those that have the highest customer traffic. A large customer base makes the exchange liquid and makes it easy for people to be matched. To date, the best by far is BetFair.com. They have countless active bettors and facilitate thousands of bets every day.
There are several others out there, but BetFair.com is the largest by a long shot. You’ll find more bets here than anywhere else on the internet. On top of that they are the most trusted online. They have been online since 2000 and are licensed and headquartered in England.
We also like BetFair.com because they are on top of the mobile betting craze that is just now picking up steam. They developed an iPhone app so that you can now place bets and manage your account from anywhere.