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What is back and lay in sports betting

Angelos Anastassopoulos στις October 18, 2022

Sports betting is an ever-evolving ecosystem. Long gone are the days when brick-and-mortar betting shops were the only choice to place a wager. The whole betting world is now at our disposal with a few taps on a smartphone screen. This way we have moved past traditional bookmakers. Betting exchanges are a totally different beast. What makes them so appealing is that through them, punters are able to explore a unique method of playing. That includes back and lay bets. In this guide, we will explain how both types of wagering work, how to place your bets, and what are the pros and cons of back and lay betting.

In order to back or lay a bet, you have to join a betting exchange. And in order to do so, you have to understand the very concept of sports betting exchanges.

A betting exchange is a platform that allows punters to bet against each other. This is in contrast to traditional bookmakers where you can only bet on pre-selected odds. In simple terms, a betting exchange is a marketplace for bets. And just like any other marketplace, the betting exchange has buyers and sellers.

So you are not betting against the house. There is no house. The exchange is a middleman, who gives you the platform to interact with other players. Every placed bet has two punters, a layer and a backer, facing each other. In each such case, one of the two takes the role of the bookmaker, as we will see in further detail later on.

How back and lay betting work

Before we move any further, it is important that you understand how back and lay betting work.

What is back betting? – Back betting is the most common type of bet. When you back a team, you are essentially predicting that they will win. If your prediction comes true, you will receive your stake plus the winnings.

What is lay betting? – Lay betting is the complete opposite of back betting. When you lay a bet, you are predicting that the team will lose. In other words, you are playing the role of the bookmaker. If your prediction comes true and the team loses, you will win the stake of the person who backed them.

The beauty of lay betting is that it gives you the opportunity to win even if your prediction is not 100% accurate. For example, let’s say that you lay a bet on Barcelona to lose against Real Madrid with odds of 2.0. This means that for every £1 you bet, you can win £2.

Now, let’s say that Barcelona loses the match, but only by one goal. You will still win your bet because they did not meet the condition you predicted. This is called a partial win.

How to place a back bet

Placing a back bet is very simple. You just have to find the match you want to bet on and click on the odds of the team you are backing. A pop-up window will appear where you can enter your stake and confirm your bet.

How to place a lay bet

Placing a lay bet is just as simple as placing a back bet. You just have to find the match you want to bet on and click on the odds of the team you are laying. A pop-up window will appear where you can enter your stake and confirm your bet.

Back and lay betting explained

Advantages of back and lay betting

The main advantage of back and lay betting is that it gives you more control over your bets. With traditional bookmakers, you can only choose the team you want to bet on and the amount you want to stake.

With betting exchanges, you can choose the team you want to bet on, the amount you want to stake, and the odds you want to get. This means that you are in control of your bets and you can tailor them according to your needs.

Another advantage of back and lay betting is that it allows you to hedge your bets. Hedging is a risk management strategy that consists of offsetting losses in one investment with gains in another.

For example, let’s say that you have backed Barcelona to win the Champions League at odds of 2.0. However, after the first few matches, it becomes clear that they are not playing well and there is a chance they might not even make it to the final.

In this case, you can lay Barcelona to win the Champions League at odds of 2.0. This means that you will win your bet no matter who wins the Champions League.

Disadvantages and risks of back and lay betting

Sports betting exchangesThe main disadvantage of back and lay betting is that it is more complicated than traditional betting. With traditional betting, you just have to choose the team you want to bet on and the amount you want to stake.

With back and lay betting, you also have to choose the odds you are willing to accept. This means that there is a greater chance of making a mistake and losing money.

Another disadvantage of back and lay betting is that it requires you to have a good understanding of odds. Odds can be very confusing, especially for beginners. If you don’t understand them, you are likely to make a mistake and lose money.

The last disadvantage of back and lay betting is that it is not available on all betting exchanges. Some exchanges only offer traditional betting.

Which type of bet is more popular among sports bettors?

There is no clear answer to this question as it depends on the preferences of the bettor. Some bettors prefer back betting because it is simpler and they don’t have to worry about choosing the right odds.

Other bettors prefer lay betting because it gives them more control over their bets and they can hedge their bets to offset any losses.

And then you have those who mix and match both types of betting to suit their needs, changing between the different play styles.

Sports arbitrage with back and lay bets

Arbitrage betting is a technique that allows you to profit from the difference in odds between two different bookmakers. There is a way to arb with backing and laying the same market on an exchange. If you do both in favourable odds, then you can be a winner, regardless of the actual outcome of the game. This type of arbing is called ‘double betting’.

Examples of how to use back and lay bets for profit

Here are some examples of how you can use back and lay bets to make a profit:

1) Let’s say that you want to bet on the outcome of a football match. You find a bookmaker that is offering odds of 2.0 for Barcelona to win and you decide to back them.

You then find a betting exchange that is offering odds of 2.5 for Barcelona to win. You decide to lay them at these odds.

This means that no matter who wins the match, you will make a profit. If Barcelona win, you will win your bet with the bookmaker. If they lose, you will win your bet with the betting exchange.

2) Another example is if you want to bet on a horse race. You find a bookmaker that is offering odds of 2.0 for Horse A to win and you decide to back it.

You then find a betting exchange that is offering odds of 3.0 for Horse A to win. You decide to lay it at these odds.

This means that if Horse A wins the race, you will win your bet with the bookmaker. If it doesn’t win, you will win your bet with the betting exchange.

3) You can also use back and lay bets to hedge your bets. For example, let’s say that you have backed Barcelona to win the Champions League at odds of 2.0.

However, after the first few matches, it becomes clear that they are not playing well and there is a chance they might not win.

You can offset your risk by laying them at higher odds on a betting exchange. This way, you will still make a profit even if they don’t win the Champions League.

Why is it important to understand the difference between back and lay bets?

It is important to understand the difference between back and lay bets because they are two very different ways of betting.

If you don’t understand the difference, you could end up making a mistake and losing money. So, make sure that you take the time to learn about both types of bets before you start placing any real money wagers. Thanks for reading! I hope this article helped you to understand the difference between back and lay bets. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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