Lay betting has become increasingly popular over recent years thanks mainly to the advent of the betting exchanges. Lay betting may sound complicated but isn’t; bookmakers have been laying bets for hundreds of years.
Lay betting is simply the process of accepting bets on the outcome of an event, and since online betting exchanges started to become popular with gamblers in the UK over the last 15 years or so, it has become available to all gamblers.
In its simplest form, it’s useful to think about the outcome of an event where only two results are possible, such as a tennis match. So, in the 2016 Wimbledon men’s singles final, Andy Murray was a warm favourite to beat Canada’s Milos Raonic. If you thought Murray would win (as he did) then betting on Murray to win would be effectively the same thing as laying Raonic as this was a two-horse race (where a draw isn’t possible). So, with a betting exchange, you could simply have layed Raonic instead.
Now, let’s consider a horse race of ten runners where there is an even money favourite. In this example, if you layed the favourite for £10, you would lose that £10 if the favourite won, of course, but win £10 if any of the other nine runners won.
You may also decide to lay more than one horse in a race, whilst simultaneously betting on another or others to win.
Similarly, if you think a selection has potential that has not yet been recognised by the market, you may decide to bet on a selection now, then lay the same selection back at much shorter odds, thereby guaranteeing either a no-lose situation or an absolute profit (depending on how much of the bet you lay back) no matter what the actual outcome is. In fact, several punters who’d backed Leicester City to win the 2015-16 Premier League at odds of 5,000-1 were able to do this towards the end of the season, guaranteeing a big return without the sleepless nights.
In short, then, lay betting is when you’re accepting a bet or bets on the outcome of an event, which places you in the position of a traditional bookmaker. And this is a very straightforward process on betting exchanges for gamblers today.