Founded in the year 2000 and known as "the" online betting exchange, Betfair has since grown into a betting behemoth offering options in a range of disciplines, including casino, bingo and forex. However, despite this massive growth over the last decade plus, Betfair hasn't forgotten its roots and, today, its online sports betting exchange is bigger than ever.
Indeed, when you land on the site today you'll find thousands of daily markets on just about any event you can think of. Moreover, all of Betfair Exchange's markets are designed by punters, for punters, which means you're always getting the best betting conditions possible.
Exchange Betting Explained
To give you a better insight into Betfair Exchange, it's important to run through the basics of exchange betting and track its roots. In terms of lineage, flutter.com and Betfair (two companies which merged in early 2000) were the first online exchanges.
Since this time a number of competitors have joined the market, including BETDAQ. However, Betfair has remained the dominant force with a majority share of the online betting exchange market.
In terms of specifics, an online betting exchange is basically a platform where customers can speculate on the outcome of events determined by the market. Instead of betting lines being set and controlled by a single bookmaker, a betting exchange is a community of action where various vendors give you're the ability to buy and sell action.
Because the market is dictated by individuals setting their own odds and others buying action, there is a lot more dynamism, moreover choice, in a betting exchange and this generally leads to better odds. Because you can trade in real-time throughout an event and choose to cancel bets and limit your losses or lock in profit, it's possible to make more profit from exchange betting if you know what you're doing.
Indeed, when it comes to making a business profit, bookmaker operators generate revenue by offering less efficient odds. It's this difference between the true odds and the market price which allow bookmakers to earn some money. In contrast, however, betting exchanges normally generate revenue by charging a transaction fee which is calculated as a percentage of net winnings for each customer. Because of this structure, betting via an exchange is usually more profitable. In fact, even with standard commission charges ranging from 5% to 7%, it's usually possible for an experienced punter to make more money when they bet via an exchange.
However, that doesn't mean an online betting exchange is always the better option. Because online exchanges concentrate their liquidity in few markets, it means they aren't the best options for parlay betting (often known as accumulator betting). Although Betfair does offer accumulators, these options are limited and users cannot determine the outcomes contained within accumulators themselves.
The Betfair Exchange Interface
When it comes to its exchange interface, Betfair's styling is very much in line with its other betting products. Painted in its customary yellow and black colour scheme, the Betfair Exchange is simple to navigate regardless of your level of experience.
To find what you're looking for, Betfair utilises a dropdown toolbar that lists the most popular betting markets. Once you've found what you're looking for in terms of a sports betting market, the list of available wagers are stuffed into a matrix and sit there blinking at you like a series of flashing LED lights.
Because the exchange is a constantly evolving beast, much like the in-play betting market on Betfair Sports, the interface can look somewhat intimidating on first inspection. However, within a few minutes of watching the odds change, you'll soon feel more comfortable with the overall look.
Overall, the internal betting matrix aside, the Betfair Exchange is a simple platform use regardless of your mother tongue. Because Betfair is available in a number of European countries, the designers have ensured that the platform is available 17 different languages, including: Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French and German.
To complement this system, customers can also fund their Betfair account using a range of payment options such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Skrill, as well as multiple currencies, including: AUD, CAD, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, NOK, SEK, SGD and USD.
Overall, because Betfair knows that exchange betting can feel slightly alien to new players, it's made sure its design team has made the overall product as simple to use as possible. Regardless of whether you're a newbie or a seasoned exchanger, the overall look and feel of Betfair is one of quality and simplicity.
Betfair Exchange Betting Options
When you first enter the Betfair Exchange you'll find there are two betting options: "back" and "lay". The former option is one that means you're trying to pick a winner, while the latter is a bet intended to say that a particular competitor will lose.
Naturally, for one person to back a proposition someone else must lay it and when this happens it's known as a match. This, in essence, is exchange betting in a nutshell; however, not all matches are possible and, at Betfair, if the wager is not immediately matched, you have the option to cancel it, or leaving it unmatched. If the latter option is in play, the offer remains live until it is either cancelled or matched.
This structural process aside, the Betfair Exchange has a vast array of sports betting options. Indeed, when you click on the 'sport' tab at the top of the main interface you'll find a cascading list of betting markets that includes: European football, horse racing and cricket. Moreover, you'll also find a plethora of American sports, such as baseball and basketball, as well as a selection of obscure sports betting options that you won't find at standard online sportsbooks.
Because the exchange is controlled by customers and not a single bookmaker it means there's a lot more scope for diversity. Everyone has their own betting styles and preferences and this means the range of sports and specific wagers is infinitely more varied than traditional online sportsbooks.
To give you a final overview of Betfair Exchange's main conditions, here's a quick bullet point rundown:
- Odds format: EU
- Commission: 5% - 7% on net winnings
- Minimum bet: £2
- Maximum bet: Varies by vendor
- Live betting available
Betfair Betting Bonuses
One of the nice things about the Betfair Exchange is that the operator rewards loyalty. Although it doesn't offer rewards and bonuses in the same way that it does for its sportsbook, the site does give loyal customers a better deal if they stake more.
Under the terms of Betfair Exchange policy, every £0.10 paid in commission (from offering bets or placing them) earns you one point. As you earn more points you earn an increasing discount on the commission you pay, which basically means the more you stake, the less you have to pay.
The discounts kick in at 1,000 points (2% discount on the 5%-7% rate) and reaches as high as 150,000 points for a 60% discount for serious punters. One point to note is that discounts are only valid on a weekly basis, so you'll need to keep anteing up if you want to continue getting the best rates.
Should You Ante-Up on the Betfair Exchange?
If you're a fan of fantastic options and massive diversity, then the Betfair Exchange is the perfect option. Because thousands of users are on hand to offer thousands of different bets every day, it means you can pick and choose the options that are right for you.
Although the system may seem somewhat confusing at first, Betfair has done its best to make things are simple as possible. Not only that, but if you ever need any assistance a dedicated customer service team is one hand throughout the week to guide you in your quest for a profit.
So, if you're looking for a different way to speculate on your favourite sports and make some money, then follow our dedicated download link and join the Betfair Exchange today.