What is Lay Betting

Betting Directory
July 31, 2023

What Is Lay Betting & How Does It Work

There are two sides of betting- one is when the bettor places a bet on an outcome to occur, whereas the other is when the bettor bets on an outcome not to occur. The first scenario is known to be back betting and the second is lay betting. This service is usually done by bookmakers, offering the odds that they lay to their customers.

In betting exchanges, the customers place both back and lay bets. Thus, they are placing bets against each other. And on an outcome, the losing bettor pays to the winning bettor. So, when you place a lay bet, it means you play the role of a bookmaker. It is the same as saying, “I bet so and so will not happen.” The difference here is that you will place bets on games and sports.


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What is a betting exchange?

A Betting exchange is a platform where you can play your lay bets. For easy understanding, you can think of a betting exchange like a stock exchange, where somebody bets in favor while others in against.

The betting exchange is a place where all the gamblers gather to place bets. Instead of shares, people gamble with winning and losing teams or players. As said above, it is a place for both the back and lay betting. Some will place bets on a horse rider winning (back), whereas others will bet on the horse rider not winning (lay).

The exchange gives flexibility and allows the bettors to buy and sell the outcomes while the event is ongoing. Since the bettors become bookmakers in a betting exchange, they are free to set their own odds or bet against other exchange users.

Therefore, since the bettors do everything in the betting exchange, it creates its own market. All-in-all, a betting exchange is a place that makes it easier for the different punters/gambles to meet and place a variety of bets. For all these features and facilities, the exchange charges a nominal commission on each bet placed. Some great bookmakers that feature betting exchanges include 1xBet, Betwinner, MegaPari, Betfair, and Smarkets.

lay betting

What is liability in Lay Betting?

When indulging in Lay Betting, one point to always keep in mind is that you always lose more than what you have staked. And the winning amount is the winning stake minus the exchange commission. And the worst-case scenario of the losing stake/amount is known as the “liability”.

For example, you place a lay bet, 2/1, for $20. Here the 2/1 is known as shot, and the $2o is the bet amount. Now, since you place a lay bet, you are placing a bet on an event not occurring or a player/team losing. So, if the player/team loses, you win $20, but if it wins, you lose $40 (2*20).

In this betting, understanding the concept of “liability” is very important. In back betting, the highest a bettor can lose is the initial stake amount, but the “liability” and risk are higher with lay betting.

How to lay a bet?

When it comes to Lay Betting, two sports are particularly famous: football and horse riding. So, to place bets on these sports, follow these easy steps to place a lay bet at any betting exchange site:

  • Betting exchanges have many options when it comes to host markets. So start with choosing the market in which you wish to place your lay bet.
  • Next, choose the event you wish to wager on
  • To place a lay bet, select the pink box.
  • Assess and consider the “liability” and the potential returns on winning.
  • After completing all these, hit the “confirm bet” option.

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How to choose a good lay betting site

With betting, you should always take time to check if the sites and bookmakers are legit. After all, it is your hard-earned money that you will be using a wager. To help you with a good lay betting site, here are few specific and generic factors mentioned. Check these in a site before deciding on it.

Host Markets

The traditional bookmakers offer many markets so, it is general to look for sites that offer many host markets. Some sites have markets ranging from horse racing and football to politics and even golf. Make sure at least it has the host markets that you are interested in.


When it comes to betting exchanges or betting sites, safety is one of the most important things to check. The site should have the necessary license and should be authorized. Because if they are licensed that means a legit body approves them, and the site follows all the needed security measure that ensures their customer’s details safety.


Not everyone is a pro at Lay Betting. It is their first few bets for some, so, naturally, they may need help and support. A good and responsible site will have 24/7 customer support. So, in case of any issues or queries, the customers can easily reach out to the support staff through email, phone calls, or live chat.

how to lay bet


Promotions are one of the best ways to attract people. There are fewer chances of promotions and offers with betting because it is not very common in betting exchanges. But some good sites are still known to offer free bets and other bonuses to their customers from time to time. So if you like such offers, you can also check this factor before choosing a lay betting site.


Since, with this betting, the gamblers/punters are themselves the bookmakers; thus, they always look forward to commissioning more than the odds. This commission is subtracted from the winning stake. The commission percent is usually somewhere between 1-5% on the winning bets.

Mobile Friendly

With people always carrying their smartphones with them, it becomes easier for them if they can use it to place lay bets. Thus look for betting sites with either a dedicated application or can be accessed using a mobile browser. It should be properly optimized to fully work on mobile.


Lay betting is best for people who want more control over their odds and bets. It is a bit different from the usual betting. But currently, lay betting and back betting are becoming quite popular, and more and more punters are using the betting exchange. To have a better winning chance, clearly understand how lay betting works and concepts like “liability” and prepare an effective betting strategy.


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