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US Gambling Sites / Betting Guide / Lay Betting: What is Lay in Betting?

Lay Betting: What is Lay in Betting?

Publish Date: 25/01/2024
Fact checked by: Josh Schwartz

Simply put, you are placing a lay bet when you bet on a given outcome not to happen. A bettor may place a bet on a horse not to win a race, or bet on a soccer team not to win a game. When doing this, the bettor is laying such outcomeLay betting is a betting type that makes punters act in the role of bookmakers as punters bet on outcome not happening.

While some bettors may find the hardship and experience that comes with correctly prediction the eventual outcome of say a horse race or soccer match to be very unpleasant, they find it relatively convenient and more fun to make predictions that such eventual outcomes will not occur. With lay betting, you enjoy the privilege of betting on something not happening.

Important Facts to know about Lay betting

  • Lay betting is particularly common in horse racing
  • Majority lay bets are placed on betting exchange
  • Lay betting gives you the option of selling your bet

Lay betting explained

The major premise to describe bettors’ action in lay betting is that bettors are doing just the opposite of what they would normally do in a traditional sports bet, like a head-to-head bet. Lay betting is often found to be a very powerful instruments that many experienced punters use to ensure the best chance of making a profit whenever they are making bet. With a lay betting system, experienced punters may involve what we called back and lay betting. This method often a more lucrative option for punters making lay betting. It’s best we explained back and lay betting using a very simple example. With this type of betting, you as a bettor could back a horse priced at 10/1 before the race begins and while the race in ongoing, lay the same horse at much shorter odds.

The most logical reason why bettors will do this of course is to ensure that profit is made regardless of the outcome of the race. Bettors can use a back and lay calculator to get a much firm grasp on the statistics of back and lay betting in order to figure out the exact margins to work with. One requirement for successfully harness the potentials that back lay betting offers though is that bettors must have a rather in-depth understanding about betting exchange and how in-play betting works (we’ve prepared a more in-depth explanation on this in our article on In-Game betting).

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Other Forms of Lay Betting and Its Practice

Lay betting goes by some other names among which include lay bet matching, arbitrage betting, matched betting, and double betting. Lay betting is a type of bet that are most commonly played of betting exchanges (more on this in a bit). In some other sense, lay betting system has been described as a betting system that affords punters the privilege of betting against the odds of an outcome as opposed to betting for it (this is back lay betting explained earlier). Lay betting allows punters to play the role of a bookmaker but instead of backing odds, punters offer odds to sell a bet.

Let’s clear thing up by using a very simple example. You as a bettor might decide to lay a rival club (D.C. United) to your favorite one instead of betting on them to win a league. What this essentially means is that you would win this bet if any club but D.C. United wins the league. When you make a lay bet or when you lay an outcome, you are acting as a bookmaker in the sense that you are betting against other users. Its a low-risk bet type. If you prefer stiffer odds, we suggest that you look to our guides on "Goliath Betting Explained" or "Half-time Full-time Bet Explained".

Betting Exchange

In a lay betting system, almost all your dealings are made on a betting exchange. In the simplest sense of term, a betting exchange is likened to a stock market, with the only difference that people are dealing in winners and losers on betting exchange instead of stocks and shares on stock market. Betting exchanges offer you the platform to buy or sell any given outcome in a sporting event. A bettor may decide to back a horse at a given price or decide to lay a horse at the price offered. Another fascinating thing is that bettors can trade in and out in lay betting on betting exchange at any given point in time. As explained earlier, the main reason behind this is to maximize profit by making sure you still win some money, final outcome regardless.

It is important to point out the major difference between a betting exchange and a traditional bookmaker. On betting exchange, punters bet against each other. As a punter on a betting exchange, I can decide the price at which I want to back or lay any given outcome. Given that different parties using differing perspectives to assess sporting events as regards how they are going to unfold, there is bound to be more fluctuations in terms of price available on a betting exchange for many markets.

Punters can act as bookmakers and set their own odds on an event and start accepting bets from other users of the betting exchange at their set odds, while they can also place bets to other users of the betting exchange using the odds set by those other users accepting the odds. On betting exchange, it is punters that set the markets, not traditional bookmakers; betting exchange just create the platform to make this interaction possible and charge a nominal commission on bets placed on the exchange.

How to carry out Lay betting system in Horse Racing

Now let’s look at a more lucid example of lay betting in horse racing. Lay betting is just an act of taking someone else’s (another punter’s) bet; it will most likely happen on a betting exchange.

In our example, Alex decides to bet Julie $10 that Fisherman will win the next race. Julie doesn’t agree, so in response, she agrees to lay Alex’s bet for $10. Fortunately for Alex and not so much for Julie, Fisherman wins the race. The implication of this is that Julie’s lay bet lost. Thus, Julie now owes Alex $10.

In another world, had it been that Fisherman had not won the race, then Julie would have bag Alex’s bet and the lay bet won have won. The plot of Alex finding Julie as used in this example seems very simple and effortless. In reality, it may not be that easy to find someone to lay your bet (disagree with you and decide to bet on it). This is where betting exchange comes in. You can log in anonymously and see the back and lay bets that are available, and make your bet accordingly. Betting exchange just charges a commission and make sure everybody honors their end of the bargain in light of whatever outcome results.

Betting exchanges do much more than just bring bettors together to transact. In most cases, there are thousands of bets been struck on a minute basis, and of course, not everybody will agree on a price. Betting exchange help bridge this difference in opinion (pricing) by using decimal odds).

Which Betting Exchange offer the best Lay betting?

From our explanation so far on how lay betting system work, bettors paying attention will by now understand that finding a suitable betting exchange is a huge determinant of their activity on lay betting and what stands between them and making sizeable profit from backing or laying bets. This means the first line of action is to research and find reputable betting exchanges with favorable policies and commission and sizeable market for making lay betting. We have gotten lay betting explained in this article, but we do much more than that.

On our sports betting comparison page, you will find useful information that we have compiled for you regarding choosing your preferred betting exchange for your next lay betting. We’ve done our due diligence, researched and put together respected and reputable betting exchanges in the industry. Make the significant first step at placing your next lay bet by heading over to our sports betting comparison page to choose your preferred betting exchange. You can even take a look at individual provider reviews, such as our Watch and Wager legit and DRF Bets safe guides.

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Conclusion: Playing both Sides with Lay Betting

With lay betting system, you get up upgrade your betting experience; you get to play both sides of the table; acting as a punter and acting as a bookmaker. How cool is that? However, given the nature of lay betting system, first logical step for bettors interested in engaging lay betting will be to find a betting exchange that works for them. As a bettor, you should most likely consider the market size in terms of the population of bettors transacting on this betting exchange; the higher the better. You should also consider the nominal commission charged by this betting exchange you want to go with; if it’s something you can roll with, otherwise, you will need to find another betting exchange. Visit our sports betting comparison page and make all these decision in the most seamless manner.

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