Back and Lay Betting

While betting can seem like a simple affair on the surface, there are in fact plenty of different twists and avenues for you to go down.  This is especially the case when it comes to making a stack of money back off of the right markets.  While plenty of people can make money from simple bets and wagers, there are a few more techniques and systems which can really increase your chances of getting a serious return on an otherwise small investment.

In this guide, we will be looking at something called back and lay betting which some sports fans do when placing bets online.  These may not be systems you’ve come across before, but if you’re confident in giving them a go after reading our guide, you’re always free to go right ahead and see how much cash you could make!

What Does Back and Lay Mean in Betting?

Essentially, back and lay betting is a strand of matched betting.  This is where betters take advantage of free bet deals to put money on one outcome, while they effectively ‘sell’ a bet on the other outcome via what is known as a betting exchange.

backing and laying bets

Don’t worry too much about the nitty-gritty!  The betting exchange is somewhat like the stock exchange in many ways.  In the exchange, you can either lay a bet or back a bet.

  • Back betting is where you choose to buy into odds. This simply means you are staking money on an event happening.  This is more or less a basic bet that you’d otherwise undertake at a bookmaker in a nutshell.
  • Lay betting, however, is the opposite. This is where you are effectively betting on an event not to happen.  Therefore, you could back one outcome and lay the other – therefore, you are placing money on either event occurring.

Backing and laying may seem complex on the surface, however, if you bear in mind that it is simply placing a bet from every possible angle, matters get a little bit simpler to understand.  In a betting exchange, you buy back bets and sell lay bets.  By doing both, you’re guaranteed to make a little bit of money back.

Back and Lay Betting System

Making the most of a back and lay betting system is where things may start to get a little tricky.  While obvious markets such as – for example – Arsenal winning the Football Premier League vs Arsenal NOT winning the Premier League – are tempting, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a decent profit.

The best thing to remember when it comes to these kinds of bets is to try and punt on odds for either system that are very close together.  The closer the odds, basically, the more money you will stand to get.  Otherwise, your lay odds should generally be lower than your back odds.  It’s rare that you’ll find too many of these opportunities, but the betting exchange is your friend – as are free bets, which are offered by many online bookmakers as opening bonus deals.

Placing Back Bets

Placing back bets is simple.  You pick a market or outcome, check the odds, and place money on whether or not you think that outcome will occur.  For example, if you place £10 on Lewis Hamilton to win an F1 race at 5.0 odds, you stand to get £50 back.  That’s because the total of the back odds multiplies your initial bet.

However, with back betting, if your market or choice doesn’t win, you get nothing back.  That, largely, is where the idea of using lay betting alongside came in.  Lay betting used alongside back betting will allow you to make some form of profit as you’re putting bets on both outcomes occurring.

However, to get access to the best lay betting opportunities, you are likely going to need to use a betting exchange.  To be able to make serious money, too, you’ll need to take advantage of free bets offered by online bookmakers.  This comes back to the idea of matched betting.

Placing Lay Bets

Placing lay bets is where things can sometimes get a little complex for some betters.  As mentioned, laying a bet means you are either selling odds on a certain event or that you are betting against your back wager.  Effectively, if your back bet wins, you lose your lay bet, but if your lay bet wins, the opposite happens.  Mathematically, it’s a no-lose scenario, though to be able to profit, you are going to need to tip the balance one way or the other.

football back and lay bets

This is why free bets are so popular in the world of matched bets.  With no physical cash being placed at one end, you stand to make a profit regardless of the outcome.  Understanding lay betting can be tricky at times, but think about it as if you are acting as the bookmaker.  In the betting exchange, you are offering odds on something NOT happening – and someone will fulfil that bet.  If you’re right, you’ll be quids in.

The basic maths can be easy to understand – but it takes genuine time and practice to be able to turn a regular profit from this type of bet strategy.  If you have a keen head for figures and are confident you can make it work, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get started right away!

Which Sports are Best for Back and Lay Bets?

Plenty of ‘experts’ and seasoned betters will likely try and advise you that sports such as horse racing, football and rugby are the best places to start with back and lay bets.  However, the fact of the matter is, it will likely differ from better to better.

You’ll need to consider betting in markets for a sport you know a fair amount about, or one which you are willing to immerse yourself in.  To that end, you should be able to make more precise judgements and to find where you can generate the most profit.  Consider tennis, cricket and football for odds which can change wildly even mid-play!