Back and Lay bets

When you enter the Betfair exchange for the first time, you may notice that its interface differs from the regular bookmaker website. The bookmaker offers bets on a specific event that should happen according to your opinion. This could be the match result, the number of goals/corners/yellow cards, etc. This event is given a fixed odd, which you cannot change.
The betting exchange offers the same events and the same outcomes. However, the exchange possibilities are wider than any bookmaker’s ones. Betfair allows not only to place a bet at the odd offered by the other party, but also to act as a bookmaker itself, offering bets with the selected odd to other users. This is implemented by using two types of bets: “BACK” and “LAY”. They can be placed in any available market: match result, over/under, penalty kicks, etc. The bets placement rules are the same on any market.
On the exchange, “BACK” and “LAY” bets are located in different fields: blue field is for “BACK”, red field is for “LAY”.
This is how it looks on the Betfair website:

And this is how it looks in the BetDriver program:

Back bet

This type of bet is familiar to everyone who has ever played in a bookmaker’s office. You need to select a specific event for which the bookmaker offers its own odd. If you suppose the event to happen, then bet a certain amount of money on this event. In case of a win, you get back the amount of the bet and the net profit, which depends on the selected odd.

In the case of an exchange, the bookmaker is excluded from the chain. A real person, who has opposite views on the sporting event outcome, is playing against you. You choose a suitable odd and place a bet on it. If the bet amount is less than or equal to the bid amount, then your bet is accepted.

You may specify your odd for this event and place any amount of money on it. In this case, the bet is accepted when there is a participant ready to bet the same amount of money on your odd, but with the opposite point of view on the event outcome.

How to place a Back bet

Since the BetDriver interface has minimal differences from the Betfair exchange, we will consider the Back bet in the program as an example.

Example: 15th tour of the English Premier League, a match between Leicester and Manchester United. Market: Match Odds. A BACK bet on the Manchester United team victory with odd 2.36.
We click on the blue square with an odd of 2.36.

We see a blue line with our bet below in the “Place bets” section.

We enter the bet amount, for example, $10. At the same time, under the names of the teams you can see the estimated profit or loss depending on the bet amount and the final result. If Manchester United wins, our net winnings will be $ 13.60, according to the odd we chose. In case of a draw or Leicester win, we will lose the placed amount ($ 10).

We press the “Place bets” button. Our bet is transposed to the “Accepted bets” section.

There is also a second betting option. You can place a BACK bet with your own odd. In the process of creating such a bet, you specify not only the amount, but also the odd. But such a bet will not be accepted immediately. It remains in the “Unaccepted bets” section until another participant, who will bet on the opposite outcome with your suggested odd, is found. In this case, the bet amount placed by him must be equal to or greater than the amount of your bet.

You may make changes in your bet in terms of the odd or the amount, as well as cancel it, until the bet is not accepted.


Lay bet

This type of bet is only offered by the exchange. In lay terms, when you place a LAY bet you assume that a certain event will NOT happen. It is like playing in a bookmaker’s office from the bookmaker’s side. It wins if the event the player has placed his bet on does not happen: a goal is not scored, the team did not win, the horse did not come first. That is, you act as a bookmaker when placing a LAY bet.

Example: in a football match, you place a LAY bet against the victory of the first team. If the first team wins the match, then your bet will lose. If the match ends in a draw or the second team wins, then your bet will win and you will receive the other player’s bet amount.

The LAY bet has its own peculiarities. First of all, when placing a LAY bet, you are accepting a BACK bet placed by another betting participant. The odds displayed in the field with LAY bets are the odds of the participant with the opposite BACK bet. To calculate your odd, you need to use the following formula:

O “Lay” = O ”Back” / (O ”Back” – 1)

Example:You place a LAY bet against the victory of the first team with an odd of 1.5. Then the LAY bet odd are calculated as follows:

O “Lay” = 1.5 / (1.5 – 1) = 1.5 / 0.5 = 3

The process of creating a LAY bet differs from the BACK bet.


How to place a LAY bet?

Example: 15th tour of the English Premier League, a match between Arsenal and Chelsea. Market: Match Odds. You want to place a LAY bet against Arsenal win at 4.2. That is, you accept the BACK bet with an odd of 4.2 from another player. In this case, the LAY bet odd is:

O “Lay” = 4.2 / (4.2 – 1) = 4.2 / 3.2 = 1.31

We click on the red square with an odd of 4.2.

Below, in the “Place bets” section, we see a red line with our bet. In the “Amount” field, enter the estimated profit that you want to receive in case if your bet wins. In other words, this is the other player’s bet amount that he will lose if Arsenal does NOT win this match.

Let us assume that you want to win $10 and enter this value in the “Amount” field. You need to bet $32 in order to win $10. This amount can be seen at the top under the team name. In our case, this is Arsenal.

The amount of $32 is also called a liability. It will be transferred to the player with the BACK bet if Arsenal wins the match. Since you act as a bookmaker, you undertake to pay the winnings to the second player. If Arsenal wins, the player with the BACK bet receives $10 (bet amount) + $32 (profit by an odd of 4.2).

If Arsenal loses or draws a tie, then you receive $10 (the first player’s bet amount) + $32 (the amount of your bet or liability to the other player). The liability (your bet) and the estimated profit (the other player’s bet) amounts are displayed below the team names. Obligation is marked red, profit – green.

As we can see, the lower the odd in the red field (the another player’s BACK bet), the higher the LAY bet odd and vice versa. The higher the odd in the red field, the higher the liability amount (your LAY bet) must be for receiving the desired profit.

Example: a match between the same teams on the “Over/Under 0.5 goals” market. We can see an odd of 20 in the red field with LAY bets (outcome of Under 0.5). To receive a profit of $ 10, you will need to make a bet of $ 170 (your liability to another player). What we will get by calculating the odd using the formula below:

O «Lay» = 18 / (18 – 1) = 1.06

You may also set your own LAY bet odd. The rules for such bets creation are the same as in the case of BACK bets.