Back and Lay Betting Explained

What Is Back and Lay Betting? - Backing & Laying Bets to Make Money

If you regularly bet online, you might have come across some special types of bets (at least in the name) that you don’t know the meaning of. For example, you’ve surely come across back lay betting. Many punters find it difficult to place lay and back bets, yet it’s pretty simple to do so.

In this guide to back and lay betting explained, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. We’ll also show you a few examples and break down what liability means in sports betting.

What Is Back and Lay Betting?

Usually available at exchanges such as Betfair, back and lay bets have made all the news recently. The reason is simple – they offer better value for your money, even if you don’t know the exact specifics. Backing or laying a bet is straightforward once you learn your way around it. It gives punters a chance to play the role of a bookmaker and is also known as arbitrage betting.

If you’re wondering what a lay bet is, it’s a technique used by punters to profit from free bets and bonuses. With a lay bet, you’re essentially ‘selling’ your stake, laying it against the odds of an event outcome.

On the contrary, back betting is simpler to understand. It means you’re backing a team, player, horse, or other participants to win the match or event. The back and lay odds are displayed at betting exchanges, and by placing your stake, you won’t need a calculator to check the returns.

What is Back-to-Lay? It’s a betting technique whereby the bettor will place a wager on a selection at the highest odds and look to lay the same selection at a lower price on a betting exchange site.

How Does Back and Lay Betting Work?

Betting exchanges around the world offer these bets on different events and matches. They might sound confusing initially, but you shouldn’t have trouble with this bet once you get the hang of it.

You can then use it on cricket, football, or any other sport the bookie or exchange offer.

Back Betting

Let’s say you’re checking out the odds on a few horses at an exchange. You find a runner you like and back it by betting on it. For example, it can be a $10 bet on a horse’s odds of 3.0. In that case, you’ve backed that horse to win, and no other outcome will deliver a win for you.

While a back bet might sound like a regular bet, keep in mind that when backing and laying a bet, you’re doing so against other punters, that’s why the odds are better and why the odds for these bets look much better than the standard.

Lay Betting

Instead of backing a horse to win, you can also lay a bet against its odds. In that case, you’re betting that any horse other than your pick will win. Your lay bet wins if any other horse wins the race, even if your choice has lost.

The same can be applied to, for example, outrights for a football competition such as the Champions League. You can bet against Barcelona winning the CL at excellent odds, and your chances of winning will be high. Lay betting is an exciting way to place bets against other punters without a bookmaker as the third party in the business.

What Is Liability in Betting?

If you’ve ever placed a back or lay bet, you might have heard the term liability thrown around. Many exchanges have a liability calculator that makes it easy for punters to learn what it is.

In the simplest terms, it’s money you must have in your account for a lay bet to proceed. When you back an outcome in a match, the stake is the liability. The liability also correlates with the odds used in the formula we mentioned before.

  • Liability = (Your stake x (Lay odds – 1))

Let’s say you’re laying Barcelona at odds of 1.50 against Manchester City with a stake of $10. In this case, the liability is $5. That’s how much money you need to have in your account for the bet to go through. Think of it as insurance for the lay bet the betting exchange locks away from you.

But you don’t need a unique guide for liability in betting. Most exchanges have the formula automatically embedded in the system, so it’ll instantly be displayed when you enter your stake.

While not essential to place back and lay bets, liability is a significant factor you should consider. Using the formula above, you can calculate backing and laying bets to make money without the need to log in and let the system do the work for you at a betting exchange.

Lay the Draw Trading

We’ve covered laying and backing favourites, but what about the draw? In Australia and other countries, punters at sports betting sites usually use the so-called lay-the-draw strategy to optimize profits. This strategy consists of laying a bet on a draw. You’re essentially wagering on the match not to end in a draw with it. Keep in mind that there are 2 different lay-the-draw strategies. One is lay-the-draw betting; the other is for traders.

You lose your lay bet if it ends 1-1 or 2-2 or any other draw result. Whenever a team scores in the match, the draw price goes up to make some nice profit. It is one of the best lay betting systems used in online sports betting and can be pretty profitable if you know what you’re doing.

The example we used above is for lay-the-draw betting strategies. There’s another one called lay-the-draw trading, which works differently.

The price movement when laying the draw doesn’t work for some punters. With a lay-the-draw trading system, you’ll be able to trade matches in play and bank some profit.

Lay Betting Strategy

You’ll need to use lay betting systems and strategies to succeed in lay betting. No need for anything fancy – a basic strategy will do nicely. Of course, you can’t count on winning each of your lay bets, even with strategies and systems. However, you will optimize your profits while covering most of your losses.

Turning a profit from lay betting or any other betting type is not easy. It requires commitment and no wrong moves. However, our pros have top betting tips and tricks that should help increase your odds and make you a better lay punter.

In back-lay betting, you must first control your liabilities. You can always use a dummy calculator to see the risk and possible rewards and weigh the ratio between each other. If everything looks clear, you can proceed to lay a bet. If something looks fishy, you’re better off trying your luck elsewhere.

Another excellent strategy for lay betting is specializing in a particular field. Find a market you like and focus on it. The more you follow developments around it, the higher your chances of winning. Develop strategies around that particular market; you’ll win lay bets before you know it.

Of course, it’s all about the mindset too. If you think you can lay back and get rich, you won’t make anything out of your bets. Do your research, read a guide on lay betting, manage your bankroll, and never chase your losses. That’s the best strategy when placing lay bets online.

Example of Back and Lay Betting

Here are a few examples of how to back and lay a bet online for new punters.

Back Betting

Let’s take a horse race as this example. You see a horse just behind the favourite with odds of 3.0. By placing a bet on the horse of $10 or any other sum the bookie allows, you’re backing it to win the race. If you win, you get $30 in return. If you lose, you lose your bet. That’s the simplest example of a back bet.

Lay Betting

Lay betting is the exact opposite of back betting. Using the example above, laying the same horse means betting he will not win. If any other horse wins the race, your lay bet is successful. If the selected horse wins, you lose your money.

How to Make Money Using Back and Lay Bets

Matched betting is a great way to make money from back-and-lay bets. The odds and returns won’t be ideal, but you’ll still be able to invest some profit.

Besides that, you should follow top betting tips and predictions and use a basic strategy. Back-and-lay betting requires some prior knowledge of the matter, so don’t put your money in it if you don’t know what you’re doing.

What Sports Can Back and Lay Betting Be Used For?

Final Words

Arbitrage betting is a fun way to bet on sports online. While you’ll need some info beforehand, our lay-and-back betting guide can help.

We hope it gave you the correct answers to the backing and laying a bet so you can place these exciting bets and hopefully make solid returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does lay mean in betting?
    Lay betting means betting on an outcome not to come through. You’re picking on a team, horse, or player to win an event with back betting. By placing a lay bet, you’re doing the opposite – you’re betting on them not to win the event.
  • Is back and lay profitable?
    Yes, back-and-lay betting can be profitable. The fact that it’s done at exchanges with higher odds and value means that you can make more money out of them.
  • What is the difference between back and lay?
    When you back a selection, they must win the event for your bet to win. By laying a bet against them, you can only win your bet if they lose.
  • What happens if you win a lay bet?
    Win a lay bet, and you can get a lucrative reward.
  • Still have questions?
    Ask our experts
Rebecca E
Writer & Media

Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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