So What Is Laying In Betting? Most people know how to place a bet also known as “backing” but not many people can tell you what “laying” a bet is when challenged.
To lay a bet is the opposite of backing and means to back something not to win instead of it winning.
For example, Red Rum is running in The Grand National and you think it’s not going to win, you would therefore lay this horse, meaning you win if the horse loses.
It gets a little more complicated with what you actually win though, but once I show you, it will be just as clear to work out as backing a horse is if you want to know what is laying in betting I suggest you keep reading.
Working Out What You Win When Laying
When you back a horse you place a bet at the stated odds, lets say 5/1, which means for every pound you place on that horse to win you get £5 in return plus your stake back (£6 for every £1 staked).
With laying its a little different as you are in a way acting the bookmaker, for the same horse if you laid it you would be liable to pay out on somebody else backing the horse in question.
So if you laid the horse at 5/1 for £2, if it loses you will get £2, if it wins you will have to pay out £10 to the person who backed the horse to win with their £2 stake at 5/1.
Basically, your winnings are the stake that a punter places, you can adjust this to whatever you want (see image below) the more the stake however the higher your liability (the money you will have to pay the backer).
Your winnings are the backer’s stake if the selection loses and your loss is the liability if the selection wins.
In the above example if “Party At Pages” wins you will have to pay out £20 from your Betfair account.
On the other hand, if it loses you will win £5 which is the stake someone placed a back bet at the odds shown.
Remember that Betfair also charges a percentage on winnings from backing and laying and you can find out what they charge on their website.
Where Can You Place A Lay Bet
You cant place lay bets at online or offline bookmakers, the only place you can lay anything is on something called a betting exchange.
A betting exchange is a betting exchange that allows members to bet against each other rather than a bookmaker. Customers can offer odds to or request odds from, fellow punters.
You can usually get far better odds on betting exchanges than you would at an online bookmaker, a prime example is Betfair who offers superior odds on thousands of betting markets when compared to bookmakers.
Betfair, Smarkets, and Betdaq are the only 3 betting exchanges online in the UK that you can place a lay bet currently.
Things To Remember When Laying
Always remember that the stated liability if a horse does win and you laid it is what you will have to pay out to the backer.
You will only be allowed to lay a selection for what you have in your online account with Betfair for example but other exchanges may allow you to expose yourself to more risk than you want to take or have worked out.
Lets say you have £100 in your Betfair account and your liability for a lay bet is £102 it wont let you place the lay bet.
Always remember your liability is what you basically lose if the selection your laying wins, and that you only get the backers stake if the selection does lose.
I hope this what is laying in betting article has helped you to understand the exchanges and how they work, if it has please share it with friends and support my work.