Lay betting is an option that has been made possible through betting exchanges, such as Betfair’s. To lay a selection is to essentially bet on something not happening. So for example, you might think that Chelsea are too short on the weekend and you might think their opponents will get a result. As a result of this, you decide to lay Chelsea, or in other words, bet that Chelsea will not win the match. Therefore if Chelsea lose or draw, you will get paid.

There is another important difference choosing to lay a bet rather than back. You have to remember that when laying a bet, you essentially are taking up the role of the bookmaker. Therefore should your selection win, you’ll have to pay out your backer’s winnings. This of course can be more than your stake so make sure you are very careful how much you decide to lay. If you are using Betfair to lay a selection, they will tell you your liability, should the worst happen and you get it wrong. When you have placed the bet, your liability will be taken from your balance straight away.

How to Place a Lay Bet 

West Ham layLay west

Let’s take a look at the above for an example.

Here I think Man Utd’s price at 2.58 is too short, so I have decided to Lay (bet against them) at that price. For this example the backer’s stake is £50. So essentially I am taking a £50 bet at 2.58.

As you can see to the right hand side of the second image, it says ‘Your liability’ and underneath it £79. This is the amount that I would lose if Man Utd were to win. If the game ends a draw or a West Ham win, I win the £50.

Important Points To Remember When Lay Betting

  • You can only win the backer’s stake
  • Your liability can potentially be a considerable amount higher than the amount you can win
  • Your liability is taken from your balance once you place the bet
  • Make sure you know exactly how much you could be liable for. You wouldn’t want a nasty surprise if you get it wrong!

If you haven’t done it before, I would really recommend giving lay betting a try. See it as a new opportunity to learn and build on  your betting knowledge. It’s probably best to start off with small stakes at first so you are completely comfortable doing it.

As always, if you have any questions at all about this or how it works, feel free to drop us a message and we’ll get straight back to you.