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Lay Betting To Make Money & What Is A Lay Bet?

By | March 12, 2022

Lay betting to make money is probably a strange concept to you.

Don’t worry. Most gamblers struggle to understand what is a lay bet.

However, lay betting can make a difference in your gambling career.

Do you know the best part?

I’m going to help you become a professional at it.

By the end of this article, you’re going to know what lay betting is about and how to exploit this concept.

With that, you’d be able to improve your cash flow significantly.

Why bother with lay betting?

Why should you even bother learning about lay betting?

Well, lay betting helps you earn without even gambling.

That caught your interest, didn’t it?

Lay betting is also the key to understanding how matched betting works.

Lay betting can help you do this and even more.

Lay betting allows you to understand how bookies work.

It also lets you understand how to use a betting exchange and combine multiple betting.

The learning potential is huge and I can tell you important things that need to be done. Are you ready?

Let’s dive in!

What really is lay betting?

The best way to understand lay betting is to take a look at its opposite- back betting.

Back betting is familiar to most gamblers.

In fact, this is a straightforward process.

You visit a bookie and place a bet on a game.

You are convinced that your bet is going to win. This bet can go two ways.

You can win and get your money back plus your earnings.

You can lose your bet and lose your stake.

It’s quite simple.

The back bets work with the decimal points of the bookie.

That’s all fine and good. The lay bets, however, are the complete opposite.

Let’s talk about that a bit.

Lay Bets are the opposite of back bets

Just think of the opposite of back bets.

That’s exactly what lay bets are. Lay bets are placing a bet on something you feel won’t happen.

It means you are placing a bet that a certain team or horse will lose.

Still not clear? Let’s use an example. Suppose you want to place a bet on the next game between The Patriots and the Chicago Bears.

Now, you strongly believe that the Bears have got the upper hand here.

So, you place a lay bet on Patriots.

It works even better when there are two or more competitors.

An example would be a horse race.

So, lay bets are generally placed on a losing outcome.

If that’s clear, let’s talk about a lay bet stake

Understanding Lay Bets Stake

So what is a lay bet’s stake?

This is the middle of back bets and lay bets.

It’s the position that allows you to match both types of bets.

The reasoning behind the stake of the lay bet is that each stake placed is effectively taking a back bet stake.

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Is that a bit confusing? Let me explain.

When a gambler loses his stake to a bookie, the bookie keeps his stake.

You get this stake he loses as a lay bet stake.

To keep it simple, placing a lay bet is like staking for a back bet.

So how does this balance each other out?

Balancing the Scales

By placing a lay bet, you are placing it against the normal gamblers.

You lose your lay bet when a back bet against your stake wins.

For example, let’s say you placed a bet of $5 at odds of 2.0 on the USA losing a basketball game.

If the USA should win that game, you lose your lay bet.

The back bet keeps his money and his earnings.

It works both ways.

So in a way, you are like a bookie who has to pay back the back bets if you lose.

By now, you must be excited by the potential of laying bets.

Next, I’ll show you where you can place lay bets.

Where can you place Lay Bets?

The only way to place lay bets is through the Betting Exchange.

Several factors influence your availability to lay bets.

The biggest factor is that people must be willing to back up the same event.

If you are the only one laying the bets, your efforts will be in vain.

So the summary is your ability to place a lay bet depends on how many people are backing your event.

Let’s take an example to explain this closely.

Let’s say you intend to place a bet on America’s basketball team.

The odds for this bet stand at about 3.0.

The lay bet is about $5.

This means that when placing a lay bet, this is as good as it gets.

You get nothing more than this even on lower odds.

However, if another set of odds stands at 2.5 and the lay bet is $200, this is the highest you can go.

I would like you to note some things.

The rate at which the lay bets odds and availability is going for changes a lot.

It’s going to change even more as the event gets closer.

At this point, it may be hard to take advantage of the changes.

Understanding Multiple Lay Bets

So what if you decide to place more than one lay bets on a single event.

Do the costs or liability increase with each lay bet?

Not necessarily. In fact, this can even work in your favor.

When you place two or more lay bets on a single event, you reduced the liability of failing to win a bet.

Why is that? When you place lay bets on two different outcomes, you are only at risk of losing one bet.

This means that your worst possible outcome is losing a single bet. That liability can easily be dealt with.

What would be the final result?

You lose just one lay bet and you pocket the earnings of the other bets plus your stake.

Let’s explain better with an example.

Let’s say you place a lay bet against two horses taking part in the same race.

The worst-case scenario is that you lose one of those bets.

By winning the other bets, you get one of your lay bets back and some earnings.

This is more than enough to cover up for any liability incurred from the other lay bets.

Commissions on Lay Bets

You will agree with me that lay bets have very high betting potential.

Therefore, you can only expect that betting exchanges will want a piece of the cake.

Betting exchanges will usually want a commission for both types of bets.

However, some matched betting sites offer up some smart plans.

You could start with a trial session if you are unsure of the deal being offered.

Now that we are done with that, let’s take a look at how you can place bets with these exchanges.

Top Ways to place a Lay Bet

I earlier mentioned that only betting exchanges will allow you to place lay bets.

Believe me, there are so many popular betting exchanges today.

However, some stand out more.

They include Smarkets, Matchbook, and Betfair. So how do you make the right choice regarding a betting exchange?

To help you make up your mind here, we’ll look at these three betting exchanges in closer detail.


If anyone wants to stake their claim as the biggest betting exchange in the world, that’s Betfair.

Remember Paddy power?

They merged with them.

That’s how big they are.

There are some benefits to using Betfair.

You get all the sporting options and events.

It is, after all, the biggest betting exchange out there.

Being the biggest also means it has the most users.

This creates liquidity. Liquidity leads to easier and more profitable lay bets.

If you’re a football fan and are into horse racing, then Betfair is really the best option.

However, you should note the drawbacks.

You’re set to spend a lot.

The commission rates are also crazy.

You can expect to have rates as high as 5%.

However, the good side is that the rates decrease as your bets increase.


You can say that Matchbook was established as an alternative to Betfair.

Their strategy? Really low commission rates.

Their rates are as low as 1.5% for an existing offer and less than 1% when you create one.

Matchbook is also the go-to guide on sporting events in America.

Think NBA, MLB, and the NFL. You’ll get better options with the Matchbook.

However, I wouldn’t expect the same amount of liquidity as Betfair.

The standards have been set so high and that’s okay.

It also has a lower market expectation.

There’s also the tiny problem of the absence of API available.

Matchbook is obviously a smaller market than Betfair.

However, their low commission makes them a viable option.


I like to refer to the Smarkets as the modern-day kids.

They are the latest betting exchange and they came in with a bang.

What’s their ultimate goal?

To become the number one dog on the market and they are going about it pretty well.

They have low rates- about 2%.

This is lower than Betfair by about 3%.

However, as expected, they have lower markets than their competitors.

API and liquidity are also not readily available.

So now we have the betting exchanges and their strengths all ironed out, let’s move to the elephant in the room.

How do you make substantial cash through lay betting?

How to make cash through lay betting

So this is pretty much the climax of everything we have learned earlier.

To help you make that cash from lay betting, you have to learn how to combine your lay bets with back bets.

This should be done while taking advantage of the free bets offered by the bookies.

How can you do it?

Well, your best bet is to use valuable tools.

One such tool is the odds matcher. Another is the matched betting calculator.

Matched Betting and Free Bets

The matched betting calculator shows you how to calculate the type of bet type that’s made and compare it against the odds and commission rates.

So how does this help me increase my earnings?

That’s where the free bets offered by bookies come into play.

Now, using both tools, try to calculate the stake for the lay bet.

Use this on the free bets options that are available.

While calculating the matched bets, try to target earnings of at least 70%.

For example, if you are placing a free bet of $20, aim for a profit margin of about $17.

So this is the sequence in which the numbers will appear on your matched betting calculator.

  • The type of bet
  • The back bet stakes
  • The back bet odds
  • The lay bet odds
  • The commission rates.

When you input all these figures, it shows you the most profit margins that are more realistic.

Using Price Boosts

Price boosts are another effective way of making massive profits on your lay bets.

So what exactly are price boosts?

Price boosts are periodic offers that are made by bookmakers.

What does a price boost do?

They help increase the odds that are available for an event.

However, they generally last for a short period.

Now the price boosts are even more interesting when there’s a shift in the odds.

The odds can become higher than the lay bets that are available in betting exchanges.

You can really make some bucks here.

Still unclear? Let’s use an example to illustrate this better.

Suppose you are still betting on the American basketball team and the odds were 2.0.

Now, the bookmaker decides to go for a small price boost to let’s say 2.5.

Now, let’s say we decide to use Matchbook as our betting exchange and the odds of the lay bets are 2.2.

The potential for a higher earning is huge.

To calculate how much profit you will need, your matched betting calculator comes in handy.

Do you know another great part of all this?

It takes very little time to place the two bets.

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One more thing though…

While price boosts are really great and you should look at them, do not rely solely on them.

Price boosts do not come all the time.

Most bookmakers, stay for about five minutes.

Another reason why you should have a broader strategy is the quality of the boost. It might just be a “small boost” literally.

Do you want to catch price boosts as soon as it lands?

You might want to leave your post notifications on.

The Backing and Laying Game

You can make money through lay bets through the backing and laying game.

What does this mean?

You back bet and lay bet at the same time to make a profit.

Here’s how it works.

Whenever you notice that a bookie’s odds are higher than the odds that are given by the betting exchange, it’s time to strike.

Most people really consider using this tactic when there are very low commission rates involved.

It will be suited to betting exchanges such as Smarkets and Matchbook.

Most people back and lay using arbing.

There’s been much talk about how to price boosting and arbing are similar.

Yeah, they are. However, there’s something fundamentally different.

When a price boost is given, they still form part of an offer.

In fact, they are just a boost to the main offer.

When arbing is used, it refers to use out of place bounds to gain massive profits.

However, you should be careful though.

Arbing is not something that’s universally liked. Some bookies hate it so much that they can put restrictions on your stake.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

So here we go! We have talked about a lot of things today.

So let’s see if we both got the main points.

Lay Betting Stands out

Lay betting stands out because it is unique.

Not many people have mastered the art of lay betting.

Learning how to lay bet can open your earning potential to different possibilities.

Choose the right betting exchange

We talked about several betting exchanges that are available.

To utilize your lay bets properly, you must choose carefully.

Ultimately, you will have to make the choice between lower commission rates and a larger market

Learn the concept of matched Bets

Learn how matching bets work. Use the tools that make this possible and how you can take your winning profits to at least 70%.

Try to also master how to take advantage of price boosts and back and lay bets at once.

Free bets offered by bookies are really priceless. Use it wisely.

Finally, expand your earnings and take your income to the next level.

There’s so much you can achieve with lay bets.

Master how it’s done and watch your cash flow increase over time.

Betting can be exciting and really memorable.

Make this even more so through lay betting.



Author: Chris Barber

Chris Barber Media specializes in providing wealth creation strategies, motivation, and success mindset principles that produce financial freedom. Free training here if you are serious about a lifestyle of freedom. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: There are affiliate links on this website, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, the owner of this site will receive compensation if you purchase any product or service recommended through these links.