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Mr S&S 

Can you please take a look at the betting Exchanges for sports betting and compare opening and off prices against high street bookies. Overnight early prices at the bookies are scandalous. Generally their prices are scandalous as compared to the Exchanges. 

The Exchanges differ from the bookies (WH, PP, L etc) in that you can offer any odds  you want ....win or lose. Generally they offer significantly better odds than the traditional high street bookmakers. So much so that if you go to any stall on a racecourse the guy in the back with the laptop has Betfair up on the screen and is following their price. You can also bet in running. The exchanges run the market now, not like the old days when off-prices could be manipulated by bookies as they were set on-course [bookies had people on site with £10k in pocket to dump on fav just before off, dropping his price off-course but also course bookies not have time to lengthen others].

16:50 Cheltenham today

It Came To Pass (IRE)  66/1 

225 and 26.4 to place on Betfair



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And Betfair prices can be misleading to a degree. It could be that only £4 was traded at that price ie £2 backed and the opposing £2 lay. Doesn't mean it was widely available.

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The simple thing is the Betfair exchange doesn’t have to make a margin on the market like a bookmaker, the exchange makes its profit by charging commission on winning bets.

This means that the market is much nearer to a 100% true market with no over round in for the bookies profit margin.

That said once your bet is matched on the exchange you won’t be able to benefit from BPG that most bookies offer, much like betting at the track the price you get at the time of placing a bet is the price you will be paid at even if the selection drifts.

Yes you can lay on the exchange but this is more specialist area and people need to remember you can lose more than the original stake by laying.

Without trying to offend the OP I don’t really see what he’s getting at here? The exchange has been around for nearly 20y now and most regular punters have an account or at least understand the pros and cons of the exchange v the bookie?

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  • 3 months later...

Nort, sorry missed your post. 

Let me expand as a list of positive and negative. I do agree that this is mainly based on the newbie punter - If you have found your you here you are probably already have an account with one of the exchanges. What gets me is why anyone would bet with the bookies at all? They odds on the exchanges are so much better.


High Street Shop  (inc online)


  • BOG - this is a good benefit especially if you like Irish racing! Best odds even if your donkey drifts out before the off.
  • Do they still pay first past the post? 
  • Some bonuses on Lucky 15 etc? 
  • Social, can pop in whilst the Mrs is shopping.
  • Can take a piss, at your own risk?
  • They take some strange bets
  • E/W bets are actually in your favour at 1/4 and 1/5 the odds. 
  • Will take tiny bets for pennies


  • The overnight prices from the bookies are scandalous, just scandalous
  • The man book prices are scandalous.
  • Once I wanted to bet 10 min before the off once and they said sorry the book is not ready, you can only bet SP. So they only produce the actual prices 5 min before the off. Why? I want more time. 
  • The cash out (some may call this a benefit) are again well well below the market price (you could get far more on exchanges)
  • Can't bet in running
  • If there is ever a mistake they will refuse to pay (so for example 50:1 popped up on the screens for a football game draw, obviously wrong but I stuck £2 on and it, accepted ticket and went through the till. Draw was the result .....and they refused to pay more than £6). Guy at till makes a mistake = refuse to pay. 99% of the time their mistake = your problem.
  • Betting late - Putting you bet on with 10 seconds before the off.......


Exchanges (online only)


  • You can see every bet placed on the market how much and when. So you can see a ton of money flooding onto a horse just before the off. 
  • The odds are generally about 10% - 30% higher than at the high street. Outsiders in the shops are 66:1 but 100+ on the exchanges
  • You can bet horses to loose
  • Bet in running, until horse crosses the line
  • Max odds are 1000:1 (win) and 0.01 (lay)
  • You can leave cash out trades at any price, as you can lay your own bets in running
  • There are plenty of app extensions that let you set up trades both before and after off. Some people trade and make a profit buy/sell before the race even starts.
  • The odds are available the evening before the race and don't go away


  • Some bets they will not take online, strange ones and some multiples in different sports etc. Strange forecasts. 
  • Typically minimum trade is £2



Anyone for any more? 






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