Betting Exchanges – The Best Sites in 2021

A betting exchange is a platform which enables customers to punt on the outcome of discrete events. As opposed to betting on a sportsbook, where the customers bet against fixed odds set by a bookmaker, an exchange allows players to bet against each other. In this article, we will list the best betting exchange sites, detail a few tips and strategies and give a detailed comparison of betting exchanges and sportsbooks.

Best Betting Exchanges We Recommend for Backing & Laying in 2021

  • Select Tier: Commission rate of 3% on each individual matched bet that settles
  • Pro Tier: Commission rate of 1% on each individual matched bet that settles
  • Best suited for laying

1. Once the bonus is credited to your account, losses will be refunded up to the bonus amount. 2. You must deposit at least the qualifying deposit of £20 (or currency equivalent) in a single amount with your first deposit to be eligible for the rebate. 3. To withdraw rebated funds, you must bet at least the qualifying deposit on any combination of markets within the promotional period; otherwise rebated funds will be forfeited. 4. Unused bonuses expire after seven days of being credited to a user account and will be removed after this period. 5. Users making their first deposit by Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or a virtual/prepaid card will not qualify for this promotion. 6. The sign up offer is strictly limited to one per individual, family, household address, email address, same payment account number, and shared computer. 7. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other sign-up promotion. 8. Smarkets standard terms for promotions apply. #ad

  • 2% commission on net profits for UK and ROI customers
  • No commission charged for losing bets
  • Brand new design and enhanced security

New customers only. Place a bet of £10 or more as your first bet and we will give you £10 when the bet settles. Bonus funds must be rolled over once at odds of 2.0. Maximum refund is £10. This offer is only available to users who deposit with credit or debit cards. 18+. T&C's apply. #ad

Betfair Exchange
  • Best betting exchange for UK customers
  • Commission rate of 5% on winning bets
  • Best betting exchange for backing

New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Commission rate of 2% on winning bets
  • Commission-free on certain markets
  • Comes with a public API

18+ only. Certain countries only. API/RDT customers excluded. Min £10 exchange or sportsbook bet at odds 2.0 or greater within 14 days of acc reg. Free bet valid on exchange for 7 days. Stake not returned. Depositing directly via bank card. No cashout. New customers only. The free bet will be credited within 72 hours to your account once the staking requirement has been met. T&Cs Apply. #ad

Ladbrokes Exchange
  • Commission rate of 5% on winning bets
  • All bets are fed into BetDaq’s exchange channel
  • 2% commission rate upon earning 12k Commission Points

Best Betting Exchange Sites Ranked – Top 5

#01 Smarkets

#02 Matchbook

#03 Betfair Exchange


#05 Ladbrokes Exchange


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Best Sports Betting Exchange Sites – Reviewed

Betting Exchange #1 – Smarkets

Smarkets is among the most best betting exchanges sites for customers residing in the United Kingdom. The site presently charges a commission rate of 2% on all winning bets.

As a Pro Tier customer, you can reap the benefit of a 1% commission rate if you place more than 1,500 bets on a monthly basis or wager more than 1,000,000 GBP in the same time frame.


screenshot of Smarkets politics betting market


Smarkets is the best betting exchange for laying with big stake liquidity; however, they offer fewer markets when compared to Betfair. Nevertheless, players are afforded with interesting graphical insights and charts as well as a dedicated blog.  

Betting Exchange #2 – Matchbook

One of the best betting exchange sites known far and wide, Matchbook, founded way back in 2004, is a must have on our list.  With new options to place multiples exchange bets, redesigned event pages which provide seamless navigation and a 2-factor authentication for enhanced security, Matchbook has definitely upped its game.


matchbook betting exchange


At the time of writing, the betting exchange, does not provide any welcome bonus for new customers however we have no doubt that this will change in the future and we will update this guide as soon as one is announced.

Matchbook charges a 2% commission on your net profits only (applicable to UK and ROI customers) with a 4% commission being charged to all other customers. Any losing bets will not be charged any commission.


Betting Exchange #3 – Betfair Exchange

Betfair is undeniably one of the most popular betting exchanges in the United Kingdom, with a customer base that encompasses nearly 90% of the total number of punters which bet on betting exchanges. Betfair Exchange offers an API system and integrated trading tools, which enable you to gauge in-depth data for a betting market in question and help you determine how the odds are drifting, or may drift.


screenshot of Betfair horse racing schedule


Betfair's betting exchange currently charges a commission fee of 5%. For every bet that you place on Betfair’s betting exchange, you receive Betfair Points, which can be used towards a commission discount rate. Apart from being the best betting exchange for backing with big stake liquidity, Betfair is also popular for its Football and Horse Racing markets.

You can access the Tips & Previews and Historical Data sections on the site’s secondary navigation bar – first, make sure you have clicked the Exchange tab under the main Betfair logo on the top-left of the screen.

It should also be noted that Betfair charges the higher rung of its most successful traders, a charge of 20% on their acquired winnings.


Betting Exchange #4 – BETDAQ

BETDAQ is an excellent option for betting exchange enthusiasts, and offers new customers a 10 GBP Free Exchange Bet. At the moment, the site is charging a commission fee of 2% on all winning bets.

BETDAQ is commission-free on all markets sans Football, Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing, Cricket, and Virtual Sports. Furthermore, apart from Betfair, BETDAQ is the only other betting exchange which offers a public API.


screenshot of BetDaq international racing market


BETDAQ also has a separate website called BETDAQ Tips, where interested players can find detailed trading articles and the latest information about market movers.


Betting Exchange #5 – Ladbrokes Exchange

Having acquired BetDaq in 2013, all the bets that are placed on Ladbrokes’ betting exchange are fed into the BetDaq betting exchange platform.

At the moment, Ladbrokes is charging a commission fee of 5%. However, if you acquire 12,000 Exchange Commission Points, you can an enjoy a lower fee of 2%. For every 25 GBP that you win or lose on the exchange platform, you will receive 1 Exchange Commission Point.


screenshot of Ladbrokes international racing market


You can gauge past match Results via an option which is present at the left-hand side of your screen.


What is a Betting Exchange?

A betting exchange allows you to punt on the outcome of discrete events by backing and laying. You can minimize your risk of loss by matched betting. While Betfair is the most popular betting exchange in the United Kingdom, several other promising betting exchanges have gained increasing liquidity over time.

The quantity of customers backing and laying on a betting exchange determines the odds on offer for a particular bet. The better the liquidity is for a certain betting market, the more competitive the odds become. Betting exchanges charge a commission rate on winning bets, and allow customers to create and build on betting markets.

That being said, how does backing and laying work? What is matched betting? Here is all you need to know:


A Back Bet means that you back a particular outcome to result in a win. For example, if you are betting on Liverpool to win against Arsenal, in an English Premier League matchup, your placed bet will be countered by another customer who is punting on Liverpool to not win the match.

If a Back Bet market is quite popular, a betting exchange platform may match your Backed Bet against several opposing parties. Unlike traditional sports betting, the odds on offer for a Back Bet depend on the betting volume for the market in question. You are not betting against a bookmaker, but against other players.


Lay betting on a betting exchange entails punters acting as a bookmaker themselves, offering odds to sell on a bet that they would like customers to punt on, rather than backing a bet. Lay betting sites, in a nutshell, involves punters offering a bet, its outcome of which they will hope does not come true during a match.

Matched Betting

Matched betting involves placing multiple bets to cover all the outcomes of a match and ensure a risk-free approach, using Free Bet promotions and bookmaker incentives. For example, if you place a Back Bet on Liverpool to win a match using a Free Bet, and a Lay Bet on Liverpool to not win a match while punting enough money to ensure that you will not incur a loss, you have placed a matched bet. You must have an account on two or more betting exchanges.


Betting Exchange Trading Tips and Strategies

When it comes to punting on a betting exchange, you should always do your research, and fully understand the concepts of backing, laying, and matched betting. Keep in mind also that different betting exchanges come with varying commission rates.

The best betting exchange for backing with high stake liquidity is Betfair, while Smarkets is the best betting exchange for laying with high stake liquidity.

While BetConnect is a rather new betting exchange platform – having been launched in 2018 – it is offering commission-free laying, which makes it an interesting prospect. Betfair offers an API system and integrated trading tools to give you in-depth data for a betting market in question, and to help you determine how the odds are drifting or may drift.

To ensure a risk-free approach, you should pick markets with odds that are dropping. The odds on offer at a betting exchange for a particular market are updated on a second-by-second basis, and you should follow the change in the odds on offer carefully.

As soon as you witness a drop in the odds on offer, you can either back the other outcomes, or lay the outcome that you have punted on, guaranteeing a profit. When the odds on offer for an event on a betting exchange add up to less than 100%, you can make a profit by backing all the outcomes for that particular event.


Sports Betting Exchanges vs. Sportsbooks

A sportsbook involves betting markets of interest with odds that are determined by a bookmaker. Betting sites charge a margin of profit called bookmaker’s margin on betting variants, the popularity of a betting market of which determines the competitiveness of the quality of the odds offered by a betting site.

A sportsbook does not involve the concept of backing and laying. Players bet on the outcome of an event as is provided by a betting site.

Betting exchanges, on the other hand, come with odds which are determined as per the popularity governing a betting market in question. The higher the liquidity attached to betting markets is, the more competitive the odds on offer become.

Betting exchanges charge a commission fee on winning bets, unlike Sportsbooks, which charge a margin of profit on all placed bets. Sportsbooks have direct control over placed bets, while betting exchanges act as a mere platform for both backing and laying. Laying involves punters acting as bookmakers themselves, as has been mentioned earlier on in this guide.


Best Betting Exchanges FAQs

🌱 What are the best betting exchange sites for customers residing in the United Kingdom?

Smarkets, Matchbook, and BetDaq are the best betting exchange sites for UK customers.

 📈 How does a betting exchange work?

When betting on an exchange, punters are betting against each other instead of the bookmaker. Exchanges allow for lay betting which mean backing a selection to lose as opposed to winning and tend to offer more markets compared to traditional bookies.

❓  How many betting exchanges are there?

In the UK, there are 5 top betting exchanges. Reviews of which can be found in our detailed betting exchange guide!

📚 Which is the best betting exchange for backing with high stake liquidity?

Betfair Exchange is the best site for backing with high liquidity on a betting exchange.

⚡️ Which is the best betting exchange for laying with high stake liquidity?

Smarkets offers the best betting exchange platform for laying with high stake liquidity.


ThePuntersPage Final Say

If you came here looking for some of the best betting exchange sites the Internet has to offer, we hope that all your most burning questions have been answered!

When it comes to punting on a betting exchange UK, you must be thoroughly familiar with the concept of backing, laying, and matched betting. Punting on a bet exchange allows you to better make use of live betting mechanisms, and potentially minimize your risk of losing placed bets. When it comes to placing an in-play bet, we recommend live-streaming matches as much as possible to keep up with the latest occurrences during a game or event.