Betting Exchanges UK – The Best Sites In UK 2022

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A betting exchange is a platform which enables customers to punt on the outcome of discrete sporting along with entertainment and political 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.

Use our handy hedge betting calculator to find out in seconds how much you can make when backing and laying on a bet exchange.

Take a look at the Top 5 Betting Exchange sites we've ranked below for this year!

TIP: 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. Find out more in our article below.

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Best Betting Exchanges for Backing & Laying in 2022

#1
Smarkets
  • 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
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

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 Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

#2
Spreadex
Spreadex
  • Minimum stake of 1p
  • Sports live-streams available
  • Offers an unrivalled selection of sports spread betting markets
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Qualifying £25 fixed odds bet must be at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. First free bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Following free bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. Place a smaller qualifying bet and get different amounts of free bets. E.g. £20 initial bet = 4 x £5 free bets, £15 initial bet = 3 x £5 free bets etc. Free bets must be claimed within 28 days of opening. Free bet stake not included in any winnings. 18+ Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

#3
Matchbook
  • 0% Commission on all sports for 90 days for New Players
  • 2% Commission on Net Profits for UK & ROI Customers
  • Sportsbook Features - Multiples, Cash Out & Streaming
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Significant T’s & C’s The User must enter Bonus Code ‘COMMFREE90’ during registration Only available to users whio deposit via credit or debit cards New Customers Only. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

#4
BETDAQ
  • Commission rate of 2% on winning bets
  • Commission-free on certain markets and promotions
  • Comes with a public API
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ only. Certain countries only. API/RDT customers excluded. Min £20 exchange 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. T&Cs Apply.

#5
Betfair Exchange
  • One of the best betting exchanges for UK customers
  • Commission rate of 5% on winning bets
  • Best betting exchange for backing
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

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. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

#6
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
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Best Betting Exchange Sites Ranked – Top 6

#01 Smarkets

#02 Spreadex

#03 Matchbook

#04 BETDAQ

#05 Betfair Exchange

#06 Ladbrokes Exchange

 

Backing And Laying Calculator

Use our handy hedge betting calculator to find out in seconds how much you can make when backing and laying on a bet exchange.

HEDGE CALCULATOR
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Best Sports Betting Exchange Sites – Reviewed

Smarkets Betting Exchange

Smarkets Homepage

Source: 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.

Smarkets have improved the range of their betting markets and odds available across their exchange. We love the level of statistics that are available on Smarkets for a number of their betting markets, not only limited to sports, but also in the political sphere as well. Smarkets provides exceptional coverage of political betting markets on elections around the world.

We feel that his offers a different angle to the usual betting exchange, using their vast knowledge to great effect to offer customers unique wagering opportunities. Their sports betting product on the exchange is improving, but still has a little way to go to match the leaders in the industry. However, we were pleased to see a welcome offer of up to £10 provided to new customers. Offers to existing customers are limited to cuts on commission, which we would like to see improved in the future with the addition of free bets.

Matchbook Betting Exchange

Matchbook Homepage

Source: Matchbook

Matchbook have a sterling reputation as one of the best betting sites in the business, and we believe that it is currently the best operator in the industry. We love the fact that there are numerous betting markets available across the board for a litany of sports, including all our favourites such as football, cricket, boxing and golf. The betting site and app has a sleek look and is aesthetically pleasing, there has been a lot of thought put into its design. Improved security measures allow bettors to place their wagers with peace of mind.

Matchbook have made strides to improve their welcome offer, providing a £20 risk-free bet for new customers, which sees your stake returned of your first wager loses. New customers also receive the option of 0% commission for the first 90 days of their tenure with Matchbook. There are also regular Bet10 Get10 promotions for existing customers on a variety of sports, including greyhound racing.

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.

BETDAQ Betting Exchange

BETDAQ Homepage

Source: BETDAQ

BETDAQ is one of the best betting exchange options for enthusiasts, and offers new customers a welcome offer worth £20 once you place a bet of the same amount on their exchange. At the moment, the site is charging a commission fee of 2% on all winning bets, which is standard practice across the industry.

BETDAQ is commission-free on all markets apart from football, horse racing, greyhound racing, cricket, and virtual sports. However, one of the reasons why we like BETDAQ so much is because of their promotions, which remove the commission on Saturdays when there are an abundance of sports to wager on. Furthermore, apart from Betfair, BETDAQ is the only other betting exchange which offers a public API.

BETDAQ provide a great range of sports betting markets and competitive odds with the rest of the industry to ensure that their customers are receiving premium value. It is why we rate BETDAQ as one of the top three on the 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.

Betfair Betting Exchange

betfair exchange homepage

Source: betfair

Betfair Exchange was one of the leaders in the industry for the quality of their product and remains as one of the finest exchanges on the market due to their range of betting markets and value on their betting odds. Given the amount of customers that are loyal to the Betfair Exchange brand, you have no shortage of betting options when it comes to wagering with their product. 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.

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.

We also appreciate that the offers that are provided on Betfair’s sportsbook carry over to the exchange so you can use bonuses such as their Bet £20 Get £5 offer on a variety of betting markets which is available for both new and existing customers. They also offer the chance to earn an extra £10 by referring a friend to their exchange.

Ladbrokes Betting 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.

 

What is a Betting Exchange?

A betting exchange allows you to punt on the outcome of discrete sporting, entertainment and political 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:

Backing

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.

Laying

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. In this example, you can bet against Liverpool not to beat Arsenal in a Premier League matchup. Depending on the odds available, you may receive better value for laying a wager rather than placing a back bet. It is all about judgement.

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.

 

How To Choose Your Betting Exchange?

There are a lot of elements to consider when choosing the best betting exchange for you. Here are our top tips for deciding which betting exchange to use.

Value
When considering signing-up to any betting site, you want to ensure that you’re getting value for money. Picking the best betting exchange with top value on their odds is the best way to start. You can judge for yourself by comparing their odds on a market of your choice through an odds comparison service or simply by looking at them yourself across the board. Our research has discovered that the Betfair Exchange offers the best value on their odds on the selected markets that we delved into on football and horse racing. Timing can be everything in terms of getting the best price for your wager, especially when using an exchange where the value can fluctuate.

Our Recommendation: Betfair Exchange

Welcome Offer
As a new customer you always want to receive the best welcome offer available. Betting sites attempt to entice you in with a lucrative option of free bets to use across their sportsbooks, and the best betting exchanges are no different. In our research we found that Betfair Exchange and Matchbook were equal in terms of their welcome offer for new customers. Both operators provided a risk-free bet worth up to £20, which could be refunded in full if your first wager was to lose. It is a fairly standard welcome offer as bonuses go in the industry, but these were stronger than their rivals. If we were going to pick one, we would side with Matchbook for the strength of their overall product and the improvements that have been made in recent years to their betting exchange.

Our Recommendation: Matchbook

Range Of Markets
A good betting exchange will have a solid range of markets, but the great ones will have extensive betting options for their customers. We don’t want to see simple wagering options for the result when we line-up our stakes. There should be access to the top range of betting markets that are available when using a traditional sportsbook. Fortunately, the betting exchanges that we have highlighted provide this level of access when betting on a variety of sports. Betfair Exchange and Matchbook meet all of our criteria in terms of the scope of their betting markets, providing more than the outright results with betting options including over/unders and handicap wagering. Wegive the edge just to Betfair Exchange because of their longstanding expertise.

Our Recommendation: Betfair Exchange

Commission
All betting exchanges will take a commission for their part in allowing you to bet against another punter through their site or app, but not all exchanges are equal in terms of the percentage of their cut. The best betting exchanges will only take a percentage of your funds if your bet is successful, if they take a cut of any wager then it is in your interests to not wager with those operators. The top betting exchanges in the industry will only charge a small amount in commission.

In our research we found that Matchbook and Smarkets were two of the best in that regard, charging their customers up to 4%, but in a lot of cases only 2%. BETDAQ were also intriguing by removing their commission on Saturdays at the time of writing, although it remains to be seen whether this promotion is a permanent move. Smarkets provide a bonus of 0% commission for loyal customers that stood out to us in our research, so we would firmly recommend using their exchange when looking to maximise your earnings from your winning bet.

Our Recommendation: Smarkets

 

How To Use A Betting Exchange

Using a betting exchange is a simple process and is just like wagering on a traditional sportsbook. First and foremost, you simply sign-up to the betting exchange you would like to join by entering their betting site and app. You will then be asked to enter your personal and financial information, which will be securely held by the operator in question with stringent measures in place. A deposit will then be required to put funds into your account. Take care with the amount you place as a certain threshold may have to be reached to qualify for the welcome bonus, read the terms and conditions of the sign-up offer before depositing funds into your account.

Once you have signed up to the betting exchange of your choice you will then be able to place your bets. Unlike most traditional betting sites, the exchange odds will be represented as a decimal value. It will be up to you whether you place a back bet or a lay bet on the options that are available. The concept of placing your stake is just as you would on a normal betting site, although there might be a minimum stake required on a particular betting market. You will so a price value underneath the decimal odds, which highlights the threshold required for your bet to become active. If the value is £10, any bet under that amount will automatically be sanctioned, but if the value is over that amount it might take time for the betting exchange to agree to the wager. It is a fairly simple process to follow and you should have no issues when signing-up and betting with these bet exchanges.

 

Best Betting Exchange Offers

  • When signing up to a betting exchanges or whether you are a regular customer, you will always want to receive the best offers and bonuses from your chosen operator. These can come in the form of several options, although they are not quite as lucrative as offers provided by sportsbooks and casinos when you have signed up and played regularly on their products.
  • The best offers we have seen in regards to free bets come from the Betfair Exchange and Matchbook, providing their new customers with a £20 risk-free bet on their first wager. Others such as Smarkets and BETDAQ offer smaller amounts as part of their welcome bonus, which may make you consider alternatives if you desire a greater sign-up offer from your betting exchange.
  • Free bets are part of the package offered by the best betting exchanges aimed at enticing your custom, but other alternatives is reducing the amount of commission they take from your winning bets. The top operators in the industry are competitive in terms of the percentage they will take from your successful punts. The lowest we have seen are 2%, but they will attempt to lower this further for a period of time which can see these levels drop to as low as 0%. We have seen offers from Matchbook, BETDAQ and Smarkets that all have provided this level of service.
  • There are negative points to promotions provided by betting exchanges. They’re not as frequent as offers you may find on regular sportsbooks and the potential of 0% commission can be a fleeting promotion as the exchanges will have to take their cut at some point. Therefore, it is crucial that you capitalise on these offers when they are available.

 

Risks and Rewards of Betting Exchanges UK

  • There are benefits to using betting exchanges and there are elements of risk. The best betting exchanges ensure that their customers receive the benefits of premium value on their odds and a wide range of betting markets, while reducing the negative aspects of the system in the process.
  • The rewards for using a betting exchange is the value you can find in your betting odds. Since you’re not betting against a bookmaker you can define the price yourself if you can find a punter on the other side of the coin. It can be more lucrative betting on the exchange if you’re savvy enough with your odds and markets. Knowing when to bet and what markets to target are crucial to securing a sizable profit when using betting exchange UK.
  • You also have the advantage of laying bets, which are not available from traditional sportsbook. Lining up a wager on an event not to occur can be more beneficial and lucrative, especially on events such as horse racing when leading contenders can have very narrow odds to win. Betting on the other side of the coin for a failure on their part can increase your profit margins.
  • The risk element is always a factor when gambling and you must weigh up all your options before placing your wager. Some bets on the exchange may require a minimum stake, which might sway your opinion about lodging your bet. If you surpass a threshold regarding your stake on a certain bet on the exchange it might not be accepted by the site in question.
  • When laying against a bet with long odds you might be susceptible to a hefty payout if the selection wins rather than fails. If you were to place a £1 on a 20/1 team or horse to lose, and if they were to win, you would be liable to pay out up to 20 times your stake. These issues must be considered before you open and bet with a betting exchange.

 

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

Smarkets, Matchbook, and BetDaq are the best betting exchange sites for UK customers.
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.
In the UK, there are 5 top betting exchanges. Reviews of which can be found in our detailed betting exchange guide!
Betfair Exchange is the best site for backing with high liquidity on a betting exchange.
Smarkets offers the best betting exchange platform for laying with high stake liquidity.
Yes. Betting exchanges are available in certain locations, depending on the site in question. Read the terms and conditions of the exchange before you sign-up to their product.

 

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.