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Thursday, May 21, 2009

When is a bookmaker not a bookmaker?

If you have been following the blog, you will know that for the recently I have been using to see if the odds I am getting are the best available.  What I noticed is that certain bookmakers were consistently offering the best odds for many of my bets, one being Betfair.

Unlike most of the others, Betfair (and others such as Betdaq) are not traditional bookmakers, they are betting exchanges.  So what is the difference.

First, there are two terms to be familiar with, back and lay.  If you back something you are betting on that out come taking place. For example if you back Manchester Utd to win a football match you win the bet if they win.  If they lose or there is a draw you lose the bet.  If you lay Manchester Utd to win, you are betting against a Manchester Utd win.  So if they do win you lose, but if there is a draw or they lost you win the bet.

With a traditional bookmakers, you and me always back a selection and the bookmaker always lays the selection.  With a betting exchange you are betting with other people not a bookmaker and can choose to either back or lay a selection. 

Brilliant, so you can now lay everything that doesn’t have a chance of winning and make easy money, if only it was that easy.  I’ll explain why it probably isn’t the easy winnings it may appear on first inspection another time.

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