You may have seen the option for a lay bet on various bookmakers, from Betfair to Bet 365 and wondered what its all about.

With this betting option, you’re able to play the bookmaker by offering to sell a bet instead of buying a bet.

But how? We’ll discuss this as simple as possible so you can gain a better understanding behind the mechanics of a Lay bet in Sports Betting.

Lay Betting

Lay betting is often also known as arb betting; arbitrage betting or matched betting.

With this technique, you’ll be able to minimize risk by allowing you to bet against a certain result.

For example: Instead of betting on Liverpool to win, you can bet on Liverpool to lose.

By doing this, you’re placing a lay bet.

Isn’t it just the same?

No, similar to buying and shorting stocks on the betting exchange, a lay bet allows you to bet against a certain event happening instead of backing it.

Typically punters back an event, lay bets make things a bit more complicated giving you the option of both.

Understanding Liability

One difference between buying and selling is your liability.

With a standard backing bet, let’s say you bet for Rashford to score in the first half of a match. You place a bet for £10 and wait for the result.

The amount you’re risking is £10 and that is the most you can lose with this bet.

This works differently when you lay a bet, in fact, it works the opposite way round.

If you place a lay bet you are trying to make £10. The amount you can lose is £10 multiplied by the lay odds.

Here is an example: The odds to lay Rashford scoring in the first half of a match in 4.0, so your liability is £30. If Rashford doesn’t score you stand to win £10 minus any commission from the bookies, but you could lose £30 too.

This is a lay bet however you will never have £30 at risk because you’ll also be betting to back Rashford on another bookie.

That’s lay betting for you, similar to shorting on a stock if you’re familiar with that, however much simpler.

If you’d like to get started with betting we recommend using a Tipster, you can jump right in, learn from the most experienced and start making money today.

Sign up for a free trial