Betfair Betting Exchange

Betfair is the world's leading betting exchange. It was founded in August 1999 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray in order to commercialise proprietary betting technology they'd developed.

In 2016 they merged with Paddy Power to form Paddy Power Betfair and in doing so became one of the world’s leading sports betting and gaming operators. They are listed on the FTSE 100 index of the London Stock Exchange.

Unlike with conventional bookmakers, all bets on Betfair's betting exchange are placed by users who either want to back a selection to win, or lay it to lose. Betfair matches the bets between people with opposing views. If you prefer the more traditional style of betting, they also offer fixed odds betting via their Betfair Sportsbook.

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BSP Betting

Betfair provide their own Starting Price (BSP), which is based on bets placed by both backers and layers in any market. With no margin for profit built in it gives you much better odds than traditional SP. When placing bets on the Betfair Exchange you can choose to either take the odds on offer or have your bet settled at BSP.

Live Race Streaming

You can watch horse racing from around the world, live via their race streaming. For horse racing from UK, Ireland, UAE, Lating America, Australia and Singapore, you'll need to place a minimum matched bet of £5 on the race, to view it. There is no wagering requirement to watch races from the US and South Africa, as long as you have an account with a balance of at least £2.

Range of Sports

Betfair provide betting opportunities on horse racing in the UK, Ireland, USA, South Africa, UAE, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, India, Chile Argentina and Singapore. They also offer bets on a wide range of other sports and activities.

Horse Racing Horse Racing
Greyhounds Greyhounds
Football Football
Golf Golf
Tennis Tennis
Cricket Cricket
Boxing Boxing
Darts Darts
Snooker Snooker
Motor Sports Motor Sports
Rugby Rugby
American Football American Football
Baseball Baseball
Basketball Basketball
Ice Hockey Ice Hockey
Cycling Cycling
Winter Sports Winter Sports
Volleyball Volleyball
Athletics Athletics
Badminton Badminton
Fishing Fishing
Mixed Martial Arts Mixed Martial Arts
Swimming Pool
Table Tennis Table Tennis
Netball Netball
Australian Rules
Gaelic Games


The way in which Betfair earn their money is by charging a commission on winning bets. They operate a layered structure whereby the more you bet, the lower your rate of commission will be. Commission is charged only on your net winnings from any single market. You do not pay any commission if you have a net loss on a market.

Their standard commission rate is 5%, but you will be able to decrease that depending on the volume of bets you have matched. Commission amounts are offset by the increased odds you get betting on a betting exchange, compared to betting with a traditional bookmaker.

In-Play Betting

In-Play or sometimes referred to as In-Running betting is where you bet on the outcome of an event after it has started and up to when it ends. Betfair were the first to offer this on horse racing and in doing so opened up a whole new dimension of betting on the sport. You can see how well your fancied horse is running, before deciding to back it or lay it. Or you can trade one or more horses during a race to hopefully make a profit no matter which one wins the race.

Betfair uses a green In-Play icon to indicate when a race has gone in-play.

Odds Trading

In addition to regular betting, Betfair also gives you the opportunity to trade the odds, either prior to or during an event. The idea is you back a selection at higher odds and lay the same selection at lower odds, to guarantee a profit, whatever the outcome of the event. This is what's commonly referred to as a Green Book, as all possible outcomes show a profit. There are many ebooks and software programs around help you with this. See the Exchange Trading section for more information.

Betfair API

The Betfair API is an application programming interface that enables developers to create software that seamlessly integrates with the Betfair sports exchange. Typically applications can be used to automate many aspects of your betting or trading. You can either develop your own applications or buy software from a vendor, see our Betting Exchange Bots section.

Bet Types

Betfair offer win only and place only bets on horse racing. They also offer Reverse Forecast bets on some races. For additional bet types (e.g. accumulators, you can place bets via their sportsbook.

Depositing Funds

In the UK the most popular method of funding a Betfair account is by a Debit Card (Delta, Solo, Maestro), but they also offer the following methods of payment:

  • Visa, Mastercard
  • PayPal, Neteller, Skrill
  • ClickandBuy, Western Union
  • Bank Transfer and cheques.
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