On this page: How Peer to Peer Betting Works What is a Lay Bet? How does Lay Betting Work? Lay Liability How to Lay Off a Bet? Lay Betting Strategies How to Calculate Lay Bet? FAQs Lay betting is a special type of betting that you will usually find at a betting exchange such as Betfair or Bwin. The term “Lay” in lay betting essentially means betting against a certain outcome, whereas traditional betting usually pivots around betting for certain outcomes. This might sound a little convoluted as all bets are essentially betting against certain outcomes as well but the concept will soon be clear. One thing that is abundantly clear from the above definition, lay betting is not a regular type of betting one would be able to place at a bookmaker. This is where betting exchanges come into the picture. A betting exchange facility is a platform facilitating peer to peer betting. At these platforms, bettors bet against each other. As the bettor plays the bookmaker in these scenarios, the exchange usually does not have much to do except provide the infrastructure and collect a small commission from each bet placed. UK sites offering lay betting No Code Required 3.9/5 Up to maximum £100 in free bets Go to Betfair Go to review New customer offer. Place 5 x €/£10 or more bets to receive €/£20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €/£100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply. How Peer to Peer Betting Works Peer to peer betting is much like traditional betting, except the fact that a player acts as a bookmaker in this scenario. Based on their understanding, knowledge and purview of the event, the player might set certain odds. Other bettors will scan the exchange for all odds set for their favourite event and if they find one they like, they might place a bet on those odds. This is called a “Match”. You may have heard liquidity in terms of a betting exchange and this exactly why liquidity is important to match bets. Liquidity means the maximum amount of money waiting to be matched in a market and that is the maximum you can bet on either Lay or Back. In exchanges with very low liquidity, you might find that not enough funds have entered that can match your bet or, worse still, your bet gets matched partially. This is unfavourable as odds might significantly change by the time your whole bet is matched. What is a Lay Bet? In the above section, we have mentioned “Back” and “Lay” betting. Back betting is exactly what regular betting is. Say for example, there is a football match going on between Chelsea and Liverpool. The bookie or another player is presenting odds of Liverpool to win with odds of 3.8. If you bet on these odds on Liverpool, you are essentially “Backing” Liverpool and their chances of winning. If Liverpool indeed ends up being winners, you make a profit. If the match ends up in a draw or a loss for Liverpool, you lose your stake. If you “Lay” Liverpool, on the other hand, you are essentially betting on Liverpool not winning. In such a case, if the match ends in a draw or Chelsea ends up winning, you will be in profit. There is a slight difference between Back and Lay because in lay betting, you are betting on something not happening instead of something happening. How does Lay Betting Work? The first question that pops to one’s mind is that why use lay betting at all? What is the usefulness of this option? For example, if we go back to the above scenario, why not bet on Chelsea being the winner instead of Liverpool being the loser? Does that make a difference? Well, it kind of does. Let’s look at the outcomes first. We shall examine 4 scenarios to understand why lay betting is a good option at certain times and to make the math work better, we shall add some numbers to this example. Scenario 1: Betting on Chelsea being the winner with a stake of 10 GBP at odds of 3.0. Simply put, if Chelsea ends up winners, you get back your 10 GBP stake plus 20 GBP in profits. But you lose your stake if the match is a draw or Liverpool wins.Scenario 2: Betting on the match being a draw with a stake of 10 GBP and odds of 4.0. If the match ends in a tie, you get back 40 GBP including your stake. But if either Chelsea or Liverpool win, you forfeit your stake amount.Scenario 3: Betting on Liverpool to win with a stake of 10 GBP and odds of 6.5. Similar to the first scenario, if Liverpool wins, you get back 65 GBP which includes the stake amount but any other outcome renders you a loser.Scenario 4: “LAY Liverpool”. In this scenario, if you are laying Liverpool, let’s say at odds of 3.0 in favour of Chelsea, you win the bet if either Chelsea wins the match or if it ends in a draw. As long as Liverpool does not win, your bet prevails. It is evident that in a game like football, laying a particular team immediately increased your chances of getting a favorable outcome from 33% to 67%. This is why lay bets are often used in accumulator bets.