Betting on the Internet

a) Choosing a Market


One of the quickest ways is to use the fastlinks located on the Betfair homepage. The fastlinks list popular featured markets on Betfair. Click any hyperlink and it will take you directly to that market.

All Markets

One option available on the market navigation (or 'menu') on the left hand side of the screen is All Markets. Selecting this option displays all markets that are on offer at Betfair. Select a sport and then drill down through the options to find your desired event and desired betting market.

My Markets

The My Markets link displays the markets that you have decided you want to see. When you log in to Betfair the market navigation will default to this option. To customise your markets click on the customise markets link. This link is available at the top of the Market navigation in the My Markets and All Markets tab. You can then select the sports or events you would like to feature in your markets. Note. You must be logged in to use this feature.

b) Types of Betting

Betfair has many different styles of market betting. For more information click on the links below:

Odds Betting

Odds betting is the most common form of betting in the world and involves predicting whether an outcome will happen or not. You place your bet at particular 'Odds' which relate directly to the percentage probability that the outcome will happen. The lower the Odds, the more likely it is that the outcome will occur. The outcome with the lowest Odds is often known as the 'favourite'. Traditionally, the Odds betting market happens one-way only, with bookmakers always 'offering' Odds and users always 'taking Odds'.

Betfair allows users to both take Odds and to offer Odds. Therefore you can bet whether an outcome will happen or will not happen. When you take Odds you 'back' the outcome and when you offer Odds you 'lay' the outcome. All Betfair Odds are 'Decimal Odds'.

When you back an outcome, you want that outcome to happen. For example, if you back Henman at Odds of 3.1 for £100, you want Henman to win. Your total return if he wins, is £310 (including your stake), and your maximum loss is £100 (your stake).

Laying an outcome is the opposite of backing it: it is betting that an outcome will NOT happen. This is what bookmakers traditionally do. For example, if you lay Derby County at Odds of 4.0 for £100, you think it is sufficiently unlikely that Derby will win that you offer Traditional Odds of 3/1 against it. Your total return, if Derby lose or draw, is £100 (i.e. the stake), and your maximum loss is £300 (which is what you would have to pay out). In effect you are accepting other people's bets who want Derby to win.

Odds markets can have one winner or multiple winners depending on the detail of the market. Betfair offers 'place' markets on most horse races for example. The number of possible 'winners' on a market is always detailed on the 'market info' tab.


The coupons allow you to see a range of odds markets at-a-glance. This allows you to review the markets of interest and place bets without leaving the coupon display. You can place more than one bet at a time, but only within one market.

Each market is shown with odds available to back and lay each possible outcome. For soccer, note that in line with convention each of the outcomes is denoted Home, Away or Draw. In the event of a match played at a neutral venue, the first named team shall be labelled the 'Home' team.

Odds available at the stake amount you wish to bet

You may pre-select the stake amount you wish to bet by clicking one of the buttons at the top of the coupon. The values of these buttons may be customised by selecting the "Adjust stake amounts" link.

If you choose the 'Best' odds view at the top of the coupon, the odds displayed in the coupon for each outcome are the best odds available irrespective of stake money on offer. If you choose the 'Average' odds view at the top of the coupon, the odds displayed in bold are those currently available for the stake amount you wish to bet. If it is not possible to match your entire stake from the money on offer at the best three prices available, then the best odds (irrespective of stake) are displayed in grey.

Placing Bets

Clicking on the odds button will display the bet you are proposing to place in the bet manager tabs to the right of the coupon. You can then submit your bet in the normal way.

If you're using the 'Average' odds view, the Place Bets tab will show the minimum odds required to attain the odds shown in the coupon. If the market has not changed once your bet is processed you will receive the same average odds that you saw in the coupon. For example, if there were £50 available at 3.2, £25 available at 3.1 and £25 available at 3.0, then the average odds shown on the coupon for a stake of £100 would be 3.15. Clicking on the odds button would prepare a bet of £100 at 3.0 on the Place Bets tab, which, if placed, would match at average odds of 3.15 as long as the market had not moved.

If a bet is only partially matched, the remainder of the bet will be left as an offer, which may or may not be matched at a later time. Note that the odds shown in the coupon are the odds available at that time. It is possible for the amounts available to change between selecting the odds and placing the bet. For this reason, you may be matched at slightly different odds than those shown on the coupon. 'Single-click' betting, described below, minimises the chance of this happening, but does not give you the chance of reviewing the bet before placement.

Single Click Betting

For added convenience, the coupon can be put into a 'single-click bet' mode. This allows the placement of the default bet simply by clicking on the odds. Note that this mode does not give any further confirmation once the odds are clicked. Once the odds are clicked the bet is placed and the bet manager screen will display the details of the bet which has been placed. You can select the 'single-click' mode by editing your settings at the top of the coupon. Once switched on, a tick-box will appear at the top left of the coupon. This will allow you to switch single-click betting on and off.

When in single-click mode, the odds boxes are shown outlined in red.

Note: If the market is moving quickly and the 'Average' odds view is selected, it is possible for bets placed using single click betting to be matched at a different price to that shown on the screen. Clicking refresh immediately prior to bet placement reduces the risk of this happening.

Editing/Cancelling Bets

You can view existing matched and unmatched bets on markets listed in the coupon by clicking the arrow just to the right of each coupon. This will open the relevant My Bets tab for each market. Where you have existing bets on coupon markets, the arrow will contain a star symbol so you can see these quickly without having to open each one individually.

Asian Handicap Betting

Asian Handicap is a form of betting which is very popular in Asia (thus the name). "Handicap" means that a team receives a virtual head start, effectively leading the game by differing amount or amounts before it actually kicks off.

If you back a team with the handicap and they manage to win the match (with head start included), then you'll win the bet.

In some cases, a team is given two virtual head starts. If they manage to overcome both of these, then you get a maximum return on your stake. If they overcome only one of these, your profit is either halved or half your stake is returned, depending on the market.

Rather than the three options available on standard match betting:

  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • The Draw

when you bet on an Asian Handicap market, you have two options from which to choose:

  • Arsenal -1.5
  • Chelsea +1.5

The above example is the simplest case of Asian Handicap betting on Betfair, ie when a team is given a half number of goals (+0.5, +1.5, +2.5 etc). The team who scores the most with the handicap applied is deemed the winner. For example, if I back Arsenal to beat Chelsea with a handicap of -1.5, the bet is a loser if the following happens:

  • Chelsea win
  • Draw
  • Arsenal win by a 1 goal margin

but it's a winner if

  • Arsenal win the match by 2 or more goals

As mentioned, some Asian handicap markets give teams two virtual head starts (or handicaps in the case of the favourite!). Here, we have a combination of a half goal and a whole goal handicap (-0.5 & -1, +0.5 & +1). These bets are sometimes referred to as quarter goal handicaps:

  • Real Madrid -0.5 & -1.0
  • Barcelona +0.5 & +1.0

In this case, the stake is divided between a bet on the half goal and a bet on the whole goal handicap. For example, if I back Real Madrid to beat Barcelona with a handicap of -0.5 & -1.0, then

  • If Real win by 2 goals or more, both parts of my bet win and I collect all winnings
  • If they win by exactly 1 goal, then only half my bet wins and the other half is void
  • If they draw or lose, then naturally both parts of the bet lose

  • A similar market to this is when the handicap starts with a full goal amount (-1, 0, 1) rather than a half goal amount. For example:

    • Liverpool 0 & -0.5
    • Everton 0 & +0.5

    In this case, the stake is divided between a bet on the whole goal handicap and a saver on the half goal handicap. For example, if I back Liverpool to beat Everton with a handicap of 0 & -0.5 (or -1/4 goal), then if:

    • Liverpool win by 1 goal or more, I win my bet at the odds taken
    • Liverpool draw, I get half my stake returned
    • Everton win, I lose my entire stake

    The market is similar to an odds betting market in that you put up offers and take odds in much the same way as the odds market. However, because of the more complex rules surrounding Asian Handicap betting, it is not possible to display the profit and loss on this market. However, when placing bets in the bet manager, you may tick the 'Detail View' box on the 'Place Bets' tab to detail your profit and loss for each outcome. On the 'My Bets' tab, there is a summary of you current matched position and your worst possible outcome for each possible result. Each unmatched bet on the 'My Bets' tab has profit and loss information underneath it.

    As on all markets, when you place a bet, money will be reserved from your account to cover your worst possible position on the market. In an Asian Handicap market, the amount reserved will reflect bets on all lines. If, for example, I back a team to win with a 1.5 goal start, but lay them to win with a 1.5 & 2 (or 1 1/4) goal start then my maximum loss may (depending on the odds and stake) be when they lose by two goals and it may result in me losing half my stake, not the stake on both bets. This will be reflected in my available balance. In addition, commission on these markets is taken from the total winnings on the market across all lines.

    In-Play Handicaps

    When our Asian Handicap markets go in-play you will be betting on the FINAL SCORE which will be added to the handicap to settle the bet. YOU WILL NOT BE BETTING ON THE REMAINDER OF THE GAME!

    Bet Example:

    Betfair's Opening 1st handicap at kick-off:

    Opening Score:
    Arsenal 0
    Chelsea 0

    Team Handicap Price (Odds)
    Arsenal 1.95
    Chelsea 1.95

    Bet A: Back Arsenal -½ for £100 (Arsenal to win by 1 goal or more at the Final Score)

    Bet B: Back Chelsea +½ for £100 (Chelsea to win or draw at the Final Score)

    *Then Arsenal score in the 15th minute*

    New Score:
    Arsenal 1
    Chelsea 0

    Team Handicap Price (Odds)
    Arsenal -1½ 1.98
    Chelsea +1½ 1.93

    Bet C: Back Arsenal -1½ for £100 (Arsenal to win by 2 or more goals at Final Score)

    Bet D: Back Chelsea +1½ for £100 (Chelsea wins or not to lose by more than 2 goals at Final Score)

    Final Score:
    Arsenal 1
    Chelsea 0

    Bet Results:
    Bet A: Back Arsenal -½ for £100 Win
    Bet B: Back Chelsea +½ for £100 Lose
    Bet C: Back Arsenal -1½ for £100 Lose
    Bet D: Back Chelsea +1½ for £100 Win

    What is a voided bet?

    If the handicap given is a whole goal, +1, -1, 0, -2 etc, and the score line makes the settlement score a draw, the bet is voided. Neither the backer nor the layer can be said to have won the bet, so the money staked is returned to both.

    If you lay Arsenal -1 and Arsenal win 1-0, the settlement score is 0-0 and the bet is voided (you get your money back).

    If you back Arsenal -1.0

    Win by: -1 (lose by 1) 0 (Draw) 1 2 3
    £10 @ 1.95 Lose £10 Lose £10 Void £10 Win £9.5 Win £9.5

    What is the settlement score?

    The settlement score is the result with a given handicap applied. This score is used to settle the bets. If you have backed Arsenal -0.5 and Arsenal win 1-0, the settlement score is (0.5)-0 and you win the bet. If Arsenal draw 0-0, the settlement score is (-0.5)-0, and you lose the bet.

    What are Quarter Goal Handicaps?

    When a handicap is made up of two parts, like 0 & -0.5 , or +1.5 & +2.0 , it means that the bet is split 50/50 between the two handicaps. These are often referred to as -1/4 (-0.25) or +1 ¾ (+1.75) goals handicaps (examples above). So if you back Chelsea +1.0 & +1.5 (also +1 ¼ or +1.25) with £100, you are effectively betting £50 on Chelsea +1.0 and £50 on Chelsea + 1.5.


    If you bet Arsenal -0.5 & -1.0 (also -3/4 goal handicap, or 0.75 goals) odds of 2.0, £10.

    Win by: -1 (lose by 1) 0 (Draw) 1 2 3
    Bet 1 Lose £5 Lose £5 Win £5 Win £5 Win £5
    Bet 2 Lose £5 Lose £5 Void £5 Win £5 Win £5
    Total Lose £10 Lose £10 Win £5 Win £10 Win £10

    Single Line Variant Odds Betting

    Betfair operate a different type of odds betting market which is based around the handicap market. These markets are similar to handicap markets in that they allow you to bet on a score or index to be at different levels but the exposure and commission is linked across bets on the different levels.

    You place bets on whether the index or score will be above a certain level. If you think it will be below this level, then you lay bets on it being above that level. For example, Betfair often run a single line variant market on the number of runs a cricket team will amass. The runners for the market might be 150 runs or more, 200 runs or more, 250 runs or more etc. If the team attains the specified level, then back bets on that selection are winners, otherwise they are losers. So you could back a team to score 250 runs or more and lay then to score 300 runs or more. If they score less than 250 your back bet loses, but you lay bet wins. If they score more than 300 then the back bet wins, but the lay bet loses. If they score between 250 and 300 runs then both bets win.

    Line Betting

    Line Betting is an even-money (Odds: 2.0) bet on the total number of runs, goals, points or shots scored or played in any sporting event. The 'Line' refers to a line of numbers representing all possible results. In order to bet, you either 'Buy' or 'Sell' the Line at one particular 'Price', depending on whether you believe the final result will be above, or below, this Price. The final result will always be an integer.

    For example if you bet on Total Atherton runs and 'Buy the Line' at 55, then you expect Atherton to get more than 55, i.e. 56 runs or more. Likewise, if you Sell the Line at 55 then you expect him to get less than 55, or 54 runs or less. In this example, if Atherton gets exactly 55 runs then you neither lose not win.

    Note that in the specific instance when the difference between the price at which you buy and the final result is less than 0.5, the return from your bet will be less than even-money, i.e. your net profit or loss will be less than your stake. For example, if you buy Atherton runs at 47.8 for £100 and he scores 48, then your net profit is £40. If he had scored 49 or above your net profit would have been £100 ('double your money'), or if he had scored 47 or below your net loss would have been £100 ('lose your stake') as normal.

    In general, Line Betting can be thought of as 'handicapping', with the Price of the Line being set (by you) such that the final result is equally likely (at that moment in time) to be either above or below this Price. Because these two outcomes are both equally likely, the Odds on each are even-money.

    As normal on Betfair, you are able to take 'both sides of the market' and either Sell the Line or Buy the Line. And you can either match the Price already indicated, or leave an order for something better.

    In summary, Sell the Line when you want the result to be less than the Price you sell it, and Buy and Line when you want the result to be more than the Price you buy it.

    What is a Fractional price?

    When the price on a line is a whole number, there is a risk of the bet being voided (if the final score equals the price). By using prices with half points (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, etc) there will always be a winner of the bet, as the final score will always be a whole number. If the price is fractional , it has a value between the half point and the whole number. This bet is split into two parts , one betting on the closest whole number price, and the other betting on the closest half point price. The best example of this is when the price is x.25 or x.75, when half the bet is placed on the half or whole point below and half on the whole or half point above.

    If you buy £10 at a price of 2.75 , £5 is put on 2.5 and £5 is put on 3.0 (Buying means you bet the final score will be HIGHER than 2.75). Depending on the final score, the outcome of the two bets would be:

    Score 1 2 3 4 5
    Bet 1 Lose £5 Lose £5 Win £5 Win £5 Win £5
    Bet 2 Lose £5 Lose £5 Void £5 Win £5 Win £5
    Total Lose £10 Lose £10 Win £5 Win £10 Win £10

    For each 0.1 points the price strays away from the half or whole numbered price, the split between the two bets changes by 20%. All the splits are represented in this table:

    Price x.0 x.1 x.2 x.25 x.3 x.4 x.5
    % split x.0/x.5 100/0 80/20 60/40 50/50 40/60 20/80 0/100

    Price x.5 x.6 x.7 x.75 x.8 x.9 y.0
    % split x.5/y.0 100/0 80/20 60/40 50/50 40/60 20/80 0/100

    Another example:

    If you sell £100 at a price of 6.6, you are betting £80 on 6.5 and £20 on 7.0 (Selling means you bet the final score will be LOWER than 6.6). Depending on the final score, the outcome of the two bets would be:

    Score 4 5 6 7 8
    Bet 1 Win £80 Win £80 Win £80 Lose £80 Lose £80
    Bet2 Win £20 Win £20 Win £20 Void £20 Lose £20
    Total Win £100 Win £100 Win £100 Lose £80 Lose £100

    Range Betting

    Range betting (whilst it amounts to a series of fixed odds bets) has the overall effect of being a bet on either the total number of runs, goals, points or shots scored or played in an event, or the performance within an event constructed around a pre-determined 'points index'. The effect of fixed odds range betting is to provide profit or loss equal to the difference between the level you strike your bet at and the final result, or 'make up', multiplied by your stake. Your 'stake' is defined as the amount in £ per unit (run, point or goal etc) that you nominate when placing the bet.

    You should 'buy' at a price when you think the make up will be greater than the level you buy, and conversely, you should 'sell' when you believe the make up will be lower than the level you sell at. As normal on Betfair, you can either buy or sell at the prices indicated on the betting screen or leave an order for something better.

    All Betfair range betting markets always have a maximum and minimum make up. If the actual make up falls outside these limits, then the maximum or minimum number is used, as appropriate, to calculate the profit or loss. This ensures that your total profit or loss is always capped.

    In Play Betting

    Betfair brings you an exciting and fast-moving addition to standard betting industry products - 'In-Play' betting. You are able to bet once the event has started.

    When a market is In-Play, it signifies that the event the market refers to, or a closely related event, has begun. It applies equally to all types of betting and is represented by the icon on the betting interface.

    When a market is In-Play, betting on this market operates in an identical fashion to normal, with one difference. When you place your bet there is a deliberate time delay before the bet is processed. This is to protect users who have left orders on the exchange and wish to cancel or edit them when something dramatic happens during the event. There is no time delay for cancelling or editing.

    C) Market View

    The Market View is the main market interface for all types of betting. It is made up of 3 elements:

    Market View Header
    Backing and Laying Market
    Bet Manager

    Market View Header

    The Market View Header sits at the top of the Market View. It contains the title of the market, its starting time, the number of selections in the market, the market refresh button and Profit & Loss Settings. In-Play markets are highlighted by the appearance of an icon in the Market View header.

    Profit & Loss

    Calculating Profit & Loss

    With the 'View P&L' tick-box checked, profit (in green) and loss (in red) figures will be displayed in markets where you have matched bets.

    Markets where there can be only one winner: The P&L figure is your net profit or loss if a particular selection wins. It is calculated from your matched bets on all selections in the market.

    Place markets and markets where there can be more than one winner: The left-hand figure is your profit/loss on that selection if it is placed. The right-hand figure is your profit/loss if it is not placed. Calculations are made from your matched bets on each selection independently.

    P&L calculations exclude any commission that you will pay or settled bets (on partially settled markets) that you might have (although you can choose to include both of these using the P&L Settings).

    P&L calculations also exclude any currently unmatched bets and bets on selections that are officially withdrawn in Ante Post markets.

    P&L calculations include any adjustments to bets resulting from Betfair non-runner rules.

    Refreshing your P&L figures: Each figure updates automatically every 20 seconds. We may vary this rate from time to time depending on performance tuning. If you want to see up to date figures before the next automatic refresh, you can do so by clicking 'Update' on the My Bets tab. You can also un-tick and re-tick the View P&L box.

    Profit & Loss Settings

    You can modify the profit and loss figures that are displayed by selecting the 'Settings' link by the 'View P&L' tick box. Note that this link is only available when you are logged in. The settings allow you to:

    • Include settled bets in P&L figures. Betfair will settle as losers selections that can no longer win the event. For example, if a Premiership side is more than 30 points behind the leader with 10 games to go, it can no longer win and will be settled as a loser. At that point your profit and loss will exclude any settled bets. However, this option enables you to include these bets if you would prefer.
    • Show P&L figures net of commission. You profit and loss does not include a deduction for commission. Select this option if you would prefer to include your commission in the profit and loss figures.
    • Show a separate future position (prefixed »). If you made a selection and entered the odds for the bet on the place bets tab, then this option allows you to see what effect the bet will have on your profit and loss assuming it is matched. Note that this does not include currently unmatched bets.

    Backing and Laying Market

    The Backing and Laying Market is where all selections are listed for a particular market. It is made up of 3 elements:

    Selection Name
    Odds Display

    Selection Name

    Clicking on the selection name will launch the selection history chart, offering you odds info and statistics regarding the selection.

    Odds Display

    Betfair uses decimal odds which are inclusive of stake. So, a winning bet of £10 at odds of 6 would result in a return of £50 profit + his £10 stake =£60.

    All odds at Betfair are displayed from the backer's point of view. If you see 6 and £10 on the 'Back' side of the screen, you may also see 7 and a stake of £10 on the 'Lay' side of the screen. The 7 is a bet posted by a backer who wants to back that selection at 7; he/she wants better odds than 6. If you match this 7 bet for the full £10 requested by clicking 'Lay', you'll be betting against that selection and you'll be risking £60 to win £10.

    Decimal Odds

    All Odds quoted on Betfair are 'Decimal' Odds. Decimal Odds differ from the Odds traditionally quoted in the UK in that they include your stake money as part of your total return. If you place a bet of £10 at Decimal Odds of 4.0 and win, then your total return (including stake) is £40. In the UK this would be quoted as 3/1, returning to you winnings of £30 plus your original stake of £10.

    Decimal Odds are simpler to use than Traditional Odds, and are the most common form of Odds quoted in countries outside the UK. In addition, for the mathematically minded, Decimal Odds relate more closely to probability: in a race with four equally-matched horses, the probability of each horse winning is 25%. Each horse will have Traditional Odds of 3/1 or Decimal Odds of 4.0. Hence, the probability of an outcome equals 1 divided by its Decimal Odds (1 / 4.0 = 25%).

    Converting Decimal Odds to 'Traditional Odds'

    Converting Decimal Odds to Traditional Odds: Decimal Odds minus 1.0 = Traditional Odds (x to 1).

    Converting 'Traditional Odds' to Decimal Odds

    Converting Traditional Odds to Decimal Odds: Traditional Odds (x to 1) plus 1.0 = Decimal Odds

    Betfair Odds Conversion Chart

    Fractional Decimal American
    10/1 11.00 $1,000.00
    9/1 10.00 $900.00
    17/2 9.50 $850.00
    8/1 9.00 $800.00
    15/2 8.50 $750.00
    7/1 8.00 $700.00
    13/2 7.50 $650.00
    6/1 7.00 $600.00
    11/2 6.50 $550.00
    5/1 6.00 $500.00
    9/2 5.50 $450.00
    4/1 5.00 $400.00
    18/5 4.60 $360.00
    7/2 4.50 $350.00
    100/30 4.333 $333.33
    16/5 4.20 $320.00
    3/1 4.00 $300.00
    14/5 3.80 $280.00
    11/4 3.75 $275.00
    13/5 3.60 $260.00
    5/2 3.50 $250.00
    12/5 3.40 $240.00
    95/40 3.375 $237.50
    23/10 3.30 $230.00
    9/4 3.25 $225.00
    11/5 3.20 $220.00
    85/40 3.125 $212.50
    21/10 3.10 $210.00
    2/1 3.00 $200.00
    19/10 2.90 $190.00
    15/8 2.875 $187.50
    9/5 2.80 $180.00
    7/4 2.75 $175.00
    17/10 2.70 $170.00
    13/8 2.625 $162.50
    8/5 2.60 $160.00
    6/4 2.50 $150.00
    7/5 2.40 $140.00
    11/8 2.375 $137.50
    13/10 2.30 $130.00
    5/4 2.25 $125.00
    6/5 2.20 $120.00
    11/10 2.10 $110.00
    21/20 2.05 $105.00
    Evens 2.00 -$100.00
    20/21 1.952 -$105.00
    10/11 1.909 -$110.00
    9/10 1.90 -$111.10
    5/6 1.833 -$120.00
    4/5 1.80 -$125.00
    8/11 1.727 -$137.50
    7/10 1.70 -$142.90
    4/6 1.667 -$150.00
    5/8 1.625 -$160.00
    8/13 1.615 -$162.50
    3/5 1.60 -$166.70
    4/7 1.571 -$175.00
    8/15 1.533 -$187.50
    1/2 1.50 -$200.00
    40/85 1.471 -$212.50
    9/20 1.45 -$222.20
    4/9 1.444 -$225.00
    2/5 1.40 -$250.00
    4/11 1.364 -$275.00
    7/20 1.35 -$285.70
    1/3 1.333 -$300.00
    30/100 1.30 -$333.30
    2/7 1.286 -$350.00
    1/4 1.25 -$400.00
    2/9 1.222 -$450.00
    1/5 1.20 -$500.00

    Stake and Stake Money Queue

    The stake money that you see available in the market view at each odds increment can be a combination of one or more different users' unmatched bets. When you match a bet you will always be matched with the first bet that was placed at those particular odds i.e. first come first served. There is therefore an incentive for users to offer odds early or to offer better odds than those currently available.

    You can bet all or part of the total stake amount shown. If the required stake is not available at the best odds, you can adjust your odds to the second- or third-best and place the full stake amount. The system will automatically match the stake available at the best odds first and then the stake at the 2nd best odds and so on down to the minimum odds acceptable to you.

    Book %

    The Book Percentage is shown at the top of the Back and Lay sides of the market. This gives a measure of the competitiveness of the prices that are on offer in a market. It is worked out by adding up the individual percentage chance of every selection based on the price that is being offered. It is often referred to as the "overound".

    If you are Backing a selection you would ideally look for a market where the Book Percentage was as low as possible (which usually means as close to 100% as possible). Very occasionally, a Book Percentage will go lower than 100% (referred to as an "overbroke" book). If this occurs you could theoretically Back every selection and guarantee a profit. However, this kind of market anomaly usually corrects itself very quickly.

    Book % when Placing Bets

    Viewing the Book % on the Bet Manager (see below) when placing bets will help you make sure you have selected the odds you want. The Book % is only displayed for bets where you have entered both the odds and stake. If you are laying all selections in a market (where there can be only one winner) you should ensure your Book % is greater than 100% otherwise you are guaranteed to lose money (if all your bets are matched). Similarly if you place bets with a Book % greater than 100% and all your bets are matched, you are guaranteed to make money.

    Bet Manager

    The Bet Manager enables you to place bets in the Place Bets tab, manage your existing bets in the My Bets tab and view market information in the Market Info tab.

    Place Bets tab

    Back or lay your selection by clicking the coloured box along side your selection below the words 'Back' or 'Lay'. Odds displayed in the coloured boxes are the best odds currently available. Your selection name will then appear in the Bet Manager to the right hand side in the Place Bets tab. Now enter your stake amount and odds.

    The place bets tab by default contains by default only two buttons, Back All and Lay All. Backing or laying a selection in the Market view places the Place Bets tab in an active state where you can Choose your Odds, Choose your Stake, Liability, Payout and Submit your Bet(s). In its active state you can also turn on/off functionality such as Detail View, Verify Bets and %Book.

    Back All

    Selecting this button will load all the backable market selections into the place bets tab.

    Lay All

    Selecting this button will load all the layable market selections into the place bets tab.

    Choose your Odds

    You can enter your odds manually in the Your Odds box by selecting the area with your mouse cursor. Alternatively you can adjust the odds up and down using the arrow keys.

    All Betfair bets must be placed at 'acceptable' Odds increments. This ensures that the market remains disciplined. For example, if you would like to leave an order on the system, you can only change the current Odds by the increment, or multiple of the increment, shown below.

    From To Increment
    1 2 0.01
    2.02 3 0.02
    3.05 4 0.05
    4.1 6 0.1
    6.2 10 0.2
    10.5 20 0.5
    21 30 1
    32 50 2
    55 100 5
    110 1000 10
    1000+ Not Allowed

    The odds increment on Asian Handicap markets is 0.01 for all odds ranges.

    Choose your Stake

    Enter your stake by selecting the Your Stake box with your mouse cursor. The minimum stake on Betfair is £2. The maximum stake is determined by your account balance only.


    The maximum amount you can lose on a given bet.


    The maximum amount you can win on a given bet.

    Submit your bet(s)

    To submit your bet click the submit button located at the top and bottom on the place bets tab. If you have the Verify Bets option selected the next screen you see will be a restatement of your bet details. If you are happy with your bet selection press the yes button to submit your bet.

    Show help

    This checkbox option located at the bottom of the place bets tab allows the user to turn on and off the detailed betting information in the place bets area. As you become more comfortable with the interface turning off this function allows you to see more selections in the Bet Manager.

    Verify Bets

    This checkbox option located at the bottom of the place bets tab allows the user to turn on and off the verify bets feature. When this feature is activated it places a verify bets screen in between final bet submission. This feature is extremely useful for new users and prevents accidental bets being placed. As you become more comfortable with exchange betting turning off this features vastly speeds bet placement.

    Book %

    See Book % when Placing Bets above.

    My Bets tab

    My Bets displays all your unmatched and matched bets on the market you're viewing. If you have any unmatched bets at all, they will always be displayed in your My Bets tab. If you only see matched bets, it means you do not have any unmatched bets on the market you're viewing.

    Matched and Unmatched Bets

    If you take all or part of the stake money available in the market, you will then have a 'matched' bet. This is the same as a traditional bookmaker bet: If you win, your stake is returned to you together with your winnings when the result is known. Please note once a bet is matched it cannot be cancelled.

    If you submit a bet, but another user takes the available stake money first (which can happen, particularly in a fast moving market), your bet will still be placed in the market at the odds and stake you entered, but it will be listed on your My Bets tab as 'unmatched'.

    You can cancel any unmatched bet or leave it in the market as an offer to be matched. If your bet (or a proportion of it) is still unmatched when betting on the event closes, the unmatched part of the stake will be returned to account.

    Be aware to cancel unmatched bets before you leave the site, otherwise you stand the risk that the bet will still be matched whilst you're not logged in.

    Refreshing the information in My Bets tab

    To see an up to date list of your unmatched and matched bets, click one of the update buttons on the My Bets tab. The update buttons also refresh your profit/loss projections for the market you're viewing. The profit/loss option can be turned on using the tick box just above the list of selections in the market.


    Betfair does not require exact matching of bets. It allows you to match only part of another bet as required. This is called partial matching.

    Editing Unmatched Bets

    You can edit any unmatched bets at any time by changing the odds or stake and clicking 'Submit'.

    Cancelling Unmatched Bets

    You can cancel any of your outstanding bets that have not yet been matched. However, once a bet has been matched you can no longer cancel it.

    Any bet that has not yet been matched can be cancelled simply by ticking the grey box beside the bet, and then clicking 'Submit'. If a bet has already been part-matched then you can only cancel the outstanding amount.

    Cancel All

    This button cancels all your unmatched bets in the market you're viewing straightaway. As soon as you've pressed this button, your Confirmed Bets screen will show you confirmation of the changes you've made. The button does not affect matched bets in any way.


    Submit refreshes your unmatched and matched bets. When you open your My Bets tab, you automatically see the latest list of your bets. If you continue to view My Bets, you can click update in order to see any unmatched bets that have since become matched. Submit also refreshes your profit and loss figures. Submit also submits your changes to unmatched bets. You can edit your odds or stakes on unmatched bets or cancel them completely.


    If you're making changes to unmatched bets, but decide not to submit these changes, reset will return your bets to their existing state. The button does not affect matched bets in any way.

    Back/Lay and Selection Drop Down

    'Back/Lay' displays back bets first and lay bets second and separates the display of unmatched and matched bets. 'Selection' displays all unmatched and matched bets on the same selection together. You will only really see a difference in the display if you have a large number of bets.

    Order by Matched Date

    You will only see this option if you are viewing matched bets with the Back/Lay drop down. It displays matched bets in the order in which they were matched. To see the time bets were matched, tick Bet Info.

    Bet Info

    This displays the time a bet was placed for unmatched bets and the time a bet was matched for matched bets. If you have 'Consolidated' or 'Av. Odds' ticked, the bet matched time will not display because bets are being lumped together.

    Matched Bets

    If you don't want to view your matched bets, you can un-tick this box. Turning matched bets off can improve the performance of My Bets for users who have large numbers of matched bets.


    This displays matched bets at the same odds together.

    Av. Odds

    Average Odds displays all matched bets together. The fewer rows listed in My Bets, the faster your My Bets will download. Average Odds (and Consolidated Odds to a lesser extent) can improve the performance of your My Bets tab.

    Best Execution

    Best execution is the process by which Betfair will match a user's bet at better odds than asked for, when available. This normally occurs in two ways (a) the best odds may be only offered at a small stake while the second best odds are at a much larger stake. A user may enter the required odds as the second best, which has the effect of matching the small bet at the better odds and the large bet at the second best odds. This process has the added advantage of somewhat protecting users from entering totally erroneous prices; (b) where a user has entered a bet but, before it is confirmed, better odds become available. A user will always get the best odds available at the time of matching.

    Market Info tab

    The Market Info tab contains specific market information about the event you have selected. This includes the amount of money matched on the market as well as detailed market rules.