Welcome to Betfair Help

What is Betfair?

All bets on Betfair have been placed there by users who either want to have a bet in the normal way (back), or offer odds to other users (lay).

Bets are matched between people with opposing views.

Our online demo shows you how.

Why use Betfair?

  • You can back or lay a bet.
  • You can choose the odds you want to play at.
  • Commission and Tax.
  • You can bet whilst the game is in play.

Back or lay

When you "back" a selection (be it an individual, a team, horse, dog or other), you are betting that it will win. This is just like betting with conventional bookies.

When you "lay" it, you are betting against it winning. For example, if you're betting in a market on which team is going to win the Premiership and you lay Man Utd, you offer odds to other punters who wish to back Man Utd. If Man Utd don't win, then you pick up the backer's stake. If Man Utd win, then you pay out. This is what bookmakers traditionally do.

You never know who you are betting against, your privacy and the confidentiality of your bets is maintained by Betfair's secure site.

Choose odds

With Betfair there is always a choice of what odds to accept. If you want better odds than are currently available, you can place an order for a better price, but be realistic because there has to be somebody prepared to lay the bet at those odds, and vice versa.

Take a look at the odds before a game and you will see them change as visitors back and lay their bets. The odds often improve nearer to the off, as there are more people in the market.


You do not pay tax at Betfair, and commission is only paid on your net winnings on each market. This is particularly beneficial if you have multiple bets on a single market such as the Premiership Winner market. Some of your bets may win, some may lose, however you only pay commission on your NET winnings. If your bets in a particular market amount to a net loss, you do not pay commission.

We offer a customer incentive scheme. Your Commission rate is set according to how much you use Betfair.

Please select a topic on the left hand side for any further enquiries you may have relating to this site.