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Betting Exchanges Guide

Betting exchanges have for years had their share of the online sports betting market, users like the great odds and fair prices offered from worldwide network of users. Betting exchanges are not sports books but instead they are a sort of stock market of sports betting.

Exchanges are peer-to-peer networks of sports betting in which users can accept or exchange bets, adding a whole new dimension to sports betting. Unfortunately for residents of the USA, no betting exchanges are available.

How Does a Betting Exchange Work?

Betting exchanges are sites offer sports bettors a chance to bet against their peers. They offer almost all major sports from Soccer and Baseball to NASCAR races to Aussie Rules. They accept deposits and process withdrawals the same way online betting sites do, popular methods such as Neteller, Moneybookers, are accepted as well as most credit cards, and many more options.

Betting on exchanges seems daunting at first, but is very simple once you get the hang of it. Say you want to bet on NFL football, on the Pittsburgh Steelers to cover -7.5 to win 500 at -107 against the Cleveland Browns at home. A player can submit a bet or ticket for the amount they wish to wager, and choose the spread or total to submit and the odds or juice on the bet.

Once a wager is placed it becomes an unmatched bet in the betting market, the betting market is a place where any other betting exchange user can match from other users or place bets for other users to accept. If your wager is not accepted or unmatched after the event has started the money will be refunded back into your account.

Once a wager is accepted it becomes a matched bet, and it then becomes binding and cannot be reversed or cancelled as your money is tied to another player(s) wager. All sports bettors will save money if they use exchanges for some of their action, as players get a chance to accept odds/bets from other players and create their own.

With the peer-to-peer network betting style, you’ll find the odds at betting exchanges much better than your average online bookmaker. You can view multiple betting odds and all available spreads to make the best decision and get the highest edge.

Of course since the exchange is providing the service for gamblers to match bets with each other, each exchange will charge you a commission on the bets you place and take in the betting market. The commissions are a percentage of the bet, usually .5% to 1% of the wager.

Most exchanges will only charge commissions to the winning bettor. However some do charge commissions to both sides of the bet, the winner and the loser. Also, at most exchanges you’ll be charged a slightly larger more commission if you match another bettor’s offer, instead of posting your own unmatched bets to the betting market. The difference is usually quite small and you may have to pay it only if you win, but it is worth noting to those that want to maximize their edge.

Depending on how much you bet, if you become a high volume player you may be able enroll in a VIP type program for reduced juice. Oh, and if you are winning a lot you won’t be posted on a leader board and your betting stats won’t be viewable for others. Even though you are betting against your peers, you remain completely anonymous.

Man celebrating winning bet

What Wagers Can I Place at Betting Exchanges?

There are different types of wagers at betting exchanges that are not available at a conventional online bookmaker. The bet that most gamblers are familiar with is the ‘back’ option, this is placing a bet for something to happen.

If I think Chelsea at 1.55 is going to win their match against Liverpool, I would choose the ‘back’ next to the odds for Chelsea, at the selection at the betting exchange menu. The number written beside the decimal odds is the amount of money that is needed to match that bet for each option.

The opposite of this is betting that something will not happen this is called a ‘lay’ bet.

Using the example, if you think Chelsea will win the match or the match will end in a draw, you can select the ‘lay’ option next to Liverpool. You will win your bet if Chelsea wins or the match ends in a draw. After placing a few wagers on an exchange, you will be much more familiar and it will be easy to navigate and fun to use.

If you happen to make a mistake backing the wrong side, the exchange allows you to cancel your bet provided it hasn’t become a matched bet. You will need to act quickly and use the cancel option because your unmatched bet can become matched in a matter of seconds.

Most exchanges still have a time delay to allow customers to react if there is a change in betting market conditions. If you happen to make a mistake and your bet becomes matched in the market, the best possible option would be to the bet the other side. You can quickly check your exposure or in play cash, which is the amount of money set aside for current matched and unmatched bets. If you still have free funds available, you will pay more for your bet but you will still be able to get a bet on the side you wanted to back.

Two male friends celebrating winning bet

Are Betting Exchanges Useful for Those Wanting to Middle Bets?

Middling is the process of making two bets on opposite side of the same event risk hoping to hit the center of the two bets. Middling is typically done when you can find a 2-3 point gap between the spreads you wish to middle.

Betting exchanges can help tremendously in this area, as the betting market presents middling opportunities constantly. If you wagered on a game at another online bookie or a local bookie, you can check the exchange for odds to middle your bet. You would be surprised how large of a middle you can get on high profile games using betting exchanges.

I like to think of betting exchanges as the poker of sports betting. It allows people to go head to head against in each other as they battle for bankroll. Instead of fighting a giant bookmaker, you will be fighting gamblers across the world. The best part about betting exchanges if you should hit it big and become a professional, an exchange would never limit the amount you can bet or alter your odds.

When you aren’t playing against the house, and you are still getting the best odds and spreads on the internet, the sky is the limit.