Sports Betting Guide

Bookmaker or betting exchange? Who has more value?

The growing popularity of betting exchange brought up the discussion of whether or not these betting platforms are better than traditional bookmakers. Many punters use the exchange in order to get better odds, while others quietly stay aside. Should you choose a betting exchange over a regular bookie? Let’s find out.

betting guide exchange

What is a betting exchange?

First things first, for those who don’t know what the betting exchange is, it’s a betting website which doesn’t accept bets instead, it allows punters to back (wager) and lay (offer) one, taking the commission from either side’s profits (usually 2-5%). Such a system allows for a wider variety of market offers.

Why did they get so popular? Tipsters become more and more educated and end up being capped by the bookmakers’ abilities. The exchange pretty much works the same as the traditional bookmaker with some minor differences. The biggest one of those is that when it comes to the traditional way, bookmaker only allows you to place a bet. The oddsmakers behind it determine the odds and establish limits in order to make profits. On the other hand, we have exchanges, where bettors are playing against each other with both lay and bet options.

Comparing the odds of the two models, we can see the first distinctive difference. Top online bookmakers factor in a so-called margin that ensures their profits regardless of the bet outcome. This results in odds representing a not exactly true market value. In case of the betting exchanges, the odds are laid by bettors themselves. They do not factor in any margins or anything like that. Instead, the share is taken out of generated revenues. This clearly brings up exchanges over the bookies in terms of price competitiveness.

Advantages and disadvantages of a betting exchange

This is clear that betting exchanges have some benefits, but just like every other type of platform, they have their flaws. As we have already mentioned, when it comes to odds, betting exchange is a way to go.

Another upside of betting exchanges is the fact that the platform allows to both lay and bet. This opens up an opportunity for trading. Bettors can offer shorter odds while placing a bet at a higher price or vice versa. Such a move is called «greening up» because it covers all the potential outcomes.

Despite betting exchange odds providing more value, your stake amount is rather limited and mainly depends on the market itself. You are not able to increase your returns if the market doesn’t want to offer more. In such cases, you can only settle for less or wait till someone else offers another bet.

On top of you not being able to bet big, exchange markets are based on someone’s personal knowledge. Basically saying someone has to offer the market first in order for you to be able to place a wager on it.

Just like our recommended top online bookmakers, betting exchanges are also trying to attract clients. We all know how betting companies are doing it, and betting exchanges are not an exception. Having said that, yes, you can also get a nice welcome or occasional bonus when opting-in to bet with the betting exchange. Sadly, but the variety of offered promotions is not that huge due to the popularity of this betting method. However, we can assure you, there will be plenty to choose from.


A thorough analysis must take place before every bet regardless of where you place it. It is solely up to you to opt-in for betting exchange or stay with your traditional online bookmaker, but remember one thing, the more betting options you have, the higher are your chances of finding value. Collect as much information as possible and monitor the market for the best offer out there. Happy betting!

Betting strategy - how to gain an edge over the bookmaker?


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