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What Is Back And Lay In Betting


Back and lay is a betting type that isn’t as popular as other betting markets. Because of this unpopularity, some punters who venture into the betting industry may spend months or even years without knowing about the back and lay bets. Does the unpopularity of this bet type suggest that it’s an appealing and unprofitable betting market? Well, this isn’t the case at all.

When properly implemented, back-and-lay bets are actually very profitable. However, mastering and properly implementing this bet type is no easy feat. This is why it has few takers. If you would love to give it a try and probably make it your go-to betting market, then spare a few moments to go through this comprehensive back-and-lay betting guide.

What are Back and Lay Bets

Back And Lay In Betting

In simple terms, back and lay bets are bets where you predict if an event is going to happen (back) or not (lay). This bet can be placed on most sports events or even in novelty betting. Taking for instance football betting, you can place a back bet that Liverpool is going to win the English Premier League. If Liverpool goes on to win the league title, you win. On the other hand, if you place a lay bet and say Liverpool is going to win the league title but a different team wins the title, your lay bet wins.

Back and Lay Bets At Betting Exchanges

Technically speaking, back and lay bets are placed when playing at betting exchanges only rather than the standard sportsbooks. The good thing however is that most top betting sites now have betting exchanges integrated into their platforms. Players interested in placing back and lay bets can, therefore, seamlessly switch between the standard lobby and the betting exchange.

The reason why back and lay bets are offered at betting exchanges is that you cease to operate as a punter when placing these bets – more specifically the lay bet. Instead of betting against the house, you will be betting against other players. Essentially, you will be acting as a ‘bookmaker’.

How Back and Lay Bets Work

When you place a back bet, you are simply saying the team/player/horse you have picked is going to win an upcoming event. Back bets can be placed either as a short-term bet or a long-term bet. Taking the example of Liverpool winning the English Premier League, if the odds are set at 1.85, it means you will win $85 if Liverpool does win the league. In this instance, you simply win the standard payout (calculated from the offered odds) and get your stake back if your bet is successful. If Liverpool is beaten to the league title by another team, you lose your entire stake. Things get more complex however if you choose the lay bet.

For the lay bet, you cease to be a bettor and become a bookmaker. Upon placing a lay bet, based on the odds of the event you selected, the betting exchange you are playing at will automatically debit your wallet balance with an amount that equals the potential winnings of a successful bet. If another team apart from Liverpool wins the league, your bet will be successful and you will win the stake amount (not potential winnings). To put this into perspective, if Liverpool’s odds to win are 1.85, the betting exchange debits $85 (potential winnings) from your account when you place the lay bet. If the bet is successful, you win $100 (the stake amount). It is this aspect that makes back-and-lay bets tricky and complex. Before placing a lay bet, it’s very important to do your calculations to avoid disaster. In doing the calculations, always remember that the odds reflect the size of the risk taken hence the higher the odds, the more you stand to lose.

Why You Should Try Out Back and Lay Bets

The biggest advantage of back-and-lay bets is that they allow you to lock in a profit regardless of the outcome of an event. The mere fact that you assume the role of a bookmaker guarantees this. When you back a team to win or lose an event, you can do your maths and place an opposite bet to hedge against a loss.

Tips to Consider When Placing a Back and Lay Bet

  • Learn to Manage the Risk: The tricky aspect of back-and-lay bets is that you can win but lose in the same instance. Your bet may be successful but the amount you win may be in line with the amount you risked. Even worse, you may win way less than the amount you risked. It’s important therefore to properly manage the risk and ensure you get good value for your money. On this front, you may make use of a good bankroll management plan.
  • Research Properly and Thoroughly: To have a better chance of placing a successful bet and making a profit in back and lay betting, you need to do thorough research into the teams going head to head. The head-to-head record, recent form of the teams, and any injuries/suspensions are key things to consider.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: That saying, ‘practice makes perfect’ is something to behold and abide by when it comes to back and lay bets. The more you try them out, the better your chances of becoming a pro. Always start small with the bet amounts you place.

Round Up

Back-and-lay bets aren’t as popular as other betting markets. However, despite the low popularity levels, players who properly implement and use this betting market will find that it’s a refreshing bet type that’s also highly rewarding both fun-wise and profit-wise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What does it mean to place a back bet?

When you place a back bet, you are predicting that the team/player/horse you are backing will get a positive outcome in an event.

Q2. What does it mean to place a lay bet?

A lay bet is the opposite of a back bet and entails predicting that a team/player/horse will lose in an event.

Q3. Is back-and-lay betting legal?

Yes, back-and-lay betting is legal provided you are doing so from a jurisdiction where gambling is permitted and the platform you are playing at is licensed.


about the author

Prince Kupa

Prince Kupa is an online gambling enthusiast who likes to stay in touch with all the latest trends in the gambling industry. From sports betting to casino games, Prince is your number one plug for all things gambling

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