Why use exchanges?
Hi, Shaker here. Hope you follow this guide OK. Anybody interested in any form of betting, not just golf, simply
cannot afford to ignore the betting exchanges any longer. Some of the
prices you can back players at have to be seen to be believed and the reason is that
it is individuals, and not the bookmakers with their profit margins, who are
offering these prices most of the time. And, in case you didn't know,
there is the ability to LAY a selection on the exchanges who you either
fancy will not win or you need to 'trade' back some of your initial bet
in order to secure a profit or at least retrieve your initial stake. And
the fact that the outright golf markets, plus some others, are fully
available 'in-running' throughout each tournament is fantastic.
Please note that there is no credit offered by the exchanges and you have to
have available, in your account with the exchange, your full
potential loss on the bet.
If you are computer literate
enough to find this site then you can have no excuse for not having an
account with at least one of them, with Betfair being the clear leader
in terms of popularity and liquidity. Others, such as Betdaq and
Sporting Options, run markets on some, if not all, the golf events we'd
be interested in and are working hard to make themselves competitive but
all they are good for at the moment is in us securing the odd standout
price, and that is not often enough for us to be able to recommend an
account with them as being a necessity although you can never have too
many accounts or 'outlets'. Due to the liquidity of the
markets and, for some of what I propose to do, the predictability of the
price movements I have to say that your most important next move has to be to open an
Click here to open an account with Betfair.
Are they easy to use?
Practice will definitely be required if you've not used them before,
but the time spent will be worth it. Using Betfair as an example, each
market will show prices in blue and prices
in pink. The blue column contains the best
prices currently available for you to back
your selection and the pink contains the best prices for you to
lay the selection. Each box in each column
will also contain the stake which is currently available at the price.
Each column is backed up by two more columns showing the next best
offers waiting to be taken and these will shift into the coloured
spotlight should the original best offer be taken or 'matched'. You can
put up a bet to sit either in front of or in behind the current best
offers and you will clearly see in the 'my bets' section whether that
bet has been matched or not. If you want a bet matched immediately you
simply need to match the price in the coloured box, whichever way you're
going. Don't rush to match prices which are not good for you, though,
especially if there is a long time to the start of the event (at which
time all unmatched bets will be cancelled, the market wiped clean, and a
new one introduced for the 'in-running' fun and games!). The markets and
offers available are changing every second, other people are constantly
entering their bets to sit on the front end of the market, and sometimes
your bet will be matched at a better price than you asked for but never
at a lower one.
prices displayed on the exchanges are in decimal format and not in
fractions like many traditional
bookmakers. It takes some getting used to but really isn't difficult.
5/1 is displayed as 6, 5/2 is displayed as 3.5, Evens is displayed as 2,
and 4/5 is displayed as 1.8 and so on - possibly the easiest way to convert is to
think of what the returns on the fractional price would be to a 1 unit
stake e.g. 1 unit at 5/1 returns 6 and 1 unit at 4/5 returns 1.8 units.
To help, there is a very useful odds converter
here and also
one on the Betfair home page.
Also, the odds you can trade in on Betfair are more precise than the
traditional fractions. For instance, between Evens and 6/5 there is more
than just 11/10; Evens will be 2 then you can choose 2.02, 2.04, 2.06,
2.08, the 2.10 of 11/10, 2.12, 2.14, 2.16 and 2.18 before we reach the
2.20 of 6/5. Again, practice is necessary in order to familiarise
yourself with this but I'm sure you'll agree that having more choice can
only be a positive thing.
How can we use the exchanges in
We've already seen how 'trading' can be done in our introduction to
using the exchanges during the first few weeks of the season. This
involved backing a player with the traditional bookmakers when we are as
sure as can be that it will be possible to lay the same player on
Betfair, an action that I'd call 'closing the bet'. Backing 6 pts at
20/1 and laying 5 pts at 19 (18/1) would result in an enhanced-odds bet
of 1 pt staked at 30/1. When Mickelson won at the Bob Hope we had 20/1
on day two and almost immediately a lay at 5 points shorter. See how it
worked in this
Also, we can simply lay a player, or
group of players, if we don't fancy they'll win. We all know how
difficult it is to back a winner, maybe laying a loser would be easier!
Well, of course it would be ... but then the odds we'll be laying would
mean a chunk out of our bank if we get it wrong. Probably we'd rather
give advice on putting a lay up on a player at a short price in case
he reaches that price during play. This would usually be on someone we
have down as being suspect under pressure but is too big at the start of
play on the final day to lay. A good example of this was Chris DiMarco in the
final round of the FBR Open
which can be seen at the bottom of this
One other great advantage of using the exchanges is
the massive odds available on unconsidered players. Every single week
you'll find very good players trading at unbelievable prices and we may
offer some small speculative bets on these types, always knowing we can
lay them back on Betfair during play if they do perform well. It is
commonplace for players who are top-priced 100/1 with the bookmakers to
be trading at 50% or more higher odds on Betfair and sometimes, if they
are proven winners, they are
just too big to be ignored. Players may still be attractive to us in
How do we record the prices we've bet on the
This question is valid because the exchange prices are always,
always fluctuating. I shall be recording what has been traded at, or
better than, the advised price and so long as 'several' hundred pounds
worth of bets have been struck when advising a lay, then I can safely
say that the advised play was successfully matched. Obviously if you are
a particularly big punter it will be very difficult to get all you want
on at the advised prices because large amounts of money in the market
can influence other people's actions or simply be too big for everyone
else to absorb. Generally, though, I shall advise to either match a bet
already waiting or put up a bet priced so that will almost certainly be
taken. If all the advice was for prices which end up not being matched
at all then no bet will be recorded.
One last thing...
All the bets do not take into account the commission that Betfair takes
on any eventual profit. They keep up to 5% of whatever your net profit
is on an event which is simply the price we have
to pay for being able to play in this way. The other exchanges actually
take less than this but we have to go where the liquidity is. I only ignore the
commission in order to keep the figures simple and also because people
pay different rates of commission.
Please contact us if you have any questions and the very best of luck to