Betting Exchange: Ultimate Guide to Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq & Matchbook

bet exchange, sign up strategies feature image

Estimated Reading Time: 25 minutes

Betting Exchange Enables You To Turn Sports Betting Into Risk-Free Money Making Tool. Learn How To Use Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq & Matchbook and Start Matched Betting & Value Betting!!

Betting Exchange Introduction 

GEM man imageIn sports betting, you may know bookmaker, but yet many people are not clearly aware of what is betting exchange site & how betting exchange works. Bet Exchange is a very useful tool to guarantee profit when you do Advantage Play. We share what betting exchange is, how to start Betfair, Smarkets & Matchbook which are the best betting exchange sites in the industry and how to create risk-free bet like Matched Betting. 

Betting Exchange will Turn Sports Betting into Non Gambling

Firstly, we are not a gambler. We don’t count on luck but rely on mathematical logic & edge to beat the bookies. How?
Continue to read --
We use Advantage PlaysAdvantage Play, Full List that is the ONLY surest way for ordinary people to consistently win short & long-term. When it comes to the Sports Betting, we use Matched Betting, Sports ArbitrageSports Arbitrage Betting & Value Bet On Proven Tipsters to extract profits from various opportunities provided by the bookmakers. We employ many customized tactics to get maximum return from every chance. Betting Exchange is essential in the process of the matched betting while expanding its profit via sports arbitrage. Besides, Bet Exchange’s far better odds than conventional bookmakers improves profits from value bet on proven tipsters. Thus, this document focus on comprehensive instruction on how to make the best use of Bet Exchange, Betfair, SMarkets, Betdaq & Matchbook to earn extra income reliably via advantage plays. With all that said, one of our policies is “Betting On Luck Is For Losers, Stop Gamble Betting But Bet on Only +EV To Win Reliably“. It is effectively our way to promote Responsible Gambling under the regulation, and we strongly support GamCaregamcare logo & GamStop being explained in about us.

Betting Exchange for Dummies – What is Betting Exchange?

How Betting Exchange Works

A betting exchange provides a marketplace for customers to bet on the result of specific events. In other words, a betting exchange allows customers to bet against each other rather than a bookmaker. Customers can offer odds to, or request odds from, fellow bettors. Bookmaker operators generate revenue by providing less economical odds. Betting exchanges ordinarily generate revenue by charging a little commission on winning bets.

Key Differences between Betting Exchange and Bookmaker

Explaining the bet exchange in comparison to the bookmaker must be the easiest way to understand, thus let me put in the following way;

  • In the Conventional Bookmakers, we bet “Win" on a player / runner / team etc, which we usually describe “Back“. We compete with the bookmakers so if we win, the bookmaker loses. Bookmaker makes money from a profit margin built in the odds, a.k.a Over-round. You may find how it exactly works in Beat The Bookies By Knowing How Your Enemy Makes Money – Secret Of Odds.
  • However, in the Bet Exchange, we can bet “Not Win" on a player / runner / team etc, which we call “Lay" (Back It To Lose). We don’t bet directly with the bet exchange. Bet exchange is just a market place (similar to the stock market), where punters with opposing views on the outcome of a sporting event are connected. Means we compete with other punters. Bet exchange makes a role of intermediate and make money from the Commission.
Bet Exchange How Works

How We Use Betting Exchange & Lock-In Profit using 3 Advantage Plays

So, you may wonder how to make money betting exchange. As briefly mentioned at the beginning, we don’t gamble but do advantage gambling to lock-in profits or consistently win for long-term. Let me briefly discuss how betting exchange works in each advantage play;

Matched Betting

Just in case you’re not familiar with it, suggest take a look at Matched Betting For Dummies – 9 Essential Things You Should Know Before Staking Any Real MoneyMatched Betting For Dummies - 9 Essential Things You Should Know Before Staking Any Real Money where you will learn A-Z of the matched betting.

Anyhow, I will briefly show you how it works by using William Hill (bookmaker) offer. Remember, in matched betting, we make the best use of bookmaker’s offers / free bets to lock-in profit. William Hill’s sign-up offer to new customers is Bet £10 Get 30 Free Bet;william hill latest sign up offer 2019 What we do are;

  • 2 transactions of Back (bet on win) £10 on a player / team at William Hill & Lay (bet on NOT win) on the same player / team (select the sport event from Free Oddsmatcher) with appropriate stake £ (use Free Matched Betting Calculator select “Qualifier" mode) at Bet Exchange so that you cover all outcomes.
  • Regardless of the outcome, your losing & winning will cancel out each other. In the real practice, usually, 2 bets are not perfectly offset due to the odds difference & exchange commission. Therefore you make a small loss called Qualifying Loss. However, you get £30 Free Bets.
  • Now, you repeat the exact same process but using the free bet for the back bet at William Hill. For lay bet amount, decide the appropriate stake £ by using Free Matched Betting Calculator – but for this free bet, you need to select “Stake Not Returned" mode)
  • Then, this time free bet value (minus little loss) will become your net profit.
  • For the specific guide on how to do it, please go to Free Matched Bet Starting Guide Risk Free Betting Starting Guide (3) – How To Extract Cash Profit from Free Bet(2) – How To Sign-Up & Place Qualifying Bet & (3) Extract Profit, where I use this William Hill sign-up offer as the example for step-by-step instruction.
  • Remember, key success factor is how to minimize this qualifying loss during these process.
This is how we use bet exchange in matched betting and get guaranteed profit from the bookies’ offers.

Sports Arbitrage

If you don’t know what sports arbitrage is, please take a look at Is Sports Arbitrage 100% Risk Free Surebet?surebet know the basics and risks feature image  In sort, the main advantage of bet exchange for sports arbitrage is that the odds at a betting exchange are on average 10 – 20% better than they would be at a traditional bookmaker. Means, even deducting the commission, their odds could be still better. Actually, using a betting exchange is an integral part of Sports Arbitrage Sure Bet strategy. I’m talking about Backing in the Exchange Not Laying Off in this case. However, you can also make the best use of Lay bet at betting exchange for sports arbitrage. For this particular strategy, see Arbitrage Betting – Use Exchange & Extend Matched Betting Profits.

Value Bet On Proven Software / Tipster / System

For those who are not sure about this method, please go through Value Bet By Proven Best Tipsters GuideValue Bet, Feature Image. Why is bet exchange useful for this? Allow me to reiterate, that the back odds at exchange are theoretically (practically almost without exception) higher than conventional bookmakers because;

  • Generally speaking, punters at betting exchange work at low margin because they compete each other especially in lay bet side. You can observe it in over-round % displayed at each back & lay odds in each market. In lay side, it’s often less than 100% that is under-round. Considering the fact that bookmaker’s over-round of 10% < is not unusual, the odds at exchange is much better than the bookmakers even deducting 2 – 5% exchange commission.
  • In bet exchange, back & lay adds are determined by market demand, and these 2 odds are displayed side by side. Needless to say, back odds is always lower than lay odds. It is not necessarily the gap between these 2 odds is very narrow but reasonably close. Then, when the bookmaker’s odds becomes higher than betting exchange back odds, arbitrage condition may be created. Therefore, betting exchange back odds can’t be lower than bookmaker’s odds.
  • See the below snapshot of horse racing in odds checker table. The best odds are dominated by the bet exchanges of 3 columns at the right end;

    oddschecker betting exchange better odds

The bottom-line here is for those who bet on top rated tipsters / system, they may find even better odds at exchange than the tipster’s suggested price of conventional bookmakers.  

Best Betting Exchange 

Key Betting Exchange List

There are following 4 Major Betting Exchanges;

  • Betfair – Market Leader / Broadest Market Offer / Largest Liquidity / Highest Commission of 5%

Betfair Exchange LogoBetfair Availability In The World Update

  • SMarkets – Rising Star /  Good Market Coverage / Modest Liquidity  / Competitive 2% Commission

SMarkets Logo BlackSMarkets Restricted Countries – See Account Rules 2.2

  • Matchbook – Niche / Modest Market Coverage / Modest Liquidity / 1.7% Commission (both win & lose, remember all the other exchanges’ commissions are against only win)

Matchbook Exchange LogoMatchbook Restricted Countries – See F&Q

  • BetdaqDeleted from our list – see the reasons later

Betdaq Exchange Logo

When it comes to the bet exchange market analysis, the article published in Linkedin gives you good insight. The below chart doesn’t include SMarkets though as pointed by the author in the comment, SMarket is growing nicely with strong profit margins;Bet Exchange 3 Players Bar Chart

Which Betting Exchange is the Best?

Basic Principle

The key elements to assess betting exchange is Liquidity, means market coverage & availability of punters who will meet your specific back or lay needs. From this perspective, Betfair is the world number 1 betting exchange. 

However, we are matched bettors, means we always explore the best lay odds therefore we want as wide choice of lay odds all across the betting exchanges. Besides, we want to rake cash from every promotional offers. Same as the bookmakers, all the above 4 betting exchanges provide you with sign-up offers. Therefore, there are no reasons to be picky but you should sign up & open accounts in all betting exchanges to exploit their welcome bonuses.

So, what I will explain next is a few tactics on sign-up order, daily use & a bit of cautions.

Betting Exchange Tactics

Betfair vs Smarkets – Core Bet Exchange

SMarkets; Given the competitive 2% commission, you may want to use it as a core exchange for your daily matched Bet Exchange 2 Logosbetting. Means, your first sign-up to be SMarkets.

Stand-By Bet Exchange

Betfair: Given its vast market coverage & liquidity, you always want to keep Betfair stand-by whenever you can’t find the appropriate market such as Greyhound in SMarkets. Besides, note that Betfair also provide conventional bookmaker service called Betfair Sportsbook in addition to bet Exchange. Since Betfair is famous for bet Exchange, many newbies are initially confused. Importantly Betfair Sportsbook offer a lot of juicy promotions for matched bettors.


While you’re using Betfair Sportsbook, suggest don’t be obvious at Exchange. What does it mean by obvious? Find out more about account restriction. Never ever lay off at Betfair Exchange while backing the same event at Betfair Sportsbook. It’s exactly demonstrating that you’re a matched bettor. Then your Sportsbook account could be quickly gubbed. So, ensure you use SMarkets when you do matched betting at Betfair Sportsbook. Anyhow, once your Betfair sportsbook is gubbed, it’s high time to start using the exchange function aggressively together with SMarkets. Don’t worry, Betfair will gubb your Sportsbook but Never Gub Your Exchange.

Opportunistic Bet Exchanges

Bet Exchange Market Share Unlike bookmakers, historically, bet exchange is not aggressive in providing promotion. However, both Betdaq & Matchbook periodically provides juicy promotion that can apply to both Back & Lay market, such as 0% commission or Risk-Free Bet regularly.

Matchbook – Matchbook announced

How is commission charged effective from the 19th of November 2019?

Matchbook charges United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man residents a 2% commission only on net profit on a market. Customers residing outside of these regions will be charged a 4% commission only on net profit on a market. Matchbook does not charge commission on losing bets.

The real benefit is that they run various number of promotion applying also to Back Bet. It’s like Betfair Sportsbook. However unlike Betfair Sportsbook, Matchbook clearly declare No Account Restriction;Matchbook Never Get RestrictedOff course they basically don’t allow you to make matched betting, means back & lay on the same event within their exchange, it’s a Must Exchange you can enjoy offers without being bothered by gubbing. BTW, Betfair exchange also started periodical promotion such as 2% Commission for All Premier League Matches and permanent reduced commission option;Bet Exchange Betfair EPL 2% Commission It proves that the competitiveness among bet exchange is getting fierce, which is an encouraging news for us. Just FYI.

Betdaq Caution 

We have heard several complaints about Betdaq from our members including some cheating related to even its welcome bonus. We quickly updated Betdaq review, then the most popular review site Trustpilot shows such poor score as below;betdaq trust pilot review Honestly, I have never seen such terrible review for the established betting site. In fact, very few Excellent comments seems to have posted by Betdaq employee or cheerleader. Anyhow, given the overwhelming negative feedback, suggest Keep Away in the meantime. 3 betting exchanges of Betfair, Smarkets & Matchbook are quite enough for you to pursue advantage plays.

BTW, people often ask for Ladbrokes betting exchange. Ladbrokes Exchange bought Betdaq for €30 in 2013. And, your bet in Ladbrokes exchange is actually fed into the BetDaq platform. So, Ladbrokes betting exchange is just a clone of Batdaq. And when it comes to the reputation of Ladbrokes, see SBC survey (SBC is the most renowned tipster rating service in Europe) as below; sbc worst bookmaker vote

So, these pair are the lowest rated bet exchange and bookmaker, just FYI.


Bet Exchange Sign-Up Process & Place 1st Matched Betting – SMarkets Example

Best Betting Exchange Sign-Up Process

I’ll show you how to sign-up betting exchange by using SMarkets as an example. Actually, the process is more or less the same among 4 bet exchange, the important thing is carefully check each T&C. Click the below “+" which opens the step-by step process with the screenshots;

SMarkets Sign-Up Process with Screenshots
Please follow the below process, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete;

Update & Confirm T&C (Terms & Conditions)

  • Firstly, Go To SMarkets Welcome Offer Page and confirm the availability of £10 Risk Free Sign-Up Promotion (or if you’re lucky you may find a better offer they periodically run via that link)

smarkets £10 welcome offer image

  • Read welcome bonus T&C. I know it’s a boring stuff but never try to save time by skipping it to avoid any unpleasant future surprise;

smarkets £10 welcome offer t&c

Simple Sign-Up By Filling Information

  • After confirming the availability of the offer & reading the T&C,  click “SIGN UP" button;

smarkets £10 welcome offer sign up

  • Fill-in the required information related to Account, Personal Information & Deposit;

smarkets sign up page image

A Few Key Points

  • For the deposit method, Skrill & Neteller deposits are not eligible for the £10 bonus.
  • Account Verification. You will receive the below e-mail to verify account. Suggest you do it as quickly as possible to prevent any future transaction delay;
    Bet Exchange SMarkets ID Verification
    Click To Enlarge
  • That’s it. You’re now ready to place lay bets to construct matched betting once you sign-up the bookmakers.
  • If you are not familiar with how to start matched betting, see how to place qualifying bet.

How To Extract Cash From The Offer?

As said, SMarkets signup offer is probably the easiest one. Because you don’t have to do anything. SMarkets will refund your first £10 loss. Yes, even you win thousands of £ before you lose £10, SMarkets will refund your first £10 loss. So, just keep doing the matched betting, and whenever you lose £10 for the first time in SMarkets, you will be refunded, and as you’re aware it’s your profit.

Some Good News

  • Very simple, isn’t it? SMarkets & all other bet exchanges I list in the betting exchange guide are fully licensed & regulated by UK gambling commission. And they all register in IBAS – Independent Betting Adjudication Service, thus you can let IBAS resolve when you face any problem with them.
  • Remember, any income from the matched betting are Tax Free in the UK / Ireland even you are treated as a professional gambler, means you make living gambling with the gambling profits as your main income source – see further in Tax section in this report

Then, I will quickly show you how to make the 1st matched betting between SMarkets & William Hill (for further details related to William Hill process, check Qualifying Process). Click the below “+" which opens the step-by step process with the screenshots;

1st Matched Betting Process - SMarkets & William Hill

T&C, T&C, T&C —

  • Firstly, read both bet exchange (again to ensure you follow everything required) & bookmaker welcome bonus T&C. Allow me to reiterate that it’s a boring stuff but never try to save time by skipping it to avoid any unpleasant future surprise. They can change & update T&C anytime, therefore it’s essential to follow their latest guideline. Some of the key points are; Minimum Odds (William Hill set 1.5 for the offer as you see later), Device (via PC, Mobile etc), Deadline (by when such as within 7 days after deposit), and as said in the Sign-Up process, Deposit Method (often Skrill / Neteller deposit is not eligible for the sign-up offer) etc.
  • Go SMarkets Welcome Offer T&C carefully check;
Bet Exchange SMarkets Bonus T&C
Click To Enlarge

Find Sports Event & Calculate

  • Go Free Odds Matcher to look for the appropriate sports event. You chose William Hill as a bookmaker. You can always find a list of the candidates as shown below. The best one (means the narrowest odds between William hill & SMarkets) is IK Frej v Atvidabergs FF Sweden / Superettan shown at the top. But, lay market liquidity is small ( means, this opportunity may go quickly) & preferably chose a bigger league, let’s select English Premier League Leicester City vs Chelsea. This opportunity is back Chelsea at 1.8 odds in William Hill & Lay Chelsea at 1.82 in SMarkets;
Bet Exchange SMarkets Odds Matcher
Click To Enlarge
  • Since William Hill’s welcome bonus is Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets, we need to know how much lay stake we should place in SMarkets when we back £10 at William Hill. Click the “i" icon at the right end, that will navigate to the calculator as below;
Bet Exchange SMarkets Odds Matcher Calculator
Click To Enlarge
  • We can instantly know, we should lay £10 in SMarkets at 1.82. Then our final qualifying loss is £0.20. Means, regardless of the final outcome of the match (Chelsea win or lose or draw), we will lose £0.20. However, we will get £30 (£10 x 3) Free Bets after the settlement of the match.

Place Bets

  • Now, we will construct this matched betting by placing the bets both in William Hill 7 SMarkets. Firstly William Hill, remember, you should place the bookmaker’s bet first, this is an important theory (don’t think too much at this stage just follow this principle, you will know why in due course). So, go to William Hill and place £10 on Chelsea by confirming if 1.8 odds is still available. If it already changes, you may have to recalculate the updated loss (or possibly profit);
    Bet Exchange William Hill Chelsea Odds
    Click The Image To Enlarge
  • Then go to SMarkets, confirm the odds if it’s still 1.82. In SMarkets (basically more or less the same among all bet exchange), there are 2 parts of Blue Colour (right side) & Green Colour (left side). You need to Chose Blue Colour for Lay. Green colour is Backing. In bet exchange, you can also back, but at this stage I don’t want to confuse you, so just remember you chose Blue to lay;
Bet Exchange SMarkets Chelsea Odds
Click To Enlarge
  • That’s it. Just wait for the outcome, and repeat the same thing 3 times to extract William Hill’s £10 x 3 Free Bets. You need to select long odds for the free bet, therefore suggest you follow the guideline to extract free bets.

Betfair, Smarkets, Matchbook & Betdaq Latest Offers

We have created 4 Best Betting Exchange Sign-Up Offers & How To Monetize Bonusesbetting exchange offers feature image

, where you find all the bet exchange latest offers and step-by-step instruction of how to extract the cash from each offer risk-free. 

For Those Who Can’t Access to Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq & Matchbook

Bet Brokers for Almost Everyone in the World

If you live in the country where the Betting Exchanges being listed in this report set geographical restriction, means you are not allowed to open their account, you can use Bet Brokers. However, unlike well established big bookies or betting exchanges, most of the bet brokers are Small & Medium-sized Business (MSBs), therefore you have to do your DD (Due Diligence). We have already issued the following 3 special guides for you;

In these documents, you will find how to access to the bet exchanges from the countries that don’t permit and the specific methods that enable people from almost all countries to make the best use of the lucrative advantage gambling opportunities. I have to stress that especially the above Bitcoin Betting will pave the way for all US citizens.

Advantage Play from Everywhere in the World

BTW, some of you may wonder how you can do advantage play from your country. We have issued How To Make Money From Offshore Sports Betting With 3 Advantage Plays.offshore sports betting, 3 advantage plays feature imageCoupled with the Bitcoin Betting – Ultimate Way To Lock-In Profits From Anywhere In The World we referred in the previous section, you will find the specific methods that enable people from almost all countries to make the best use of the lucrative offshore advantage gambling opportunities you may have overlooked. 

In Short, except 8 Countries (Cyprus, Poland, North Korea, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia) where on-line gamble is legally prohibited, all of you can make profit from matched betting, see the above report for full details.

BTW, all the bookmakers we list not only in this article but also in our entire site are needless to say legitimate and being regulated by UK Gambling Commission or prominent gaming control board such as International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) & Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) etc. So, basically they are remote from scum, fraud or any wrong doing. However, too much winnings could cause a big headache for everybody such as Bet365 over £1m payout Megan McCann court battle, so Be Modest, Just FYI.


Hope the information here will be useful for you to start matched betting for extra income every month risk-free. If you need any assistance from our side, never hesitate to contact us – click the face icon;Global Extra Money Contact Good Luck!! Joshua Walker

Posted by Joshua