What is Back and Lay in Betting?

Fardeen Dixit

Fardeen Dixit

What is Back and Lay in Betting - A Complete Guide

In case you’ve long wanted to try your luck and beat the odds at Back and Lay betting, our expert team is here to inform you in all detail. Back and Lay – what is it? What are its main advantages? Which bookmakers provide back and lay bets? Stay with us to discover all the facts about Back and Lay betting in a nutshell.

Definition of Back and Lay in Betting

Let’s say you want to place some bets with the best tennis betting sites. There are 2 main options: back or lay bets. In back betting, you wage your money on a team, competitor, horse, or any other participant to win the event or sports game. In lay betting, however, you wage against the occurrence of a certain outcome.

Back bets are most common for bookmakers, which in turn represent the lay side of every wager. For example, on kabaddi betting sites, Indian punters bet on their favourite kabaddi teams to win against the odds predefined by the sportsbook. Based on our experience, online bookmakers rarely give their customers an opportunity to place a lay bet.

However, this doesn’t mean that the chance of placing a lay bet is lost forever. The so-called betting exchanges provide Indian bettors with a golden opportunity to try their luck on both sides of this enthralling betting experience. Based on our observations, the majority of punters at betting exchange platforms prefer them to traditional bookmakers due to their flexibility and the offered market diversity.

Understanding Betting Exchange

A betting exchange platform can be superior to a traditional bookmaker in many regards. First things first, it’s a completely new approach to online betting that allows for more liquidity, since the odds provided for different events are set not by the sportsbooks but other fellow punters. A lot of beginners, however, miss out on this advantage and rarely risk trying betting exchanges for their wagers.

Our investigation shows that a lot of new Indian betting sites have their own inbuilt betting exchanges. Hence, if you already have a bookie that you trust, you might want to check if it offers its own betting exchange platform. Such India sports betting sites usually reserve the right to take a small percentage of each winning bet made at the exchange, thus making additional profits from the service.

The concept of a betting exchange is as simple as it gets: here, you act as a bookmaker yourself, which allows you to set the odds for other fellow bettors. And while the betting exchange itself takes a small commission from each winning bet to generate a profit, there is no limit as to the odds you can wage against. As a result, your chances of getting significant rewards are always higher at a betting exchange.

How Does Back and Lay Betting Work?

Any wager placed at a betting exchange is always a competition between a backer and a layer. One of them backs a certain outcome and the other places a stake against it. For any wager to take place and be completed, both a backer and a layer should agree on the odds and stake amounts beforehand.

Our findings show that, in most cases, lay bets are placed on favourites. It is much more effective to place a lay bet against a team that is less likely to win the event or tournament than any other relatively strong competitor. On the best exchange betting sites in India, punters also frequently place lay bets in individual matches across such sports as football, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, and other competitive team sports.

Let’s say, in a football match where one team is highly favoured over the other and the course of the match openly hits at the possibility of a draw, it would be smart to place a lay bet against it. In this way, you automatically eliminate such an outcome and increase your own winning probability.

On the other hand, there is also a possibility of placing a back bet. In case you are sure that one of the teams is more likely to win the match, nothing stops you from backing it. On the other hand, if you decide to lay the same team, there are two outcomes that can play out in your favour: if the team loses or if the game ends in a draw.

Calculating Profit and Loss

For Indian bettors who prefer wagering at betting exchange platforms, calculating profit in advance is essential: this is something you need to learn before placing your first back or lay bet. Due to our practical knowledge, the main factor in calculating profit is liability.

Liability shows how much you can possibly lose on your bet in the worst-case scenario. It takes many factors into account, primarily the odds of an outcome, your stake amount, and the commission percentage that is calculated by your betting exchange. Some bookies and exchanges, such as the renowned Betfair, provide their customers with a lay bet calculator. By simply entering your wager amount and the odds, you can estimate the liability and potential winnings from your bet. This allows you to predict possible losses and minimize or even eliminate them.

How Does Lay and Back Betting Work?

A good example of a still highly volatile market is eSports. These days, thousands of punters place their wagers on the sites for eSports betting, preferring traditional bookmakers to betting exchanges. In this way, bettors avoid the risk of placing lay bets on eSports. But is it really as harmful to your profits as it’s pictured?

Since eSports is still a fairly young market in the sports betting arena, the market depth and liquidity are rather too low for efficient wagering at betting exchanges. Besides, liquidity stands in the way: eSports matches are among the most unpredictable out there due to the frequent changes in teams that can greatly influence the odds.

At the same time, a number of Dota 2 eSports betting sites and other eSports-oriented bookmakers include these markets in their native betting exchanges. Despite the risks associated with the market, a lot of people still prefer placing lay bets, lured in by low commissions and the enticing role of a betting operator.

Pros and Cons of Opposing Betting Techniques

Pros and Cons of Back and Lay Betting

Esports is not the only risky market for back and lay betting. Even the most stable and popular sports types can involve losing bets if punters don’t stay alert to possible changes in teams and odds. But let us start with the main advantages of these bet types.

At a betting exchange platform, you’re the sole owner of your bet. This basically means that you are completely responsible for its outcome and in most cases, you can influence it and increase your betting potential. There is a possibility of wagering both ways in case you’re still unsure about the outcome of an event: in this case, even if you get a smaller reward than you initially planned, a certain profit still remains guaranteed.

Despite its flexibility, back and lay betting can often be risky. If you want to render yourself a winner, you have to know the game and the particular match you’re wagering on well. Believing in yourself and your sports predictions is important but if your confidence is not backed up by practical knowledge, it can make a huge difference in profit and sometimes even lead to a loss of a significant amount of money.

In order to minimize the risks, follow the set of advice that we laid out below.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Through trial and terror, we found that making a mistake in back and lay betting is relatively easy even if you’re a seasoned punter.

Losing confidence

Like in any betting type, being confident in back and lay always pays off. If you’ve already predetermined the most likely outcome, you shouldn’t back down.

Always betting on losing teams

Do not only chase those teams that are considered underdogs in every match. Sometimes, the rotation of players, possible injuries and replacements can turn the outcome of the game 180 degrees. In back and lay betting, it is vital to take into consideration all possible outcomes before placing your bet on one of them.

Not calculating the profit

The same as the best horse racing betting sites in India provide their customers with bet calculators, betting exchanges in turn have developed back and lay calculators. Don’t neglect one if your chosen platform offers it. Always calculate your possible profits and losses before making your bet.

Not researching the teams

What makes a confident and successful bettor? Of course, research. Even if you’re sure that you know the game and both teams perfectly, there’s always more to learn. Make sure to check the latest news concerning the market as you build up your strategy and decide which bet type to place.

Back and Lay Betting Tips & Strategies

After experimenting with back and lay betting, our expert team has narrowed down some of the crucial tips for wagering at betting exchanges.

Study every game

As we already pointed out, research is crucial for any bet type. Regardless of the field you make your selection in, you ought to know the game as well as you can, including its rules, possible exclusions, and the most remarkable teams and competitors.

Understand the flaws of each team

Your favourite team is not always the best one out there, and it’s completely normal. Do not let yourself be hazed by the team’s previous success: instead, check out the latest news and weigh all the strong and weak points of each competitor before deciding on your pick.

Set your expectations in advance

Similar to the previous point, you need to know what to expect from each game in advance. In order to reduce the risks, you can always place both bet types on the same match. And if you adhere more to lay betting, there’s even more room for profit since your wager can win with multiple match outcomes.

Don’t neglect bonuses and promotions

Another important thing is to get the best out of bonuses and promos when possible. Always look for sign up bonus betting sites in India and grab your rewards before you start placing bets. Apart from sign-up bonuses, such encouraging prizes as free bets or cashback can greatly encourage you even in the case of a loss.

Try trading and matched betting to reduce the risks

At betting exchange platforms, you can always try your luck at such alternatives to back and lay as sports trading and matched betting. In sports trading, for instance, instead of betting on the winner you can chase bets for lower prices and sell them for higher ones, just like in stock trading!

Matched betting, in turn, is almost completely risk-free since it allows you to do the same thing but at the expense of free bets and other incentives provided by your sportsbook.

Real-Life Examples of Back and Lay Bets

Let’s say you want to try yourself at back and lay betting with one of the trusted chess betting sites that offer a betting exchange. In that case, you can either back one of the competitors or place a lay bet. In fact, lay bets often end up doubling the winning chances of the player. Take a look at our example.

The game at hand is a Chess World Cup match between Fabiano Caruana and Nijat Abasov. If you place a back bet of €20 on Fabiano Caruana’s win at odds of 5.0 and your prediction ends up being true, you will win €100 (your stake amount multiplied by the odds of the outcome). If, however, Fabiano Caruana loses the match or the match ends in a draw, your back bet will unavoidably lose.

On the contrary, you can place a lay bet, stating that Fabiano Caruana will not win his match against Nijat Abasov. In that case, if Nijat Abasov wins or the game ends in a draw, you will get your win from the lay bet either way.

Of course, chess is not the only sport in which you can practise back and lay betting. These bets are equally popular for horse races, where you can back your favourite horses, football, basketball, ice hockey, eSports, and plenty of other competitive sports with strong odds on the market.

Back and Lay Betting Sites in India

In the table below, our betting experts have gathered the best platforms for back and lay wagers for Indian punters: 


Back and Lay betting is perfectly fitted for seasoned punters who want to expand their range of possibilities in the sports betting scene. Thanks to the betting exchange platforms that are getting more and more popular, punters can back the outcomes with much better odds than those provided by conventional bookmakers.

On top of this, there is always a good chance of locking your profit if you place both bet types at the same time. In this way, even if your back bet renders you unlikely to win in the course of the match, there is still a solid winning possibility based on your lay bet.

In our article, Indian betting enthusiasts can find the best platforms and exchanges where they can try their luck at the back and lay betting and thus greatly increase their rewards.



What is back and lay in betting?

Back and lay are the 2 main bet types that punters can place on a betting exchange platform.


What are the benefits of back and lay in betting?

The main advantage of back and lay betting is that it usually offers much higher odds than those displayed by traditional bookmakers.


What is the minimum stake in back and lay in betting?

There is usually no limit as to the minimum back or lay stake amount.


How do I place a back or lay bet?

You can start placing back and lay bets as soon as you find a legit and trusted betting exchange platform.


Are back and lay betting apps legal in India?

Yes, most back and lay betting exchanges provide Indian users with their native mobile apps for browser-based mobile versions.