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Betfair Markets - Understanding the prices

Last updated: 18 May 2020
Bets.com.au Staff 18 May 2020
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How to understand the market with Betfair
What are the Betfair Markets? (Getty Images)

Betfair Markets - Understanding the Prices

We've touched on both Back and Lay Betting with Betfair over the last two weeks.

Detailed throughout this are examples for markets - one for racing and the other for sport.

  • Best Back Price - this is the best price available for you to place a BACK bet
  • Best Lay Price - this is the best price available for you to place a LAY bet


If your bet size is bigger than the amount available for your selection, you have to either take some at a lower price or ask for someone (a layer) to match the remainder of your bet.

Prices and sums available can change constantly – just because you don’t see enough to match your bet right now on Betfair, doesn’t mean it won’t be matched a few minutes or even seconds later.

What you see on the ‘Back’ side of the market are invitations for you to back a selection at a price – i.e. somebody else wants to lay that bet.

On the lay side, you see invitations for you to lay a selection – somebody else wants to back at that price, and the amount below those odds represents the backers’ stakes lining up – not the risk.

Next Best Prices – these are the prices, and the amounts available for those prices, that are the next best and are waiting to be matched.

second image for Betfair Market feature
What is a market percentage? (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)


Market Percentage

This represents the combined probabilities (prices) of each possible outcome in the market. A true market is 100%, anything above this number is considered over round or otherwise known as margin.

For example:

In a coin toss, the chances of head or tails landing are both 50 per cent. We find the price of either outcome by dividing the probability by 100. (100 / 50 = 2).

$2 represents 50 per cent of the market.

In horse racing this is no different. Each horse is assigned a level of probability and then converted to a price. 

The total of these prices will make up percentage that will more often open towards 130 per cent then mature down to a closing percentage nearest to 100 per cent. 

Matched Amount

This is the combined value of all bets matched on the market at a given time with Betfair.

Betfair Exchange

How does the Betfair Exchange work?

The Betfair Exchange profits through charging commissions rather than by including a profit margin like a regular bookmaker does.

A betting exchange provides members with opportunity to bet against each other rather than a bookmaker and Betfair take their clip only off winning punters.

Betting exchanges allow users the flexibility to find odds and markets they want rather than risking a bookmaker who can dictate the stake and price for a selection.

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