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Betfair Australia: Find better odds at the Betting Exchange

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Last updated: 03 Oct 2023
Bets.com.au Staff 03 Oct 2023
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  • Betfair.com.au is the Australian arm of the world's leading betting exchange
  • Try backing and laying bet via the exchange
  • Here's our top reasons why betting with Betfair is worth trying

Betfair.com.au is the Australian arm of the world's leading betting exchange and offers a different way to bet than other online betting sites.

Instead of betting against the bookmaker, you can back and lay bets via the exchange where you place your bets from odds offered by fellow punters.

Betfair offers a way to get bigger and better odds as you punt against others with differing opinions. Here's our top reasons why betting with Betfair is worth trying - and a guide to how it works. 


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Back and Lay


Betfair offers betting on a range of thoroughbred and harness races (as well as sports) and the opportunity to BACK or LAY outcomes.

The Betfair Exchange profits through charging commissions (5% of the winnings a bettor earns) rather than by including a profit margin like a regular bookmaker does.

That's because a betting exchange like Betfair provides members with opportunity to bet against each other rather than a bookmaker.

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.

At Betfair you can still back a horse to win or place, as you would with traditional bookies, or lay horses not to win or place.

Lay betting is completely unique to Betfair Exchange. When you place a Lay bet you are betting on an outcome NOT to happen.

You are effectively offering a price that other users can Back Bet with you

Examples of a Lay Bet include:

  • Brutal to not win the Golden Eagle.
  • England to not beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup Final.
  • Richmond to not win the AFL Premiership.

The three main cores of a Lay Bet are:

  • Lay odds - the odds which you are prepared to give someone wanting to place a Back Bet.
  • Backers Stake - the amount you are prepared to let the backer bet with you. This is your potential winnings.
  • Liability - (Lay Odds) x (Backer’s Stake) – (Backer’s Stake). This is the amount you are risking.

In-Play Betting


In-play betting offers punters more opportunities to find value as markets fluctuate when circumstances change throughout a match or race - and this is where Betfair excels.

For example, if the favourite horse in a race misses the start, or the underdog soccer team scores the first goal, the favourite will drift (bigger odds) as the market (people) think that the horse or team is less likely to win which is logical.

You can get those odds via the betting exchange in play if punting live. For Racing, you can do this entirely on the Betfair Exchange or over the phone. For sports, live betting is only available over the phone.

For racing, you can punt in play on all Australian Thoroughbred & Harness win markets, all New Zealand Thoroughbred win markets & Friday NZ metro harness at Addington & Alexandra Park as well as selected International Thoroughbred races.

Matched & Unmatched Bets


When a bet is matched, it simply means two people have agreed on a stake and amount of liability. 

For example: you BACK Golden bank to win at odds of $8.20 for a stake of $5. It is matched when someone is prepared to LAY Mrs Zeltfire at odds of $8.20 for a $5 Backers Stake. 

A punter is backing Golden Bank to win $36 and the layer (bookie) is risking $36 to win $5. Your bet is now officially matched as the below screen shot demonstrates.

Sometimes, you can’t get the total amount on at the odds that you want. 

The market may have changed (e.g what was once odds of $7.60 has been taken and is now $7.40). Or you have entered odds that are above (for a BACK bet) or below (for a LAY bet) what others are prepared to bet against (e.g. you want odds of $7.60 and the market is at $7.40). 

You have four options:

  • Change your odds to meet the market.
  • Keep the bet and see if the odds get matched before the event starts or in-play.
  • On selected markets, choose to take the Betfair SP when the market turns in-play.
  • Cancel the bet.

On the desktop site if your bet is unmatched, your bet slip will turn red, and a message will appear providing you with options for the unmatched bet.

If Betfair SP is not available on the market you are betting on, the Take SP option will not be available.

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