Chances are you’ve probably heard of Betfair? Today it is the biggest betting exchange in the world, having steadily grown since 2000 when it first launched in the relatively early days of the World Wide Web.
At the time it revolutionised the world of online betting by introducing options that were previously never available to the betting public. Ever since it has been innovating and developing a range of products and functions that now mean it is an absolutely essential tool for anyone keen to use an online betting website.
So how and why is Betfair different to other online bookmakers?
Before Betfair came along, being able to set the odds was the absolute reserve of the bookie. He set the odds, you accepted them if you wanted to bet on something chess gambling to win.
This is the key difference between Betfair and other online bookmakers – it extends the customer this opportunity to play bookmaker and allows you to lay a selection. To clarify, to lay a selection is to set the odds of a bet for something not to happen, i.e. for something to lose.
Being able to lay selections on Betfair opens up a whole new world of online betting opportunity, many of which are advanced techniques similar to those used by traders in the world of finance. A following article will discuss these in further detail.
Using a Betfair free bet to get started with exchange betting.
For the beginner, the best way to get started with exchange betting is to take advantage of a sign up bonus, commonly known as a free bet. This is where new customers will be offered a free bet to help them get started with their new account. Typically, this free bet will be a match of their first deposit, up to a specified amount. At the time of writing, with Betfair this is currently £30, which is more than enough to help you get started.
The first thing you would normally do is find a betting market that is of personal interest. Betfair covers every sport you can think of, and you will find that with the popular sports there are a huge range of markets for just a single event. Typically on a football match you will find you can choose from 50 or more markets, covering every aspect of the game. Perhaps to start with, it is best to use one of the more popular market, such as the “match odds,” i.e. which team will win?
One great feature of Betfair is that they automatically run tutorials for new accounts, so once you have created your account and deposited, these will give you a nice introduction to how the exchange works. Remember that at any time you can also visit the extensive help and support section, which explains everything from the basics right through to the more advanced features.
As with a lot of things in life, the best way to learn is to do. So the key recommendation here is that you get stuck in and see for yourself how it works, but initially, do this with the lowest possible stake of £2. This will ensure you don’t waste your free bet learning how things work. At this point, you will note one of the many great features of Betfair, which is the possible profit or loss indicator. Next to each possible result you will see the total you stand to win or lose, should that selection be the winner.