Before jumping into your first bets on the Betfair Exchange, it’s important to understand what you’re betting on, how to read Betfair markets and why you’re placing that bet.
With a little bit of help from Betfair’s helpful graphs and statistics, coming to understand these concepts and how best to use them is easy.
But first, there are a few important definitions to keep in mind when playing on the Betfair Exchange:
- Odds: Represent the probability of a particular outcome occurring. Also known as the Price.
- Starting Price: At Betfair, the SP is determined by balancing Lay bets and Back bets. As the platform does not account for profit, the odds should be fairer.
- Liquidity: The maximum amount of money that can be wagered on any market on the Exchange.
- Volume: The number of bets placed on that particular market or outcome.
- Liability: The amount of money you may lose upon losing a Lay bet.
- Stake: The amount of money you bet on an outcome taking place.
- Back: Betting on a win.
- Lay: Betting against an outcome.
Read on for more on how to read the Betfair markets.
How To Read Betfair Markets
Reading the Betfair markets is imperative to making the right call while betting on the Exchange. When you first open the Exchange, you’ll be met with a flood of boxes and colours, as well as various numbers.
The blue boxes refer to the Back market. This is the box you’ll select to back a team, horse, or any sporting entity to come out victorious in an event.
The red boxes represent the Lay market. You’ll tap or click on this box to bet against an outcome. For example, if you Lay against a football team, your bet will win if that team loses or draws.
To the right and left-hand sides of the boxes are colourless boxes. These inform bettors of the next best prices for Back and Lay markets. Odds fluctuate all the time, so it’s worth refreshing your page to update the current prices.
Within the coloured and colourless boxes are the odds and the liquidity of that particular event. These figures are the base-point at which players learn how much can be won on a market.
Other minor points on reading the Betfair Exchange can be found below.
Quick Points – How To Read The Betfair Markets
- The 1, X, 2 symbols at the top of each market page represent the different types of bets that can be placed.
- The “i” icon next to each event provides information on the event in question, such as the start time, type of market, and what is/isn’t included in the market.
- A small yellow symbol with an orange centre means that bets on this event are eligible for cash out.
- You can view odds in fractional format by hovering your mouse over the decimal odds.
How To Read Betfair Graphs
Graphs on the Betfair Exchange can help bettors understand how many other bets have been matched on the market and what the overriding trend is on a particular event.
To open Betfair’s graphs, click on the small bar chart symbol with a jagged arrow trending upwards.
Here, you can see various pieces of information, including:
- The overall sum of money wagered on a market.
- The total amount wagered on a selection within a market.
- The most recently matched price for that market.
You’ll also catch a glimpse of a graph representing the Price and Volume over time. This graph paints a picture of how much the price has moved in correlation with the volume on the market throughout the day.
In most cases, the price goes up when volume increases.
Keep reading for more on how to read Betfair charts.
How To Read Betfair Charts
Betfair also serves up charts and graphs packed with information on the implied chance in relation to the volume on a market. The implied chance refers to the probability of an outcome taking place by converting odds into percentages.
While the chart is helpful, you can figure out the implied odds on an event by using this formula:
- (1/decimal odds) x100 = Implied Chance
For example, let’s say you want to place a bet on Liverpool to beat Leicester City at 1.96. Using the formula above, it would work out as follows:
- (1/1.96) x100 = 51.02%
In the next section, you’ll see everything you need to know about the Prices Table at Betfair.
The Table of Prices – Reading Betfair Charts
Perhaps the easiest section to understand of all, Betfair’s pricing table lays out crucial information in an easily digestible way.
Essentially, the table tells you the best three prices at which odds have been matched across the Lay and Back markets.
Starting from the middle, the table branches up and down three decimal points. For example:
- For Liverpool vs Leicester City in the Carabao Cup, Betfair’s table displays the best prices available on odds from 1.94 – 1.99.
- Next to each decimal odd is the liquidity, which varies from £348 to £726 in the Lay market and from £334 to £2,703 in the Back market.
As you can see, the Betfair Exchange is a fluid, ever-changing platform and the importance of understanding its mechanisms cannot be understated.