Using Exchanges When Betting on Soccer

Using Betting Exchanges

The Internet has permanently changed the way we view gambling. Towards the end of the 20th century, gambling online for real money became possible for the first time. Gambling suddenly became more accessible than it had ever been before. People now had the luxury of betting on sports or playing casino games any time of the day or night, needing only a computer with Internet access to do so.

As one might imagine, online gambling took off. The industry has continued to grow at a rapid rate since day one, with billions of dollars being wagered online each and every year. A major reason for the industry's sharp growth is the many innovative developments we've seen over the years. Over these past few decades in particular, thousands of gambling sites have launched, some of which have left a significant impact on the how people gamble.

One site that particularly stood out to us was Betfair. Launched in 2000, amid an enormous amount of publicity, this site declared that it would bring about the death of the bookmaker. Clearly, they were mistaken, as the bookmaking industry continues to thrive today. Although they may not have accomplished the goal they set out to, there's no doubt that the launch of Betfair marked the start of a new era in sports betting.

The revolutionary concept introduced by Betfair is known as exchange betting, or peer to peer betting. It's actually a surprisingly straightforward concept, considering the incredible impact it's had. The basic idea is simply that bettors can bet against each other, rather than with a bookmaker. We explain this in more detail later.

Just like online gambling, exchange betting really took off. Betfair was the first betting exchange, and although they remain the biggest, others soon followed. Bettors enjoyed greater flexibility over their wagers, and frequently got better odds than they would with traditional bookmakers. Some of the smarter bettors even took it to the next level by developing new strategies that allowed them to profit from betting in ways that just weren't possible before.

We strongly recommend that ALL players give exchange betting a try. Regardless of what sports you bet on, and regardless of whether you're a recreational bettor or a serious bettor, this is an excellent way to bet. In our opinion, it's especially beneficial for betting on soccer. That's why we've written this in-depth article, dedicated entirely to using exchanges for soccer betting.

We start this article off by explaining how betting exchanges work before be cover the main benefits of using them. Anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to try exchange betting before will find this information to be very helpful. The really valuable information comes next though, as we detail no less than TEN recommended strategies for exchange betting on soccer.

By clicking on the buttons below, you'll be able to jump ahead to any one of the following strategies. You'll soon discover that some of these strategies are more straightforward than others. However, by following our advice, there's no reason why they can't all be profitable.

How Exchange Betting Works

Betfair, along with any other betting exchange, won't take wagers in the same way that traditional bookmakers do. Instead, they provide a service that allows their users to bet with each other. Users select their preferred wagers and odds, and how much they want to stake. The betting exchanges then match their users' action with other users who want to take the opposite position.

They take the relevant sums of money from each user up front, and then pay the winner once a bet is settled. How does the betting exchange make money then? The answer is simple; they charge a small commission fee.

Each wager placed involves both a backer and a layer. The backer is the equivalent of a customer betting with a traditional bookmaker. He's putting his money on a selection to win, and will be paid out at the appropriate odds if his wager is successful. The layer is the equivalent of the bookmaker, as he's effectively taking the wager from the backer. He risks paying the backer out at the appropriate odds, but gets the initial stake if the backer's wager loses.

Let's use a couple of examples to better illustrate how things work. We start by showing you what a betting market looks like for a soccer match at an exchange.

Chelsea vs LeicesterMatch Result
Chelsea Win
Back
1.61
Lay
1.61
Draw
Back
4.4
Lay
4.5
Leicester Win
Back
6.4
Lay
6.6

As you can see, we've got a total of six possible options here. For each of the three possible outcomes, we can choose to back or lay the selection. If we choose to back the selection, it means we're betting in favor of that outcome happening. If we lay the selection, it means we're betting AGAINST that outcome happening.

So, let's say we believed Chelsea would win this match. We would therefore back the Chelsea win at 1.6. If we put $100 down, our wager would then be matched by someone who wanted to lay a Chelsea win. Our stake of $100 would be deducted from our account at this point. At odds of 1.6, our potential winnings are $60. That's what the layer would have to payout if our wager is successful, so that amount is deducted from their account.

How backing at betting exchanges works

Now, one of two things can happen. If Chelsea wins the match, our wager is successful. Our $100 stake would be returned to us, along with the $60 winnings funded by the layer. The betting exchange would take a small commission based on our net winnings, typically around 5%. Our net winnings are $60, so they'd take $3. We'd receive a total of $157, for a profit of $57.

If Chelsea fails to win the match, our wager has lost. Our $100 stake would be sent to the layer, along with the $60 he put up. Again the exchange would take their commission, on the layer's net winnings. His net winnings are $100 (our initial stake), so they'd take $5. The layer would receive $155 for a profit of $95.

In practical terms, what we've done here is no different from placing a bet with a traditional bookmaker. We've risked our initial stake, and given ourselves the chance of a payout at the appropriate odds. It's just that it's another bettor who will be paying us out if we win, rather than a bookmaker.

Now, we could choose to be a layer on this market instead. Rather than back the Chelsea win, we could choose to lay a Leicester win. Things would work a little differently for us here. We would now effectively be acting as the bookmaker, and taking a wager from a backer betting on Leicester to win. Let's say we were willing to accept a $20 wager. The lay odds for a Leicester win are 6.6, so we're exposing ourselves to a potential payout of $112. The backer would have $20 deducted from their account, and we'd have $112 deducted from ours.

How laying at betting exchanges works

Again, there are two possible outcomes. If Leicester wins, the backer's wager is successful. He'd have his $20 returned to him, along with his $112 in winnings that we funded. After a 5% commission on the $112, he'd receive a total of $126.40 for a profit of $106.40.

If Leicester loses, then the backer's wager will also lose. His $20 stake would be sent to us, along with the potential payout that was deducted from our account earlier. We'd pay 5% on our $20 winnings, receiving a total of $131 and a $19 profit.

Clearly, our potential winnings are significantly lower when taking on the role of the layer. Why? Well, it's because we are taking the safer option. When BACKING Chelsea, we only win if Chelsea wins. But when LAYING Leicester, we just need Leicester not to win. A Chelsea win OR a draw means we make a profit. This is one of the big advantages of using exchanges. We can manage our risk in ways that aren't always possible with traditional bookmakers.

It's crucial that you understand the difference between backing and laying before using betting exchanges. What happens "behind the scenes," in terms of your wagers being matched with other users, is essentially irrelevant. All you NEED to know is what your options are, how those work and how you win or lose. The above examples have hopefully made that perfectly clear. Before we move on, there's one more thing we want to share with you about betting exchanges.

You have the option to propose your own terms.

The example betting market posted for you above is displaying odds based on what other users have already proposed. By choosing to back or lay a selection at those odds, we'd basically be accepting someone else's proposal. The necessary transactions would take place as soon as we accepted the relevant proposal.

In addition to accepting the proposals of others, we can also choose to make our own proposals. We can pick a selection, and then enter the odds that we want to wager at. This is done via the bet slip, and it will look something like this.

Using a bet slip to make a proposal

Here we've selected Chelsea to win as our selection. The odds (highlighted) have defaulted to 1.6, as those are the odds that are currently available. We can just enter our stake to accept those odds, and our wager will automatically be matched with other users. The amount we can stake is limited only by how much money has already been put down by those on the other side of this selection.

Alternatively, we can choose to adjust the odds from 1.6 and set our own proposal. For example, we might be willing to back a Chelsea win at odds of 1.65. So we'd set the odds to 1.65 and then enter how much we wanted to stake. This amount would then be deducted from our account immediately, but our wager wouldn't automatically be staked.

We'd have to wait until another user chose to accept our proposal. They'd do this if they wanted to lay the Chelsea win and our odds were the best available. Unfortunately, if no one accepted our proposal before the start of the game, our wager would be voided and our initial stake would be returned.

Betting exchanges may seem a little overwhelming at first, but trust us when we say that it's not really that complicated. Once you open an account and get started, things will become second nature to you. The challenging part is actually trying to make money from your exchange betting. The strategies we explain later will help with that, but first let's take a quick look at the main advantages of using these exchanges.

The Benefits of Using Exchanges

We've already covered two of the biggest benefits of using exchanges. The fact that you can back OR lay selections is one. This gives you a greater variety of betting options, which makes it easier to manage risk and find profitable opportunities. The fact that it's also possible to make your own proposals is benefit number two. You can propose any wager, and it will only be placed if someone is willing to match the odds that you're looking. This provides the additional flexibility you need to structure your wagers in order to meet your unique needs.

  • You'll often find better odds for backing.
  • You won't get your account limited for winning.
  • You can use/develop unique strategies that aren't possible with traditional betting

Getting better odds should be everyone's goal. Generally speaking, the odds available at betting exchanges are typically better than the odds available at traditional bookmakers. They are not substantially better, but even small improvements in the odds can have a huge impact on your overall revenue in time.

It always pays to look at the available odds offered at the exchanges whenever you're backing a selection. Sometimes you'll be better off with a traditional bookmaker or betting site, but more often than not the best value will be at the exchanges.

Top Tip

When you're shopping around for the best odds, be sure to take into account the commission that you have to pay at exchanges. Sometimes the odds are better, but not better enough to compensate for the commission. Avoid simply looking at the headline odds, and determine where you'll get the best possible return instead.

This might not seem very fair, but you have to remember that bookmakers and betting sites are commercial operations. They're not taking wagers as some kind of public service; they're doing it to make money. They simply don't want winning bettors as customers, which is why they limit their accounts. They reduce the amounts that can be wagered, and in some cases they may even close accounts completely. There are ways to cope with this when it happens, but it's still a major inconvenience.

Betting exchanges, on the other hand, welcome winning customers.

Exchange betting accounts rarely ever get limited. The betting exchanges are more than happy to have winning customers, as they're not the ones paying out the winnings. It's their other customers who are doing that. It actually makes no difference to the exchanges who wins or loses, as they get their commissions either way. So if you're a winning better (or eventually become one), placing your wagers at an exchange should never be an issue.

The final main benefit of using betting exchanges is by far our favorite. Most of the soccer betting strategies can be applied to traditional bookmakers and betting sites as well as betting exchanges. In addition to that, betting exchanges open the door to more unique strategies that wouldn't be possible anywhere else. This gives us a variety of new ways to make money, which is certainly something to get excited about!

After you've had enough time to do some experimenting, you'd probably be able to determine what most of these strategies were on your own. But, as always, we want to help you get ahead of the curve. We're about to discuss several recommended strategies that we use when betting on soccer at the exchanges. If you read through the rest of this article carefully, you'll be in a great position to take advantage of all the available betting opportunities.

Backing Then Laying Favorites

This is an incredibly straightforward strategy that can be used freely. It doesn't yield especially big profits, but it is an excellent way to make small amounts of money on a regular basis. It's based on the simple theory that the odds for a favorite to win a soccer game will typically fall as the game gets closer. Although this doesn't always happen, it happens often enough for this strategy to work.

Here's an example of how we'd implement this strategy. First, we'd look for any open betting markets on games that are at least a week away and where there's an obvious favorite to win. We might find something like the following.

Manchester City vs EvertonMatch Result
Man City Win
Back
1.52
Lay
1.53
Draw
Back
4.8
Lay
4.9
Everton Win
Back
7.2
Lay
7.3

Manchester City will probably win this game, and more people will probably bet on this game once it gets closer. As a result, the odds are likely to fall. We're looking to take advantage of those falling odds by first backing Manchester City to win, and then laying the same selection once the odds have come down.

So, stage one is to back Manchester City. Let's say we decide to put down $100. We'd stand to win $52 based on the odds of 1.52, although we'd have to pay a commission of $2.60. This would make our potential profit $49.40. Our potential loss would of course be the $100 initial stake.

Stage two is then to check the market again a day or so before the game is taking place. We'd hope to see the market look something like this.

Manchester City vs EvertonMatch Result
Man City Win
Back
1.37
Lay
1.38
Draw
Back
4.9
Lay
5.0
Everton Win
Back
8.3
Lay
8.4

We'd now lay Manchester City at odds 1.39. We hope to accept a wager for the same amount we initially backed them for. By laying a wager of $100 at 1.38, we'd be exposed to a potential loss of $38. Our potential profit would be the $100, minus the 5% commission for $95.

So we now have two wagers in place, on opposite sides of the same outcome. The possible results are as follows.

  • Manchester City wins. We win $49.40 from our first wager, and lose $38 from our second wager. Total profit is $11.40
  • Manchester City fails to win. We lose $100 from our first wager, and win $95 from our second wager. Total loss is $5.

Basically, what we've done here is risk a $5 loss to potentially win $11.40. This is effectively giving us much better odds on Manchester City winning. If we had just staked the potential $5 loss on Manchester City at 1.53, we'd only stand to win $2.65. Now, we stand to win nearly four times that amount, which means we've drastically improved our expected value.

This strategy can actually be adjusted so that we're guaranteed a profit either way. If we get the numbers right in terms of how much we stake and how much we lay, we can assure a profitable outcome regardless of whether Manchester City wins or not. While this is a safer option, it limits the overall value.

We can go the other way too. If we were really confident of a Manchester City win, we could choose to lay a much smaller amount for our second wager. We'd stand to lose more if Manchester City failed to win, but we'd win exponentially more if they did win.

Our advice is to implement this strategy in whatever way you see fit: high risk, low risk, or anywhere in between. The key point that we wanted to get across is that this is an excellent way to create value.

There's a couple of important things to bear in mind when using this strategy. First, there are no guarantees that the odds will fall drastically. Or even at all. This means you might end up being stuck with your initial wager. It's therefore advisable to only use this strategy on games where you'd be comfortable letting your initial wager on the favorite ride.

Second, you should only use this strategy on relatively high profile games. The odds are more likely to move in the direction you want for these games. Lower profile games don't attract the same amount of betting action, so the movements in the odds are less predictable.

Laying Then Backing Underdogs

This strategy is based on a similar theory to the one just discussed. Instead of banking on the odds for the favorite going down, however, we're banking on the odds for the underdog going up. First we lay the underdog, and then we back them once their odds have gone up.

We can use the same game as before to demonstrate how this would potentially work. When we first looked at the betting market for this game, the lay odds on an Everton win were at 7.3. Let's say we decided to accept a $10 wager at these odds. We'd stand to win the $10 (minus the 5% commission, for $9.50) if Everton loses, but we'd be exposed to a $73 loss if they happened to pull off a win.

The odds on an Everton win increased to 8.3 closer to the start of the game. If we backed Everton at those odds, for the same $10, we'd lose that $10 if they failed to win. However, we'd have an opportunity to win $83 ($78.85 after the commission) if they did win.

The two possible results are therefore as follows.

  • Everton wins. Our first wager costs us $73, and our second wager wins us $78.85. Our total profit is $5.85.
  • Everton loses. Our first wager wins us $9.50, and our second wager costs us $10. Our total loss is $0.50.

Essentially what we've done here is put $.50 at risk in order to possibly win $5.85. That's a better return than what we could have gotten by backing Everton to win outright. We use this strategy when we want to back an underdog to win. It's basically just a great way to create extra value.

However, this strategy doesn't come without its flaws. Remember, there's no guarantee that the odds are going to go down. If the odds on the underdog DON'T increase, then we could be stuck laying a selection that we actually wanted to back. We could still "trade out" of this position by backing the underdog, but we wouldn't benefit from that move if the odds don't move in our favor. In a worst-case scenario, the odds on the underdog could have gone down. If this happened, we'd lose money on the trade out.

We therefore only recommend using this strategy to effectively back an underdog at better odds when you're very confident that the odds are going to increase. This is also another strategy that you should only really use on relatively high profile games, for the same reasons as before.

Laying Big Favorites

We absolutely love this strategy! It's fairly low risk, but it can yield good returns over time. The trick is to choose the right spots. Although this can be challenging, it's definitely achievable if you stay fully up to date with current form and the various other factors affecting the outcome of soccer games.

What we're looking for with this strategy are games where we think a favorite might not meet expectations. Ideally we want the favorite to have very low odds, as that reduces our risk, but that's not always possible. It's more important that we select games where there are good reasons to believe that an upset is possible.

Once we've found an appropriate game, implementing the strategy is very easy. This time we'll look at a real example of a game where we got to personally use this strategy. The match between Arsenal and Swansea City presented a good opportunity for this. The market for that game was as follows.

Arsenal vs Swansea CityMatch Result
Arsenal Win
Back
1.29
Lay
1.3
Draw
Back
6.6
Lay
6.8
Swansea City Win
Back
12.5
Lay
13.0

Arsenal was the clear favorite for this game, as you can see by the odds. At just 1.29, the market obviously thought that Arsenal was practically guaranteed to win. However, we thought a little differently. We noticed that Arsenal had struggled against Swansea in a few of their recent games, and we believed that may have a negative psychological impact on their players. We were also aware that their star striker was out of form, and that their best central defender was out due to injury.

In addition to this, we didn't think Swansea was as bad on the field as everyone thought. They were fighting relegation at the time, but they were actually playing reasonably well and just not getting the results they deserved. So although we fully accepted that an Arsenal win was the most likely outcome, we did think there was a good chance of an upset. So we decided to lay Arsenal at 1.3, for $100. This gave us two possible outcomes.

  • Arsenal wins, and we have to pay out $30.
  • Arsenal loses, and we win $100 (minus the commission, for $95).

We watched patiently for the end results of this game. The unexpected happened; Swansea won the game 2-1! We had made a good decision. Don't get us wrong, though. We didn't use this example to show off our talent. We just want you to understand the kind of thought process you should go through when trying to identify games where using this strategy would be profitable.

It's important to note that you'll probably lose more often than you'll win with this strategy. Big favorites are big favorites for a reason, and they do win most of the time. It's unlikely that you'll be able to predict upset with a greater than 50% win rate. However, the beauty of this strategy is that you don't NEED to win more than 50% of the time.

This is because you're laying selections at low odds.

Although we were laying a $100 wager in the above example, we only stood to lose $30 if Arsenal had won. That's only a small proportion of the $95 we stood to win if they didn't. So even if you lost this type of wager three out of every four times, you'd still return an overall profit. And if you can manage to do better than that, and win closer to 40% of the time, your returns can be very attractive.

Laying Big Underdogs

Laying big underdogs is basically the opposite of laying big favorites in every way. The goal here is not to find spots where upsets are likely, but to finds spots where they are UNLIKELY. It's high risk rather than low risk, as it involves being exposed to high odds payouts. However, instead of expecting to lose more wagers than you win, you should expect to win far more than you lose. The goal is to win enough money from the wagers you do win to compensate for the big payouts you're forced to pay when you lose.

To implement this strategy, you simply lay the underdog in games where you think the favorite is likely to win. For example, you might pick the following game.

Liverpool vs West BromMatch Result
Liverpool Win
Back
1.26
Lay
1.34
Draw
Back
5.4
Lay
8.2
West Brom Win
Back
11.5
Lay
12.7

West Brom are big underdogs here, at 12.7. Since we have no reason to believe that Liverpool would struggle in this game, laying West Brom makes the most sense. It's safe to assume that they're very unlikely to win.

Just remember to be very cautious with this strategy. Although laying the underdog in games like this is likely to be successful far more often than not, you are exposed to big losses. If you chose to lay West Brom for $100 at 12.7 here, you face a potential payout of $1,270. That's a lot to risk to win just $95. Although this strategy SHOULD be profitable in the long run, even just a couple of unexpected results can be very damaging to your bankroll.

We therefore DON'T recommend this strategy if you're betting with a small bankroll or are risk averse.

Laying Multiple Correct Scores

This strategy is a little more advanced than the other ones we mentioned. It's not one we recommend trying unless you are an experienced bettor. Being skilled at predicting how soccer games are likely to play out is also important.

The idea here is to try to eliminate any correct scores that you think are unlikely in a game, and then lay them in the "Correct Score" market. For example, let's go back to the Manchester City versus Everton game that we looked at earlier. If we were looking to use this strategy for that game, we'd rule out the following possible scores.

  • 0 - 1
  • 0 - 2
  • 0 - 3
  • 1 - 3

These scores all involve Everton winning and we don't think that's very likely at all. We certainly don't think that Manchester City will fail to score, or that Everton will win by two or more goals. So we can be reasonably confident that the game won't finish up with any of these score lines.

We'd need to be confident too, because we'd be laying these at high odds. That means there's a lot of risk involved. 0-3, for example, is at odds of 60.00. This means if we laid just $10, we'd be at risk of losing $600.

Now, a lot of people won't like this strategy at all. It's fair to say that it's not suitable for everyone. We actually enjoy it though, as we've had a great deal of success while using it. We do suffer from a big loss on occasions, but that happens rarely enough for us to still show an overall profit. Since we are always laying multiple correct scores, any loss we endure is at least somewhat compensated for. There can only be one correct score for a game, so by laying four or five we're always guaranteed to get something back even if one of the scores does hit.

Laying Multiple First Goal Scorers

Laying multiple first goal scorers follows the same basic principle as laying multiple correct scores. The idea is to eliminate the players that we think are unlikely to score first, and then lay them all. If none of the players we eliminate score the first goal, then we win each wager we've placed.

Even if just one player scores the first goal, we'll at least have the others to fall back on. Chances are high that we'll still have an overall loss, but the impact of that loss is now limited thanks to our winning wagers. If we can consecutively make good decisions regarding which players to eliminate, we shouldn't have to make a pay out too often.

In one respect, this strategy is better than laying multiple correct scores. The odds are typically lower, which means the potential payouts we're exposed to aren't as high. This reduces the risk of making huge losses. However, an unexpected first goal scorer is more likely than an unexpected goal scorer, so the risks for both strategies are actually more balanced than we originally thought.

We lose with this strategy a little more often, but our losses aren't as disastrous when we do.

The key with this strategy is to make sure that you only lay players that are VERY unlikely to score first. You don't ever want to be lay strikers, as there's always a good chance of them getting the first goal. This is true even if they're in terrible form, and up against a great defense. Strikers are there to score goals, so betting against them just doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's also important to be careful about laying defenders that take up advanced positions for set pieces. A lot of central defenders will typically attack the box during corners and free kicks, which gives them several chances to score throughout a game. These players will usually be at higher odds than they technically should be, so laying them is taking a bigger risk than necessary.

Laying "Any Unquoted" Score Lines

While this is another high-risk strategy, it's pretty straightforward and it can actually be profitable when used correctly. This strategy is most effective on games where you expect the number of goals to be quite low.

For most soccer games, there will be a limited number of correct scores quoted in the "Correct Score" market. There'll typically be every score up to 3-3, but nothing above that. That's for the simple reason that very few games feature more than six goals. We like this strategy so much for exactly that reason.

Although the "Correct Score Market" doesn't usually go above 3-3, there's usually a selection entitled "Any Unquoted." If you back this selection, it pays out if the final score is any score not mentioned in the market: so, basically, any score above 3-3. Other additional selections include, "Any Unquoted Home Win," "Any Unquoted Away Win" and "Any Unquoted Draw."

As you'd expect, the odds for these selections can be fairly high. Let's go back to the Manchester City versus Everton game once again, for some examples.

Manchester City versus EvertonCorrect Score
Any Unquoted Home Win
Back
5.4
Lay
4.7
Any Unquoted Draw
Back
18.5
Lay
19.5
Any Unquoted Away Win
Back
29.0
Lay
32.0

This is where the high risk comes in. As with some of the previous strategies already mentioned, by laying selections here we're exposing ourselves to large payouts relative to the amounts we stand to win. However, this risk is worth it in our opinion as these selections come in so rarely. Providing we just don't blindly lay them, and providing we actually put some careful thought into which games we apply this strategy to, we're unlikely to be forced to pay out very often.

Laying Then Backing The Draw

This strategy is what we call an "in play" strategy. It involves making one wager before a game starts, and then another after it has started. ONLY use this wager when you can watch the game and quickly make a second wager when the opportunity presents itself.

The first wager we make with this strategy is to lay the draw. Ideally, we're looking for games between teams that have some or all of the following characteristics.

  • A tendency to start games fast
  • High quality attacking players
  • Badly organized defense

The theory here is that games involving teams with these characteristics are likely to feature early goals. And when early goals are scored, the odds on the draw tend to go up significantly. If a game looks like it's going to have lots of goals, then it's less likely to end up in a tie.

Having already laid the draw, backing it once the odds have gone up can ensure us a guaranteed profit. For example, let's say we backed the draw in the Manchester City versus Everton game that we've referred to several times. The pregame odds on the draw were 4.9, so if we laid a $100 wager we'd be exposed to potential losses of $390. Our potential profit is $95 ($100 minus the 5% commission).

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that Manchester City scored a goal about 15 minutes into the game. The odds for the draw are likely to go up to at least 6.5: maybe even higher. This means if we choose to back the draw at a slightly smaller stake, we would be guaranteed to make a profit. For the purposes of this example, we'll say the odds went up to 6.5 and we chose to stake $80. Now, the two following outcomes are possible.

  • The game does end up in a draw. We lose our first wager for $390, and win our second for $418. Our total profit is $28.
  • The game does NOT end up in a draw. We win our first wager for $95, and lose our second for $80. Our total profit is $15.

Obviously, the profit here isn't very remarkable, but any level of guaranteed profit is worth it. If you can regularly apply this strategy successfully, then those small profits will quickly add up.

It's important to recognize that you're not guaranteed to make a profit as soon as you place the first wager. You are still exposed to some risk at this point. If there's no early goal in the game, the odds on the draw could end up going DOWN, leaving you to decide whether to cut your losses and "trade out" of your position, or let the wager ride and hope that a goal is scored before the game ends. The first option is safer, but it will mean a small guaranteed loss. The second option is riskier. You might end up winning the initial lay wager, but you could end up facing a sizable payout.

With this in mind, you need to be very careful about using this strategy on games where a lack of goals is a distinct possibility. These are the kind of games that will end up costing you money.

Laying Winning Underdogs

This is another "in play" strategy. It's much simpler than the one just discussed though, since it only involves making one wager. While we do recommend actually watching the games you implement this strategy on, it's not 100% necessary. If you're familiar with the teams involved, you may be able to make a sound judgment even if you're not watching the game.

With this strategy you're looking for spots when an underdog takes an unexpected lead in a game. At this point, the odds on them winning are obviously going to fall. In the right circumstances, laying the underdog at these reduced odds can be profitable.

Be selective when using this strategy.

We would never suggest that it's ALWAYS right to lay an underdog if they take the lead in a game. It's vital that you have confidence in the favorite's ability to turn things around and pull off a win. At the very least, they'll need to get a draw. If you have good reason to believe that the underdog can hold on to their lead, then this strategy should not be used.

Hedging Long Term Bets

This final strategy is one that can only be used in very specific circumstances. If you never make long-term bets, then it's not something you need to think about. If long term bets are something that interests you, then this strategy may be worth considering.

When we refer to long-term bets, we're talking about "futures" or "outrights." These are wagers that are based on an outcome that's going to be determined later on. A wager on a team to win the Premier League at the start of the season, a wager on a player to be top goal scorer or a wager on a team to win a knockout competition are just a few examples.

To demonstrate how this strategy can be implemented, let's assume that we've made a bet on Liverpool to win the Premier League at the start of the 2016/17 season. We put down $100, and we got odds of 16.00. This gave us a potential payout of $1,600, including our stake.

Liverpool happened to start off the 2016/17 season very well. They faced some extremely tough fixtures against Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. Out of those first few games, they managed to win two and draw one. As the season continued, they won three more games and lost only one. By the end of their seventh game, they had 16 points and things looked promising.

As a result, their odds dropped to just 6.00.

In this situation, we could use a betting exchange to LAY Liverpool to win the Premier League. By doing this we could ensure ourselves a win, regardless of whether they went on to win the league or not. If we decided to lay a $150 wager at 6.00, for example, then this new wager would expose us to a potential payout of $750.

We would only have to pay this if Liverpool won the league, in which case we'd have $1,500 from our original wager. Therefore, we'd still make a healthy profit. If Liverpool failed to win the league, we'd win $150 (minus commission) from this second wager. That would cover the $100 lost on the initial wager, and give us a $50 profit on top.

Hedging has been a topic of controversy for several years now. Some bettors believe that hedging is never the right thing to do, as it involves giving up too much value from one wager to make the other wager worth it. Other bettors think very highly of hedging, as they believe that locking in a guaranteed profit should always be considered a win-win situation.

Our view is a little more balanced. Sometimes hedging is the right approach to take, and sometimes it's not. It really comes down to two things: the likelihood of your original wager winning, and your attitude towards risk is. To put it another way, it comes down to doing whatever feels right to you. There are no hard and fast rules here; it's ultimately your decision.

We've almost reached the end of this article. We hope that the information we provided will help you know which of are recommended strategies to use and when. However, before we send you off, there's one final point we'd like to make.

In order to get the most out of using exchanges for soccer betting, you'll eventually have to develop your own strategies. While well known strategies can be profitable, it's harder to find value when there's a large number of people placing the same exact wagers as you. If you can develop your own strategies, that no one else is aware of, your potential profit could increase dramatically. And isn't that what we're all shooting for?

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