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What is betting?

What is betting? Do you know the betting meaning behind backing and laying? Start making better and learn to make more profitable betting decisions today.



Published on
Updated on 29 January 2017
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Betting is the act of predicting the result for a specific event and placing a wager based on the predicted outcome. Sports betting has been a lucrative hobby for many people and it can be a fascinating and an exciting experience. Aside from the enjoyment of watching your favourite sports team, you also get a thrill from possibly winning the wager. The uncertainty, hope and anticipation all make for a very powerful experience.

However, not all forms of betting are equal. If you are a novice bettor, it may be a little daunting at first. That is why you need to learn the betting fundamentals for beginners.

What is betting and how does it work?

Most sports bettors place their bets through legally registered bookmakers. The “book” refers to the books used to track the various betting options, the different payouts, and the debts. There are many online bookmakers offering legal opportunities for you to win from sports betting.

However, a few of the online bookmakers operate illegally. That is why you need to exercise caution when placing your bets online. Although, once you understand the intricacies of sports betting, you may also come to enjoy and profit from this exciting experience with a little more knowledge and patience.

Lay Betting with betting exchanges

Another form of sports betting is Lay Betting. Lay betting sometimes draw controversies when it comes to the betting options that the bettors can play. As opposed to the usual betting options to bet on the winning team or betting on how the game will go; the idea of lay betting is that you bet on the losing team. There may be times when you feel certain a specific team will not win, but you have no idea as to overall outcome.

Lay betting makes it possible for you to use your sports knowledge and intelligently risk your money based on your knowledge. So, instead of betting on the winning team, you will bet on the losing team. However, lay betting is not without its risks, as if your chosen team wins when you did not want that outcome, you will have to pay the odds and the backer as well. Lay betting liabilities can quickly increase, so lay betting should be thoroughly understood before risking your hard-earned income.

The difference between backing and laying a bet

The difference between the liability of backing a bet and laying a bet lies in the risks associated with each. By backing a bet, the amount you can lose is only the amount that you wager….But with laying a bet, you will need to watch out for your worst-case scenario. This is because the amount of your wager will depend on the liability associated with laying a bet.

For example, Team A is playing against Team B and you believe that Team A will not win the fixture. You would like to win £10 and the odds for laying the Team A win are such that you will have to risk £90 to win £10. Therefore, your liability (i.e. the amount of money that you stand to lose) when laying a Team A win is £90 and the backer’s stake is £10.

Your total pay out, in the event that you win (i.e. Team A fails to win), is £100, which transfers the backer's £10 stake to you in addition to your original £90 liability.

However, if Team A wins, you will lose £90; the amount of your original liability, which is paid to the winning backer….But if Team A fails to win (i.e. A draw or a Team B win), you will win £10 less the commission of the betting exchange.


This was a short introduction to the world of sports betting. Take a little time to read more expert betting help, so you can make better betting decisions, risk less money and win more profits.



Section: Betting Fundamentals for beginners
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