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Betting Exchange vs Bookmaker The Significant Differences Between Betting Traditionally and Betting on the Exchanges

Bookmakers, sportsbooks and betting exchanges explained: Make sure you know the difference before risking your hard earned cash



Published on
Updated on 07 December 2017
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Traditional bookmakers and betting exchanges differ in many ways. These differences determine the appropriateness of one option over the other in any given situation. Following are the major differences between these two:
 
Odds
 
Typical bookmakers offer better odds than betting exchanges in certain situations, and vice versa. Let’s discuss this in detail:
 
Liquidity - You should choose a traditional bookmaker if you want to place your bet early. Peer-to-peer betting relies greatly on how bettors deal with their money. And bettors don’t want their money to be idle. This option gets even better if you want to bet on a non-mainstream event.
 
Match Results - If you are planning to bet on an event with two or three potential outcomes, bookmakers are considerably better than exchanges.



Horse Racing - Traditional bookmakers increase the price for horse racing events because of the “each way” option. The importance of this aspect differs based on the particular racing event you are looking at. In general, bookies are great when it comes to low-priced horses. Choose betting exchanges when betting on high-priced horses.

Outright Markets - Betting exchanges are great if you are betting on an outright market and the event will start soon.
 
Markets with a lot of Options - The built-in margins of traditional bookies increase as the total number of possible outcomes increase. Book exchanges, on the other hand, experience significant gaps in the odds they offer.
 
Lay Betting
 
The betting exchanges are clearly better than bookies here. With a betting exchange, you can lay bets as if you are a traditional bookmaker. You’ll see all the important information in a clear interface. Thus, the lay and back odds will be visible to you.
 
Closing an Account
 
Generally speaking, traditional bookies are not fond of winning punters. In fact, some bookmakers close the accounts of winners. There are things that you can do to keep your account active. If you are on a winning streak, however, your efforts to retain the account will likely go to waste.
 
Betting exchanges, on the other hand, don’t close the account of their winning clients. Restrictions are also rare, except the “premium charges” that you might encounter while betting. Thus, betting exchanges are better than bookies when it comes to maintaining your betting account.
 
Trading
 
Expert traders believe in the “lay low, back high” principle. Better exchanges, which were designed for the said principle, attracted more punters to the world of betting.
 
You can still perform bet trading with traditional bookmakers. You must avoid doing multiple parts of your trade with a single bookmaker. It would be best if you will conduct trades through two or more bookies.
 
Courtsiding
 
This issue exists in betting exchanges only. It is not a serious problem since most bettors don’t encounter it. Basically, courtsiding is a strategy where the punter will attend the event they placed their bets on. Attending the event gives punters a significant advantage since they won’t be affected by the delays in TV broadcasts.  But this strategy becomes too risky when used in betting exchanges.
 
If you want to use the courtsiding strategy, you should place bets through traditional bookmakers.
 
Promotions
 
Bookmakers are usually much better than betting exchanges in terms of promotions. For instance, a bookie may give you a registration bonus worth £50. Once you lose all this bonus, the bookmaker will hit breakeven. Thus, he will earn money in your next bets. Betting exchanges, meanwhile, can’t offer significant bonuses because they receive small commissions per transaction. That means they need considerable turnovers before profiting from a customer.
 
Some bookmakers also offer special promotions. For example, “bet365” gives you a free bet if your pick wins an event. This kind of bonus is a huge addition to the value of your winnings.
 
Multiple Bets
 
In this aspect, bookmakers are clearly better than betting exchanges. Traditional bookies offer a wide array of betting options, such as Yankee, Heinz, and Lucky 15.
 
Betting exchanges, meanwhile, are limited to single bets. But you can start your bets at various time periods to turn them into a single accumulator. Then, you can just use your winnings to fund your next bets. Keep in mind, however, that this strategy is extremely complex and risky.
 
Cash Out
 
With betting exchanges, you can use the “cash out” option through several mouse clicks. With traditional bookmakers, on the other hand, cashing out can sometimes be a complex and lengthy process.
 
The concept of “cash out” originated from betting exchanges. At first, it was a marketing tool used by Betfair for business differentiation purposes. Unfortunately, traditional bookies and other betting exchanges followed suit.
 
Unmatched Bets
 
These bets are common in betting exchanges. You will get an unmatched bet if you are placing bets on an illiquid market. Because of unmatched bets, many bettors choose to go with traditional bookmakers. You can be sure that bookmakers will take the bets at the specified odds.
 
However, this is not always the case. You should know that bookmakers restrict bettors who are better than the odds compilers. If you are a skilled punter, the highest amount that you can bet will be reduced sooner or later.
 


Section: Sportsbook Bookmakers or Betting Exchanges

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