A Clear Guide to Back and Lay Betting

Not sure what people mean when they refer to back and lay betting? Want to know how back and lay betting works and when to use it best? You’ve come to the right place.

Sports betting is thought of as a matter of luck, however, there is also a considerable amount of strategy involved. With the right data, and the right perspective and insights, you can make better betting decisions to win more. Back and lay betting is just one such strategy that can be used to enhance your odds when you make a wager on sports. Read on for back and lay betting explained.

 

What is back and lay betting?

First things first, let us answer the fundamental question – what is back and lay betting. The answer is actually two folds, we first have back betting and then we have what is known as lay betting.

 

Back Betting

So, what is back betting? Back betting is simple, bookmakers publish the odds for different horses, and you back one horse by betting a certain amount of money on it. For example, let us say a horse has odds of 4.0 and you place $10 on the horse to win. If the horse wins, your back bet was a success – you will receive $10 * 4.0 = $40 as reward for the bet. However, if the horse does not win (even if it ends up second) you will lose your $10 and get nothing back in return. This is simple back betting. You are ‘backing’ a horse.

Back betting is the most common type of bet with bookmakers, and if you have ever taken a bet on a horse, you have probably done back betting without even realizing it.

To paraphrase – a back bet is basically staking money for your horse to win.

 

Lay Betting

What is lay betting?

Lay betting is more recent and a little more complicated than your traditional back bet. Lay betting rose in popularity with the advent of betting exchange platforms where punters bet against each other rather than against a common book maker.

In a way, a lay bet is the stark opposite of a back bet. While in a back bet, you essentially say “this horse will win”, in a lay bet you are betting that a particular horse will not win. Therefore, when you place a lay bet on a horse, you are staking money on it not to win.

Lay bets are not as common and have only come into the picture in recent years. However, a lot of punters prefer taking lay bets over back bets simply because it may be easier to pick one horse from a group of horses to place anywhere but first rather than to pick one horse from a group of horses to come first.

Even though lay bets are less common than back bets, they are fundamental in certain betting strategies such as matched betting.

Here is a very simple example of a back bet and lay bet to emphasize the key difference

Back bet: I bet $10 that Liverpool will win the English Premier League this season

Lay bet: I bet $10 that Liverpool will not win the English Premier League this season

Depending on the specific bet, you may get better paying odds in either of these types of bets. If you back bet on a favorite, the odds won’t be so high paying, but if you lay bet on a clear favorite, your odds might be well paying. Likewise if you back bet on an underdog, you’ll get good paying odds and vice versa.

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