A betting exchange is a platform that allows people with differing opinions on the same event to bet against one another. The betting exchange provides sports bettors with a platform and service that offers better value, greater choice and more flexibility in how to bet than a conventional bookmaker. You can use the exchange in many ways.
At its simplest you can BACK any selection to win an event.
You may also choose to LAY - bet on a selection not winning an event.
You can make an offer to bet at greater odds than are displayed, giving you control over the odds you are willing to accept as being good value for each bet.
You can manage your bets so that you can trade into a profit before an event has even started.
You can experience the real thrill of betting with fellow users while an event is taking place.
The betting exchange does not stand customers bets. Instead, the exchange takes a small margin or 'commission' from the profit on winning bet/s.
The distinction between backing and laying is in whether you believe a selection will win an event or not.
If you are backing Arsenal to win with £100 at odds of 2.50 you stand to gain a return of £250, less commission. This is made up of your stake of £100 plus winnings of £150.
If you do not think Arsenal will win you might be happy to lay them at the same odds of 2.50. To win £100 laying at those odds you would have to put up £150 of a potential loss.
In this case a backer and a layer are evenly matched and both have a bet struck at odds they believe are value. Who gets the money depends on whether Arsenal win or not