At the beginning of your matched betting journey we strongly advise that all new members use Betfair Exchange to lay off bets. The main reason we advise this early on is because Betfair is the most popular Exchange around, it offers great stability in terms of liquidity in the market and covers all possible markets in all different sports around the world. Whilst you are getting to grips with how a betting Exchange works it is very important to be able to match your bets easily.
Why should I change from Betfair?
This is not something you have to do as Betfair has many plus points as we have already mentioned above, but the one negative that comes with Betfair is the 5% commission you are charged. Although this is the only negative part of the Betfair Exchange, we believe it is a big negative in terms of your long term value compared with Smarkets.
I’ve never heard of Smarkets, why should I change?
Smarkets is an Exchange that only charges 2% compared to Betfairs 5%, this might not sound a lot but long term it will make a difference. Smarkets doesn’t offer the same safety as Betfair in terms of liquidity but the 2% commission allows us to minimize our loss on qualifying bets. Although it is impossible to compete with Betfair in terms of liquidity, Smarkets do have a very stable liquidity on all big events. So for instance a big Premier League game between ‘Manchester United vs Arsenal’ you will have no problem getting your bet matched, whereas if you are matching your bet on a much smaller league (something we wouldn’t really advise anyway) then liquidity on Smarkets might become more of an issue.
So does the percentage of commission make much difference?
The best way for you to decide on this is for us to put it into real numbers for you.
For example we will use William Hill.
Manchester United vs Arsenal
Our back bet with William Hill on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is priced @ 2.0
Our lay bet with Betfair Exchange on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is priced @ 2.05
Our lay bet with Smarkets Exchange on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is priced @ 2.05
So the matches are exactly the same on both exchanges. Now we can show you the difference in our qualifying loss with each Exchange.
For this example we will use a £50 stake at William Hill
Overall qualifying loss with Betfair -£2.50
Overall qualifying loss with Smarkets -£1.72
A difference of £0.78p.
This might not seem a lot at first but imagine you did 10 bets with Betfair that were available at exactly the same odds with Smarkets. That is a difference of £7.80, or say 100 bets with Betfair that were available at exactly the same odds with Smarkets, that is a difference of £78! That is a lot of money you could be missing out on, just for not taking advantage of the commission difference between these two exchanges. Now you can begin to understand the long term value in using Smarkets.
So should I forget Betfair entirely?
Short and simple answer is no, Betfair is a very reliable Exchange and would never advise just dismissing it but we want to make you aware of the value of changing over to Smarkets. Betfair is always good and reliable to have in certain circumstances but why would you not use Smarkets and take a smaller loss for exactly the same bet. It really is a no brainer in terms of long term value. So our overall advise would be to use Smarkets where it is available on events you are looking to match but always keep Betfair in mind as your ‘back up’ Exchange.
Any questions you may have about either Exchange please do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you with your enquiries.