Top 5 Best Betting Exchanges

The key to winning with betting exchanges is finding the best odds. By choosing an exchange with simple fees and no restrictions on winning accounts, you can concentrate on finding high value bets and enjoying the excitement that comes with dynamic in-play betting.  

Although most offers on exchanges are used to lure new punters, they also have reward programs for existing customers. Every so often other bookies will email you with more free bets or reload offers especially if you haven’t been on their site for some time or when a major sporting competition is fast approaching. There are 4 main betting exchanges as listed below;

  1. Betfair

Established in 2000, this is the exchange market leader and without doubt hands down the best bookie in the world. Although it is mainly known as British outfit headquartered in Hammersmith, West London, it is registered and operates on a licence from the island of Gibraltar. They revolutionized sports betting by taking on the traditional bookies, taking their edge from them and allowed punters a much level playing field. With them, you get a £10 welcome bet as well as a risk free £5 bet.

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This offer is however only available to customers who have never staked a bet on the exchange. You must in addition opt in before placing the qualifying bet. An unmatched or partially matched bet on Betfair basically means that you’ve offered the lay bet but there isn’t enough money being backed to cover you in full at the odds you chose.

The amount of money shown needs to be higher than the backer’s stake figure you put in the betting slip, otherwise it won’t be fully matched. Betfair take a 5% commission on all winning bets on their exchange. This over time has the effect of eating into your profits. You also have to factor in the commission when comparing the odds on the exchange versus those on its bookie. This is because a win with the exchange in effect lowers the odds of the bet slightly.  


  • Good liquidity on all major and minor markets that enable you to bet against other punters and not the house
  • Well placed and outside bet categories and good odds on straight bets
  • Excellent customer service where customers are treated more like clients
  • Easy navigation on the site with submenus on the side of each page to help you narrow down your market selection
  • Solid reputation with many years of exchange betting


  • Takes an industry high commission of 5% on winning bets although this may reduce depending on your betting activity
  • Does not offer a market maker or layer for multiple bets due to the long odds involved. For such bets you are better off going with a traditional bookmaker.
  • Introduced a Premium Charge for its biggest winners who are charged 20% of their windfalls

This is another top and well established betting exchange with its roots in Ireland This is the second largest betting exchange with an estimated market share of 10%. It is a close competitor to Betfair and has a very similar layout to them, perhaps mimicking them due to the success and traffic they draw to their site.

In 2013, the company was sold to Ladbrokes for €30 million and is now part of the Ladbrokes Coral Group. Betdaq offers a £25 no lose bet besides refunding your stake back as a free bet of up to £10 to be used on other virtual sports betting markets on the site. You can only receive this free bet in the event that you lose on a virtual sports bet. Pros

  • Low commission rate of 2%
  • Great liquidity with numerous other punters willing to match your stake on a myriad of sporting events
  • Give all new customers the chance of up to £1000 cash back on commissions for 30 days when they join using the correct Betdaq promo code
  • Do not charge the Premium Charge that is the preserve of Betfair


  • Has less markets in comparison with Betfair
  • Less liquidity on the lesser markets than the market leader
  1. Smarkets

Is the youngest of betting exchanges on our list with an inception date of 2008. Smarkets offers the chance to claim a £10 bet with new customers required to deposit at least £20 by card or bank transfer. Your first losing bet will then be refunded up to £10. This offer expires after 3 months.  


  • No additional Premium Charge levied
  • Lots of non-sports markets with a focus on political bets available including on the outcome of U.S. Supreme Court cases and the U.K. base rate of interest.


  • Have been known to have downtimes occasionally especially on the extremely busy days
  • Offers odds in the decimal format which may be unusual if you’re used to the fractional format
  • Don’t deal with promotions at all; no promotional value on their site like money back specials and free bets. Their big selling point is their flat rate commission of 2%
  • Not as much choice of sporting markets as compared to some other sites
  1. Matchbook

Founded in 2004, it was introduced as an exchange for American punters and is one of the fastest growing betting exchanges. It offers all customers an industry low commission rate of 2% that is very appealing to potential clients and an introductory £10 risk free bet.


  • Have a low commission rate of 2%
  • Staking is made easy with a useful time saving feature that allows you to back and lay bets in the search bar without having to open up the market page.
  • No additional Premium Charge levied
  • Excellent user interface
  • Wide range of US sports markets


  • Limited number of betting markets as compared to their competitors
  • Has less liquidity
  • Complex to understand commission structure ranging between 0.75% and 1.5% depending on whether you make the market (place an unmatched bet or lay and wait to be matched) or whether you accept the bet or lay of someone else
  • Suffer from recurring technical difficulties with regards to running completely smooth and without issues
  • Average live betting with no live streaming

  Which is your favorite sports betting exchange?  


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