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BETFAIR: the revolution is upon us -Power to the People !! 04/03/03

We are damm impressed with the new BETFAIR betting exchange, so here is a detailed outline of how it all works to get you started.

First off, BETFAIR is a BETTING EXCHANGE. There is no bookmaker or betting agency involved, basically you are betting against another punter.

As they only take out 5% commission on your winnings, the dividends are just about always higher on BETFAIR, often by 10-20%.

To open an account click on the ad below. You can deposit money by credit card (and this is a ridgey didge site, so do not be concerned about security). You can transfer the same amount back to your credit card at any stage (and it does work - we have tried it), but the credit card barons dictate that you cannot pay back more than you were charged in the 1st place, so any winnings need to be paid by cheque from Scotland, but there should be no dramas about that - this is a very professional site.

Best odds

There is a 1.5% charge on any deposits.


Now you are ready to BET. BETFAIR operates on all metropolitan Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney race meetings, as well as sports of all sorts.

Each race you have the option to BET or LAY a runner. BETTING means you are placing a win bet just like you would with a bookmaker. LAYING a runner means that you are taking someone else’s bet at the odds they want and will have to pay out if that horse wins.

Our suggestion is to have a play to begin with to check how it all works. The numbers in the BET box are the odds available, and how much money you can bet at those odds (e.g something might be 10-1 and you can have only $6 to win on it). You can take these odds straight away, and the best odds on offer as those that come up in the blue box. If you want better odds than those currently available, then you can place an order and enter that you want, say $6 to win at 15-1. This bet will then appear on the pink LAY side of the screen - i.e it is an unfilled order and you are looking for someone to take the bet at those odds.

Likewise on the LAY side of the screen the values appear in the pink box are the lowest odds that someone has an outstanding bet order for. You can choose to LAY this horse for all or part of the amount that has been requested (there is a minimum bet of $6). If there are no outstanding bet orders on this runner, then once you enter your LAY you will see it appear on the blue BET side of the screen - i.e. you are now waiting for someone to take the odds that you have posted.

People play dreamer and enter bets for say 20-1 on a 5-1 shot - these then appear on the LAY side if anyone wants to cover them at those silly odds - but once again when you lay something it actually fills out to the lowest outstanding odds someone is asking for (i.e if you offer to lay something at 7-1, and someone has asked to bet at 6-1 then you just cover the 6-1 bet instead).

Click here for better prices! If you do request a bet at higher odds, you do have to realise that you bet will not be covered until all the lower value bets have been met and then priority is given based on the time the bet was place.

Anyway, laying a horse and barracking for the rest of the field is a lot of fun.


Once you place a bet the money is taken off your account and frozen until the results are in - which means you need to have a lot in your balance if you want to lay numerous horses or 50-1 shots at $6. Any bet that has been taken is called MATCHED, any bet that is outstanding is called UNMATCHED and you can quickly view these at any stage on the right hand side of the screen.

The reporting features are impressive to say the least - you can report at any time on your matched or unmatched bets and you can even view your profit/loss over the whole period of your account - now that is scary - imagine if you could do this with your TAB accounts !!.

Strategies to guarantee a profit

The bottom line is that this opens up a lot of new opportunities for the punter :

1. The odds are a lot better : Because you are effectively selling and trading bets the odds available fluctuate very quickly and there are just about always better odds available, especially on favourites. Recent examples have included La Bella Dame winning at $4 on SUPERTAB, but with plenty of $4.70 to be had on BETFAIR, and Blue Diamond winner getting out to as long as $8.20 (SUPERTAB paid $5.60).

2. Sometimes the market falls below 100%. Those who know about framing markets know that this is a gold mine. If the market is below 100% and you have a spreadsheet open, you can actually back every horse in the field proportionally and guarantee a profit. Although you would probably have to be pretty quick to grab all the odds. BUT because every runner is bet and laid individually, the market on one runner does not effect the others so this state of punter’s nirvana is possible.

3. You can play bookmaker yourself. If you know how to frame a market then you can try and frame your market above 100% and cover each runner proportionally so once again you are guaranteed to win regardless of the result.

4. You can sell and trade on just one horse and guarantee yourself a win. If you can BACK at horse at high odds and then LAY it again at low odds (e.g betting at $6.20 and laying at $5.00), then you can either give yourself a free bet (with reduced return if the horse wins, but no losses to yourself if it does not), or work the fractions so you can win whether it wins or loses. Small profit, slow profits, but mathematically guaranteed as long as you play your cards right.

Lots of possibilities - some take a bit of thinking and patience - but if you just want to bet to win watch the odds for a couple of races and you will be amazed.

Best Odds

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