What is a lay bet?

When you lay a selection, you are betting that an outcome will not occur. For example, you might offer a lay bet because you find it easier to pick a horse that will not win rather than one that will win. Laying a selection allows you to assume the role of bookmaker and offer odds to other punters. Your aim is to win a stake from a backer in return for offering a potential return to that backer. If the outcome you are laying does not happen, you receive the backer’s stake. If the outcome occurs, you pay out to the backer the stake multiplied by the odds. For example, if you were to lay a horse for £10 at odds of 5.0, you would be liable to pay out £40 from your account if that horse won. The Betting Exchange returns the £10 stake to the backer plus the £40 profit. If the horse does not win, you keep the £10 staked by the backer.

For your bet to be accepted, another punter needs to have the opposing view on the event outcome and be prepared to back your selection at the desired price and odds. This allows a betting exchange to link the opposing bets so that they become matched.

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