Betfair is one of the world’s leading online sports books and it’s very rare that anyone disagrees, with most punters and operators commenting frequently on the sites commitment to offering fair, safe, and varied sports betting markets.
There was a lot of positive chatter in the industry when Betfair launched their exchange, which allows punters to place and lay bets (essentially acting as the bookie), and since then the company have grown exponentially, adding a number of other products to their site including an online casino, online poker facilities, bingo rooms, and more.
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The Daddy of Betting Exchanges
The exchange betting feature is perhaps one of the reasons why Betfair is so highly regarded, and below we’ll talk a little about what an exchange actually is before covering any notable promotions offered to punters who use the exchange.
Betfair Exchange: Getting Started
The Betfair exchange was a revolutionary development in the online betting world, as it allowed players to bet against one another as opposed to having to bet against the bookie. While it can seem a little complex at first, once you get your head around how it all works it’s incredibly simple to use.
First of all, let’s take a look at how to actually use the exchange.
Within each market on the exchange you’ll see a table that shows the selections of the market (a horse race would list all of the different horses competing for example), along with six other columns.
The two main columns are ‘Back All’ and ‘Lay All’. The Back All column is for back betting – which is when you place a bet on the outcome you want to happen – and if it comes in, you get paid. The pink coloured Lay All column is where you can lay bets, which is essentially betting on an event not happening. In a football match, for example, if you were to lay on a team then you would want them to lose, rather than win.
So, within the exchange you can either place bets as normal like you would against the bookie, or you can lay the bets. The lay bets show punters who are looking for their bets to be taken, so thankfully, there’s no rushing around trying to find punters to accept your lay prices – it’s all done automatically.
That’s the exchange simplified, but people spend years learning how to use it properly (and win consistently), and many punters have made a lot of money from laying bets. Don’t make the mistake of seeing it as easy money though, because it can take some time to get the hang of.
There’s also something called a ‘Price Rush’, which isn’t directly anything to do with the exchange but it does use it, so we’ll talk about it here.
The Price Rush feature is applicable when you’re betting in the main sports book (i.e. against Betfair, not other customers.) Occasionally, your bets will increase in price due to Betfair finding significantly better odds within the exchange. It won’t happen on all of your bets, and you won’t know if it will happen before putting them on (the winning message is displayed after the bet is placed), but it’s a nice little extra from Betfair, and it helps to ensure that regular punters are being looked after.
The Betfair Website
Betfair’s website is sleek, slick, and easy to use, and while it doesn’t offer all of the bells and whistles that come with some of the more contemporary sites (that often target younger players), it looks fine, and offers an incredibly reliable, secure, and speedy betting experience.
In the sections below, we’re going to look at some of the site’s main features, starting with the website itself.
Betfair’s website is quite honestly one of best around. Everything from navigating the various markets and events on offer, to actually placing your bets and withdrawing funds, is optimised to be as intuitive as possible.
Creating an account at Betfair takes just a couple of minutes, and once you’ve verified your email address you’ll be ready to go. Just head to the cashier section and you’ll be able to deposit and withdraw, change your account details, and set any responsible gambling measures that you want in place.
One of the first things you’ll probably notice at the site is the speed at which all page’s load. Betfair have designed their site to be clutter free, and this keeps everything snappy. For example, Betfair don’t plaster promotional banners and imagery all over the place, and although this can make the website look a little bland, the user experience is second to none.
Betfair was founded with the ethos to always offer customers the best odds, and it’s fair to say that they’ve more than lived up to this initial idea.
Thanks to the Price Boost facility we talked about earlier, you’re in with a great chance of getting better odds than if you were betting elsewhere; in fact, it’s very rare to see Betfair beaten on odds.
It’s not just the odds that help make Betfair such an attractive site to join; their range of bet types is also world class, as alongside all of the classic betting options that you’d expect to find, Betfair allow you to place bets on odds like 1X2, Asian Handicap Markets, all the way to Over/Under Goals Markets.
Indeed, Betfair offer a number of pre-built coupons that incorporate these rarer bet types, allowing you to have a punt on bets that you may not have tried before.
Betfair offer a mobile app to both iOS and Android players, and while the apps are actually a little different depending on the operating system you’re using, both are generally reliable, and allow you to access hundreds of markets to bet on every hour.
Of course, it’s rare for a mobile app to be as comprehensive as a desktop website, but Betfair certainly come close. From the mobile apps, you’ll be able to access your entire betting history as well as making full use of all deposit and withdrawal facilities.
More recently, Betfair have implemented a live score and livestream feature (more on the live streaming below), and of course, cashout facilities are also readily accessible. Betfair are actually one of the first bookies to incorporate mobile cashout facilities.
With live streaming becoming increasingly popular, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen almost all bookmakers try to implement some form of live streaming into their operations.
One of the biggest attractions of live streams is the fact that – so long as a qualifying bet has been placed – they are usually completely free to watch. Furthermore, trying to stream events online is a nightmare, and often results in your screen being bombarded with a million different adverts, rendering your computer almost unusable.
When it comes to live streaming, you’re unlikely to find a better bookie than Betfair, who have been one of the pioneers in live streaming from day one. Of course, horse racing is the most widely covered sport available, and they have secured a unique partnership with ‘At the Races’, which ensures you can watch almost all horse race meetings in the UK, including: Doncaster, Ascot, Fontwell, Goodwood, Newcastle, Lingfield, Southwell, and Sedgefield.
In fact, horse racing is just one of the sports available to livestream, with some of the other markets including: Football, Tennis, Greyhound Racing, Volleyball, Basketball, Cricket, Snooker, Ice Hockey, Rugby League, Handball, Bowls, and even Darts.
Simply click the ‘Live Streaming’ tab on the main navigational menu to view a full breakdown of events available to stream live.
As you would expect from a bookie the size of Betfair, there are a substantial number of payment options for you to choose from, and this applies both to deposits and withdrawals.
In fact, players from the United Kingdom have a massive amount of choice, and you’ll be able to use Visa and Mastercard Debit/Credit cards, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Bank Transfer, Cheque, and interestingly, ApplePay and AndroidPay for mobile players.
To deposit, just head to the cashier where you’ll see all of the various deposit methods available to you. Choose one, enter the amount, and fill out the relevant details.
In terms of withdrawal times Betfair are one of the quicker bookies out there, and while they don’t match the speed of some of the modern online casinos, they do aim to process all withdrawal requests in under 24 hours.
HINT: In order to speed up the time it takes your withdrawals to be processed, ensure your account is fully verified. This can be done by submitting a scanned photocopy or a mobile phone photo of your driving license/passport, and another scan of a recent utility bill. Once you’ve done this, your withdrawals will be processed faster and there will be no delays.
Betfair is also ideal for those punters who like to place bets at lower stakes, and this is evidenced by the low minimum deposit limits. Most payment methods allow you to deposit as little as £5 into your account, although some such as PayPal do require a minimum of £10.
Withdrawal minimums are again balanced between £5 and £10, but the exact minimum depends entirely on the payment method you’ve chosen to use.
Betfair have been at the top of pile when it comes to betting exchanges since their introduction back in 2001. Since then the site has gone on to become a real powerhouse within the betting industry. The sites backbone has come in form of its awesome design. The current layout is still in its Beta phase but most, if not all users are enjoying the layout – even with the option of flicking back to the previous design.
The site looks ultra-cool under its new layout and whilst at first feels like there’s a lot going on, it’s actually simple to navigate too. The sidebar works particularly well and changes depending which market you are on. It does allow you to easily either flick back to where you were or jump on ahead to different markets.
The integration of their live streaming section is without doubt one of the best going. The depth of sports include football, horse racing, tennis, cricket, rugby, golf and loads more on top of that. Once more, you can integrate the market of the game you are watching to make in-play betting that bit easier to follow. The inclusion of matches and even sports that aren’t on mainstream television channels make it an essential tool for a variety of bettors.
Market coverage from Betfair has to be one of the biggest in the industry. It’s staggering to see how many sports they cover and then how many markets are on offer for each sport. The likes of football and horse racing definitely rule of the roost, but there are very few sports that don’t have comprehensive market coverage.
The addition of their mobile section is also very impressive. As Betfair continue to offer products to bettors such as fixed price betting, multiples and their new cash out feature, Betfair have conjured up specific apps for each of these. They obviously have their main app for the backing and laying side of the game, but independent apps for multiples betting and also live betting markets as well. Whilst some punters would prefer just to have them ‘all under one roof’, it does actually make each app easier to function and the addition of a couple more apps certainly doesn’t put any strain on your smartphone.
It’s very easy to see why Betfair have become such a big player in the betting industry. It’s like a one- stop-shop for all things betting and there is literally nothing they don’t cover now. Not only do you get your backing and lay features, but you get the best of both worlds with fixed odds meaning they act as a more traditional bookmaker as well.