Betfair review

Betfair market themselves as the world’s largest betting exchange. Put simply, this means that where you would normally bet against the bookie, Betfair pits you against other punters. This means you can back or lay bets – lay being the role the bookie traditionally takes – offering a substantially different experience to your traditional bookmaker on the high street. Fancy something a little different? Betfair could be the betting site for you.

Free bet offer – Betfair is currently offering £100 of free bets. (new customers only, terms apply, 18+)

Get up to £100 free here with Betfair sports*

*New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.


Read the Betfair bonus details here

Betfair sports review

Site design

Betfair is bedecked in yellow and black cladding in line with the firm’s branding. On top of the colour scheme is a busy looking sportsbook that presents a whole host of markets within just a few clicks.

Right at the top of the screen are quick links through to some of the main sports the site features, including football, horse racing and tennis. Quick links also exist here to take you through to the casino section of the site.

Underneath you will see the latest highlights which will include options for in play betting – so log in on a UEFA Champions League match day and the chances are that that is what will adorn this section of the site.

If you want to change what this screen shows, Betfair will allow you to scroll between highlights, in-play and next races. There’s also a neat trending bets module which allows you to see exactly what other bettors are taking a punt on.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll also see handy quick links to things like an A-Z of all the sports available and, handily, a cash out button which takes you straight to all the bets on your bet slip that are eligible for this most popular of functions.

Individual matches are laid out logically, with all odds presented in a bright blue button making it easy to scan the page and get an idea of the range of different markets. Where cash out is available you’ll see a circle icon and there’s also a neat on TV graphic for any matches that are being shown live on the telly.

In play markets are equally efficient, except they come with a nice pitch graphic detailing all the latest stats, fact and figures relating to the game you’re interested in.

This site then, makes it nice and easy for you to explore the full range of markets from one of the UK’s most comprehensive betting outfits.

Betfair sports betting In Play

The Betfair in play betting option can be found very easily. Once your on the home page you can find it in the sports menu. Once here the In Play menu is clearly visible.

The In Play section will then show the current events available to bet on and the different sporting markets covered. Betfair offer In Play on many markets including football, tennis, cricket, basketball and snooker plus many others. Betfair show any up and coming in play events, just navigate yourself to the event or fixture you want to bet on.

Once you’ve accessed your fixture you will see the many different markets that you can place a bet on. There are many options as in normal betting, however the attraction of in play is that you can see for yourself how the fixture is panning out and place your bets accordingly.

Betfair offer some unbelievable stats that are more or less immediate. Betfair do have a disclaimer that some stats can’t be immediate as everyone’s connectivity can vary, however they are an excellent source of vital information to place some winning in play bets.

Betfair really seem to want to try and give the punter as much information as possible. With many different individual markets and ways to bet this is vital for finding the value. Betfair also offer Quick bets for those markets that can happen often immediately, for example which team will get the next corner.

To place a Betfair In Play bet, judge for yourself what you think would be a good market to bet on for the event you are watching or listening to. This could be anything depending on which way the fixture is going and a quick study of the odds. Once you’ve chosen your bet you can then enter the stake amount to place the bet.

Betfair In Play betting really is up there with all the other bookies that offer this latest craze. It makes the sporting event so much more enjoyable and as long as its done in a responsible way, you can find some great odds and value which means you can get some very good returns on your bets.

Main sports covered

Betfair love their football, and have even sponsored Premier League football teams in recent years in a bid to break into this competitive marketplace.

As such you will find that the beautiful game dominates much of the website here, with key activity focusing around big events like the World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League.

Whether you choose to back or lay your team you will find good value here across a whole host of different markets, to rival even the most established of bookmakers.

Not that football is all you will find here, Betfair takes its whole range of sports seriously and does have very competitive markets across the board, particularly horse racing and tennis.

In play markets within all of these sports are strong – as you would expect as an outfit as large as Betfair – and cash out is available on a large number of bets that the firm offers.

Among the other bets you’ll find within are American sports, esports and even niche entertainment markets which ensures Betfair are providing a vast number of bets for their punters.

Offers available to existing customers

Betfair doesn’t have the widest selection of promotions for existing customers, but there are several here to help you make your money travel that bit further.

The firm regularly offers football promotions although these are based on individual matches that are coming up, frequently based around the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

They also have a regular horse racing promotion, with a free bet on offer if you can correctly predict the winner of an RTE race at odds of 3/1 or more.

There are also double winnings available on all Premier League Darts events

Betfair casino

Betfair’s primary focus might be its sportsbook, but that’s not to say that it’s casino offering is too shabby, either.

Betfair has had its casino online since 2006, and operates Playtech games, one of the leading providers of casino games to the industry.

That means you get a nice selection of great games with slick animations and nice graphics, within Betfair’s popular website.

Betfair don’t have the biggest selection of games, they have around 100 slots and 50 table games for example, but there’s plenty here to get stuck into and the whole offering feels high quality and well thought out.

They also have great live game options and you can play roulette, blackjack and baccarat with a live dealer over your internet connection.

This is a nice touch and makes a refreshing change from the virtual games offered on the platform.

As with many of the major betting firms’ websites, popular games take centre stage on the website, with tabs at the top of the page offering the catalogue in more detail.

The site has more than three million users and payouts are quick and easy, which is always an important aspect for any betting site to get right.

Live casino

The Betfair live casino offers real cash prize jackpots.  Enjoy the excitement of real live dealers and play some fantastic casino games. There are countless Roulette tables including Prestige, speed, Vesta and London.

Do you have the skill and nerve to play live casino hold ’em or does the blackjack table hold more appeal.

This live casino offers Bacarrat, Sic Bo, Hi Lo and French Roulette to keep the real casino atmosphere and buzz alive.

Laying a bet guide

Laying Horses

Laying is the process of picking a horse (or horses) in a race which you think is going to lose, and then offering odds on a betting exchange to other punters who wish to back it.
On the one hand this sounds very easy to do – you pick one horse and the rest of the field are running for you. However in reality laying is a lot harder than it sounds.

The returns from laying can be small in relation to the amount you are risking. For example if you laid a horse for £10 at 10-1 you are effectively risking £100 to win £10 (odds of 1/10). Likewise if you laid a horse for £10 at 2/1 you would be risking £20 to win £10 – (odds of 1/2).

In order or make a long term profit at such small returns, you need to ensure you have a very low strike rate, or at least one that keeps your betting bank in the black.

When looking for laying selections, you need to try and find one of two types of horse –

  • A horse where their chances of winning is very small
  • A horse where there is some value in its price. I.E. its price is unevenly matched with its chance of winning.

Once you have found the horse you think will lose the race, find the horse or horses that you think will win it.  your weak horse will still win races if ALL the horses in the race are weak and there isn’t a better one that can beat it. You are not only looking for the weak horse, you must find something that is capable of beating it.

Take notice of the live market in Betfair – if your horse is weak, a lot of the time they will drift in price, if for any reason they start to come in before the race, and by this I mean with volume – a proportionately large amount of money being bet, rather than a few hundred pounds chasing a price in, at a small meeting,  it could potentially mean that there is information out there that you are not aware of, that indicates that the horse has a better chance of winning than it would originally seem on paper. In those cases, it may be wiser to back out of the lay by placing an equivalent backing bet, even if it means taking a small loss. Better to take a small loss and bet on the next race, than ignore the signs and take a big hit.

Laying Services

There are a number of laying services available on the internet that you can subscribe to, that will list horses they think will lose. These services can be very good, as they have done all the research for you already, however If you choose to use one of these services, be sure to check their historic results and avoid any that do not publish them.

Also remember that they are likely to publish their results to “Starting Price”, in reality when you are laying you will be laying at a higher price than SP, so when winners come along you wont be paying 2-1 you will be paying out 2.2 or 2.3 to 1. In addition you will be paying commission on your winning bets, so be sure to factor that in when calculating what profits you could have made from their selections.

Ideally, the best laying services will have just a few bets a day and have a very low strike rate of winning horses (losing bets). In that way, the amount you lose in price premium, is relatively smaller than a service that provides a lot of bets and subsequently more winners.


The most common mistake for new punters is to start a new system but then stop betting it when there is a long run of losing bets. As soon as you stop your losses are consolidated and you may then miss out on a long run of winning bets. Of course this has to be balanced with common sense, but you need to give a system a fair chance to show its true colours.

If you are using a laying system or a laying service, your bank needs to be able to withstand a long run of winning horses (losing bets), without impacting your decision to bet them. In order to do this you must set your stakes at a low level that wont affect your judgement should be there a losing run.

  • If your system is successful, you can raise your stakes later and by then you will have a higher betting bank and a cushion should the system then hit a losing patch.
  • If it is unsuccessful, you will be pleased that you kept your stakes at a low level.

There are many types of staking plans as mentioned in the Betting Overview section. Everyone has their own preference and different plans are right for different people, but staking for layers will vary to backers, as your exposure is greater and the returns lower.

Some people prefer to maintain a maximum exposure amount by varying the stakes depending on the odds, in this way your exposure is limited regardless of the price of the horse – this method is popular for those that bet horses with higher prices.

Other people, will maintain a fixed stake looking for a set amount of points each month. They need to maintain a low stake as mentioned previously in order to ride out any losing streaks.

Company information

Betfair has been in the marketplace since 1999, delivering its own unique brand of sports betting to an increasingly growing number of loyal bettors.

Having the opportunity to play the bookie here makes Betfair a completely different proposition to the majority of bookmakers on the Internet. It is worth nothing, however, that as Betfair is a betting exchange the firm does take a small percentage of winning stakes – up to 5%, this deceases if you bet more and holidays are available.

That being said you won’t be short of markets here, with a whole host of sports and other betting options right at your fingertips. The firm is currently registered and licensed in Malta. You can contact the team over the phone, via email or through the @betfaircs social media account. Through all methods the Betfair team are always prompt to respond and happy to help.