What is a Lay Bet?
A lay bet, also known as laying a bet or betting against a selection, means you are prepared to bet on an outcome of an event that you believe will not happen.
For instance, Manchester United are playing Barcelona in the European Cup Final and you believe it will not end a Draw at the final whistle. You will therefore place a Lay Bet on the Draw not to occur.
If the end result is a win for either Manchester United or Barcelona then your lay bet prediction has come true (i.e. not the Draw) and you will have won your bet.
Although a lay bet sounds like a brand new betting method - people have in fact been laying bets since betting was first conceived.
By making a prediction that Manchester United will win, for example, you are unconsiously laying the remaining outcomes - the Draw and a Barcleona win.
Making a lay bet is often about making a choice between risk and reward.
If the odds of laying a Draw were low then you could expect to win or lose the amount you bet. If the odds of laying a Draw are high then you must be prepared to risk losing a larger amount if in fact a Draw is the end result.
Placing a lay bet
In order to place a lay bet you must sign up to a betting exchange such as Betfair or Betdaq.
Choose the event you wish to lay and select the amount you'd like to wager / risk before placing the bet.
With a betting exchange such as Betfair, as shown in the image below, you can lay any selection and choose the odds you want to take.
In our example we've chosen to lay the horse Equity Card ridden by Frankie Detori during the 14:30 7 furlong maiden stakes horse race at Kemption Park at odds of 2.8.
By placing a lay bet with a stake of £100 we stand to win £100 if Equity Card loses the race. However, we will stand to lose £180 if Equity Card does in fact win the race.
There are many reasons why people want to place a lay bet. Some find it easier to pick an outcome that they don't think will happen. This is because there may be a belief that one of the other results is more likely to occur instead. Some people lay a bet then go on to back the same selection once the price has moved in order to lock in a potential profit irrespective of the result (also referred to as trading or green up).
Placing a lay bet is also a crucial concept of Matched Betting.
Matched Betting is a technique used to extract profit from bookmaker free bet offers by both backing and laying the exact same sport event.
You too can make serious amounts of money (often hundreds of pounds) by following our free Matched Betting tutorial.
Therefore, understanding what is a lay bet is can enable a regular punter to make a serious amount of money from betting online.
Match Bet in 15 minutes by watching our Matched Betting Tutorial video.
Find a Free Bet offer, follow the T&C's to unlock the Free Bet and place a Qualifying Bet.
Place a corresponding Lay Bet to minimise the associated Risk. Receive your Free Bet.
Place another BET and LAY using the Free Bet – not your own money.