When you're Laying a selection at Betfair, it means staking money on an outcome that you think will not happen. For example, Black Caviar will not win the main race. You are simply taking the opposite bet to when you are backing a selection to win, but you are laying the selection to lose, not win.
The amount of money you enter for a Lay bet is the backer’s stake you are prepared to accept at those odds, not the amount of money you’re prepared to risk.
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In the betting example below, a punter(s) wants to back 'Conduit' for the win at odds of $3.10 for $109. You think the odds on 'Conduit' are too short so you decide to lay the horse for $50 at odds of $3.10. You have sufficient funds in your account ($105) to lay this bet.
If you’re right, and Conduit fails to win, you collect the $50 stake from the punter who placed a bet at the odds you offered. If 'Conduit' wins, then you must pay out $105.
Laying a horse to lose at Betfair is simply the opposite of backing a horse to win, and it doesn't get much better than that for punters when you can back a horse to win or lay it to lose.
If you want to lay a selection, click the pink box. Your bet – the selection you are betting against – appears on the right-hand side of the page in the Place Bets section, alongside the backer’s odds.
Now it’s time to decide the stake you will accept on your selection from another punter. Click the Backer’s Stake box in the Place Bets section. Enter the stake you want to accept in this box. The liability on this bet – the amount of money you will have to pay out if the selection wins – appears on the far right-hand side of the screen.
Here you are going to place a $50 bet on Conduit at odds of $3.10 to lose, which will return you an eventual profit of $50 if the horse does not win. If 'Conduit' wins the race then you are liable for $105.
Once you are happy with your selection, click 'Place Bets' at the bottom of the right-hand side of the page.
Whenever you submit a bet always ensure to check your selections to ensure they are correcting before confirming.
A confirmation screen will appear on the right-hand side of the page, detailing your bet, and explaining how much you will win or lose. To verify your bet, click 'Yes' at the bottom of the page. Check the confirmation to make sure your bet has been placed.
When laying a selection at Betfair your payout liability for the bet is placed in reserve until the official result is known, ensuring you have the funds to complete the transaction, should you lose the bet.
You will never be able to lose more money than you have in your account, but be aware the amount you lay isn’t the maximum amount you can lose. In reality, it’s much more. To take precautions against this, it is possible to set a maximum amount of money to risk in a designated time period.
One of the most exciting aspects of betting at Betfair is the ability to bet 'live in the run' on designated horse races and sporting events. Live event odds fluctuate dramatically during the course of a sporting event and to read about some of the more prominent 'In-Play Betting' incredible moments at Betfair then please visit our In-Play-Betting page.
Check out our Understanding Betfair Terms page for a quick Betfair glossary.
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