In order to do matched betting you need to lay your bets at a betting exchange.
In fact if there were no betting exchanges we would not be able to do matched betting.
So what is the best betting exchange?
Before we start the review of the betting exchanges I can recommend Profit Accumulator as the matched betting service that I use.
I have written a review of Profit Accumulator that reviews the service in detail.
Best betting exchange?
In this post we will compare the 3 main betting exchanges to help you decide which is the best betting exchange to use.
We will look in to the positives and negatives of each betting exchange and give our personal opinion on them
There are other betting exchanges out there but this post will focus on the main three betting exchanges, Betfair, Smarkets and Matchbook.
We will rate the betting exchanges based on four main factors starting with..
When we talk about reliability we are essentially talking about how likely these sites are to have technical problems which could lead to the sites going down.
Of the 3 exchanges we are looking at Betfair is the most reliable.
Betfair was the world’s first betting exchange and have gone on to establish themselves as the market leader.
As Betfair have grown as a company they have thus had better servers and a bigger technical team than the other exchanges do.
Unfortunately this is not always the case with Smarkets and Matchbook.
I have known Smarkets and Matchbook to be down not only for the really busy days but also on your bog standard betting days as well.
Both Smarkets and Matchbook tend to rectify the problems quickly which is a good thing.
But it can be frustrating when you are trying to lay a bet and the exchange is down.
No website can guarantee to be 100% up all of the time with no technical problems. That would be impossible.
But whilst Betfair does have technical problems at times it is a much rarer occurrence than with Smarkets or Matchbook.
Market range & Liquidity
When it comes to market range we are talking about what betting markets the exchanges have available.
Once again, as the market leader, Betfair does have a lot more markets available than it’s competitors.
Betfair has markets for 32 different sports whereas Matchbook has markets for only 18 sports.
Smarkets takes the bronze medal with markets for 11 different sports.
All 3 exchanges also offer markets for Politics and current events such as reality TV programmes.
Not only does Betfair have markets for more Sports they also have more markets within each sport.
If you want to lay a more obscure market, such as a penalty to be awarded in a game, Betfair is the only place you can do it.
But what about liquidity, how much money is available to be matched on each market?
Well it is no surprise that as the market leader Betfair has a lot more users than the other exchanges and thus more liquidity than Matchbook or Smarkets.
Depending on what market you are betting on, there may be more liquidity in Matchbook or Smarkets but as a whole Betfair does have more liquidity because it has more users.
Market Range/ Liquidity ratings
Usability & layout
Of the four main factors we are reviewing the exchanges on, this factor is the most subjective.
Everyone will have an exchange that they feel comfortable with and has the best usability for them.
For me personally all 3 of the exchanges are easy to use and well laid out.
There really isn’t much between them.
But there are some minor flaws.
The search function on Matchbook is not as good as the other 2 exchanges.
If you type the name of a horse or football team into the search bar of Matchbook it doesn’t always take you directly to the event that you want to bet on.
Smarkets and Betfair do not have this problem and edge it for me in terms of usability and layout.
For many this is the most important factor in deciding what is the best betting exchange.
How much commission you pay can have a big effect on your monthly profits from matched betting.
So it is understandable that people will rate a betting exchange based on their commission fees.
Betfair take 5% commission on winning bets making them the most expensive exchange to use.
This 5% rate can be reduced the more frequently you use Betfair but the standard commission rate is 5%.
Smarkets take 2% commission on winning bets which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Matchbook’s commission structure is a bit more complex.
You can pay between 0.75% and 1.5% commission with Matchbook.
The lower rate applies if you ‘make the market’ which means you place an unmatched bet or unmatched lay bet and wait for your bet to be matched.
You pay the higher rate if your accept the bet or lay of someone else.
Unfortunately with Matchbook although the commission rate is lower you pay it on both winning and losing bets which changes things massively.
As we have seen there are good and bad points for all of the exchanges.
Which exchange you decide to favour can depend on the level of matched betting you are doing.
If you have less time and are doing matched betting on a smaller scale Betfair is the best option.
Despite the higher commission fees it is the easiest to use and will have the most liquidity available which will save you a lot of time.
However if you are doing matched betting on bigger scale then it is much better to use Smarkets or Matchbook.
The lower commission will save you a lot of money and this will make a big difference to your monthly profits.
What are your experiences of using Betting Exchanges?
Do you agree with our findings?
What do you think is the best betting exchange?
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.