When Betting Exchanges were invented it became possible to lay (back to lose) any horse in a race as well as back it to win. In effect an exchange matches punters who think a horse will lose a race with those who believe it will win.
When placing a lay bet there are 2 options – one allows us to always achieve a fixed return, known as ‘fixed stake’ if the bet is successful and the other allows us to limit any loss to a fixed amount, known as fixed liability.
It is a good idea to decide which method best suits your betting – the odds of your selections will obviously play a big part in that decision especially if you are using the services of a tipster who will advise maximum and minimum odds for best results.
For those new to laying the process in simple terms is as follows:
If the horse you have layed loses the race you take the backers stake but if the horse wins you pay the backer the odds times the stake.
Let us take the example of a horse with odds of 4.00 (3/1) which you wish to lay for a stake of £2. Your bet is unsuccessful if the horse wins and you will owe the backer 3 x £2 = £6.
However if the horse does not win then you receive the £2 stake of the backer.
Now let us consider the use of Fixed Stake or Fixed Liability to place our lay bets
- Fixed Stake results in the winning of a fixed amount if a horse loses
Take for example placing a bet using 0.5% of a £400 bank i.e. £2 as your fixed stake to lay a horse at odds of 4.00.
When the horse loses your return is £2 less the exchange commission.
But when the horse wins your loss is calculated as follows: £2 x 4.00 (3/1) = £6
Care should be exercised to ensure that the odds are not so large as to leave you liable to losing too great a proportion of your bank.
Bearing in mind that the minimum stake on Betfair is £2, betting bots such as the Gruss Betting Assistant, permit the use of stakes as low as £0.01.
- Fixed Liability enables you to limit any loss to a set amount. Take the example of lay odds of 4.00 (3/1) and our requirement is to limit any loss to £9. On the Betfair Betslip click ‘Your Liability’ and type in £9. The stake is then shown as £3, calculated £9/3.
By using Fixed Liability to place our bets we can keep any losses to our bank to acceptable levels. Again we need to be aware of the £2 minimum Betfair stake which may result in an error message. Say for example we asked for a limited liability of £9 when the odds are 6.0 (5/1) – the Betfair error window pops up:
‘Some stakes not changed
Please Note: Stakes have not been entered for bets where the stake size is lower than the minimum of £2.’
The reason is that £9/5 = £1.80 which does not comply with the minimum stake of £2.
(As mentioned previously the Gruss Betting Assistant permits bets below the minimum £2 stake)
So to sum up we have a choice when placing lay bets to use either
Fixed Stake which gives a fixed return but a variable liability
Fixed Liability which gives a variable return but a fixed liability
Easy Lays System