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So What is Betfair? Who runs it? Is it safe?


A lot of gamblers have heard of Betfair but in contrast with individuals that use bookmakers, only a small minority use the betting exchange. Why is that? The main reason is they just do not understand the concept of it, and yet it is very easy. I will do a quick article here to enlighten you of the basics, but the most vital message is that if you do wager on horse racing, or sports, and you get pleasure from throwing money away, then please continue not to use a betting exchange!

Now you know a traditional bookmaker offers you odds on an event, such as 6/4 the favourite in the 12:30 at Southwell will win the race, or Manchester United will beat Aston Villa 2-0 at the odds of 6/4. Well Betfair, and other exchanges do precisely that, and if that is all you want to do that is all you really need to know apart from the fact that the average odds over the long term are 20% superior than those you get in a traditional bookmaker. So if you are using a bookmaker and losing say 10% of everything you bet over a year, if you had placed all those exact same bets with a betting exchange then you would probably have finished the year in profit! See how easy it is to see why you are throwing money away by not using them?

Now you do have to pay a commission on every winning gamble. This amount varies but starts at 5% for new signups, but you can get this down as low as 2%. Now some folk think this is a gambling tax, and that the bookmakers charge 0%. That is not accurately true, you see the bookies get charged 10% tax by the government, and they claim that back by taking 10% off the odds!! They hide it to fool you into thinking you are not paying tax! Betting exchanges tell you this charge upfront, and it is never more than 5%. You can now even get the exchanges own version of SP, and yet again this beats the bookies SP over the long term.

So now for a short history of the company. Betfair, was formed in June 200, the site was launched to allow customers to bet against each other rather than the customary High Street bookmaker. This is also no different than people playing on the stock market buying and selling shares. The company has since expanded into Australia, and turns over more than £50 Million a week. Large sums when you consider this is all clients money! They now also have gaming products such as poker and a casino, and take 100’s of bets a second. Your account money is also ring fenced, meaning it is protected 100%.

The exchanges are also a equal playing field, unlike bookies who can put the odds in their favour as much as they wish. Bookmakers do play a lot on the exchanges these days, but have to go with the market prices, and they also must pay commission, so a bookmaker with £Millions, has to behave exactly the same way as Joe Public with his £10 wager.

Betfair have some simple to follow rules on the website, but briefly you have the following:
1) All odds are in decimal by default, which does scare some individuals off, so just hover your mouse over the odds and you will see them come into view as they are in the bookmakers.
2) You have 3 rows of blue, and 3 rows of pink next to each selection. In the Options you can change this so you just have one on each side if you are new.
3) The Blue side is used when you BACK a horse, that is you want that selection to win.
4) The Pink side is used to LAY a horse, that is you want it to lose. Yes you can bet horses to not to win here!
5) The lowest stake at Betfair is £2
6) To place a bet just click on the Blue/Pink odds, and enter your stake. Simple as that!
7) If you just want SP bets, set this in the Options.
8) Any races you have a bet on you can view the live video stream.

So do you not think it is time to start having some of that extra money for yourself from Betfair, instead of others winning it?

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