Horse lay betting on Betfair

What is lay betting?

With the creation of the Betfair betting exchange (and others like betdaq) fellow exchange betting fans can now back horses to lose as well as backing them to win. Backing a horse to lose is horse lay betting.

Why Betfair instead of other betting exchanges?

A betting exchange must have liquidity. You need lots of people backing and laying sports events to create a good market. Horse racing is a popular for betting a attracts lots of people to the exchange betting market.

If you would like an account with the Betfair betting exchange we suggest you look at the Betfair bonus  page so you can get a free bet when you sign up.

Horse lay betting basics

The favourite horse does not always win.  Bookmakers would go out of business if they did.  Horse race lay systems often involve lay betting that the favourite or next favourite won’t win. Say you want to lay a favourite at 2/1 with a stake of £10. If it loses you will increase your betting bank by £5 minus Betfair’s commissions. Of course, if the horse wins you lose £10.

How can we use horse lay betting to make regular profits?

The best way is to research some of the systems out there and tinker with it until it works for you. This option involves a bit of skill. Lay betting tipsters may be worth a look but they are only worth the money if they limit the number of people who subscribe to their service. Other wise the weight of money going into their tips will effect the odds too much.

Another tip when considering horse lay betting is to lay to a fixed liability. As with any betting system the most important aspect is limiting and controlling your loses.

Factors that help choose horses to lay on Betfair

Horses may not run to form due to a change of Jockey, change in weather or the competition in the race.

There can be only one winner.  The rest of the field are running for us.

A new surface or a new race track. Horse tend to perform betting on certain types of ground.  Today could be the first time the horse has raced on a certain track on soft ground.

The horse could be running a new distance.  A horse on winning form may not perform so well over a new distance.

A change in class.  Race horses start as maidens.  Has then win more races they move up the classes toward the top, called the stakes.  As a horse move up the class ladder they face a whole new set of race conditions and quality of opposition.

In order to succeed at lay betting horses on Betfair punters need to know which races to participate in, what odds to lay horses, how to use methods like the bookmakers, where to simply and quickly analyse form, and of course how to take advantage of Betfair.

How to place a lay bet

You can see what we mean by betting to win below. If you open a Betfair account this is what you will see when you click on one of the pink boxes for laying a horse to lose. You choose the odds that you think will get matched; that another Betfair member will back that horse to win. You can see what sort of odds are getting matched for each horse so you’ll know what sorts of odds are likely to get matched. On the right hand side of the backer’s stake box you can see what you will win for those odds. So do get the win amount right you need to adjust either the odds or your stake.


Set up a Betfair account which will allow you to lay horses to lose and kick off with a free lay bet.

If you already have a Betfair account you need to consider getting software to help adjust in improve lay betting strategies.  The best software for this is BetAngel.