Betting Exchanges 2
A BRIEF HISTORY OF EXCHANGES
A creationist would have it that because the world we live in fits us so nicely it must have been designed by a superior being. Well, if there was such a thing as a punting god, his starting model would have been a betting exchange.
Instead, we had to wait for the brilliant mind of Andrew Black, who is considered something of a deity by punters whose lives have been turned upside down since his concept, Betfair, arrived on the scene in June 2000.
There are other betting exchanges like Betdaq, Sporting Options and Backandlay fighting for your pound, but they are mere plankton to the big blue whale that is Betfair, and until such time that the company's market domination is threatened we can supplant the word exchange with Betfair.
HOW IT WORKS
Once you have opened an account, simply by following the easy-to-understand instructions, you are ready to go. At first the process of placing a bet may be slightly daunting, but it should not take a lot of getting used to. And once you have cleared stage one, one of the main beauties of exchange betting - the number of options available to you - will become apparent. Here is a simple guide to placing a bet on Betfair (the other exchanges work in roughly the same way):
TAKING A PRICE
Once you have navigated your way to the event you are interested in, you will be confronted by a list of runners with six columns of prices next to each contender.
The first three, reading from left to right, are the 'back' prices, with the furthest right of these (on a blue background) showing the biggest price currently available to back and, beneath it, the amount of money on offer at that price.
The next three sets of prices are the 'lay' prices, but this time the one on the left (on a pink background) shows the shortest price being asked for (best available to layers).
If you are looking to back and the price on the blue background is acceptable, simply click on it, type in the amount of money you wish to place where prompted, press submit and away you go. Betfair will then process your bet and tell you whether or not it has been matched. Usually it will be, but sometimes the price will have been snapped up by someone else in the short time it has taken for your bet to be processed. Always check that your bet has been matched.
ASKING FOR A PRICE
You can also ask for a better price than is available in the blue box if you believe your selection is under-priced or think that it will drift. Just click on the blue box price and then insert your chosen odds and stake. Again, this needs to be monitored. If you have asked for a price, your selection has to drift in order for your bet to be matched. If it does not, your bet will not count once the event starts.