Best Betting Exchanges

Finding the best betting exchange sites online can be an important part of getting the best betting experience. Whether you are a long-time betting exchange user or brand new to the idea of a betting exchange site as a whole, it is important to choose the right sites for your needs.

With so many top betting exchange sites out there to choose from, it can be hard to pinpoint a single site in the betting market. If you are looking for the best betting exchange sites out there, then you need to do more than just basic searches – you need to understand, compare, and judge a range of sites to figure out which ones are right for you.

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Best Betting Exchanges

What Is a Betting Exchange?

A betting exchange is any site that allows punters to bet on markets and events against each other rather than using a bookmaker’s fixed-odds betting sportsbook. The bets being placed influence the market, meaning that odds change as more customers make their bets.

For people who are new to sports betting, the differences are simple. Whether you are back betting (betting that something will happen) or lay betting (betting that it will not happen), these betting sites allow you to place bets against other people rather than just making a sportsbook bet.

This leads to more competition, more varied odds, and a greater range of betting options.

List Of Best Betting Exchange Sites

  • Spreadex Football

    Spreadex allows for tiny stakes of as low as £0.01 and offers live streams of various sports and horse racing events. A free bets bonus is also on offer for new players that sign up, giving them an even easier way to enjoy the site on their own terms.

    New Customer Offer. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BETDAQ Football

    BetDaq provides low commission rates for each bet slip, focusing on a 2% commission and a good variety of betting options that allow customers to enjoy the platform at their own pace. As a direct alternative to Betfair, it offers many of the same features.

    New 18+ Customers only. 0% commission on all exchange sports for 100 days. Promo code 0COMM100 must be entered during registration. Offer only available to users who deposit via debit card. Standard 2% commission rate applies on 101st day. Not available to API, RDT or trading software customers.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Exchange

    The Betfair exchange is considered one of the best betting exchange sites in the UK, boasting the highest rating across many platforms. It has the most markets of any exchange, making the Betfair exchange perfect for varied online betting exchange players.

    Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Payment restrictions apply for the promotion.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Football

    The Ladbrokes Exchange aims for a low commission and an easy-to-use design, as well as offering new players a £20 bonus split evenly between four different betting types. This can make it a great place to introduce yourself to the concept of exchanges, whether you stick to one market or vary things up.

    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Smarkets Football

    Smarkets is not your everyday online bookie. It’s better described as a betting exchange and one that is quickly growing in popularity.

    Use code COMMFREE to trade with 0% commission until Dec 31st 2023. Min. £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Instant Banking. Full T&Cs apply.18+.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Matchbook Football

    Matchbook maintains an incredibly small commission rate, smaller than most of the competition. It also covers a huge range of sports, from horse racing betting to almost every mainstream US sport available to an international market.

    New customers only. Sign up using the bonus code ‘Matchbook30’. Place your first bet, if it loses, we will refund your first bet stake as a free bet. The first bet must be placed within 7 days of registration and at odds of 1.8 or more. The max refund is a single £30 free bet and will be applied to your account with 72 hours of qualifying bet settlement. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.

    Full T&C's Apply

How To Use a Betting Exchange & A General Guide

Making a new betting exchange account is usually very simple – you just sign up for the site like any other platform. This process will vary across different online betting exchange sites, but most of them will require you to confirm your financial information.

Upon registering, you can deposit into your account (earning any welcome bonus on offer in the process). Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you do anything on the platform.

Once you are all signed up, you can start to place bets. Exchange odds are represented as a decimal value, but the site will usually have resources to clarify how these work if you are not familiar with this kind of system.

Choosing between back bets and lay bets can be the hardest part. Many people choose back bets or lay bets based on the popular market in their area, but both a back bet and lay bet can end up being worthwhile. It is important to choose the option that feels right for your situation (and your area’s betting markets).

Placing a Back Bet

A back bet involves putting a wager on something happening. This is like a normal sportsbook bet – if you bet on the winning option, then things happen as normal. However, the odds behind the bet are based on who you are betting against since people may be betting that your option doesn’t happen.

Placing a Lay Bet

A lay bet involves betting on the idea of something not happening. You are successful if the thing you bet against does not happen, meaning that you are in direct competition with people that are placing back bets in support of that outcome.

Risks and Rewards of UK Betting Exchanges

If you are new to online betting exchange sites, you might not understand why a betting exchange account is better than using regular sports betting. However, there are some major upsides – as well as some risks that you need to be aware of.

Using betting exchange sites can be more lucrative since the markets are more dynamic, and you have more freedom to target bets that you think will be successful. Getting the best betting exchange experience requires that you understand your betting options and learn to use them carefully.

Being able to use laying bets can also be a great advantage. In some betting markets, using lay bets instead of fixed odds betting can be incredibly profitable since it only requires that a specific outcome doesn’t happen.

Of course, the risks are also higher than through fixed odds. Even the best betting exchange sites are subject to the whims of the market, so exchange betting can be more unpredictable as a whole.

Betting Exchange Trading Tips and Strategies

Using an exchange betting platform requires that you do some research and understand how the system works, but you also need an actual strategy. Winning bets do not come from nowhere, and if you want to make your chosen betting exchange work, then you need strategies.

Every betting exchange offers different odds, betting options, and even entirely different betting niches. Whether it is sports betting or something else entirely, there are not many generalised tips that can apply to all sports betting sites.

Make sure you understand the concepts behind things like laying bets, backing bets, matched betting, and placing multiple bets all at once. Unlike a traditional sportsbook, there can be a lot of factors that influence both a winning bet and a losing bet, and you need to understand how these systems work.

Best Betting Exchange Sites vs Sportsbooks

Online sportsbooks are technically a simpler option, but this does not make them better. New customers may flock to sportsbooks for the straightforward nature of their bets, but this means that they miss out on a lot of chances to earn more money.

Understanding the differences (and how a betting exchange works as a whole) is important to get the best betting sites experience possible. While no bet is a guaranteed win, betting exchanges can be a complicated thing to jump into without preparing, and you need to understand how they function.

Exchange Commission vs Bookmaker Margin

Sportsbooks have a margin of profit, or a “bookmaker’s margin”, that earns them their profit. This means that they will often fiddle with the odds to create conditions that favour them, trying to get as large a profit margin as possible through losing bets.

Even if winning bets take money away from them, most sportsbooks are still set up to profit from winning bets by making sure that the losing bets cover that cost. While this is understandable, many players feel like the bookers are working against them to try and force losses.

With betting exchange sites, the profits come from a commission fee on winning bets. This is more consistent since it is generally a percentage (around 2-4%). This means that the amount taken is consistent for every winning bet, allowing new customers to know exactly what they will lose.

This can make an exchange site great for people who do not want to worry about managing their money too closely or who want to be sure that they are not having their winnings “stolen” from them while they are trying to keep up with their betting.


Traditional sportsbooks used fixed odds set by the bookmaker, raising or lowering them depending on the popularity and profitability of that market. This can mean that the odds are fairly hard to manage since players do not really know why they have been set.

Using the best betting exchanges you can find allows you to set the bets yourself, although the popularity of the market still matters. Even so, this means that it is a lot easier to bet in a way that you find comfortable and gives you more control over how you are choosing to bet.

Some betting exchanges, such as Betfair Exchange, operate on a “best odds guaranteed” policy that compensates players for making bets on smaller odds before they change. Choosing the best betting exchanges sites can often involve looking at the way that they handle odds, and choosing the right platform can make it much easier to get odds in your favour.

Being able to influence the odds yourself can be an important option for people who are not very confident with their bets. This lets you approach betting exchanges with more care, saving you from having to commit to large bets that you are not entirely comfortable with.

Betting Options

As mentioned earlier, back bets and lay bets are both an option at betting exchanges. Sportsbooking ignores these concepts completely, giving players a way to bet directly through the platform’s odds – while this is simpler in theory, it can also be restrictive.

Sportsbooking also tends to revolve around these direct bets with no deviation, meaning that players only have so much control over any bet they make. A sportsbook betting site will be a lot more limiting, forcing players to bet in specific ways whether they want to or not.

The added variety of the options provided by betting exchanges means that players can choose how they want to bet, whether they target a specific kind of betting or use a matched betting strategy to cover as many potential outcomes as possible. Even for first-time punters, this can make a big difference to their betting strategies.

Each betting exchange site works differently, so be sure to look into how each betting exchange handles specific kinds of bets. Viewing the betting exchanges’ FAQs is never a bad idea as a new customer, especially if it is the first betting exchange site you have decided to visit.

In-play and live betting

Like any betting site, some of the best betting exchange options are going to have their own in-play and live betting features. This gives players even more options, such as turning to in-play betting for last-minute bets on certain sports.

While a simple addition, this can still be a major feature to focus on since it allows players to have more choice in how they bet. While regular betting sites will also provide these, having the option on a UK betting exchange only leads to even greater variety. This can be important for betting veterans who prefer complex strategies with a lot of moving parts.

Bonuses and Welcome Bonus Features

While it is impossible to tell how many betting exchanges offer them, a lot of betting exchange sites will provide welcome bonus features and other bonus code promotions. These can be a fantastic way to jump-start your betting, giving you free bet money or other benefits that can go a long way towards getting you used to the platform.

Normal betting sites will also offer these, but these bonuses can be even more useful on betting exchange sites. Having a free bet bonus upon signing up and depositing allows new customers to experiment with things like matched betting, all without having to use their own money to do it.

If you are new to the idea of a betting exchange site as a whole, then consider looking for these bonus features. They can be an important jumping-in point for any new customers who are not sure what to expect.

Risks and Rewards

The best betting exchanges can be seen as the “next level” of betting – higher rewards come with higher risks, especially if you are using the betting exchanges without a betting plan in mind.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you are winning bets regularly, it is easy to keep your streak going, and the higher rewards can often balance out the higher losses if you are careful. Of course, betting is always up to chance, so luck will always be a factor in whether or not you win consistently.

The risks of using betting exchanges are clear – long odds can make you lose a lot more than you expect, and haphazard betting might eventually put you at a significant loss. The greater variety of ways to bet can also make things seem overwhelming to new players, so running in without a plan can lead to mistakes or accidental bets that could backfire on you.

However, once you start to master the differences between regular and exchange betting, the rewards can be lucrative. Even simple horse racing betting can become far more profitable, with higher odds and a higher variety of options for securing a bet you are comfortable with. A bet exchange, on average, will almost always be more profitable than a normal betting site.

Betting Exchange Commission Rates Comparison

Commission rates are the way that betting exchanges make most of their money and are a core part of the betting experience there. This is a percentage of your winnings that is taken before the winnings are paid to you, which the betting exchange sites treat like their own income.

The basic commission rate is around 2%, with some sites pushing it up to 4%. This means that most sites will shave anywhere from 2-4% off your winnings, taking it as a commission fee for getting you the bet in the first place. This is quite a low amount, even for large wins, and should not be too disruptive to the betting experience.

Comparing this to regular betting sites is important for context. Standard betting sites will usually collect commissions on your losses anyway but will also misrepresent odds to take in more money than they would actually need to for the bet to work. These odds are set by the site, meaning that they can effectively just make up the odds and use that to earn more money.

Through this commission system, a betting exchange takes a scalable amount of money. This means that the betting exchanges are always taking a certain percentage, regardless of whether you win £10 or £100,000. This consistency can make it fairer to the customer, as well as make it a lot easier to predict and interpret the commission that you will be paying.

Exchange Commission Rates Can Vary from Those Advertised

Remember that these rates are not always going to be consistent, though. A betting exchange may adjust them to suit certain betting styles or to match the popularity of a particular kind of bet. This will generally be announced and clearly visible while making your bet, so do not worry about losing track.

With an expected amount of between 2% and 4%, you can expect a betting exchange to keep the commission amounts fairly low. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions for any specific details on how it works, though, especially if you have not played at an exchange before.

It can also be important to look into how this works with any free bet offers. Be sure that you understand how an exchange platform treats free bets as a kind of online betting payment.

Another form of this is the commission rate discount. Some platforms, such as Betfair Exchange, will offer discounts that lead to cheaper commission rates if you are a more active player. This means that you have less commission taken from you, giving you more winnings as a whole and softening the blow of any losses.

This is not a standard feature on every platform, so be sure to explore your options if you want this kind of discount. This also goes for bonuses like free bets and additional bonus features that may require some special steps to earn or activate.

Betting Exchange Commission Comparison Example

For a proper understanding of how this works, it helps to have an example. Let’s say that you make a bet of £50 and earn £100 in total from your stake across multiple sites, all with their own commission rates:

  • A site with a 2% commission rate would be taking 2% of £100, or £2.
  • A site with a 4% commission rate would be taking 4% of £100, or £4
  • A site with a 5% commission rate would be taking 5% of £100, or £5.

However, losing would not come with this penalty since you have already lost the money. You would only lose your initial stake, which would be £50 in every case. This means that you are not going to be pushed into an even greater loss, softening the blow and making it easier to recuperate any money that you have lost with a lucky win later on.

Where this gets complicated is when the numbers start to become harder to break down, such as 4% of a £75 win. However, this is still consistent – the betting exchange will always be taking a set percentage unless it has a discount feature like Betfair Exchange that can reduce the commission fee over time.

Betfair Commission Rates

Betfair Exchange charges a commission on only winnings, with a rate of 5% in total. However, through the Betfair points system, you can earn discount rates that are set against the initial commission rate.

For example, if you win £200 with a 5% commission, then you would be giving up £10. However, earning a 10% discount on that would reduce that to £9.

This discount is applied after the final calculation for your commission, meaning that you are getting a discount on the final amount of commission rather than the commission percentage itself. This means that you can never fully eliminate the commission costs.

Note that you lose 15% of your total discount each week. You can freeze this for one week every three months if needed, but your discount will degrade by 15% every week, even if you are using it.

Smarkets Commission Rates

Smarkets has a commission rate of 2% on your winning profits, working in the same way as the explanation above. This is applied to all users automatically.

However, users making more than £1,500 or taking more than £1,000,000 each calendar month are able to opt into a 1% tier, cutting their commission costs in half.

Betdaq Commission Rates

Betdaq has a 2% commission, with exceptions that are generally so high they only apply to commercial groups. You only pay on profit, meaning that you do not pay any extra if you achieve a net loss.

Unlike Smarkets, there is no second tier that the average player can opt into. However, 2% is seen as the lower baseline, meaning that you are not paying much commission on even the largest wins.

Liquidity on Betting Exchange Markets

Liquidity is the amount of money that you have available to bet with or against in a betting exchange. High liquidity means that it is easier to get your bet matched. Unlike bookmakers, betting exchanges earn this money from the public as part of how they operate, so there is always a limited supply.

Overall liquidity tends to be higher on betting exchanges that tackle more popular markets. Basically, liquidity is the exchange betting platform’s ability to match a bet with its own supply of funds. If liquidity is too low, then larger bets will not be possible since there is not actually a way for them to function.

This can be confusing for new betting exchange users, similar to ideas like matched betting. In general, expect the biggest betting exchange sites to have the most liquidity and that higher liquidity will make the betting exchange work properly with larger bets.

What to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Betting Exchange?

Choosing the best betting exchanges on the market is not easy, but it is not always that hard to understand what you should be looking for. Most betting exchange platforms are going to operate in roughly the same way, and that means that you can focus on the smaller details – the things that you actually want.

1. Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses – especially free bets – are invaluable. A free bet bonus can allow you to get started with exchange betting quickly, and the more free bets you are offered, the more free bets you can use to test out different betting styles and options.

Whether you are a brand-new player or a long-time punter, a free bet bonus can make a big difference. Even just a handful of free bets can be enough to test out the platform, allowing you to make your first bet without committing actual money to the site.

2. Terms and Conditions for Bonuses

Free bets always come with conditions, as do any other bonuses offered by a betting exchange. It is a good idea to look into the betting exchange site’s terms and conditions straight away to understand how it all works.

Do you need to make a qualifying bet amount to earn them? Is the free bet valid in every country? Does it limit your own odds to specific options? Can you use it as your first bet, or does it come as a bonus after you have already made a bet?

Knowing all of this can make it a lot easier to decide which exchange site has the most relevant bonus features, especially for a first-time visitor.

3. Additional Promotions

Promotions as a whole are important. Whether it is large promotions for the UEFA Nations League Semi-Final or just a chance to get better odds over a holiday period, a betting exchange site could run countless different promotions.

Understanding these promotions is vital to getting the kind of experience that you want. Some promotions may also only apply to certain exchange markets or betting types, whether that is giving you better odds or just compensating losses with some free betting funds.

4. Payment Methods

Not all betting exchanges support all payment methods. While the popular methods are usually going to be available on most sites, you still need to consider the way that you prefer to pay for your bets.

Be sure to look into what kind of payment methods a site supports, and do not hesitate to ask the support team if you are not sure about something. Betting exchanges can be complex sites that are not easy to get used to, so you want to be sure that you can actually make proper payments before you dive into playing there.

Keep in mind that some payment methods may also be more reliable than others. For example, using certain payment methods to accompany mobile betting could lead to additional delays or slower processing times, which can become a problem if you are trying to bet at a very specific time.

5. Customer Support

Good customer support is vital. Look into past reviews or customer support details to see what kind of quality you can expect from them, and do not hesitate to explore the site for the FAQ or contact details if you need them.

Just like any traditional bookmaker, you rely on customer support for basically every part of using an exchange. Whether the support teams are part of the company or mostly outsourced, you still want to know if they are any good, ideally before you encounter any actual problems that require their immediate help.

Summary Of Betting Exchange Sites

Betting exchange sites are a great place to turn if you want a different betting experience, but finding the right one for your situation can be tough. While there are no correct answers, you can usually filter out a lot of exchanges to focus on the ones that you know you can rely on.

Remember that your own preferences matter a lot. Sometimes it is a good idea to look at what you personally want from your betting experience and then narrow that down into a general idea that you can try to pursue during your searches.

Whether you are looking for a specialised horse racing betting experience or just want somewhere with a low qualifying bet that can offer some free betting funds, it is good to spend some time exploring your options online. A quick search can do a lot to help you filter out platforms that do not interest you, and the more you explore, the more options you will find.

All Betting Exchanges Websites

Here’s a list of all betting exchanges websites: