Lay Betting Guide 2024 – Best Lay Sportsbooks & Strategies

Welcome to our guide to the best lay betting sites in the UK. This page includes rankings of what we believe are the top five betting exchanges in the UK, along with tips on how to maximize your returns and what to look for when choosing a lay betting site.

Best Lay Betting Sites List

Based on our research, the following are the top lay betting sites available to bettors in the UK:

  • All

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What is Lay Betting? Lay Betting Explained

In simple terms, lay betting is the opposite of standard “back” betting. Although “back” betting involves predicting that a team will win, “lay” betting involves predicting a team will lose.

Placing a lay bet involves two bettors, with the betting exchange acting as a middle-man facilitating the wager in exchange for a commission.

Let’s demonstrate this with an example from Betfair:

lay betting example 1

As you can see, different colors indicate different types of bets: pink for lay betting, blue for back betting. While the colored prices are the most popular ones, the surrounding values (white background) indicate other prices available at the exchange. This means you can place your lay bets at different odds, although you’ll be risking the least if you go with the most popular, colored price.

The GBP value indicates the total volume wagered by players at that price, a.k.a. the liquidity. If your wager exceeds the total raised liquidity, your bet will be automatically adjusted to match the available maximum.

Make sure to always use your platform’s lay betting calculator before getting involved in lay betting. This practice is critical because with lay betting, just like with spread betting, your losses can exceed your original stake.

Note that while you can choose any price for your lay betting, no one will back your bet if you fly off the handle. The range of reasonable odds generally fluctuates inside a tight range.

Once you’ve decided on a market, select it to enter your odds and stake:

lay betting screenshot 2

The odds and stake you enter determine how much players on the “backing” side stand to wager and win. They also determine your liability if your bet loses; the liability is calculated automatically by Betfair in the lower right corner.

As soon as you confirm your lay betting selection, other punters will see it on the market and will be able to bet against you. In the example above, winning would net you £8.00 while losing would cost you as much. The sportsbook will charge its commission only from the winning bettor.

Horse Racing Lay Of The Day Tips

As horse racing is the most common and popular sport for lay betting in general, you will often find tips provided by experts not just about potential winners, but the favourites they don’t fancy. It’s no different here at SportsLens, as we have Lay of the Day tips with a recommended market leader that punters should take on. Check out the latest below:

Thu, 18 Jul 2024 , 14:30 BST • Chepstow • Flat

Revenue

Andy Newton's Horse Racing 'LAY OF THE DAY' (Thursday, 18th July)

🚫 LAY OF THE DAY For Horse Racing On Thursday 18th July 2024 🚫

ANDY NEWTON’S ‘Lay Of The Day’ Tip – a fancied horse that he makes a case on why it might NOT win.

lay of the day

Full results are listed each day further down the page ⤵️

Thursday (18th July 2024) – 2:30 Chepstow: REVENUE

Several chances here for this 5f handicap, but the one I think is worth taking on is Revenue.

This 3 year-old was a good winner at Bath three starts ago under today’s rider Georgia Dobie, but the jockey was able to claim 3lbs that day and the horse is also now rated 5lbs higher. Meaning in total he’s racing off an 8lb higher rating here – which is the first concern.

Since that win Revenue has also tried to win off this new mark (67) twice and despite running well both times has finished 3rd and 2nd.

He’s got another big weight (9-9) to carry and so in a race with many chances is opposed with Big Time Rascal, for the in-form Cole yard, and Just Glamorous, for trainer Chris Mason who won this in 2022 with another horse, looking fair options at bigger prices.

Have a great day – good luck!

Recent ‘Lay of the Day’ Results📈📊🏇

July 2024

• Wednesday 17th July: Huit Reflets (2nd)
• Tuesday 16th July: Star Of St James (NR)
• Monday 15th July: Bushmill Boy (NR)
• Sunday 14th July: Star Legend (UP)
• Saturday 13th July: Ledger (3rd)
• Friday 12th July: Sub Thirteen (UP)
• Thursday 11th July: Hello Cotai (2nd)
• Wednesday 10th July: Moel Arthur (UP)
• Tuesday 9th July: Uncle Dick (2nd)
• Monday 8th July: Bluebells Boy (3rd)
• Sunday 7th July: Coconut Bay (3rd)
• Saturday 6th July: Isle Of Wolves (NR)
• Friday 5th July: Alseeyerthere (2nd)
• Thursday 4th July: Split The Profit (UP)
• Wednesday 3rd July: Scarriff (2nd)
• Tuesday 2nd July: Kondratiev Wave (3rd)
• Monday 1st July: Dubai Immo (1st)

June 2024

• Sunday 30th June: Melvich Bay (UP)
• Saturday 29th June: Dreams Adozen (UP)
• Friday 28th June: Lunario (1st)
• Thursday 27th June: Gold Aura (UP)
• Wednesday 26th June: Piper’s Fort (UP)
• Tuesday 25th June: Mudlahhim (UP)
• Monday 24th June: Sir Bolton (2nd)
• Sunday 23rd June: Ten O’Clock (UP)
• Saturday 22nd June: Hat Toss (UP)
• Friday 21st June: Split The Profit (2nd)
• Thursday 20th June: Noodle Mission (1st)
• Wednesday 19th June: Protest Rally (2nd)
• Tuesday 18th June: The Defiant (2nd)
• Monday 17th June: Arkenstaar (3rd)
• Sunday 16th June: Expert Witness (1st)
• Saturday 15th June: Media Guest (2nd)
• Friday 14th June: Mr Squires (UP)
• Thursday 13th June: Stintino Sunset (2nd)
• Wednesday 12th June: Fougere (UP)
• Tuesday 11th June: Strike (3rd)
• Monday 10th June: Dion Baker (UP)
• Sunday 9th June: No Selection
• Saturday 8th June: Diamondsinthesand (UP)
• Friday 7th June: Midnight Flame (3rd)
• Thursday 6th June: Further Measure (3rd)
• Wednesday 5th June: Fanzone (2nd)
• Tuesday 4th June: Beylerbeyi (1st)
• Monday 3rd June: Kondratiev Wave (1st)
• Sunday 2nd June: Beylerbeyi (3rd)
• Saturday 1st June: Isle Of Sark (UP)

May 2024

• Friday 31st May: Obligatory (UP)
• Thursday 30th May: Musical Diva (UP)
• Wednesday 29th May: Distinction (1st)
• Tuesday 28th May: Newtonian (UP)
• Monday 27th May: Hamartia (2nd)
•  Sunday 26th May: Higgs (2nd)
• Saturday 25th May: Castle In The Sand (UP)
•  Friday 24th May: Media Guest (2nd)
• Thursday 23rd May: Sir Bolton (UP)
• Wednesday 22nd May: Jean Baptiste (UP)
• Tuesday 21st May: Mudlahhim (3rd)
• Monday 20th May: Northern Cracksman (UP)
• Sunday 19th May: Kodebreaker (UP)
• Saturday 18th May: Churchtown (UP)
• Friday 17th May: Captain Corcoran (UP)
• Thursday 16th May: Massini Man (UP)
• Wednesday 15th May: Artic Mann (1st)
• Tuesday 14th May: Ravenglass (UP)
• Monday 13th May: Twoforthegutter (UP)
• Sunday 12th May: Copperhead (1st)
• Saturday 11th May: Isle Of Wolves (2nd)
• Friday 10th May: Copper Fox (UP)
• Thursday 9th May: Amaysmont (1st)
• Wednesday 8th May: The Bold Thady (1st)
• Tuesday 7th May: Santa Clarita (UP)
• Monday 6th May: Abolish (UP)
• Sunday 5th May: No Selection
• Saturday 4th May: No Selection
• Friday 3rd May: No Selection
• Thursday 2nd May: Edmond Ironside (UP)
• Wednesday 1st May: Francesi (UP)

April 2024

•  Tuesday 30th Apr: Gordon Grey (2nd)
•  Monday 29th Apr: Helter Skelter (UP)
•  Sunday 28th Apr: Hotaugustnight (UP)
•  Saturday 27th Apr: Chillingham (3rd)
•  Friday 26th Apr: Bernie The Bear (UP)
•  Thursday 25th Apr: Isle Of Sark (3rd)
• Wednesday 24th Apr: Percussion (2nd)
• Tuesday 23rd Apr: Mahler Moon (UP)
• Monday 22nd Apr: Sanitiser (3rd)
• Sunday 21st Apr: Inflexible (1st)
• Saturday 20th Apr: Ensured (1st)
• Friday 19th Apr: Mister Murchan (UP)
• Thursday 18th Apr: Illusionist (2nd)
• Wednesday 17th Apr: In Excelsis Deo (1st)
• Tuesday 16th Apr: Out Of Focus (UP)
• Monday 15th Apr: Prince Des Fichaux (UP)
• Sunday 14th Apr: Highway One O Five (2nd)
• Saturday 13th Apr: Fainche (2nd)
• Friday 12th Apr: The Bold Thady (UP)
• Thursday 11th Apr: Mersea (1st)
• Wednesday 10th Apr: Texard (1st)
•  Tuesday 9th Apr: River Robe (UP)
• Monday 8th Apr: Firefly Lane (2nd)
• Sunday 7th Apr: No Selection
• Saturday 6th Apr: No Selection
• Friday 5th Apr: No Selection
• Thursday 4th Apr: Brandt (UP)
• Wednesday 3rd Apr: Mashadi (2nd)
• Tuesday 2nd Apr: Rust E Boy (UP)
• Monday 1st Apr: Revolucion (UP)

March 2024

• Sunday 31st Mar: Eccentric (1st)
• Saturday 30th Mar: Inflexible (UP)
• Friday 29th Mar: Penzance (2nd)
• Thursday 28th Mar: Foveros (UP)
• Wednesday 27th Mar: Flash Gorcombe (1st)
• Tuesday 26th Mar: Euchen Falls (UP)
• Monday 25th Mar: Awesome Spirit (UP)
• Sunday 24th Mar: Invincible Nao (UP)
• Saturday 23rd Mar: One Last Glance (UP)
• Friday 22nd: Mar: Republican (UP)
• Thursday 21st Mar: Movethechains (UP)
• Wednesday 20th Mar: King Of York (1st)
• Tuesday 19th Mar: Fainche (3rd)
• Monday 18th Mar: Ideallko (UP)
• Sunday 17th Mar: Bertie Wooster (2nd)
• Saturday 16th Mar: Ocean Ridge (1st)
• Friday 15th Mar: Sangiovese (NR)
• Thursday 14th Mar: Teahupoo (1st)
• Wednesday 13th Mar: Sanitiser (NR)
• Tuesday 12th Mar: Gaelic Warrior (1st)
• Monday 11th Mar: First Lord De Cuet  (UP)
• Sunday 10th Mar: No Bet
• Saturday 9th Mar: Gypsey’s Secret (NR)
• Friday 8th Mar: Isle Of Wolves (UP)
• Thursday 7th Mar: Asa (UP)
• Wednesday 6th Mar: Supreme King (1st)
• Tuesday 5th Mar: The Craftymaster (1st)
• Monday 4th Mar: We Got Your Back (2nd)
• Sunday 3rd Mar: Pipers Cross (1st)
• Saturday 2nd Mar: Curley Finger (1st)
• Friday 1st Mar: Beylerbeyi (UP)

February 2024

• Thursday 29th Feb: Doves Of Peace (UP)
• Wednesday 28th Feb: Breeze Of Wind (2nd)
• Tuesday 27th Feb: Velvet Vulcan (UP)
• Monday 26th Feb: Clondaw Robin (UP)
• Sunday 25th Feb: Fire Dancer (UP)
• Saturday 24th Feb: Boom Boom Pow (UP)
• Friday 23rd Feb: Almodovar Del Rio (UP)
• Thursday 22nd Feb: Northcliff (UP)
• Wednesday 21st Feb: Gazette Bourgeoise (UP)
• Tuesday 20th Feb: Imperial Measure (2nd)
• Monday 19th Feb: Fainche (2nd)
• Sunday 18th Feb: William Ewart (1st)
• Saturday 17th Feb: Nordic Glory (UP)
• Friday 16th Feb: Berkshire Phantom (UP)
• Thursday 15th Feb: Sparkling Spirit (2nd)
• Wednesday 14th Feb: Perthshire (UP)
• Tuesday 13th Feb: Netywell (1st)
• Monday 12th Feb: Marefuori (2nd)
• Sunday 11th Feb: The Craftymaster (1st)
• Saturday 10th Feb: Gold Aura (2nd)
• Friday 9th Feb: Doves Of Peace (3rd)
• Thursday 8th Feb: Baileys Warrior (2nd)
• Wednesday 7th Feb: Sawpit Sienna (UP)
• Tuesday 6th Feb: Monaghan Boy (2nd)
• Monday 5th Feb: Heartrate (UP)
• Sunday 4th Feb: Foxy Girl (UP)
• Saturday 3rd Feb: In Excelsis Deo (UP)
• Friday 2nd Feb: Minniemum (UP)
• Thursday 1st Feb: Brave Jen (3rd)

January 2024

• Wednesday 31st Jan: Uther Pendragon (3rd)
• Tuesday 30th Jan: Out Of Focus (UP)
• Monday 29th Jan: No Hubs No Hoobs (UP)
• Sunday 28th Jan: Marie’s Rock (1st)
• Saturday 27th Jan: Il Ridoto (3rd)
• Friday 26th Jan: Monsieur Fantaisie (UP)
• Thursday 25th Jan: White Rhino (3rd)
• Wednesday 24th Jan: Different Breed (1st)
• Tuesday 23rd Jan: Clipsham La Habana (3rd)
• Monday 22nd Jan: Bonito Cavalo (1st)
• Sunday 21st Jan: Matata (2nd)
• Saturday 20th Jan: Noble Captain (2nd)
• Friday 19th Jan: Kodebreaker (UP)
• Thursday 18th Jan: Come On Girl (3rd)
• Wednesday 17th Jan: No News (2nd)
• Tuesday 16th Jan: Billyjoh (UP)
• Monday 15th Jan: Benny Silver (3rd)
• Sunday 14th Jan: Aspire To Glory (1st)
• Saturday 13th Jan: Donnacha (1st)
• Friday 12th Jan: Twenty Twenty (3rd)
• Thursday 11th Jan: Post Chaise (3rd)
• Wednesday 10th Jan: Marchetti (UP)
• Tuesday 9th Jan 24: Gypsy Whisper (NR)
• Monday 8th Jan 24: Macho Mania (UP)
• Sunday 7th Jan 24: Eldorado Allen (UP)
• Saturday 6th Jan 24: Georges Saint (3rd)
• Friday 5th Jan 24: Innisfree Lad (3rd)
• Thursday 4th Jan 24: Hardy Boy (3rd)
• Wednesday 3rd Jan 24: Big R (UP)
• Tuesday 2nd Jan 24: Fia Fuinidh (2nd)
• Monday 1st Jan 24: Inch House (2nd)

 

Note: Most lays selected will be priced reasonably at 4/1 or shorter. However, if any should drift before the race to a much bigger price and liability, they are probably best avoided.


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Lay Betting vs. Back Betting

Lay betting and back betting are opposites on the same betting spectrum. With “back betting,” you predict that a certain result will occur. With “lay betting,” you predict that a certain result will not occur.

Laying an outcome at specific odds requires another punter willing to back the opposite outcome at the same price. That’s why lay betting cannot exist without back betting.

Lay Betting Liability

When placing a lay bet, you are essentially acting as the bookmaker. It’s therefore critical for you to understand how to calculate your liability. Luckily, you can perform the calculation using a simple formula:

Liability = Backer’s stake * (Lay odds – 1)

For example, if you lay Real Madrid at odds of 1.30 with a £15 stake against Roma, your liability would equal £15 * (1.30 – 1) = £4.50. So in order to place this lay bet, you would need at least £4.50 in your bankroll.

Bookies always provide a lay betting calculator to help you calculate your liability, but it’s helpful for you to understand how the process works to double-check for your peace of mind.

Lay Betting Commission

Sportsbooks make money by charging a commission. When placing regular bets against the sportsbook, these commissions are baked into the odds as the juice. But when it comes to lay betting, you get to set the odds yourself, so the sportsbook gets its cut by charging a fee out of the net winnings collected by the successful side. In other words, you won’t pay any commissions if you lose your bet.

Lay betting commissions vary between bookies, and some bookies charge a different commission depending on your wagering activities; the more you bet, the lower your commission. Here’s a breakdown of the commissions charged by our top bookies:

Bookmaker Commission Visit Site
 Betfair logo 2%-5% Visit Betfair
logo ladbrokes 2% Visit Ladbrokes
smarkets logo 2% Visit Smarkets
matchbook logo 2% Visit Matchbook
betdaq logo 2%-3% Visit Betdaq

Lay Betting Sites vs. Traditional Bookies

Lay betting sites, a.k.a betting exchanges, pit bettors against each other; one side “lays” an outcome (predicts a team will lose) at specific odds, and the other side “backs” that outcome (predicts the team will win) at those odds. The betting exchange acts as an intermediary and charges a commission from winning bets. The more players participate at an exchange, the more liquidity is involved and, as a result, the better the odds available. That’s why lay betting offers more freedom and more value lines.

At a traditional sportsbook, you bet against the sportsbook. The bookmaker sets the odds on all markets and adjusts them as the action comes in. All commissions, a.k.a. “Juice,” are included in the lines by default, so no additional commissions are charged on winnings.

Criteria Lay Betting Site Sportsbook
Choose own odds Yes No
Back bets Yes Yes
Lay bets Yes No
Restrictions No Yes
Liquidity issuse Yes No

How we Rank The Top Lay Betting Sites

Ranking the best lay betting sites involves conducting due diligence and pouring in hours of experience-backed research. Here are just some of the factors we considered when compiling and updating our rankings:

  • Range of markets: most betting exchanges feature a limited range of markets compared to traditional sportsbooks. That’s why our list of the best lay betting sites includes only providers with the largest market selection, ranging from football betting to golf.
  • Odds: the more action and liquidity at a given exchange, the better the odds you can get. That’s why we only recommend reputable exchanges with expansive user bases.
  • Commission: most exchanges charge a commission between 2% and 7% from the winning side. We strived to recommend only those lay betting sites that charge fees closer to the lower end of that range.
  • Bonuses & promotions: while most new betting sites rarely offer generous promotions, the ones we selected feature free bets and reload bonuses periodically.
  • Mobile experience: each lay betting provider on our list offers responsive mobile betting apps for iOS and Android devices, putting all of its markets in the palm of your hand.
  • Licensing & security: security is the backbone of a quality online gambling experience. Each provider on our list holds a valid gambling license issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, ensuring your funds and security are protected.

Lay Betting Tips – How to Profit From Lay Betting

Turning a consistent profit from lay betting – or any other type of wagering activity – is complex and requires commitment. Nevertheless, you can vastly increase your odds of success by following a few lay betting tips. Any sound lay betting system should incorporate some or all of the following:

Control your liabilities

As we mentioned earlier, your liabilities in lay betting are not as easy to calculate as in traditional sports betting. That’s why you should always use a lay betting calculator to weigh the risk-reward ratio and make sure it isn’t skewed against you. Each betting exchange on our list offers an accurate lay betting calculator that will help you understand precisely how much you stand to lose.

Specialize

Another component of your lay betting system is the expertise you bring to the table. The more knowledge you have of a particular market and sport, the better your chances of making money. This is especially true in lay betting, where the odds aren’t as sharp as those at regular sports betting sites. Strive to develop your ability to read statistics about your chosen sports, such as individual player’s performance histories, head-to-head records, and opponent-related dependencies.

Try matched betting

You’ll encounter this tactic in the more advanced lay betting systems. In brief, matched betting involves placing lay bets that offset potential losses from a “back” bet on that same event. You essentially cancel out your backing risk by betting against yourself. You’ll need to sign up with at least two providers to implement this strategy.

Read the odds correctly

Reading and interpreting the odds at a glance should be second nature. Most exchanges use the decimal format by default but allow you to toggle between other systems. Unless you’re already accustomed to a specific format, we recommend sticking to the decimal system because of its simplicity.

Keep improving

No matter how good you (think you) are, you can always become a better punter. At the core of any successful lay betting system is the bettor’s desire to excel and improve at their craft. Hone your skills by reading forums, watching game previews, and analyzing statistics. Be willing to experiment with new approaches and ask for support when the going gets rough. It’s a grind, but with a bit of time and commitment, you’ll make it.

Wrapping Up

Lay betting is growing in popularity and offers new opportunities for bettors willing to put in some work into developing a sound betting strategy. Bettors who like to exercise control over their odds and betting volume will appreciate this type of sports betting. We hope this page helped you familiarize yourself with lay betting and get acquainted with lay betting tips that will help you turn a profit.

Our #1 Recommended Lay Betting Site

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lay Betting?

What Does Lay Mean in Betting?

How Does Lay Betting Work?

What Are The Best Lay Betting Sites in The UK?

What is the difference between lay and back betting?

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