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Football is getting more and more exposure through television and streaming services it’s only natural that the betting markets follow. Here we look at the top 5 betting exchanges.
|Betting Exchange Sites||Key Features||Sign-Up Link|
Sign up with Matchbook>
Sign up with Smarket >
Sign up with Betdaq >
Sign up with Betfair >
Sign up with Ladbrokes>
What is a betting exchange?
Before we jump into the finer details of the best betting exchange sites, it helps to know what these products do! To give you a brief overview, a betting exchange is quite different from your typical online sportsbook. An exchange is a unique platform where you can bet for or against certain outcomes. A standard sportsbook only lets you bet ‘for’ an outcome. Of course, this makes your betting experience more flexible than a standard sportsbook.
The difference in the setup here is that a betting exchange then takes a very small percentage of each winning bet. This is known as the commission, and the rest is paid out to you. Of course, the lower the commission, the more appealing a betting exchange actually is. It’s also true that the more sports covered, the higher the odds and the more money in the markets suggests a higher-quality betting exchange too.
That’s all part and parcel of what makes the following platforms some of the best betting exchange sites in the UK.
What are the best betting exchanges in the UK?
Commission: 0% Liquidity: Medium PunditFeed Rating: 5/5
Matchbook keep offering new features and promotion to its players. The current offer is £20 Money back as cash if the first bet loses. This offer will appeal to all Sports Bettors and gives new users the chance to enjoy the benefits of the Matchbook Betting Exchange risk-free. This offer sits above Exchange competitors as a welcome offer, giving users more when they join Matchbook. When it comes to the user experience, Matchbook stacks up pretty well too. The website is straightforward to interpret even for a new user and their mobile apps follow a similar pattern; they’re not revolutionary but won’t cause any problems either.
They currently offer 0% Commission on All Sports for 30 days after the registration, the longest period of 0% available. For starters, their commission was just 0% making it competitive with the cheapest exchanges out there and their depth of markets is pretty impressive with bet matching rarely a problem on the bigger sporting events. They just launched a Bet £10 Get £15 Offer that will allow new Customers to discover Matchbook. When it comes to the user experience, Matchbook stacks up pretty well too. The website is straightforward to interpret even for a new user and their mobile apps follow a similar pattern; they’re not revolutionary but won’t cause any problems either.
Like pretty much all online bookmakers, whether they’re traditional bookies or exchanges, Matchbook offer a sign up bonus and will allow you to deposit or withdraw through a plethora of methods. It’s worth noting their direct to bank withdrawals have a pretty hefty minimum at £500 but it doesn’t seem to bother their customers too much with a strong rating on trust pilot.
T&Cs: New Customers only. Sign up today using the bonus code and deposit at least £25. Place your first bet and if it loses, we will refund your stake as cash. The first bet must be placed within 7 days of registration and at odds of 1.8 or more to be eligible. The max. refund is £20 and it will be applied to your account within 48 hours of the qualifying bet being settled. 18+ T&C’s apply. Be Gamble Aware.
Commission: 2% Liquidity: High PunditFeed Rating: 5/5
When it comes to betting exchanges there is one that stands clear of the competition; that’s Smarkets. The big boys of the exchange world can be hard to separate when looking at factors such as the depth of sports and markets available because they all offer more than you’ll ever likely need. Liquidity i.e. the coverage of money in the platform is a similar story for the top end exchanges with only the most obscure bets not necessarily matched in a reasonable time frame. Why then do Smarkets top our list?
Well, they’re simply better than the competition. Their team seem to acknowledge that market penetration can’t really extend any further than it has to change the experience for individual punters so they’ve focussed energy on providing customers value and excellent service. For starters, their 2% commission is as generous as we’ve seen (you can get 1% but it relies on huge stakes to be placed) and they’ve been offering it at that level for years. You’ll find others with a 2% commission but they’ve generally had their hand forced.
On top of that, their website and mobile apps are super easy to use. They look good, they’re simple to move around and the Smarkets app side even allows users to vary the colour theme. It’s a small detail but shows how much they think about their end-user, which is a rarity in this niche. Finally, you’ve got a slick engine behind the scenes that provides useful graphics and manages price fluctuations for you when placing bets in extremely fluid markets such as in-play events.
Commission: 2% Liquidity: Medium/High PunditFeed Rating: 4/5
Betdaq is far from a newcomer to the world of betting exchanges with 20 years of trading under their belts. It’s no surprise that they’ve built up a reasonable customer base over that time with their website easy to navigate and also mobile-friendly; their app is decent too. Like most exchanges, they offer all the major betting markets and have plenty of liquidity within them, which enables punters to wager as they so wish.
Unfortunately, as the company strive to offer markets on less mainstream sports and events that flexibility can be reduced. This occasionally makes finding matches for your bets more difficult. Their in-play betting is very strong although football is a market where they need to improve that aspect; live streams and improved statistics would be a solid step but it’s not the end of the world with other resources available to delve into online. It shouldn’t be seen as a deal-breaker.
Despite having a couple of areas for improvement, Betdaq is still one of the better exchanges out there and is worth considering – particularly as a secondary option. Standard commission is 2% with the occasional offer running to give 0% for limited periods of time. The company falls under the Ladbrokes Coral group as of a 2017 takeover and as such you have plenty of protection whilst depositing and withdrawing funds is an absolute doddle.
Commission: 5% Liquidity: High PunditFeed Rating: 3.5/5
If anyone comes close to matching Smarkets in a pure gambling respect then it is Betfair. The company, who have been going for 21 years, are arguably the biggest name in exchange betting so it’s little surprise that they have plenty of users backing and laying bets at all hours of the day. We’re not suggesting you blindly follow the crowd but the fact Betfair, like Smarkets, have strong loyalty from their respective customer bases means you’ll rarely find events where you can’t pair your bets off – that’s critical to the success of a betting exchange.
The platform is well marketed, comes with an associated sportsbook and you can get your bets on with your eyes closed such is the way the website is structured. Betfair exchange, supported by its traditional betting site, pushes plenty of offers your way. These can be an extra boost with betting strategies like matched betting but you do need to factor in a 5% commission to ensure you’re satisfied with the overall levels on offer; if you’re keen to tap into the live betting markets then it’s possible you’ll see past a few percent because Betfair underpin their in-play bets with better streams than the other exchanges.
If, however, the 5% commission is putting you off giving them a go then this is something that can be reduced to 2%, however, in order to get this deal you do have to forfeit special offers – namely the best odds guaranteed on their sportsbook. The other thing to consider is the customer service angle, which is an area Betfair could look to improve particularly with Smarkets being excellent in this area.
Commission: 5% Liquidity: Medium/High PunditFeed Rating: 3/5
We’ve already touched on Betdaq falling under the Ladbrokes Coral umbrella. Here we look at the Ladbrokes side of things, which comes with the huge perk of having the name of a high street name ‘on the tin’. The two platforms – Betdaq and Ladbrokes – are actually linked so regardless of where bets are wagered the funds go to the same place. This aids the liquidity for both.
If you’ve read our recommended betting platforms for 2021 then you’ll know our thoughts on the Ladbrokes website being pretty smooth and the exchange side is much the same. The venture into exchange betting is a fairly new one in comparison to the other sites listed but it does mean their mobile app has been purpose built as opposed to having been developed as a secondary thought as technology has developed. The app is very good.
Despite all the positive noises we’re making about the Ladbrokes exchange, there are a couple of reasons it ranks fifth compared to its partner, Betdaq, who we rank second. Firstly, although the two platforms are very similar, Betdaq provides a better all-round experience with a major difference the fact plug-in tools can be linked to improve market insight. This isn’t unique to Betdaq but is a notable absence on the Ladbrokes platform. The last big factor to consider is the commission. You can achieve 2% commission on Ladbrokes but it’s all relative to the amount of money you risk. With smaller bets, you’ll pay a higher rate of 5%.
How to choose the right betting exchange site for you
Lowest possible commission rate
As stated previously, betting exchanges always take a cut of the winning bet. This can vary from 0%-5% or higher, depending on the betting exchange you choose. Of course, the lower the commission rates, the more of your winnings you will actually keep.
Range of bonuses available
This all begins with the welcome bonus. Ideally, you want to sign up with a betting exchange that has a decent sign-up offer in store. As you can see from our recommended sites, many of them provide free bets as a welcome deal. The higher these bets are, or the higher the monetary incentive, the better.
Ease of use
Betting exchanges can sometimes seem a little complicated – everyone who’s used one before knows it! Therefore, it helps to use an exchange platform that keeps things as simple as physically possible. By this, we mean decent visuals, clear presentations for odds and markets, and self-explanatory navigation systems.
Coverage of events
Finding betting exchanges that cover just a few sports is never going to satisfy your sports betting cravings. That’s why you need sites that cover a whole load of sports. And ideally, most events should have a wide selection of markets to pick from too.
Signing up with one of the best betting exchange sites
Once you’ve settled on which betting exchange you’d like to sign up with, it’s time to take the plunge. Providing you are over the age of 18 and based in the UK, you can sign up with any of the exchanges mentioned here. And to give you a helping hand, here is the standard sign up process:
- Create your login details – username with password
- Supply personal data – DOB, full name, address, and contact details
- Set up security questions with answers
- Agree to T&Cs then open the account
Once registered, most reputable betting exchanges will ask that you provide supporting documents for age and address. Just be prepared for this once registered!