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Laying the Odds

What is ‘Laying the Odds’?

Laying the odds is when a gambler bets against a competitor or team winning. The advantage of laying odds is that the gambler wins as long as any competitor other than the one he bet against wins. This is a particularly good bet in a tournament with a lot of closely matched competitors.For example, if a gambler lays odds against Andy Murray winning one of the grand slams, he wins if one of the other 127 players in the tournament wins instead. In the past, players could only lay the odds against one team or player by placing numerous bets backing the other competitors. With the advent of betting exchanges such as Betfair, gamblers can now lay odds with one simple bet.

‘Laying the Odds’ Explained

When laying odds, players should note that the money they win is the money they bet. The money they lose is the money they are paying the gambler who backed the same competitor. This is called the liability. So if a gambler lay £10 at odds of 2 to 1, his liability would be £20. To make the bet he would have to have £20 in his account.Things get more complicated when a player wants to lay odds against a rank outsider. For example, the lay odds for a small team like San Marino against a big team like Spain could be around 150 to 1 at the beginning of the game. Even if a player were to lay 50p, his liability would be £75.An experienced player would never make that bet by itself. What they would do instead is lay the odds alongside a backing bet; known as matched betting. The ideal situation in matched betting is that a gambler will find a way of betting for a team when the odds are at their highest and then against the same team when the odds are at their lowest. That way, whether it is a win or a loss, the player is guaranteed a profit.
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