betting types, backing and laying

This section is under development and will be updated regularly

In the olden days of my youth, there was only one type of bet available to punters. The bookmakers offered you odds (more later) and you could chose to back your selection at those odds or not. It was a straightforward fight between you and the evil bookie!


So, backing is just investing your hard earned cash on a selection. A bookmaker or a friend offers you a deal and you BACK it or not. The most basic form of backing would be a straight forward bet of whoever wins the bet gets the 'pot'. So if a friend offers to accept a bet from you that the next person walking down the street will be wearing a blue coat - don't laugh, I have sat in pubs with mates betting on that and more ridiculous things, then you both put your £10 notes on the bar and if the subject of the bet is wearing blue then you win £10 and your friend loses £10, and if your selection lets you down and is not wearing blue then it's the other way round.

When you are backing a selection with a bookmaker or an exchange then you are the BACKER, you are backing your carefully calculated opinion. The bookmaker or exchange is the LAYER and they are laying the bet.


Bookmakers 'lay' the bets. They offer you a price and you can chose to back at that price.

Now we have exchange betting platforms like Betfair, we can become the bookmaker and lay bets! At the most basic level we would the ones offering to accept a bet of £10 that the next person walking down the street will be wearing a blue coat, we win if the person is NOT wearing blue. A much better proposition as there is a far greater chance that blue will not be the colour of the coat!


Backing is betting ON an outcome, you win if it happen Laying is accepting a bet on an outcome, you win if it does not happen