What is a Betting Exchange Website and What is Different Compared to a Sportsbook?

Sports betting can bring varying experiences, from one bookmaker to another. Today, gamers have another option, which is betting exchange websites. Here, we will explain the difference between betting exchange sites and sportsbooks. We tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you want to find out more about the currently best betting exchanges on the market, visiting https://www.thepunterspage.com/best-betting-exchange-sites/ might be worth your time. Thepunterspage always is up-to-date regarding the best betting exchange platforms and also summarized the pros and cons of each provider for you in a detailed guide to check out.


These are traditional betting platforms whereby gamers are pitted against a bookmaker. Each time you use a sportsbook to wager on a regular sport, odds are set for you by the bookie and you get to bet on them. This is the longest-serving form of betting and is still the most popular. 

How does it Work?

When a gamer joins a sportsbook site, they are allowed to place bets on any sports of choice. In placing a bet, you only need to identify the game that you want to bet on, select a market, determine the amount you wish to spend and then confirm your bet. When you want to make more than one bet, all you have to do is add them to your bet slip. That is how the odds for the selections made multiply and the player gets the total odds, which are then used to sum up the winnings. 


  • Gamers are certain of the odds they will get because the prices are fixed
  • No commission is deducted from your profit, you get the whole amount
  • There are hundreds of available markets


  • Prices hardly change
  • No laying selections are allowed
  • Punters can hardly have a change of mind or switch between selections

Betting Exchange

Launched in the early 2000s this is a newer version of sports betting. It is somewhat similar to the stock market trading. This is why gamers in betting exchange websites are referred to as traders. When you wager on a betting exchange website, you will get your odds. In these sites, bookmakers earn by setting odds, also known as a betting margin. Betting exchange websites allow traders to set odds, whereby they then earn their profits through commissions. 

How does it Work?

The goal of these websites is to allow traders to wager with cheaper fees and are becoming popular among punters. Here, you can place the wager on select odds and wait for another punter to place their bet on opposite odds. If no one touches the opposite wager, you get your refund. The most crucial aspect to note in betting exchanges is the difference between laying and backing. Backing a horse to win or a team is the same as placing a wager in a sportsbook. 

Backing means that you are betting that your selection will happen while laying means that you are betting it will not happen. Note, when you place a lay bet, you act as the bookmaker, because the work of the bookmaker is to pay out when they are wrong. A betting exchange only works when there are two traders placing bets in opposite directions. Although betting exchange websites allow you to place bets on available odds, you are also given the chance to set odds and hope that another trader will place bets on them. While setting your odds on these websites is a great idea, you want to avoid it with the less popular games.


  • Offers the ability to lay, which gives more opportunities and profits
  • Better odds which change throughout the day
  • Plenty of horse racing markets
  • Many available markets, which create more backing and laying opportunities


  • Betfair takes 5 percent of the overall commission won
  • Some bets are not matched
  • Poor laying can lead to a major loss

What is the Major Difference Between the Two?

Betting exchange websites are online marketplaces allowing punters to complete bets, either against each other or by backing or laying outcomes of various sporting events. In sportsbooks, the bookmaker lays the outcome. In a betting exchange, if a punter supports the win of one team, the other can lay it by betting against the selection. As the event goes on, punters are also allowed to trade. This is not permitted in sportsbook websites and when allowed, the feature is often limited. While a sportsbook makes money by losing bets, betting exchanges earns its profits by taking commissions from traders. 

Well, each of these two has its pros and cons, and none can be overly recommended over the other. However, if you are an inexperienced punter, choose the traditional bookmakers. These tend to be a little easy to use because you only have to focus on the given odds. With more experience, you can choose the exchanges. These can offer you more opportunities, given that you will be competing against other punters and not oddsmakers.

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