Betfair is the pioneer of the betting exchange and this product is still operating across the world. Betfair was set up in 2000 as an innovative peer to peer betting platform service that would revolutionise the betting industry. Even though Betfair is still well known for the betting exchange, it does also operate a full fixed odds sportsbook: in this way you have the flexibility to bet with the exchange or with a traditional bookie.
In play and cash out are very good, and this is not surprising as it has been Betfair that invented those features. You can also watch lots of live streaming event on Betfair. This betting site is usually the destination of professional gamblers as it gives the ability to move seamlessly from fixed odds to exchange.
Three main reasons to sign up to Betfair
-Biggest betting exchange in the world
-Great fixed odds sportsbook product that well integrates with the exchange
-Top notch live betting and live streaming service completed with partial and full cash out
-Reliable brand and favourite amongst professional gamblers
Betfair was created in 2000 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray and went on to become the world’s largest betting exchange. By 2004 revenues for Betfair were more than £50 million and by 2010 the company was listed on the UK stock exchange.
Betfair now has more than 1.2 billion bets every year and has a value of more than £56 billion.
In 2013 Betfair strengthen their presence by launching a sportsbook in addition to their popular exchange. Most people still signing up to use the betting exchange, however, the fixed odds product does offer a good alternative. The concept of betting exchange is pretty simple: by allowing punters to bet which each other the middle man (bookmaker) is eliminated and as such odds tend to be better, usually around 20% compared with bookmakers. Betfair takes a commission which is approximately 5% of winnings.
Betfair is not the only bookmaker offering an exchange, but theirs is the biggest and the one with most experience.
The Betfair model has won lots of awards over the last few years. Betfair is an innovative brand, and inevitably when they launched the exchange, they created a betting revolution. They have also been offering in play live betting since 2001. Initially, the company was based in the UK in Hammersmith, London, but now it is based out of Malta despite having still an office in Britain.
Betfair has around 1.5 million active customers and is one of the most significant online betting sites in the UK. They are also present in more than 100 countries and accept 7 different currencies. The website is also translated into several languages.
In 2016 Betfair merged with Paddy Power and Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) company was created: combined those two betting companies are one of the biggest in the industry with a revenue of nearly £2 billion. The betting sites have been kept separate with customers that are allowed to have both brands accounts and to benefit from two welcome packages.
Betfair has always been excellent in their exchange, and the sportsbook complements the offer rather well.
Design, Interface & Appearance
Even though yellow and black are not a great colour combination, Betfair has been able to tone them down in recent times. The result is that both the exchange and the sportsbook are now very clear and are not overcrowded. As a customer, you are not exposed to lots of flashy graphics, and the pages load very fast both on desktop and mobile.
At the centre of the page, you will quickly see the most important sports markets and latest offers. In the betting exchange, sports are offered as an A-Z list while in the sportsbook they are presented in a drop-down menu. It is effortless to switch over between the exchange and the sportsbook and generally the site is simple to navigate. The mobile app works really well and offers similar functionalities as the main site.
Betfair has a massive range of sports, more than 30 in the sportsbook and even more in the betting exchange. The depth of market is impressive, and on the exchange, you can find almost any possible options to either lay or back.
In addition to a considerable range of sports, you can also bet on financial through the exchange and even on a selection of specials. Surely this is not for beginners but can be very profitable.
Non-sport and specials can be found in numbers on Betfair both in the exchange and sportsbook. It is difficult to find another betting site that offers such a vast variety of non-sports markets. If however, you can’t find the betting line you are looking for you can always request odds too.
One of the main advantages of betting with Betfair remains the depth of market. For an important football match, you will find hundreds of betting lines both on the sportsbook and on the exchange. Lines are well grouped into sections so that you can easily find what you are looking for.
Backing & Laying
Since Betfair exchange is particularly popular, it makes sense to explain briefly how backing and laying work in such product. In a betting exchange, you can place a bet as you would do on a fixed odds bookmaker but you also have the choice to lay a bet to someone. In this way, you would be acting like a small bookmaker, and you will make a profit if the person that has backed that bet will lose. Betfair will take a commission from the winner of the bet.
You can pick any odds you like when backing or laying: a bet, however, will only stand if it matches, so if you have found someone ready to accept the price you have offered (for backing or laying). If the bet is not matched, it will get cancelled when the event starts. Everything is anonymous, and no-one can see who is backing and who is laying. The maximum bet in an exchange will be determined by the amount in the ‘pool’: this usually is lower than maximum bets in regular fixed odds sportsbook. This is not always the case though, especially around big events.
In recent times we have noticed Betfair improving the odds of their sportsbook significantly, and they now have on average the best odds for some top sports like English football, rugby and tennis. Don’t also forget that Betfair has the best odds guaranteed for UK and Irish horse racing and for greyhound racing.
The Betfair exchange usually has odds 20% higher than regular betting sites, and the reason is that they have effectively cut off the middleman. Since it all depends on people, you can find from time to time great odds there. Betfair will take a commission from the winning that it usually is around 5% so this has to be factor in when using the exchange.
Surely the opportunity to use both the sportsbook and the exchange at your wish is a significant advantage of using Betfair. Also, others betting sites like Ladbrokes do offer the exchange, but in this case, the latter is the second product while on Betfair it is the most important and biggest one. Odds on Betfair exchange usually are better than others exchanges merely because there are a lot more people betting there.
Even if Betfair sportsbook does not always have the best odds on some sports, they do regularly run enhanced odds promotions and price boosts that can significantly add value to your bets. It is worth comparing odds in the sportsbook with the boost versus odds in the exchange before making a final decision on how to bet.
On Betfair, you can set up odds both in decimal format and fraction. Odds are very visible as they are contained in a blue box versus a white background. Laying odds are in a pink box. You will see that in the exchange odds are shown in decimal as default, but if you hover with your cursor, you will see the related price in fractions.
Minimum / Maximum Bets & Payouts
It is always important to check what are the minimum and maximum payouts. In the exchange, you can quickly back or lay as long as there is enough money in the pool for that selection. The amount of liquidity can vary significantly from events and even betting lines in the same market. A good thing about the exchange is that you can’t stake more than the payout. Minimum stakes do vary in the exchange so always check as the liability will change if you are backing or laying.
In the sportsbook always check the terms and conditions before placing a bet, however, Betfair generally have high payouts rates with up to £1 million on top sports like football and horse racing. Others sports like golf and tennis it will be £500k, £250k Cricket and £100 most of the others. Novelty and special bets are usually capped at £25k. All maximum payouts will be available in the terms and conditions.
You can also place a bet with Betfair, but in this case, the minimum stake is £50.
Live Betting & Streaming
Live In-Play Betting
Betfair has been the first betting site to offer in play betting already in 2001. You would, therefore, expect Betfair to be providing excellent service and in fact, they do. In the In-Play section you will find everything a punter can ask for: in addition to having a vast selection of markets available there are also live scores, news, tips, form guides, partial and full cash out and a lot more.
The in-play selection is also split by sport and even by time, and this allows the punter to orientate himself a lot easier. We have to say that the in-play betting is better in the exchange compared with the sportsbook. Both sections are good on a mobile app where you will be able to find the desired market fast.
On the app, the speed of refresh is impressive with odds that are updated by the second. Another positive thing is that the flow of markets is good: they are not staying in suspended state for a long time during game incidents. This is the main reason why Betfair has been chosen by so many professional gamblers over the years.
In Play, promotions are not good, but Betfair is running a price rush feature that will have some pleasant surprises from time to time.
Betfair Live Streaming section is particularly rich, and it is perfectly integrated into the in-play betting. You can watch football, tennis, cricket, snooker, horse racing and a lot more both in the sportsbook and in the exchange. Filtering what events will be streamed is very easy, and those can also be separated by sport. The live schedule is available well in advance, so this is positive for planning.
Even if we do not have an exact number of live streaming events, Betfair are there with the top in the industry with around 100,000 every year.
You will not be charged anything to watch live streaming events as long as you have funds in your betting account. The only exception to this is horse racing where a minimum bet of £0.50 on the race you want to watch it is required. This is less than the majority of betting sites that do ask for £1 bet minimum. You can also watch the live streaming on mobile, and the quality is excellent.
Betfair has lots of apps one for each product. This is a bit annoying especially as the sportsbook app is separated from the exchange app so it doesn’t allow a quick comparison of odds as you would be able to do on the desktop site. On the positive side though the apps are lighter and therefore loads much faster and are less overcrowded.
Generally, they load fast and also odds are immediately visible. Text font might be improved as it is a bit too small. The menu is simple and easy to navigate: you can find the best promotions fast and also browse through the markets with the A-Z list.
On the mobile, you can manage your account online as you would do on the desktop. A great thing about Betfair mobile betting is that you can place your wager very fast and on the move. This is probably way the app rates really well both in Android and Apple.
The exchange app is worse than the sportsbook one which is a bit bizarre. The menu is less clear, and you might have to press 5 options before you are getting to the market with the odds: this might be a big issue if you are on a slow mobile network. So if you are dealing with the exchange, we suggest you try to use the main site.
Betfair casino and arcade apps are of excellent quality, and you should give it a try.
Betfair has invented the Cash Out functionality, and it is therefore not surprising they are leading the way both in the sportsbook and in the exchange. They do offer full and partial cash out on most markets, and this is a perfect addition to their already excellent in play betting and streaming.
It is important to note that Cash Out is also available on live horse racing and they are the first betting site that is providing this service. Betfair is leading in regards to the range of markets that Cash Out is available on. Markets that qualify for Cash Out can be seen by clicking on the tab on the top menu bar. Cash Out is also available in the vast majority of in-play markets.
Gaming & Casino
Betfair has a great offering when it comes to casino and gaming services. There are a massive amount of apps available for casino, live casino, exchange games, arcade, bingo, poker and so on. Every time you sign up for a new product, you will get additional sign up bonuses, so it makes sense to take a good look.
The exchange games are great and innovative as you will be able to lay bets here too and act as you were owning your own casino.
Betfair is a modern brand, and as such, they are making the necessary effort to be present in social media. Their facebook page is updated every hour with news, promotions, tips and so on.
Betfair also has an excellent Twitter page which is updated regularly and has lots of offers, news, tips and more (@Betfair).
Unique Selling Point
Betfair is the perfect betting site for professional gamblers. After all, it is not surprising to see that there are lots of professionals that make their living thanks to the Betfair exchange. The value, range and depth of the exchange have no comparison in the industry.
The sportsbook is a nice addition however on his own it is nothing special but added to the exchange makes it a perfect package. Betfair In play betting and streaming is excellent and has a great Cash Out functionality that will give the customer great control.
Betfair can either be loved or hated: if you like the exchange you will never leave this company, but if you are merely looking for a sportsbook then you might have it in your betting portfolio as an excellent alternative to others betting sites.
Betfair sportsbook app is decent, but the exchange app can be improved significantly, and we suggest you use your computer as the service it is supreme there. It would be good to see more integration between the different products on the mobile apps without this causing a slow-down in the service. Betfair also offers a financial betting service with Tradefair.
Payment Options Deposit & Withdrawal
As you would expect from a brand like Betfair, there are vast amounts of depositing and withdrawing options available. A big minus is that Betfair is still passing, in some instances, costs of financial transactions to customers so make sure you check any fees you will be incurring before committing to anything. You can learn more about every single payment method in our payment options guide.
How To Place A Bet With Betfair
Placing a bet with Betfair, it is effortless. Once you have signed up for a new account merely pick your selections that will appear in the bet slip. You can use the same account to bet on the exchange or on the sportsbook. You can also bet by phone, but in this case, the minimum bet is £50.
You can select amongst 7 different currencies when you are signing up to Betfair. You won’t be able to change currency later on though. Minimum and maximum deposits limits tend to vary depending on the method you will go for, but generally, it is £5 for debit and credit cards. Since the merge with Paddy Power, you can now also deposit in cash into any Paddy Power shop as long as you have your account ID and photo ID. The minimum deposit is £10, and the maximum is £2,500 every day.
There are some fees for others deposit methods: it is 1.5% to Visa and Mastercard transaction while it is 2% for Paypal (only for deposits). Surely this is not something good for Betfair as the majority of betting sites do not charge anything. There are however also free deposit methods with Betfair like Skrill.
Withdrawals are entirely free with Betfair, apart from if you are selecting express bank transfer. You can generally withdraw using the same deposit method you have used except for pre-paid cards and vouchers.
Withdrawals usually take circa 2 to 5 working days but if you are using e-Wallets than it can be in just a few hours. There aren’t minimum withdrawals limits to credit and debit cards and Paypal which is favourable for Betfair. Even with those payments methods that have limits, you can make more then one withdraw a day.
Betfair customer service can be reached 24/7 via live chat, email, phone, and also via social media. If you want to reach Betfair by phone you can do so daily from 07:30 am to 12:30 am. Agents are well prepared, and they are generally able to get resolutions to your problems in the first attempt.
Betfair is fully compliant with UK Gambling Commission regulation in regards to Responsible Gambling. They are offering many tools to help customers manage their betting activity safely and responsibly.
Betfair has different divisions and as such is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority in addition to the UK Gambling Commission (license No. 39426).
Customer Services: 0344 871 0000 (UK)
Waterfront, Hammersmith Embankment, London, England W6 9HP, United Kingdom.