Cross bets

Cross bets or exchange bets are a type of betting in which the house simply acts as an intermediary between bettors.
Brian Dekker
Brian Dekker betting expert

Sometimes we are limited when placing a bet by the conditions set by bookmakers, especially when it comes to odds. Sometimes, we even feel like we won't be able to overcome the statistical analysis performed by bookmakers to set their odds. In summary, it's reasonable to think that beating a bookmaker is not easy.

What if there was a way to have more freedom when setting your own quotas and you didn't have to analyze an event better than a bookmaker, but simply do it better than other bettors? All of this is possible with cross betting.

What are crossed bets?

Cross betting or exchange betting is a type of betting where the house simply acts as an intermediary between bettors. In this mode, it is the bettors who set the bet, the odds, and bet amongst themselves in the same traditional way as when betting with a friend. The betting house is only responsible for providing the platform for carrying out exchanges and ensuring payments, charging a small commission in return.

How do they work?

In cross betting, one of the bettors takes on the role of a bookmaker. They set the condition and odds at which they will pay out on the bet. This person is known as a "layer" because they are betting against the occurrence of an event and will pay out according to the odds if that event does happen in the end.

Another bettor makes a bet following the conditions of the layer, just like it would be a classic bet. He buys the proposed bet. This other bettor is known as a "backer", as he bets in favor of the circumstance taking place by purchasing the proposed bet from the layer.

Cross bet example

We have two bettors, Antonio and Maria. Antonio is a loyal follower of Barcelona, while Maria is a fan of Real Madrid. It's Clasico week and they both would like to bet on their teams by making cross bets.

Antonio decides he wants to act as a bookmaker, as a layer, and being a Barcelona fan, he bets against Real Madrid's victory by offering odds of 2 for the white victory, being willing to accept up to 50 dollars. María, who is a Real Madrid fan, sees the odds of 2 offered by Antonio and bets in favor of the Merengue victory the maximum 50 dollars that Antonio accepts. By betting in favor, she acts as a backer.

We already have two bettors in which each has followed the role of layer and backer, respectively placing their bets. What happens from this point forward? Well, depending on the outcome of the game, the bets would be settled as follows:

  • Real Madrid Wins: in this case, Maria would win her bet and receive 50 dollars from Antonio, who, acting as a bookmaker, pays out the net profit that Maria earns by multiplying the 50 dollars she has bet by the odds of 2 that Antonio has established.
  • Barcelona wins: Antonio, as a betting house, wins in this case the 50 dollars Maria bet.
  • Draw: Antonio once again wins the 50 dollars that Maria bet on Real Madrid's victory, as the white team does not ultimately win and Antonio bet against Real Madrid.

How to make crossed bets?

Performing a cross bet is not much different from placing a single bet. We begin by accessing our account with Betfair Exchange , which is currently the only sportsbook in Philippines offering cross bets. In the sports menu, we select the sport, competition, and sporting event on which we want to bet. Once we have located it, we access the available betting markets by clicking on the sporting event. Up to this point, it is practically the same as placing a single bet.

In this step, we have to decide whether we want to bet for or against a specific circumstance. If we bet for it, we should click on the "For" button to open the coupon where we will enter the odds we want to bet on and the amount of money we want to play.

If we want to place a bet against, we have to take on the mindset of a bookmaker. We click on the "Lay" button to open the coupon where we will enter the odds we are willing to offer and the maximum amount of money we want to accept. The bookmaker itself calculates the risk you assume by acting as a bookmaker.

Place a bet in favor (back)

Oppose bet (lay)

Once the bets are placed, all that is left is to wait for another bettor to buy them so that they are formally completed. If no one buys them, they will be cancelled at the beginning of the event, and the money put into play will be returned.

Cross or counterpart bets?

What is better, betting against another bettor (cross betting) or betting against the betting house (counterparty betting)? The answer depends on our objectives.

If we are only looking to make simple bets in favor of a particular circumstance happening, the factor that most influences the bet is the odds, so we will have to look for where the best odds are, whether in a conventional betting house or in an exchange house offered by another bettor. As the bettors who act as bookmakers want to compete against other bookmakers, they generally offer good odds, so they should also be taken into account in this regard.

However, if we are looking to speculate with odds and their variations for to trade, that is, to achieve profits no matter what the outcome is, cross betting is much better. The freedom it gives to bettors to choose and place odds allows for greater control over bets, allowing for better strategies to be defined for buying and selling bets.

Strategy for your crossed bets

There is a huge variety of strategies dedicated to cross betting, based on all kinds of markets and situations; from combining pre-match bets with live bets to combining different markets. This large number of strategies indicates to the beginner a fundamental issue of cross betting: you have to bet with a plan, trying to avoid falling into improvisation.

One of the most common strategies among beginners, as it can serve as practice for understanding the concepts of backing and laying, is to bet against a tie in soccer games.

With this strategy, the bettor acts as a bookmaker by betting pre-match (before the start of the game) against a draw in a match where the home team is a clear favorite. The goal is to score for the favorite so that the odds in favor of a draw increase considerably, and then placing a live bet for the same. In these circumstances, we could perform trading that would allow Philippines to exit with profit regardless of the final result.

Pros and cons of exchange bets

Cross betting is an added incentive to participate in traditional weekend betting, when there are more sporting competitions happening all around the world. This method has advantages and, like all things, a few disadvantages. If you are taking your first steps in betting, you can't miss these insights, after which it will be up to you to weigh whether you are willing to take on everything they entail or not.


High profits can be obtained since there is no limit to profits when betting against other players without having to bet against the betting house, which in this case will act as an intermediary and guarantee the amounts bet by the players. There is also no limit to the amount of money that can be bet, the opposite of what happens on traditional betting websites where accounts with high winnings can be restricted.

Prices are available throughout all meetings and there is no commission margin added, in addition to the fact that deposits in betting houses are safe and 100% guaranteed.


Commissions can sometimes be quite high, so it would take more time to earn profits in the long term. Although we always advise you to bet with limits and spend a small percentage of your bank roll, one of the most common mistakes is to get carried away and play more money than they had intended to bet initially.

It's quite addictive and not be the best way to start in the world of betting, although it's always possible to set a limit on the website so that no more bets can be made than allowed by the bankroll, and no more deposits can be made until a week has passed, for example.


Cross bets are one of the best tools that bettors have due to their multiple advantages. However, this is a modality that requires some experience with betting, as well as a clear understanding of how it works both when betting for and against. The main purpose of these bets is to trade, speculating with results and odds, and it require time and practice to master them.

This type of betting gives a lot of freedom to set odds and bet without restrictions, so one must be fully aware of the risks. In return, it usually provides better odds or at least ranks among the highest in the market when compared to traditional or counterparty betting.

If you are already a bettor who masters all the basic concepts of traditional betting, it is likely that on more than one occasion you have traded with the bookmaker without being aware or have used the Cash Out option. With cross-betting, a new universe of possibilities opens up to go one step further in minimizing losses and ensuring profits.


Brian Dekker
Brian Dekker

Journalist, blogger, sports enthusiast and athlete in my spare time. I must complain that the cards are shuffled wrong until I get a good hand (Jonathan Swift).

1 Opinion
  1. Reply

    Hello Pau --- I have been reading your article about cross betting, and I don't quite understand it. If you bet for and against a team, doesn't the money you can win cancel each other out? Please explain. Regards.

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