In crossed bets, the "lay" consists of betting against something happening. It can be a good strategy to achieve a Greenbook, but the money we put at risk must be controlled at all times.
Brian Dekker
Brian Dekker betting expert

When we go to our favorite betting house and place a bet, we play against the house itself, which is responsible for setting the odds for each event and market and paying out our winnings. However, there is a modality where we play against another player: the cross betting, also known as betting exchange in English. In this case, the player sets the odds, and we have to decide whether we enter that market and how we do it, whether in favor or against. The betting house is limited to acting as an intermediary.

Precisely, the possibility of betting against something happening is the great novelty of exchange betting compared to traditional betting, where the only option is to bet that something will happen. Of course, traditional betting has "exceptions" such as both teams not scoring, the under or the over, where if we bet on both teams not scoring, for example, it is clear that we are betting against both teams scoring, but as previously noted, we are still playing against the bookmaker.

What is the law?

Lay betting consists of betting against something happening, and it is common in the world of exchange betting. “Lay” means to bet in English, and in Spanish the action of betting against something -or rather, against someone- is known as “laying” in betting jargon. In fact, lay betting is a common type of bet in the world of horse racing where you bet against a horse, and the word has made the jump from the racecourse to exchange betting.

how to make a lay

Placing a bet against or "laying" a user is very simple. When a player places a bet on a betting exchange, they must also offer the odds against that same bet so that another player can accept and place a bet. If there is no one to play against us, we won't be able to bet. So, to lay a player, we need to go to the betting exchange and select the odds that appear in pink, meaning betting against the outcome that the user has indicated.

Once the option is selected, the betting coupon opens and we indicate the amount of the bet in favor. Then we can see the winnings and the money we risk in case our forecast is not fulfilled. If you do not agree with the odds shown, you can always launch your own and wait for another player to lay you betting in favor of the other option or bet on another of the odds that appear in the additional columns. When you have the complete betting coupon, you just need to place the bet.

When we place a bet, the amount we risk gets locked by the betting house to guarantee the payment of the bet in case it is a losing one. This means we cannot do anything with these funds until the bet is resolved. If your lay bet wins, you will receive the winnings and the funds are unlocked, but if the lay bet loses, you lose the money, which goes to the other player's account.

Lay's example

The Red team and the Green team are playing. The Red team are favorites, and also playing at home, so we go to the cross betting house to bet against the Green team. We see that the odds against the Green team are 6.80$ and we bet 5$. If successful, we would win 34$ but the risk is 29$. When placing the bet, those 29$ are blocked until the end of the game.

If the Red team wins or draws, your bet is a winner and you will receive the $34 that you could win with the bet, as well as getting back the $29 that were blocked since the Green team did not win. However, if the Green team wins, we lose the bet and the blocked $29 go to the user who placed the bet.

Tips for making a lay

Betting against can be a good system to achieve a Greenbook, that ideal scenario where we obtain profits no matter the final result. To do this, we must bet both for and against, being able to use live bets to lay other players. But for the lay strategy to work it is essential to master the cross bets and make a good bank management.

When we place a bet against, we need to carefully analyze the odds we offer as the odds in favor must be attractive for a player to accept it but also must be within your limits to avoid significant losses if it turns out to be a losing bet. You must also set a limit on the amount to bet. Lastly, remember that you are playing against another user and the money they will receive if you lose the bet is yours, not the bookie's.


Brian Dekker
Brian Dekker

Journalist, blogger, sports enthusiast and athlete in my spare time. I must complain of the cards being ill shuffled till I have a good hand (Jonathan Swift).

1 Opinion
  1. Reply

    What betting houses are good for lay betting?

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