Bookmaker vs Betting exchange: Which are Better in 2020?

With the advent of online betting, the idea of Bookmaker vs Betting exchange betting has changed. It has altered from being a game of chance to a game of calculated risk. However, before betting, you should have an idea of the betting market. This will help you select your bets better.

There are two categories to choose from: Betting exchange sites and bookmakers. Each has its own share of pros and cons. Therefore, to understand which suits you better, one has to go through the basics.

Bookmaker vs Betting exchange – Key differences

Traditional/ Online bookmaker

A traditional bookmaker offers fixed odds for the punters. Such betting sites make the bettor play against the site, which acts as a bookmaker. So, if you win a bet, you win by playing against the website.

Betting exchange

A betting exchange allows bettors to place bets against other punters. Thus, the odds offered are more flexible as they are determined by the players. Also, the best sports betting exchanges offer a variety of bets. These bets include lay bets. Lay bets are a bet against a particular outcome.

As is evident from the definitions: 

  • The odds of a betting exchange are a direct result of the broader betting trends. Thus, if the outcome is favourable, you get competitive odds. However, since the outcome is relatively uncertain, the odds fluctuate. This can result in heavy winnings. A traditional bookmaker offers predetermined fixed-odds. These fixed-odds generally favouring the bookmaker.
  • Bookmakers by virtue of their position tend to make money when bettors lose a bet. However, betting exchanges charge around 2% of the winning amount and no fee in case of a loss. This allows the exchange to offer fairer odds at par with market trends.
  • Both betting exchanges and bookmakers have a fixed set of rules and regulations that the players need to keep in mind while betting. These rules are vastly different from each other, and adherence to these would help the player chalk out strategies.
  • Bookmakers lure punters by offering a lot of bonuses and an amazing user interface that can easily deliver a fantastic experience to any beginner. Booking exchanges, however, are fewer in number and are more relaxed in terms of user experience and interface.

Punters bet against each other rather than against the bookmaker.

Now that you are familiar with the idea of how a betting exchange function, let us delve into the finer points. If you go through popular betting exchange reviews like Betfair review, you’ll notice players talking about backing and laying. The USP of a conventional betting exchange is in placing these two types of bets – back and lay. 

A back bet is a standard bet offered by most bookmakers or back lay betting sites. When a bet is placed on a particular selection backing the outcome to happen, it is called a back bet. A lay bet is an exact opposite. In such a bet, much like poker, you are not playing with your selection but using a selection across the table. This involves placing a bet on a situation on the basis that the outcome won’t come to pass. The combination of these two bets is regarded in betting terminology as trading.

Advantage of bookmaker vs Exchange

The most significant advantage of betting at a betting exchange is the ability to simultaneously place back bets and lay bets. Thus, it makes for a comparatively risk-free bet. For example, let us take an instance from cricket exchange betting. In a cricket match between India and Australia, India is determined to have a slighter edge going into the match. Accordingly, the odds based on pre-match conditions have come to stand at 3.6 for a back bet and 2.75 for a lay bet. A bettor makes an early bet of 100 INR each on both back and lay. His total investment in the match thus stands at 200 INR. 

If India wins, the punter gets 360 INR on the back bet. Thus, one makes a profit of 160 INR. If India loses, the punter gets 275 INR. Thereby, the punter makes a profit of 75 INR. Live betting is a great opportunity to maximise your profits in this regard. Since the odds constantly keep fluctuating throughout the match, a bettor could take advantage of this. Favourable odds could be used to place a series of back and lay bets, thereby exponentially increasing the winnings.

The advantage of placing lay bets helps punters to engage in matched betting. Matched betting is a zero-risk betting strategy. In matched betting, you can lay a back bet made with an operator, by placing a lay bet with a betting exchange.

Benefits of betting with bookmakers

Promotional offers: At a bookmaker’s website, the website tends to present more promotional offers. These offers are usually given as welcome bonuses, free spins, or game credits by bookmakers. This makes betting on the site lucrative for the bettor. Exchanges rarely offer such frequent promotional bonuses. 

Hassle-free bets: For those new to the online betting ecosystem, placing bets at a bookmaker seems like a more comfortable choice. A bookmaker offers fixed predetermined odds so that the bettor can calculate winnings easily. However, since an exchange also includes shifting odds and live betting, novice bettors could initially face a problem understanding how the system progresses.

Choice of odds: A quick tour of betting exchanges will reveal that such sites mostly tend to offer decimal odds. Many bookmaker sites also use fractional odds and American odds format. This provides greater flexibility to the players. 

Popular Bookmaker vs Betting exchange betting

Popular betting exchanges include:

  • 1xbet: 1xbet offers a wide variety of payment options to help your betting experience. They offer generous welcome bonus amounts along with subsequent bonuses. Apart from sports betting, they also have a variety of casino games.
  • Dafabet: Dafabet betting exchange includes local sports as well. It comes with weekly promotional offers as well. This exchange has slowly started gaining popularity among novice bettors and seasoned punters alike.

Popular betting bookmakers include:

  • Matchbook: Matchbook reviews bear testimony to the unmatched user experience on this betting site. Competitive odds coupled with a wide range of sports to bet on makes this bookmaker a hot favourite among bettors.
  • Betway: Covering a wide variety of cricket tournaments, this bookmaker offers live betting along with a holistic customer service to provide a seamless gambling experience.
  • 10 CRIC: This bookmaker offers some of the most generous welcome bonuses on the market. A dependable name when it comes to online betting, this bookmaker is undoubtedly a site with a difference.


A lot of factors go into making a choice between a bookmaker and a betting exchange. The difference of odds or offering a diverse range of bets aside, dependability is a crucial factor. While both these categories come with a diverse range of websites, things like commissions, promotions, affiliate programs, security, and players are an essential part of the online betting experience. If you wish to make the best of your online betting experience, make sure to invest in a selection that benefits your strategy.

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