First of all, you need to understand the distinction between Accepted odds versus Posted odds:
- ACCEPTED ODDS: you accepted another player’s offer on the market;
- POSTED ODDS: you posted an offer on the market, which was eventually accepted by another player.
Secondly, it is also vital that you are aware of the two different types of bets:
- BACK BET: you are placing a bet on something to happen (for example Team A to win the game or player X to score at least one goal);
- LAY BET: you are placing a bet on something NOT to happen (for example Team A not to win the game, which means you get richer if they either lose or draw).
In other words, there are four possible cases and I will detail every single one of them:
1) Accepted odds, Back bet
Suppose Manchester United is playing Manchester City (football/soccer, England, Premier League) and you wish to place a bet on Manchester United to win the game. You reach that game’s page on Matchbook and you see the following odds:
The odds with the blue/green background concern “back” bets, while the odds with the pink/red background concern “lay” bets. Since our intention was to “back” Manchester United, we need to focus on the odds with the blue/green background located on the same row as “MAN UTD”. As you can see, the current offers by other players are 2.23, 2.24 and 2.25.
Of course we are going to take the highest possible odds, in this case 2.25. But notice how the maximum bet is only ₤10, so if you wish to bet a bigger amount you will need to grab the 2.24 line for the surplus.
You click on the 2.25 and the following box will appear:
You can modify the stake amount (cannot be higher than ₤10, otherwise it won’t match the other player’s offer) and the profit amount will adjust accordingly. Just click the confirmation button (√) or the trash can button if you would like to cancel the selection.
A reminder on commissions: if the above bet wins, the commission will be 1.5% * ₤12.50 (the winning amount) = ₤0.19. If the bet loses, the commission will be 1.5% * ₤10 (the lesser of the stake and potential profit amounts) = ₤0.15.
2) Accepted odds, Lay bet
Let’s now assume that you believe Manchester United will NOT win the game, and you wish to bet accordingly (on either a Manchester City win or a draw). In plan words, you want to lay Manchester United. In such circumstances, you need to put your attention on the odds with the pink/red background on the same row as “MAN UTD”. As you can see, the current offers by other players are 2.34, 2.38 and 2.47. Those guys want to bet on Manchester United to win the game at the specified odds. Of course, your goal is to give them the lowest odds, so you pick 2.34 by clicking on that number, which prompts the following window to appear:
In the example above, we have entered ₤10 as the “liability”, which is the amount you are risking (the potential profit for the player who posted these odds). Matchbook automatically computed the “Backer’s stake” as 7.46, which turns out to be your potential winning amount (the “risk” amount for the player who posted these odds).
Notice the risk amount is shown on the right-hand side here, while it appeared on the left-hand side when you were previously making a “back” bet. Make sure you don’t get confused.
You are risking ₤10 to win ₤7.46. The lesser of the two amounts is ₤7.46, so if your bet loses the commission will be 1.5% * ₤7.46 = ₤0.11. The commission will be the same if the bet is successful since the winning amount is also ₤7.46.
3) Posted odds, Back bet
In order to illustrate how to post odds, let’s switch to another example: Palermo versus Udinese (football/soccer, Italy, Serie A). You truly believe Palermo will win the game; in betting terms, you wish to “back” Palermo. You log into your Matchbook account and you find the following odds:
As you can see, the best “back” odds are 3. However, like the smart sports investor that you are, you would like to try getting better odds (while paying a smaller 0.75% commission compared to 1.5% when accepting odds).
Here is how to proceed: click the blue box containing the 3 odds, but this time when the bet slip is shown on your screen you increase the odds in the order pad (either by typing new odds, or clicking the “+” button). Upon doing so, always be aware of the lowest “lay” odds already offered on the market. In this case, that figure corresponds to 3.06. If you want to maximize the chances of your bet being matched by another user, you should offer less than 3.06 so that you become the person with the best “lay” offer.
Suppose you have decided to offer 3.04 odds and you are willing to risk a maximum of ₤20. Here is what your adjusted bet slip should look like before hitting the confirmation button (√):
Now, what? You wait until someone else matches your bet. It may never happen. Here is a tip: check regularly if you offer is still the best on the market. After you have posted your 3.04 odds offer, someone else might come in and submit a 3.03 odds offer, in which case your “lay” bet is not the most attractive one anymore. However, the amount matters; if the only offer beating yours is set at a very small amount then don’t worry about it.
Once you have confirmed the 3.04 odds offer for ₤20 to win ₤40.80, here is what the Palermo-Udinese page looks like:
You can now see your “lay” bet at odds 3.04. Did you see the addition of green numbers on the left of the big table? What do they mean? These numbers simply indicate your current exposure: they basically tell you how much money you have wagered on each of the three options (Palermo, Udinese, draw). It allows you to quickly tell whether your posted offers have been matched (either partially or in full).
4) Posted odds, Lay bet
I won’t go into much detail here since the procedure is similar to the previous one. You now wish to bet against something to happen, for example you think Palermo will NOT win the game. Recall how the best “lay” odds on the market were 3.06. Click on that box, and lower the odds in the order pad, while ideally not going lower than 3 (the current highest “back” offer). Select amounts that you are comfortable with and hit the confirmation button. Let’s cross our fingers that your bet will be matched by another Matchbook user before the game goes under way!