Launched all the way back in the year 2000 and widely regarded as the first betting exchange to be fully operational, Betfair has remained the biggest and most popular betting exchange to this day!
What makes Betfair so popular is not only the vast range of sports and events to bet on, but also the massive active customer base which means there is always plenty of activity and with this, plenty of money available to bet against on their exchange.
Add into this mix the customisable promotions and rewards programme (which can see exchanges users paying as little as 2% commission), plus the wide range of accompanying services including casino, slots, poker, tote, lottery, exchange games and a sportsbook, then it soon becomes clear why Betfair is still the no. 1 exchange betting provider in the UK!
In this Betfair Exchange review, we will be looking at what the exchange has to offer, highlight the popular features available and also compare it to upcoming rivals such as Betdaq and Smarkets.
As betting exchanged do not apply a margin from to make a profit from, customers are charged a small commission on winning bets. Thanks to an adaptive loyalty rewards programme, commissions at Betfair range from a low of 2% up to a maximum of 8% (which might seem high at first, but does come with some additional perks which we’ll get onto soon).
As was previously mentioned, Betfair runs a loyalty program called Betfair Rewards, this sees players able to earn monthly free bets, free spins, cashback on losses plus various other perks from time to time in return for choosing to pay a higher commission at the exchange.
The table above shows the current Betfair Rewards offering as of time of writing. Customers choosing either the REWARDS or REWARDS+ plans will pay 5% or 8% commission rates in return for a monthly supply of free exchange bets, free spins, refunds on losses plus other seasonal promotions from time to time.
Customers opting for the BASIC rewards plan will receive none of the aforementioned bonuses and with this a general lack of promotions across the site as a whole. This rewards tier does, however, offer the lowest rate of commission at just 2% (putting the offering inline with competitors Matchbook and Smarkets).
Range of Sports Available at Betfair
Betfair provides coverage of a very wide range of sports markets including Premier League and European soccer, golf, horse racing, tennis, motorsports and political markets such as the next UK prime minister.
As a leading exchange, Betfair provides access to a wide range of professional football leagues including the English Premier League and English Championship, popular European leagues such as the Italian Serie A and the Spanish La Liga through to worldwide leagues like the Turkish Super Lig and the Argentinian Primera Division.
What makes Betfair stand out when betting on is not only the wide range of leagues and markets which are covered, but also the consistently good liquidity across both the larger markets and those which might be less popular (these being the leagues in which some smaller exchanges often struggle with).
As well as good odds and liquidity, Betfair also makes finding football fixtures easy thanks to the well designed home page (which features many in-play and popular upcoming games), plus the left exchange menu which makes finding any game in any league simple.
As I write this review, the 2020 European Championship is in full swing and Betfair have made access to all upcoming Euro 2020 games quick and easy via the page shown above. Should you want to quickly see other games based upon a set criteria, say, all in-play games, only those happening the following day or games with live video available, then the filters atop the main soccer page will quickly adapt the page to show what has been asked for.
These are the filters available on the football page that allows users to quickly filter available soccer events, a handy feature which you will almost certainly find yourself using should you sign-up.
Other features which compliment the football offering at Betfair include the cash out button which, providing there is sufficient liquidity on the exchange, allows customers to easily cash out their bets either before or during the event in question.
All-in-all, a great football offering from Betfair!
A huge number of racing punters use Betfair Exchange for various reasons, including the generous odds! In fact, you only have to look at Betfair’s own marketing to see their claims that (at time of writing) they offer the best odds on winning horses up to a whopping 96% of the time!
Not only do Betfair offer great odds racing, but also comprehensive coverage of all UK and Irish racing plus many other racing events worldwide, this includes racing from France, the USA, Dubai, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa and several other racing nations.
Shown above, the Betfair racing homepage makes finding all popular races for any given day (or the following day), both quick and easy. Moving on to any particular race and we see (like below) the well designed exchange betting pages make backing or laying any horse quick and easy also:
Looking at the race shown above, we not only see the back and lay pricing available for each individual horse but, by clicking on the arrow to the left of any selection, the form guide for that particular horse as well. Add on to this that we can also see historic video links (when available) which allow us to watch videos of any historic races run by the current selection.
Whilst all of this form information is available elsewhere, having it so readily available from within the exchange betting page itself and backed up with easy access to historic videos of the horse in question helps adds real value to the Betfair offering, a great job so far!
Moving on, and with video still in mind, this is another area in which Betfair really excels. In fact, when it comes to live streaming of horse racing, Betfair has probably the strongest coverage of any exchange or bookie in the UK!
As can be seen in the screenshots above, not only does a small wager of just £1+ give us access to watch the racing live but also access to the live form guides and prediction tools which make up the pre-race live streaming service. Thanks to partnerships with streaming providers including Racing UK and At The Races, plus good worldwide coverage form many other racing countries including the USA, South Africa and Hong Kong amongst many others, you can be sure Betfair is the best place for anyone who insists on seeing their horse run!
NB - £1+ is required to watch the horse racing live streams via the Betfair sportsbook, this moves up to £2, the minimum exchange bet size, when using the Exchange.
Moving on from live streaming and the extensive horse racing product at Betfair continues to impress. Firstly, for anyone unable to or preferring not to make use of the live streaming service, there is also radio commentary available for many races and for the bigger races in the UK and Ireland, access to the Tote pools betting service as well.
This access to the Tote pools service means that, via a Betfair account, customers can bet on Tote favourites including the Tote Jackpot (pick 6), Placepot and the Quadpot (pick 4) amongst others without having to leave the Betfair website!
Overall, the excellent odds, great liquidity, great market depth and the excellent live streaming service amongst other things make Betfair the perfect choice of exchange for horse racing fans!
All major tournament and competitions like the US Open, Australian Open, French Open and of course, Wimbledon can be bet on at Betfair.
As well as the vast range of events and markets, when betting on tennis at Betfair we also get access to other useful features including player stats and live streaming, both of which help to make Betfair the number one exchange for tennis!
Looking at the image above, not only do Betfair have great live video coverage of many tennis tournaments (including big events like Wimbledon), but also provide access to the built in stats tool which shows both head to head stats and performance information on the competing players in any given match.
Betfair provides a strong exchange offering for golf with an excellent coverage of all majors and a large selection of golf betting markets.
On top of the more mainstream markets mentioned above, something Betfair have for a long time also facilitated is providing markets on the individual 2/3 ball groups on any given day of the bigger golf tournaments (as can be seen below).
Betfair have for a long time provided great coverage of mainstream motorsport including the FIA Formula 1 world championship.
F1 race markets commonly available include:
Race winning car
Qualifying winner / top 3
Top 3 / 5 / 10 finish
Will they be classified
Total classified drivers o/u 17.5
Plus some other race-related markets...
Betfair has possibly the best Formula 1 coverage of all of the major betting exchanges.
Thanks to good liquidity on all of the race markets (e.g. winner, podium finish, points finish etc.), plus a great selection of markets which are hard to find elsewhere (e.g. safety car, will they be classified etc.), it is safe to say Betfair is a leading player in this particular sport!
If you have read the WhichBookie.com review of Smarkets, you will have seen that, despite still being something of an upcoming exchange, Smarkets are developing good Formula 1 betting operations in recent years. Naturally, this should make for a good comparison with Betfair on some of the major Formula 1 markets.
With over £500k matched and reasonably good market depth between the two title contenders (Verstappen and Hamilton), this is a good example of how Betfair can still be very usable as an exchange on some of the less popular sports.
The same market with Smarkets is as follows:
With just over £55k matched at Smarkets, versus over £500k at Betfair, it is safe to say Betfair still retains its market leading position here. It is also noticeable that the odds on the top two contenders are slightly better at Betfair than Smarkets as is the market depth on these two options as well!
Now looking at an F1 race winner market at Betfair (approx 24hrs before the race):
As can clearly be seen, for the Austrian Grand Prix, Betfair already has a solid market developing for the race winner! This market currently provides good odds for the top 2 favourites as well as good market depth & over £20k of matched bets so far.
Comparing the same Austrian Grand Prix race winner market to Smarkets:
With just over £900 matched, Smarkets are much less popular than Betfair for Formula 1 race betting. Having said this, the odds are roughly in line with those offered by Betfair.
Overall, whilst we have commended Smarkets for providing a good Formula 1 offering before (and this is still very much the case), Betfair still remains the top exchange for Formula 1 betting!
Thankfully, Betfair really are ahead of the game with betting on politics and offer plenty of markets for political events worldwide. In fact, just a quick look at the Betfair markets menu (found on the left of the site) shows that they have a great selection of political events covered from the next US President and UK Prime Minister to the New York Mayoral elections and even the Brazilian 2022 election amongst many others.
Liquidity at Betfair
Betfair is the biggest betting exchange in the world and as such, the liquidity for the vast majority of sports is excellent and greater than that available at other online exchanges.
Below, we take a look at a big football fixture at Betfair, Ukraine vs England in this case (see below), we can begin to compare how good the liquidity actually is versus the competing exchanges.
For Ukraine vs England at Euro 2020, we see over £1.3 million matched at Betfair and over £45k available on the favourites at odds of 1.47 (plus a very healthy £3239 on outsiders Ukraine and over £15k on the draw).
All together this is clearly a very big market and Betfair exchange users should have no problems getting pretty much any regular sized bet matched in such a market.
Looking at the same Ukraine vs England fixture at Smarkets...
With £1.24 million matched at Smarkets (above) it is clear that Betfair still very much have the lead when it comes to mainstream football fixtures (although, with £1.24 million versus £1.30 million at Betfair, it is also clear that Smarkets are catching up).
Multiples and ACCAs at Betfair
Betting exchanges generally aren't as good for multiple bets as with bookmakers! Thankfully, due to the integration of a sportsbook section, Betfair customers have full access to multiples betting just like they would at any other good bookie!
To build a multiple at Betfair first involves heading on over to the “Sportsbook” tab on the main menu and then adding selections to the main betslip, like so:
Once in view this new section will give us all multiples options available to us based upon the number of selections currently in the betslip. For reference, Betfair Sportsbook currently supports a range of multiples types such as Doubles, Trebles, Yankee's, Lucky 15's/31's/63's, Canadians, Goliath's and more.
With the multiples bet placed, we now see that, unlike rivals Matchbook and Smarkets, Betfair do allow us to cash out of our multiples bets both before and during the games within it:
So far it is clear that, thanks to the ease at which multiples can be placed at the Betfair Sportsbook and the very flexible cash-out functionality, we have a very good multiples product available from Betfair.
Betfair Exchange Multiples
The ability to build up multiples via the Betfair Sportsbook product is undoubtedly useful, however, Betfair also provide ready made accumulators on the exchange itself:
These ready-made multiples are, of course, much less flexible than the custom multiples placed via the sportsbook. Whilst they do lack flexibility versus the sportsbook, they also allow users to place both back and lay bets on them. Usually these multiples are available on big sporting events, busy soccer Saturdays etc.
Comparing Betfair Multiples with Other Exchanges
At this point in this Betfair review, we have seen that we have access to a comprehensive multiples betting product via the built-in Betfair Sportsbook and numerous “ready made” accumulators made up of popular choices and available via the exchange.
Next, by looking at a specific example of an accumulator on Betfair, we can begin to compare Betfair with other exchanges and see how Betfair looks in terms of the value on offer.
As shown above, an accumulator consisting of Sao Paulo, Italy and England is offered with odds of 10.0 at Betfair. Moving on to probably the closest exchange when it comes to competing for football, Smarkets:
At odds of 10.5, the offering from Smarkets is slightly better value than the offering from Betfair! Also, whilst placing multiples bets at Smarkets we also have the ability to back or lay the bet, something not offered by Betfair Exchange.
Next, looking at Betdaq:
At odds of just 9.3, the offering from Betdaq is quite a bit lower in value than Betfair!
Betfair is, without doubt, the leading Betting exchange when it comes to providing live streaming and live stats for sporting events taking place worldwide.
In fact, unlike many other bookies and exchanges which offer limited live streaming capability only after a bet has been placed, Betfair offers the majority of their live streaming services for free! This means, even without placing a bet, a funded account is all that is needed to watch the majority of popular sports which are included in this service live (horse and greyhound racing still require a minimum bet of £1+ to watch).
Earlier on in this review I covered the excellent horse racing offering at Betfair, an offering which sees live racing coverage from leading racing channels At The Races and Racing UK alongside various other providers worldwide!
Moving on to football and we also see some great live streaming coverage and live stats available.
Shown above is Italy vs Spain fixture and we see some of the many live stats screens available throughout this game. The left graphic (called the Match View) shows us what is happening in the game in real-time and the two boxes on the right form part of the (Opta powered) live stats service which shows real-time stats for the game (things such as shots on goal, team lineups, text commentary and more are included here).
Whilst live video streaming is not provided for the Euro 2020 games, as of time of writing, live video streaming is available on a variety of national leagues for Betfair users in the UK, this includes:
Italy (Serie A, Coppa Italia)
Belgium (Pro League)
Portugal (Primeira Liga)
Argentine (Primera Division,
Champions League and Europa League qualifiers
Asian Champions League
France (Ligue 2)
Russia (1st Division)
Plus many others...
Other popular sports which are included in the Betfair live streaming offering as of time of writing include:
The Betfair Website & App
Betfair has a very well user-friendly website which makes browsing their sports and markets extremely easy.
This ease of navigation is aided by a two tier navigation menu which makes the main parts of the site (e.g. the Exchange, Sportsbook, Poker etc.) very easy to locate as it does the sections underneath (e.g. Football, Tennis, Golf etc.). Also, helping find the correct sports are the main exchange menu on the left of every page, the “Quick Links” menu on the right and the very useful search box atop every page in the main site header (as can be seen below):
Moving on and Betfair also have several smartphone apps available for both iOS and Android devices, these include individual apps for each of the following Betfair services:
Betfair Exchange Games
Betfair Live Casino
By having such a comprehensive app offering, it is clear that Betfair are committed to providing a great experience both on the web as well as on mobile devices as well. This means, regardless of where you are, the Betfair experience and the ability to get your bets on remains never too far away!
All in all, a great job from Betfair regarding usability and design, the mobile app offering being especially helpful in providing ease of managing bets whilst on the go. A great job from Betfair here!
As well as their exchange and sportsbook betting services, Betfair also provides a great range of supplementary casino games.
As well as an huge range of slots, including megaways, jackpot and others, Betfair Casino features several live casino games such as Liver Blackjack & Roulette, Bacarrat, Spin-a-Win, Monopoly Live, Lightning Roulette, Live Casino Poker and many others.
Betfair Poker, Bingo and Exchange Games
Testament to the excellent gaming options available at Betfair, we also have three other categories of games available alongside the excellent casino offering mentioned above.
Betfair Exchange Games
Exchange games are made up of traditional casino games such as Blackjack, Texas Hold’em and Baccarat amongst others, the main difference being that with exchange games you are playing against other exchange users based upon certain outcomes of the game instead of playing against the house (the games themselves are being played by a computer).
For example, in the above blackjack game we see a computerised game with 4 computerised players and a dealer. The exchange interface below the cards (similar to that used when betting on sports) allows users to either back or lay one of the pre-selected outcomes, for example, any given player to win, all cards to be unique or the dealer to win or tie all players amongst other outcomes.
Another notable strength of the Betfair platform is a strong bingo offering made up of many great franchised bingo games including:
Deal or No Deal Bingo
Age of the Gods Bingo
Rainbow Riches Bingo
All of the main bingo game types including 75 and 90 ball are available as are regular promotional and jackpot games throughout the day!
Another popular product is Betfair Poker!
With hundreds of tournaments, sit & go games, cash games and free-rolls available every day across all of the popular game types (including Texas Holdem and Omaha), Betfair Poker is a great addition to the Betfair website!
In line with other big betting exchanges including Smarkets, Matchbook and Betdaq, Betfair has an excellent system that allows customers to track bets, view profit & losses, commission payments and much more.
This main section allows you to search and filter matched, unmatched, open and settled bets and makes viewing your profits and losses over time easy.
Betfair also makes available multiple report screens for other products (Sportsbook only, Exchange Games, Tote etc.) in addition to an overall (account level) profit and loss statement and transaction log for the entire Betfair account.
Betfair Banking Options
Accepted currencies at Betfair:
GBP (British Pound)
Danish Krone (DKK)
Swedish Krona (SEK)
Australian Dollar (AUD)
US Dollar (USD)
Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Accepted deposit methods at Betfair:
Debit card (min. £5 deposit)
Skrill (min. £10 deposit)
Neteller (min. £10 deposit)
Paysafe (min £5 deposit)
PayPal (min. £10 deposit)
Much Better (min. £10 deposit)
Bank Transfer (min. £10 deposit)
Via Paddy Power shops (cash deposits)
Accepted withdrawal methods at Betfair:
* Standard bank transfers are free, an express bank transfer option is available for a £6 fee.
** The Prizeout option sees any withdrawal paid as a gift card via the Prizeout service (gift card options include Amazon, Domino’s and Uber Eats amongst many others). There is a £5 minimum withdrawal for this service.
All other withdrawal methods have a £1 minimum with bank transfers having no minimum.
Betfair also makes clear that all customer funds are protected to a high level and in line with guidance from the UK Gambling Commission.
Betfair Exchange Deposit Limits
Betfair Exchange has several responsible gambling tools to allow customers to stay in control of their betting. One of these includes deposit limits from which customers can limit the amount that they can deposit each day, week or month. We always recommend setting a deposit limit on all your betting accounts to avoid potentially betting above your means.
As of September 2021, Betfair Exchange customers who are under 25 years old will have a deposit limit of £500 per month set automatically on their accounts that cannot be increased.
Help and Support
Betfair has a help portal available via the website that features articles on how to use the features of the exchange and other products. There are also several support options available should you need to speak directly with someone including via live chat and email.
New Customers only; Min. deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus amount is 50% of deposit up to £50; Offer can be claimed once per household; Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 8x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money; Wagers must be on min. odds of 4/5 on singles or acca bets with min. odds of 2/5 per selection to qualify; Max. stake contribution to wagering requirement is the value of your bonus; Certain bet types are excluded; See full terms; 18+
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Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply.
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New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply