• OddsDigger
  • Blog
  • Lay Betting Explained: Learn The Lay Betting System Now

Lay Betting Explained: Learn The Lay Betting System Now

Betting exchanges commonly seem to refer the art of backing a team with money in the hope of making returns. However, lay betting refers to the system where punters can go the other way and bet against a team in an event. It is the system where a punter bets against the probability of an event not taking place, and this has proven to be a profitable area even for novice punters.

Our partners: 777Spinslot is a reliable gaming platform that constantly upgrades its assortment of games to get better results and to bring customers the newest no deposit bonus games to play with.

The lay betting system is especially popular in events like horse races, as it is extremely easy to bet against a horse not winning the race rather than choosing a horse that would win the race.

What Does Lay Bet Mean in Betting?

What Does Lay Bet Mean in Betting

The lay bet refers to a system where punter becomes the bookmaker. The punter would bet on an event not taking place. There are several avenues of using a lay bet – backing a horse against winning a race, backing a team not to win a game, or backing a golfer not to win a major. Lay betting is often used in situations where it is tough to back an outcome due to the lack of obvious signs.

In such a case, backing against the event not taking place is often found to be easier. One of the primary differences in this betting system is that the punter comes in with the knowledge that their stake can increase when going with this system.

Lay Betting Example

Lay Betting Example

For the sake of explaining the lay betting system, let us consider the example of a league game between Chelsea and Manchester United. In such a scenario between two tightly contested teams, it becomes difficult to choose a winner even with a lot of statistics. The bookmaker is giving lay odds of 2.05 for a Chelsea win, 3.70 for a Manchester United win, and 3.65 for a draw.

Now, a punter looking to win £10 by betting on Chelsea not to win the game can do so at odds of 2.05. The punter stands to make the £10 if Manchester United are able to achieve a win or at least draw the game.

In order to win the same by betting against Liverpool winning the game, the punter goes with odds of 3.7. Now, a Manchester United win or draw is necessary for the punter to make the same £10. However, the punter stands to lose £10.5 if Chelsea win in the first instance or a huge £37 if Manchester United win in the second instance.

The higher loss is a feature of the lay betting system, and it is therefore important for punters to be well educated before placing bets. In this example, the huge loss is down to Manchester United not being a favourite for the victory. Lay betting does not reward – in fact causes huge losses – when an underdog succeeds.

What is Lay Betting Good for?

What is Lay Betting Good for?

Lay betting on horses happens to be one of the best avenues to use the system. It is much easier to back against a horse to not win the race rather than to pick a ride or a horse who would go on to win the event. It is also beneficial to go with the system when the favourite horse is being given a short price for success. In this instance, it is a better idea to lay bet against the horse since there is a higher probability of losing than succeeding in the race.

One can also use the lay betting on football to bet on long-term events. One of the common strategies employed by experienced punters is to back a team, which usually finishes in the top half of the table, to achieve a top 10 finish when they are struggling in the division. Now, such a bet would be at a significantly higher price. Once they have made their way to the top 10, the lay bets can be placed.

How Does Lay Betting Work?

Lay betting system transforms a punter into a bookmaker. The role of a punter in the system is to provide the odds for an outcome that they do not expect to happen. The exchange punters will accept these odds. The primary motive of the lay betting strategy is to increase the chances of finding a winner. In the case of a horse race, picking one horse through the lay bet effectively means that the punter is banking on anyone from the rest of the field winning the race.

Punters can also do trading in this system. The bookmaker provides the back and lay odds in different colours. If the odds change midway for any reason and become larger than the initial laying figure, it is possible for a punter to make a profit on every outcome and exit.

How Does My Lay Bet Win?

The lay bet involves backing an outcome not to occur. If Chelsea are being given odds of 1/2 for a win in a game against Stoke City, the punter has option of going down the lay betting system in order to back against Chelsea. Since Chelsea are at shorter odds and with a lower probability of success (1/3), placing a lay bet will see the punter make returns if the game ends in a draw or Stoke City wins. Purely in terms of mathematics, this has a higher probability of success. The lay betting strategy can be used in games where the favourite team has short odds for a win.

How to Work Out a Lay Bet?

How to Work Out a Lay Bet?

If the punter is backing Thistlecrack at 7.0 in the Cheltenham race for £10, then the liability becomes £60 (stake x odds – stake). This would be the liability if Thistlecrack ends up winning the race. However, if there is any other winner from the race, the lay bet wins and the payout is a substantial £70 (liability + stake). Bookmakers provide information about stake and liability while entering into lay betting.

Lay Betting Pro and Cons


  • The lay betting system is seen as an ideal option to get some huge wins even when it is tough to separate two teams.
  • The mathematical probability of succeeding in lay betting is much higher. For example, a race containing 10 horses will only produce one winner and there are nine losers. The punter is having a greater chance of success at predicting a winner among the nine. So when he or she lays a horse, what they are betting on is that one of the other eight horses will finish ahead of it.
  • Lay betting leads to much higher strike rates with plenty of lay betting systems getting strike rates above 80%. This is compared to a standard backing system which will be around 35%.


  • The primary disadvantage of lay betting is the higher liability. Rather than losing the stake like in a regular bet, it is possible to lose bigger sums of money in the form of liability. Hence, it is essential to work out a lay betting strategy before entering into this system.
Patrick Cobb