With the possibility of creating your own odds and guaranteeing a profit by betting on opposite outcomes, using an eSports betting exchange is a popular way to bet on eSports. Therefore, we have listed the best eSport exchange sites to bet on after thoroughly going through the options that exist.
What Is an Esports Betting Exchange?
An eSports betting exchange is a platform where you’re solely betting against other users instead of betting against the bookmaker. It’s an alternative to the way traditional eSports betting works. The operator will pick out the matches, but instead of providing the eSport odds like they normally do, you and other bettors will be the ones deciding these. This gives you choices:
- Create your own odds and hope that another player will give you action on these (bet against you)
- Find odds created by another player and give them the action (bet against them)
An eSports exchange is a perfect way to take control of your betting as you’re able to decide the odds yourself and will profit from other players’ mistakes. You can even guarantee yourself money by placing a bet on opposite outcomes.
To further understand this and how the eSports betting exchange works, let’s take a look at “backing” and “laying” – two terms that you need to familiarize yourself with.
Backing and Laying a Bet – This Is How Exchanging Esport Odds Works
An eSports betting exchange does not only allow you to place a bet for a team to win, which is known as backing. You can also place a bet for that same team NOT to win. This is called laying. The fact is that every bet placed on an eSports betting exchange needs to have one person backing it and another person laying it. That’s how you’re betting against each other.
Here's an example:
Fnatic and Astralis are competing in a match of CS:GO. You believe that Fnatic will win so you’re backing €10 on them at 1.40 in odds, which are odds you have decided yourself. This would leave you with a €/$4 net profit if you win.
For any action to happen, another player has to bet against you for that €/$4 as this will be the money you could win. Thus, someone has to be laying a bet of €4, which means that they are betting on Fnatic NOT winning. This lay bet is happening at an odd of 3.50 because if the person laying wins, he will win your €/$10.
- Backing: Bet €10 to win €4 (€10 * 1.40 = €14, which is a €4 net profit)
- Laying: Bet €4 to win €10 (€4 * 3.50 = €14, which is a €10 net profit)
Does This Mean That Someone Laying Can’t Bet Whatever They Want?
This depends as there are two ways an eSports betting exchange can be designed. If it’s a simplified experience the answer is yes. Here, laying means accepting another player’s bet. You will find a list of open bets and if you find any odds that look good to you, you can bet against that player by accepting those odds (laying).
The other type of eSports betting exchange you’ll find is much more flexible as laying works the exact same way as backing. Therefore, you won’t find a list of bets to simply accept. Here, the layer will have the same role as the backer. In other words, choosing whatever odd you would like and whatever amount you want to put down. The exchange will then automatically pair backing bets with laying bets that match.
No matter the type of eSports betting exchange, it’s important to know that action is never guaranteed. A placed bet can either be matched, partially matched, or be left unmatched.
Matched, Partially Matched and Unmatched Bets
A matched bet means that another player has bet against you for the full amount and you’re now competing against each other.
A partially matched bet means that another player didn’t stake as much as you did and therefore you’re only competing for the amount the other player was putting down. In our earlier example with Fnatic and Astralis, this could mean that someone was only staking €2 instead of the €4 that you requested to win. As a result, the laying odd will still be set to 3.50, but instead of you betting €10, you will now only bet €5.
When this happens, your bet will always be split into two; one that is fully matched and one that can be matched by someone else. This means that your remaining €5 could still be matched by another player staking €2 at an odd of 3.50.
An unmatched bet is a placed bet that received no action at all. When this happens, your stake is always fully returned.
Navigating the Esports Betting Exchange
Using an eSports betting exchange can seem a bit confusing at first unless you’re using one that offers a simplified experience. If it does, it’s incredibly easy as all you have to do is to create your own odds or just pick from other players’ odds.
With the other type of eSports exchange, it’s a bit trickier. Here, you won’t find a list of every single odd that someone has created. At best, you’ll find a couple of different ones, but sometimes you’ll only see one.
The odds you see will be the best that one or several players have currently staked. Beneath the odds, you will find the total amount that you and other players can bet for that option. Unless you want a worse deal than you can get, this is all you need to see.
Guaranteeing a Profit With an Esports Exchange
One of the best things about using an exchange for eSport odds is that you can place as many bets as you like and you can place them on two opposite outcomes. If Fnatic and Astralis are playing against each other, you can either bet on both teams to win or back and lay the very same team.
The beauty of this is that the odds at an exchange can shift quickly and that you’re able to pick them yourself. So by picking the right ones, you can have it in a way that regardless of the outcome of the match you will make a profit.
Here's an example:
You’re backing a €5 bet on Fnatic to win at an odd of 1.70 and you immediately get action on this.
Possible win: €17
Ten minutes later you find that odds on Fnatic are up to 3.40 so you place another bet of €5 for the same team not to win.
Possible win: €17
Now you’ve risked a total of €15 and no matter if Fnatic is winning or losing the match you will make a total of €17, guaranteeing yourself a €2 profit.
This strategy is known as arbitrage betting and is normally prohibited at betting sites. However, not at eSport exchanges.
An Esports Betting Exchange Never Limits You
Another benefit of using an eSports betting exchange is that your account will never become limited. At traditional bookies, those winning a lot can have their maximum bet sizes limited to a very small amount, basically blocking the user.
This type of punishment doesn’t exist with an eSports betting exchange as the bookmaker isn’t suffering from any losses. Only other players are losing and they can't limit you.
What Games Are Available to Bet on at an Esports Exchange?
This can vary greatly from one eSports exchange to another, but you can expect the most popular ones, such as:
A much more limited selection of eSport games to bet on and markets is the biggest downside to an eSports exchange compared to normal eSports betting. It's unusual to find a lot of other markets than match winner.
What Are the Downsides of Using an Esports Exchange?
There are three downsides to using an eSports exchange:
- Bookmakers will charge a commission to players that win.
- Few matches and markets to bet on.
- Action is not guaranteed.
As a way to make a profit, the bookie hosting the eSport exchange will take a commission. This is charged on the winning player's bet. The percentage can vary from one betting exchange to another, but usually, it’s 5% or in that ballpark. If you make a net profit of €/$10, the bookie would take €/$0.5.
Another downside to using an exchange for eSport odds is that the action is limited to the number of users on the exchange. If there aren’t many people using it, it may be hard to get your bet matched. This is never a problem with traditional eSports betting as the operator will always give you action.
Last but not least, you won’t find as many matches, markets and games offered on an eSports betting exchange as you will with traditional sites.
Which eSports betting exchange has got the lowest commission?
We would say that Betfair’s exchange is one of the most lucrative, but you must know that commission will vary depending on your country of residence.
For instance, people living in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Gibraltar and Malta pay only a 5% commission. The majority of residents in other countries have to pay a fee of 6.5% whereas a selected few have to pay 7%.
At Betfair you are, however, collecting points when you’re betting on the exchange which will give you a 2% – 60% discount on the commission. The more points you got, the greater the discount.
How many points do I get at the Betfair exchange?
You will earn 1 point for every €/$0.1 that is taken as commission from a matched bet (no matter if won or lost). 1,000 points are required for a minimum 2% discount, 7,000 for a 10%, 17,000 for 20%, 29,000 for 30%, 49,000 for 40%, 80,000 for 50% and 150,000 for a maximum discount of 60%.
Should I be laying or backing my eSport bets?
It actually doesn’t matter. However, if you want to make the most profit and get the best excitement out of the exchange, we recommend staying up to date with the odds and placing both backing and laying bets.
Can I cancel a bet on the eSports exchange?
Yes, as long as it hasn’t been matched by another player. If the bet is partially matched, the matched amount of your bet can’t be canceled, but the remaining amount can.
Why should I use an eSports betting exchange?
You can get better odds, make a guaranteed profit and your account will never be limited because you’re winning too much.