Back betting is wagering on an outcome to happen. It is similar to traditional betting through a bookmaker where punters bet on an outcome of an event. 

On the other hand, lay betting is wagering on an outcome not to happen. Contrary to the traditional bookmaker, punters can lay their bets using a betting exchange. 

What is a betting exchange?

A betting exchange is an online platform where punters can place their bets and set odds against each other instead of a bookmaker. 

The operation of a betting exchange is slightly different compared to a traditional bookmaker. 

In the case of traditional betting, the bookmaker sets the odds and players wager against the bookmaker. However, a betting exchange allows punters to set their own odds. Players can also lay their bets (bet on the outcome not to happen) using a betting exchange. 

Consider the example of a cricket match between India and Australia. Through back betting (traditional betting), players can wager on India winning the match. However, players can also wager on Australia not winning the match provided the bet is matched by another player on the betting exchange. This is known as lay betting. 

Therefore, through the betting exchange, punters can get a better value for their money by setting better odds. 

Compared to a bookmaker which makes profits by setting odds that are inclusive of profits, a betting exchange makes money by taking a small percentage from each winning stake. 

How does back and lay betting work?

Back betting is a conventional form of betting where punters back an event to happen. For example, in a cricket match, a player scores a hundred or picks up five wickets. In this scenario, a bettor wagers on the outcome of an event. 

In the case of lay betting, players wager against another player through the betting exchange rather than the sportsbook. In the above example, punters can wager on a player not scoring a hundred or not picking up a fifer. On winning the lay bet, punters receive the same amount as the conventional bet. 

The advantage of the betting exchange is it allows the punters to back as well as lay their bets. However, if a player backs for an event to happen, there must be another player to lay the same bet.

In a betting exchange, both parties need to agree on the odds and stakes before placing the bets. 

How to place lay bets?  

In order to place a lay bet, bettors need to select the lay bet option in the betting exchange. 

For example, consider a football match between Liverpool and Chelsea. The betting exchange will have an option to back as well as a lay bet for both the teams. The odds for the match will be displayed followed by the amount of money at stake. 

Suppose a player wants to bet on Chelsea to lose, he will have to select the box in the lay bet column for Chelsea that has the odds and the amount at stake. Players need to note that the odds displayed are the ones who are backing Chelsea to win. 

Therefore, if Chelsea loses the match, the ones who have placed the lay bet will win the amount equivalent to the amount punters placed while backing the bet for Chelsea to win. 

Betting sites that offer back and lay betting options

Parimatch and Fun88 provide punters with an option to place back and lay bets. 

They are amongst the limited betting websites in India that offer a betting exchange feature.