Betting Exchanges UK - The best sites in the UK 2024

Updated: 94654 Betting

Discover the ultimate betting exchange sites, offering enhanced odds, increased liquidity, and cutting-edge features. Unleash your betting potential with our top recommendations!

4.5 / 5 41 Ratings

Money Back as Cash up to £20 if your first Exchange Bet Loses

Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Payment restrictions apply for the promotion. T&Cs

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4.1 / 5 266 Ratings

Betfair Sign Up Offer & Review

Founded in 2000, Betfair revolutionized online bookmakers with the largest betting exchange, top sports bets, a casino, and unique fixed odds offerings.

About Betfair

Best odds for Horse Racing using Betfair Sp, the exchange is perfect for traders and getting huge odds on outsiders. Seamless sportsbook use and a cracking Casino, Betfair has everything with one registration.

Betfair Key Facts

  • Ranked #1 For Footy Accumulators
  • Bigger Horse Racing Odds with Betfair SP
  • Must have account for Arbitrage Betting

Maximum Bonus: £20
Offer type: New Accounts
Sport Betting Offer: Yes
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Luke Bradshaw Lee Commercial Content Manager

Experienced journalist and editor covering multiple aspects within the online sports and casino industry, NFL and Rugby Specialist

Betting Exchanges UK Sites List

The list below contains the four reliable betting exchanges available to UK customers. If you are looking for the best betting apps based on all factors then head to our main betting sites page to see all UK Bookies listed in order of user review. 

This is the best guide and betting exchange comparison, comparing the market leader, Betfair, directly with each of the other exchanges across a range of markets, liquidity and commission rates.

Event Coverage Markets Odds In Play Live Streaming Stats Promotions Overall score OLBG User Rating
Betfair 5 5 4 5 4 2 3 27 4.1
Betdaq 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 18 4
Smarkets 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 18 3.9
Matchbook 2 2 3 3 0 1 1 13 3.9
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1. Betfair

Still the best betting exchange out there and must have for exchange punters and traders. Betfair has the most markets for any exchange site and plus huge liquidity.  There is 5% commission on wins only, but we’ll dive into that in depth later on (as well as all four commission rates). Betfair exchange is perfect for traders getting huge odds on outsiders, and it’s incredibly easy to switch to the sportsbook or casino if you’re after that.

Some people want to avoid Betfair because of the association with traditional bookmaking and other business partnerships. We would say don't let that put you off, but if you are looking for an alternative, the other exchanges mentioned in this article are all worth interest too.

If betting in-play is a consideration, again Betfair, due to the sheer weight of bettors, is an account that you should sign up for. They have far more events covered, lesser events, and deeper market coverage. You will also find that within the less popular events, and markets, where other exchanges struggle to have any liquidity, and in some cases, none at all, Betfair will remain pretty strong with markets forming many hours ahead of their rivals.

Money Back as Cash up to £20 if your first Exchange Bet Loses

  • Min Deposit £10
  • Min Odds -
  • Offer amount £20
Payout Speed: 24h
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Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Payment restrictions apply for the promotion. T&Cs
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2. Betdaq

Betdaq concentrates on low commission rates, with a wide range of betting options available. They also offer up a load of innovative and creative promotions, and is a must-have for people who love arbitrage betting. On top of that, BetDaq definitely matches its competitors in terms of supporting statistics alongside the market display, and out of the four sites BetDaq should be your go-to for exchange multiple betting. You can place doubles, trebles and other multipleso n their exchange, as well as offering interesting betting and trading articles, with market mover information 

Only charging 2% commission, compared to 5% on Betfair, gives a decent enough reason for customers to sign up for a Betdaq account. Over a year that lower 2% can make a big difference to your annual profits. On £50 profit you would only pay £1.00, compared to a maximum £2.50 on Betfair. 

0% Commission on ALL SPORTS for 100 Days

  • Min Deposit £10
  • Min Odds -
  • Offer amount -
Payout Speed: 24h
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New 18+ Customers only. 0% commission on all exchange sports for 100 days. Promo code 0COMM100 must be entered during registration. Offer only available to users who deposit via debit card. Standard 2% commission rate applies on 101st day. Not available to API, RDT or trading software customers. T&Cs Apply.
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3. Smarkets

Of all the exchange sites, Smarkets has the best app, so bear that in mind if that is a big consideration point for you as a bettor. They have low commission rates and offer a brilliant alternative to the others, mainly thanks to how slick the app is. There are a tonne of statistics, live odds data, different graphs and infographics, all to help inform bets. 

Smarkets has always been rated highly by OLBG members, consistently matching the previously available Matchbook and BetDaq exchanges in our users' eyes. You will find a section later on in the article explaining why you need a second exchange account if you are an active sports betting trader, and the recommendation in the absence of Matchbook is to open and use a Smarkets account.

Trade with 0% commission at Smarkets for 60 days

  • Min Deposit £10
  • Min Odds -
  • Offer amount -
Payout Speed: 24h
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Use code COMMFREE to trade with 0% commission for 60 days. Min. £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Instant Banking. Full T&C’s apply.18+. GambleAware.org
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4. Matchbook

In the past, Matchbook has been the most generous of all the exchanges with regular 0% commission welcome offers which plays well against Betfair being the highest commission rate at 5%. The design is more modern than Betfair although not at all dissimilar at the same time. I would have to say navigation between markets is considerably quicker.

 Matchbook has comparable liquidity to Betfair on horse racing and major events, while the app, and site, has a slick feel across its platform. The low commission rates make it an excellent option, and they even do a brilliant and influential podcast that is well worth a listen.


Money Back if your First Bet Loses - up to £20 Free Bet

  • Min Deposit £10
  • Min Odds 1.8
  • Offer amount £20
Payout Speed: 24h
SEE OFFER
The user must enter Bonus Code ‘MB20’ during registration. Minimum Odds of 1.8 for first bet to qualify. Losses will be refunded on first bet only, as a free bet - up to £20. Users cannot back and lay the same selection on the first bet. Qualifying bets open to Exchange, Matchbook Zero & Multiples. Only open to users who deposit via debit card. New Customers Only. 18+. Be Gamble Aware.
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It's still worth considering exactly what it is that you're after as a bettor. Different users will want different things from thier bookmaker, and that still applies to exchanges. With that in mind, the below outlines why some users may choose one over the other, despite our overall scores cross the board. 

The reality is, it suits you as a bettor to have more than one exchange account.

Exchange siteBest for...
BetfairAvailability of markets and liquidity
SmarketsLow commission rates
BetDaqExchange multiples betting
MatchbookExchange accumulators

Betting Exchange Commission Rates Comparison

You can see from the table below the lowest commission rates of the UK betting exchanges listed however, each commission rate works slightly differently from others.

To help understand these rates more completely before deciding to open a new betting exchange account, and who with, we offer fuller explanations on betting exchange commission rates in the next sections.

Betting Exchange Site
Basic Commission Rates
Paid
Smarkets
2%
On Wins Only
BetDaq
2%
On Wins Only
Matchbook2%NetWin
Betfair
5%
On Wins Only


We thought it would be helpful to find a full commission rate comparison for betting exchange sites in one place, as when we were researching for this article we couldn't find one online.

We present the basic commission rates for UK Betting Exchanges in the table above, and then in subsequent sections go on to explain them in further detail, exchange by exchange.

Exchange Commission Rates Can Vary from Those Advertised

There are slight differences in the advertised exchange commission rates depending on your activity and some pass over of point of consumption takes. Explained in full below

Betting Exchange Commission Comparison Example

Let's compare a simple football bet on the exchanges to see how the commission rates affect your nett return

We are 'back' betting on an outcome in a betting market to win at odds of 3.00 with £50 stake to win £100.

Exchange
Bet Wins - Profit
Bet Loses - Loss
Betfair**
£100 - 5% = £95.00
 -£50
Smarkets
£100 - 2% = £98.00
 -£50
BetDaq
£100 - 2% = £98.00
 -£50
Matchbook£100 - 2% = £98.00 -£50


** The Betfair Commission rate can be lower than 5% depending on the discount rate you have earned through your betting activity with them. 

** By opting into My Betfair Rewards you as a customer will have the choice of reducing the standard commission rates. 

Explained in Betfair section below


Betfair Commission Rates

5% Betfair Commission

Betfair charges a commission on winning bets only of 5% but this can be lower depending on the discount rate you are allocated which is earned through Betfair points.

Stay with me here.

Every bet you make will earn you Betfair points. These add up and equate to a commission discount rate.

This discount rate is then set against the standard 5% in calculating the commission you pay on winning bets only.

  • If you win £400 with 5% commission you will be charged £20 commission on that bet.
  • If you have earned a 10% discount rate you will be charged (£400 x 5% = £20) - 10% = £18

It's quite simple to understand but worth reading up on. Simply, the more you bet, the more points you earn, and the bigger discount you receive. 

Be aware that there is a 15% reduction of your discount rate on a weekly basis, You can freeze this for one week every three months, but unless you are betting huge amounts, it's probably not worth spending too much time on figuring out the minimal benefits.

My Betfair Rewards

You can choose a package of rewards enabling you to benefit from how you use Betfair. 

One of the options is a reduced exchange commission rate, but you do have to sacrifice some promotions, BOG, and other Betfair features. 

You do need to choose a package otherwise one will be allocated to you. 


Smarkets Commission Rates

2% Smarkets Commission

A 2% commission rate for all on winning bets only based on the profit. As you can see in the table above, a £50 stake on a 3.00 winning selection, provides, £100 profit, which will be taxed at 2% commission, meaning your nett profit is £98

You can't beat a bit of simplicity!

Oh, there is also a 1% commission level too. 

This 'Pro Tier' Commission rate is for users making more than 1500 or staking more than £1,000,000 each calendar month. I'm guessing this is not you, but if it is, OPT IN to half the commission you are paying. 

But in another late plot twist, the 1% is applied to each matched bet, either on the profit value or the loss depending on the outcome.


Betdaq Commission Rates

2% BetDaq Commission

Along with Smarkets, Betdaq offer only 2% commission on nett profits

With BetDaq, a nice, simple 2% is applied as a 'normal commission rate' - It's unlikely that you will fall outside of this band, as exceptions are generally commercial entities.

So, just the 2% paid on any nett winnings. Nothing payable if a nett loss has been made on the market.

It's a lower rate than Betfair, comparable that you only pay on profit, so head to head, BetDaq come out better.

Check out the Betfair v BetDaq section below for more direct comparisons between the two exchanges.

Betting Exchange Liquidity Compared [Football]

Often betting exchanges are lauded for offering better prices in comparison to traditional online bookmaker sportsbooks. This is often the case and is backed up with the information on the event chosen below from the best odds bookmaker for the event.

However, if the liquidity is not present at a better price then it is a false scenario and the sportsbook is the better place to make the bet.

Choosing the Nations League Semi-Final between the Netherlands and England as an example and looking specifically at the price to bet on the Netherlands we find the following price and liquidity comparison information.

I have added BetVictor's current best price on the Netherlands also for comparison against sportsbook pricing too. I use BetVictor as they are usually the best-priced bookie for football betting as you can see from this odds comparison guide which shows which bookmaker is best for football betting odds as well as lots of other sports.

Best for Backing with Big Stake Liquidity - Betfair

You could bet £2187 on the Netherlands to win at odds of 3.00 with Betfair, whereas with BetDaq, you could only bet £796 on the lower price of 2.98 

Best for Laying with Big Stake Liquidity - Smarkets

Whilst the lay price was the same across the board, you could lay over £5k with Smarkets at the general price of 3.05

BetDaq didn't do well in this comparison

The POOR Liquidity available on this market at BetDaq was a standout. With just £796 available to bet at the lowest back price, the alternatives both offer a better backing option

Likewise, whilst a lay is available at a competitive price, only £118 is waiting to be matched, against over £1400 with Betfair and a huge £5k with Smarkets

Market Liquidity is an Important Factor when Choosing a Betting Exchange

You want the maximum amount to bet or lay at the best prices. In this test, both Matchbook and Smarkets did well.

What is Liquidity on a Betting exchange?

Liquidity is the amount of money available to bet either with or against in a betting exchange market. Liquidity is both the price available to 'back' or the amount of 'back stakes' available to lay at. For more information on how betting exchanges work, check out this betting exchange guide.

Betfair v Smarkets

We feel that Smarkets as a company is going places with their distinctive offering making them stand out from their competitors. 

Commission

With their simple 2% on profit against Betfair's 5%, obviously, Smarkets get the vote. Simply it is cheaper to win on Smarkets than it is on Betfair but liquidity comes into play here as covered in the liquidity section for Smarekts below. The prices available on the two exchanges do not differ enough to close the value gap at small stakes. This is where liquidity will come in. Design and User Experience

Liquidity

If you want more money on a bigger price to get bigger profits, then it is possible this can be achieved on Betfair which negates somewhat the difference in the commission rates. We have not gathered enough information to have a worthwhile comparison to give an exact parity at differing stake and profit levels

Positives: 

  • An open transparent company with new ideas that is trying to bring a fresh approach to exchanges
  • Smarkets seems to be targeting the mobile generation and new bettors (Millennials). 
  • Quirky and interesting betting content.  

Betfair v Matchbook

Matchbook are an alternative to the Betfair Exchange and have great liquidity. Let's take a look and see how they come up against Betfair in a head to head.

Commission

In the past, it has been the most generous of all the Exchanges with regular 0% commission welcome offers which plays well against Betfair being the highest commission rate at 5%

Design and User Experience

The design is more modern than Betfair although not at all dissimilar at the same time. I would have to say navigation between markets is considerably quicker.

Liquidity

So, in terms of depth of liquidity, then Betfair will almost always come up trumps, but as we have seen in the football example above, there was not a distinct upper hand held by Betfair. By the same token, I took a quick snapshot of the next available UK Horse race for this Betfair v Matchbook comparison and found the following on the back side with exactly 10 minutes until the scheduled 'off' time.

Horse
Matchbook
Betfair
Horse 1
£210
£284
Horse 2
£39
£56
Horse 3
£85
£74
Horse 4
£79
£27
Horse 5
£45
£30
Totals
£503
£471

Matchbook did, in fact, have marginally more money at the point of the snapshot in the back side of the market than Betfair did, and it is worth noting that 4 of the 5 prices were identical at the time.

What was noticeable, however, is the activity was more frenetic on matchbook 10 minutes before the off than Betfair. A note that perhaps traders might be interested in.

Positives: 

  • Comparable liquidity to Betfair on horse racing and major events.
  • Slick and quick platform with a familiar feel.
  • Low commission rates.
  • Brilliant and influential podcast (worth a listen).

Betfair v BetDaq

The Purple one as they are known due to their website colouring is the longest running challengers to Betfair's betting exchange dominance. They are working tirelessly to compete and have introduced a range of innovative concepts. 

Commission

As covered above, only charging 2% commission, compared to 5% on Betfair gives a decent enough reason for customers to sign up for a Betdaq account. Over a year that lower 2% can make a big difference to your annual profits. On £50 profit you would only pay £1.00, compared to a maximum £2.50 on Betfair.

Design and User Experience

But for those around in the very early days of Exchanges, one might feel like they have gone back in time, as back in the day, the two platforms looked very similar. Betfair has moved forward in the display of the exchange whereas looking at BetDaq today is like fond memories of days gone by on Betfair. It really hasn't come on

Liquidity

Well plainly with a far superior customer base Betfair will beat its rival hands down 'most of the time' 

As we saw in the football example earlier in this article, BetDaq performed very poorly in terms of money available in the market, and for a popular event too.

BetDaq used to be the first alternative to Betfair, but rather than Smarkets taking Betfair's share of the market, I think they have eaten into Betdaqs share more

Positives: 

  • Low commission rate. Zero commission promotions. 
  • The ability to place multiples, doubles and trebles on the exchange.
  • Interesting betting and trading articles, market mover information. 

Betfair v Betdaq Summary

The one light BetDaq has is the ability to place multiple bets on the exchange, something Betfair did away with some time ago. Other than that, BetDaq fails to match the market leader in any other aspect

Why Everyone Needs More Than One Exchange Account

Having more than one betting exchange account is 100% essential if you are using the exchange to trade.

Traders do not bet in the same way as normal punters and as such need absolute security that they can have access to a market at all times.

Whilst betting exchanges are generally very reliable, it is inevitable that they will have some technical failure or downtime at some point.

A Dangerous and Potentially Costly Situation

If your main exchange goes down when you have big liabilities open, what are you going to do?

Not a problem if you have placed your bet to win, and that is all you are using the exchange for, but if you are taking trading positions, then it is likely you will have high sports trading liabilities for at least a short period of time.

If the exchange you are trading on goes down at a point when you are in a high liability open position, you will have no way of closing.

This is where your second betting exchange account comes to the rescue. call it the 5th emergency service, if you will!

Your 2nd Exchange Account is your 4th Emergency Service

You should always have a second exchange account open and ready to rescue positions if your main exchange goes down.

A Simple In Play Trade on a Betting Exchange

Betting exchanges and Betfair, in particular, introduced the concept of in-play betting. With events going in play you can make a profit before an event finishes, and profit on all outcomes. 

E.G: If you have backed Arsenal at 3.0 selection to win the game, and Arsenal scores in the first 10 minutes their price will shorten. The other options of the draw and the away team Manchester United will get bigger, you may see a scenario as below.

Pre-Match Betting Exchange Odds

  • Arsenal 3.0
  • Draw 3.25
  • Manchester United 2.75
  • Total Odds Percentage: 100.47%


Arsenal score after 10 minutes

In-Play Betting Exchange Odds:

  • Arsenal 1.8 
  • Draw 3.75
  • Manchester United 5.5
  • Total Odds Percentage 100.40%


But remember you have already backed Arsenal at 3.0. So your Exchange odds now look like this:

  • Arsenal 3.0 (Price already taken)
  • Draw 3.75
  • Manchester United 5.5
  • Total Odds Percentage: 78.18%


We know that when odds on an event add up to less than 100% a profit can be made by backing all selections. Having backed Arsenal at 3.0, you can now back the other options or lay Arsenal to guarantee you a winning outcome on a betting exchange. 

This is betting heaven compared to 20 years ago. In this day and age, all bettors should have at least 1 Betting Exchange account, click any of the links to sign up today. 

Conclusion

What is the best Betting Exchange? - Betfair is rated the best betting exchange providing the biggest range of sports and markets. Add to that better liquidity [money available to bet] overall against any competitor. With the additional seamless switch to fixed-odds betting and a huge casino too. Betfair exchange rates as Number one.

Betfair has the most customers of any betting exchange, has a sportsbook app too and is partners with Paddy Power.

Overall they offer the best exchange, but also one of the biggest bookmakers in the world. There can still be some reticence because of the association with traditional bookmaking and other business partnerships, but that shouldn't factor into your thinking generally. If you are looking for an alternative, the other exchanges mentioned in this article are all worth interest too.

If betting in-play is a consideration, then because of the sheer weight of bettors, Betfair is an account that you should sign up for. They have far more events covered, inclduing minor / lower league events, and deeper market coverage.

You will also find that within the less popular events, and markets, where other exchanges struggle to have any liquidity, and in some cases, none at all, Betfair will remain pretty strong with markets forming many hours ahead of their rivals.

FAQ

Betting Exchanges FAQ's

  • What is the best betting exchange?

    Betfair is the biggest betting exchange, and the best alternative exchange to Betfair is Smarkets. Betfair will win most comparisons in terms of available events, markets and liquidity [Money available to bet]. That said, Smarkets are a very good alternative exchange site and we would recommend an account for you to explore if they work better for your type of betting activity. they are also good back up if your normal exchange was to go down for any time, and vice versa.

  • Is Smarkets Better than Betfair?

    A Comparison between Betfair and Smarkets will show that Betfair are bigger than Smarkets if looking at the number of playing and paying customers they have. As the original online betting exchange Betfair have a distinct advantage in that respect. However, depending on what betting activity you undertake, Smarkets may be better for you. In any case, we would recommend that you have a Smarkets account, as back up for Betfair or any other exchange platform in case they go down and you are left in a position where your liabilities are higher than you would like them to be. A backup account will allow you to possibly recover your positon

  • Do Betfair close winning accounts?

    The Betfair Exchange could potentially close or suspend an account for winning, but this would be very rare and most likely linked with suspicious gambling activity. Differently to online bookmakers the exchange takes a commission, so they do not mind you winning, as the more you win, the more they earn from you. 

  • What percentage do Betfair take?

    At the time of writing, and for as long as I can remember, the normal commission rate on the Betfair Exchange is 5% of all winnings on each market you bet. There is a higher commission rate known as the 'premium charge' but if you are reading this guide and asking the question, you do not have to worry about this higher rate at all.

  • Do you pay tax on Betfair Winnings?

    You do not pay a tax for winnings gained from Betfair, but you will have to pay a commission fee of 5% of the profit amount on markets you have won money on. This amount is deducted before you are paid, so you don't have to worry about paying it yourself. The commission rate is reduced if you are a heavy user and place very many bets on the Betfair exchange.

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