The Ultimate Guide to Betting Exchange

Discover everything you need to know about betting exchange with our complete guide for punters in the Philippines and learn how to bet like a pro.

Most punters usually think of betting as an activity that involves an individual against the house. Indeed, this is the conventional and most prevalent style of gambling but it isn’t the only one. It is also possible to place bets directly between yourself and other individuals. This is called betting exchange and it’s very popular on the online sports betting scene in the Philippines.

Actually, betting without the house is not a new concept since probably everyone has made a bet with another person. In fact, many’s first experiences with gambling is a bet between two friends. However, the system is still relatively unknown to many punters in the digital world. Hence we have put together this guide to betting exchange so that anyone interested can get a quick start. But even if you’re a seasoned punter, you’ll learn some new tips if you stick around.

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What Is Betting Exchange?

In a nutshell, a betting exchange is a process of making a bet with another individual using a betting exchange platform. The platform itself is simply an online tool that facilitates the bet by connecting people and holding their wagers until the bet is settled. 

Betting exchange is unique because each punter sets their own odds on the outcome of a game. Otherwise, an online casino or a sportsbook operator takes that role. Moreover, the bettors decide how much they are willing to bet. Therefore punters dictate how much they can make or lose and are in full control of the bet conditions.

Betting Exchange

Brief History of Betting Exchange

Although nowadays it’s not as popular as regular sports betting sites, betting exchanges have been around since 2000. Most of the sports betting platforms were based in the UK and they received a lot of attention for using the new concept.  

Several big betting exchange platforms merged in 2001, and some of them are still the most popular platforms of their kind in the world and holds the largest market share. Of course, more competitors have sprung up since then.

Unfortunately, the betting exchange did not take off in the US because of the Federal Wire Act of 1961. This law prohibits bet making by phone or internet. Since betting exchanges typically operate online, it makes it impossible for them to work in the US. Besides, PASPA limits betting within a state’s boundaries which limits the number of people allowed on one platform.

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How Does a Betting Exchange Work?

The role of a betting exchange platform is just to facilitate players’ bets. For instance, let’s say that you felt that Manchester United would win their next encounter against Arsenal FC. Then, you’d simply visit the exchange’s website and publish your bet. Of course, due to the nature of the platform, you’ll be in full control. Unlike regular sportsbooks or online casinos, the operator here does not limit your bet conditions at all. Hence, you will also need to specify the odds and the amount. So, for example, you could bet $10 for Manchester United to win at 2/1 odds. In order to decide which one to take, any person interested in making a bet will then usually look through the published options first. If that wager is accepted, then both make the aforementioned $10 deposit back and the winner shall take the winnings.

Betting Exchange vs. Conventional Betting

The main difference between exchanges and conventional betting is that in the former case punters are betting against each other rather than the house. Essentially, the betting exchange becomes a middleman for interested punters and facilitates safe bets online. Hence, the winner of the bet keeps the winnings and not the casino. 

In order to make money, exchange platforms charge both participants a commission. It tends to be a significantly smaller amount in comparison to what casinos make otherwise. Additionally, at exchanges you can make a lay bet which regular bookies and casinos won’t allow.

Basic Glossary

Like many other gambling opportunities, the betting exchange comes with its own set of specific terminology. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key glossary entries:

  • Arber – a person who does arbitrage. 
  • Arbitrage – the act of making the same bet but from both sides. Most often, a player will place a win bet at a bookmaker’s platform and a lay bet at a betting exchange.
  • Backing – betting that a particular event will happen during the game. It is also sometimes referred to as a win bet. 
  • In-play bet – making a bet while the match is still in progress.
  • Lay bet – a bet on an outcome you think will not happen, i.e. team A will not win against team B
  • Trading – making a bet based on the knowledge that the odds will swing at a later time and you can place the opposite bet. For example, you can back a team to win a match a week before knowing that the odds will increase and then placing a lay bet at a betting exchange.
Exchange Betting Tips

Advantages of Betting Exchange

Betting without the limitations of the house has become quite popular in the Philippines. Because of the more favorable conditions, the opportunity to profit is higher. Here are the main perks of going the exchange route:

Lower Fees

When betting sites started offering betting exchange, one of their main selling points was the lower fees. It’s often said that the house always wins because the bookie/casino keeps all the money you lose and still charges you a fee on your winnings. But since exchange platforms act as a middleman, they make money regardless of the outcome. Hence they can work with much lower fees and still profit. 

Better Winning Chances

It is simply much easier to say that something won’t happen rather than the opposite. For example, it’s easier to claim that Manchester United will not score 5 goals against Arsenal rather than claim that it will. Therefore, you can increase your winning chances by lay betting at a betting exchange.

Better Odds

Betting exchanges host thousands of players and each one is making different bets at different odds. This competition ensures that the available odds are fair and often better than the ones at a casino. That is because the casino has a monopoly on the betting odds, unlike an exchange betting platform.

No Limits

Some casinos tend to limit or even ban players simply because of making money from multiple big wins. Of course, they do this because the house loses cash from these professional players. However, this will never happen on a betting exchange site because the platform makes money either way. Hence, here you will have full freedom to bet as you wish.

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Downsides of Betting Exchange

Despite the significant advantages betting exchange offers, it still has some weaknesses. Whether they outweigh the perks of betting without the house is up to you.

Rejected Bets

While one may not even think about a casino rejecting their bet, at an exchange platform this is absolutely possible. You might don’t find all types of betting sports and some specific kinds of wagers. Therefore, when making a bet, always consider the odds you set and other bet specifications as well.

No/Low Free Offers

It’s not uncommon to receive some free offers at a casino or a sportsbook. The operators of those offer a variety of bonuses and promotions in order to keep players on the platform. However, unfortunately, you will likely not receive such offers at a betting exchange (or at least not that generous) and all bets will involve real money.


Now that you’ve learned about the basics of betting exchange, you’ve hopefully decided in its favor as the advantages are so enticing. The next step to getting started should be to search for your ideal platform based on your preferences. In fact, you might just be able to find the right place for you at our library of sports betting sites, and if you want to know how we check online bookmakers read our article on sports betting site reviews. And since you will likely not be receiving many free offers and bonuses at exchange betting platforms, we recommend starting with small wagers first.


A commission is charged on all bets made on a betting exchange site. Both players get charged and the platform remains neutral to the outcome.

No. Betting exchange platforms make money from the commissions and hence no platform can completely forego them.

There is no single betting exchange that is superior to all others. Your choice will depend on the kinds of available sports and the commission size.

It all depends on the popularity of the sport which ensures there is a lot of liquidity. If you live in, say, the Philippines, betting on football and basketball would give you the best opportunities.

Traditional sports betting lets you bet against a bookmaker when in a betting exchange you bet against another player, rather than a bookmaker. 

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