The odds are presented in a different way from bookmakers’ odds. As different people offer different odds there will be several prices shown for each horse. The odds are presented in the form of a table and displayed from a backer’s point of view. The table shows the value of bets that are currently unmatched for a particular price. There are odds displayed for the horses to win and to lose. The odds section of the table is divided into two halves – one half for back odds and the other half for lay odds. The back odds, for the horse to win, are typically listed on the left of the table and the lay odds for the horse to lose are on the right. The odds available are arranged in columns. The best odds are usually shown in a coloured or highlighted column.
An example of a betting screen for a betting exchange is shown below. The table is headed with the time and place of the race and is divided into two halves. The left side shows the back odds and the right side shows the lay odds. Next to the horses name are several different prices accompanied by an amount. These prices and amounts are arranged in columns. The best current odds are displayed in the column adjacent to the horse’s name and are highlighted. In this case, the closer the column is to the outside of the table, the worse the odds. The amount underneath each price is the current maximum that can be bet at those odds. It represents unmatched bets. The amount is the total of all the bets offered at that price. It can be the stakes from more than one person. For example, the 9.8 £54 could be one bet for £50 and one bet for £4.
The prices in the back section are the prices at which you can back a horses to win. The amount underneath is how much can currently be bet at that price. Once that amount has been reached, the figure to the left will take its place.
In this example, the best price available for Dobbin to win is 10.5, the £2 underneath the 10.5 is the amount of unmatched stakes at that price. This means that someone is willing to offer odds of 10.5 for a stake of £2. The next best odds are 10 and it possible to bet up to £497 at this price. After this the next best odds are 9.8 with up to £54 being available to bet. From a backer’s point of view, the highest number is the best price. It represents the multiple of the stake that will be won by the backer if the horse wins.
To back £2 at odds of 10.5, you would click on the price. You will then be taken to a betting screen (the equivalent of a betting slip). The odds of 10.5 will be displayed and there will be a box for you to enter your stake. You enter £2. Your profit (£19) will be displayed. You will then need to confirm the bet in order to place it. On the screen displaying the odds, the price of 10.5 will then disappear and will be replaced by the next best odds of 10 £497. If you decided to bet a further £2 at odds of 10 after making your bet 10 £495 would now be displayed in the best odds column.
Suppose you want to stake £10 on Dobbin to win and wanted to take the best price on offer you would then bet £2 at odds of 10.5 and £8 at odds of 10.
When you lay a bet, you are acting like a traditional bookmaker. If the backer wins (the horse wins), you payout his winnings but if the backer loses (the horse loses) you win his stake.
Suppose there is 6.0 and £10 on the lay side. If you decide to lay at these odds, you will win £10 if the horse loses. However, like a bookmaker, if the horse wins, you will lose £50.
If you look at the bet in terms of traditional odds, 6 is odds of 5/1. As you are laying the bet, you are taking the place of the bookmaker, you are making the bet of 1/5. In terms of money, you lay £50 and the backer stakes £10. The bet from your point of view is £10/£50. You stand to win £10 but in order to win you must stake £50. If you win (i.e. the horse loses) you will get the backer’s stake of £10 and keep your stake of £50. If you lose (i.e. the horse wins), the backer will get your £50 stake and will keep his stake of £10.
From the previous table, the best price available for Dobbin to lose is 11 the £266 underneath the price is the amount of £266 of unmatched bets at a price of 11. The £266 represents bets that have been placed by backers that are currently unmatched. The next best odds are 11.5 and the maximum amount of money that is unmatched is £200. After this the next best odds are 13.5 With £8 being available to bet. From a layer’s point of view, the lowest number is the best price. It represents the multiple of the backers stake that will be lost by the layer if the horse wins. For example, by laying £266 at odds of 11, a layer will win £266 less commission if the horse loses. In order to win this he needs to stake £2660. If the horse wins the layer will lose his £2660 stake, which will be paid to the backers.