Categories: Casino

Differences Between Betting Exchange and Sportsbook

The distinctions between a sportsbook and a betting exchange are discussed in this article. It describes their benefits and drawbacks

Often, people find it challenging to differentiate between a betting exchange and a sportsbook. Both may be relatively similar because they’re both played for fun and a chance of winning real money. Nonetheless, betting exchanges and sportsbooks are quite different from each other. 

Because of this, this article has been curated to help you distinguish between betting exchanges and sportsbooks. To understand better, the article covers detailed explanations of both forms of gambling. The article also discusses their differences, the respective platforms where you can play them, and more. You can also check the Trader bet website for more info.

What is a Betting Exchange

A betting exchange is a type of gambling that allows players to bet against each other. Betfair introduced it at the turn of the 21st century. The platform acts as a mere intermediary. A betting exchange deals with two options. The options are to either ‘back’ a bet or ‘lay’ a bet.

When a player backs a bet, it simply means that the player is supporting a projected outcome of an event. In contrast, when a player lays a bet, he is against or not in support of the projected outcome of a bet. This form of betting gives players firmer control of their bets than when they bet with a bookmaker.

Notable Betting Exchange Platforms

Some of the top betting exchanges across the globe include:


By all means, Betfair is the pioneer of betting exchange as we know it today. They have also played a vital role in improving the concept, which is consistently gaining popularity thanks to them.


Another notable betting exchange platform is BetDAQ. While this platform may not be as popular as Betfair, it still shares a significant percentage of the market. Their popularity can be pinned down to their in-depth web security and professionalism.


The Smarkets betting exchange platform is relatively new in the game. However, they are proving to be a disruptive marketing force breaking into Betfair and BetDAQ market share. This is thanks to their low commission on winning, good customer support, and appealing web interface. 

What is Sportsbook Betting

Sportsbook betting is the traditional betting method that you already know. They are companies, also known as bookies, who accept bets on the potential outcome of sporting events or even politics. 

In a sportsbook betting scenario, bettors usually place their bet against the sportsbook company directly, which can also be referred to as the ‘house’ or bookmaker. As such, any winning bettor will be paid to them from the bookmaker’s purse. This is in contrast to the betting exchange method, where the company merely acts as a facility where bettors meet to bet against themselves.

Notable Sportsbook Betting Platforms

There are hundreds of sportsbook platforms in the United States alone. However, some notable ones include platforms like Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power, and more. All these Betting platforms have varying degrees of bonus packages and promotions for existing and new players.

Top Differences Between Betting Exchange and Sportsbooks

We will look into the distinguishing features that differentiate a betting exchange and a sportsbook. Some of them include the following:

Betting Options

The betting options on both sportsbooks and betting exchanges are different. For instance, you can only back or lay a bet on a betting exchange platform. However, there are numerous betting options with sportsbook platforms. 

Some of the betting options on a typical sportsbook platform can include the following:

  • Over/under 2.5 goals
  • Outright winner
  • Handicap
  • The number of yellow cards and more.

There are wide varieties of betting options in any given sportsbook. However, you won’t be able to come up with a new option if you want to. However, with betting exchange, you can invent a possible outcome that you can back or lay.


Bookmarkers in sportsbooks generally have fixed odds for particular events. You can either choose to wager on their fixed odds or shop for a slightly better one on another sportsbook platform. Even then, the odds won’t exceed a certain threshold. 

In contrast, the odds at betting exchange platforms are better and more competitive. This is because the odds are determined by supply and demand. The more people back a particular outcome, the lesser the odds go and the bigger the laying of the same bet.


Betting exchange platforms charge commission on only winning bets. The commission they charge generally ranges from 1-2% of your winnings.

On the other hand, bookmarks have structured their platform to make a profit even when a player loses a game. They also charge higher commissions, but this goes unnoticed because it is removed from the odds before it is displayed to players.


With betting exchanges, there are no limitations on how much you can bet on a game. The amount you can bet is subject to an equivalent amount being available on the opposite side of your wager. In contrast, bookmarkers often have a betting limit on their platforms.

Also, betting exchanges don’t ban or suspend players for any reason. However, the same cannot be said for bookies who can choose not to continue accepting your bets and even close your account.


Be it a sportsbook or a betting exchange, you can make real money from either of the two. All you need is to follow the proper strategy and wager on your favorite games.

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