Lay Betting: How to do it right – some essential punting advice

Ever since the arrival of Betfair back in 1999, punters like you and me have finally been able to act like bookmakers and try our hand at making money from laying bets.

However, the reality is that laying can be a very difficult game indeed (as many a wound-up bookie will attest) and it’s crucial you fully understand how laying works prior to getting heavily involved.

And with a rise in the number of people and tipsters I see laying these days, I wanted to pen a few key pointers to help shed some light on the subject.

Because whilst laying can offer a profitable angle when done right, it can also be a nightmare if done wrong or without an understanding of the risks involved.

Here then are a few essential points from me to consider when laying….

Why laying a 3/1 shot is like backing a 1/3 shot

Most people wouldn’t back too many short bets at odds like 1/3, yet that is exactly what you are doing if laying a bet at 3/1.

Because when you place a lay at 3/1, you are risking 3 units to win 1.

It’s the same as if you were backing a bet at 1/3 as you would need to risk 3 units to win 1. Many new layers are not aware of this fact, especially if laying at larger odds, yet it’s a crucial point.

Would you back a 1/10 shot or 1/20 shot as readily as you might place a lay at 10/1 or 20/1?

Probably not, which leads me onto my next point…

Know what your worst-case scenario laying is

When laying you must always be mindful of the worst-case scenarios that can occur – even if you are hitting a high strike-rate of successful lays.

After all, losing lays can and will happen to even the best punters out there.

To give a real-life example – one profitable football laying tipster we work with here at SBC has an 83% strike-rate laying teams up to a max price of 9/1.

The average lay price comes in at a shade over 4/1, yet even with this high strike-rate and low average odds you still need to be prepared for worst case scenarios.

One easy way to calculate this for yourself is to use a table like the ‘Don’t Go Broke’ one from the excellent CD Systems website. This valuable table tells you how many losers on the trot you can realistically expect given a particular strike-rate (You need to register your email to view the content, but it’s worth it)

From this table we learn that even with an 83% strike-rate, we can expect over a series of 600 to 650 bets the following sequences:

  • A 75% chance of 3 losers on the bounce
  • A 50% chance of 4 losers on the bounce
  • A 25% chance of 5 losers on the bounce
  • A less than 1% chance of 7 losers on the bounce

So, assuming we are laying at average odds of 4/1, here is what we can expect:

  • A 75% chance of 3 losers at 4/1 on the bounce: -12 units
  • A 50% chance of 4 losers at 4/1 on the bounce: -16 units
  • A 25% chance of 5 losers at 4/1 on the bounce: -20 units
  • A less than 1% chance of 7 losers at 4/1 on the bounce: -28 units

If you don’t have a betting bank setup to expect a loss of AT LEAST 28 units then you run the risk of going broke at some point or being in for a nasty surprise.

Ideally your betting bank should be a lot bigger than this, especially if your losers are at bigger prices than 4/1. What if you get a series of losers at 9/1? It’s unlikely but then the whole point is that these things do happen (FYI – the recommendation is for a betting bank between 150 and 200 units for this service).

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No betting strategy is fool proof

Now you might say to yourself – ‘Oh my laying strategy is fool-proof, I will not get caught out’ – yet you will be wrong to do so.

For example when football betting, you are only one red-card, bad team performance or mad refereeing decision away from an unlikely result.

How many of you had West Brom to beat Man United or Roma to knock out Barcelona recently?

The truth is the best punters don’t have some silver-bullet, never lose betting strategy. Far from it. They lose just like all of us do.

They simply know how to handle losing in the context of a betting bank and the type of strategy they are utilising.

Consider fixed-loss staking to reduce your exposure

One option for you to reduce the risk when laying is to consider using a fixed loss staking strategy.

So rather than place a £100 lay on a bet regardless of the odds – instead you place a lay to lose a maximum amount of £100 should the bet go south.

To give a real-life example, one laying horse racing tipster we work with here at SBC advises a series of lays each day up to a maximum price of 15.0 Betfair SP (14/1)

Now the average lay price stands at just under 5.0 so it’s not often you lay at large prices like 15.0 but to reduce the risk of a big loss, he suggests you cap losses at a max 3% of your bank.

At the start of the day you simply work out what 3% of your betting bank looks like.

So, if starting with a £1000 bank, this would be £30.

If laying one of his tips at odds of 2.27 for example, you would risk losing £30 as a maximum as follows:

  • If the layed horse goes onto lose (you win) then you would be up £23.60 before commission (this is £30 / 1.27)
  • If the layed horse goes onto win (you lose) then you would be down £30

Where it comes into its own though is when you lay at larger odds, say at 5.52 (another recent example). Here are the scenarios:

  • If the layed horse goes onto lose (you win) then you would be up £6.71 before commission (this is £30 / 4.52)
  • If the layed horse goes onto win (you lose) then you would be down £30

Your winnings are capped with this staking plan but equally and more importantly, your losses are too.

It’s also very easy to place bets like this at Betfair SP – you simply place a lay on the horse and set your liability (max loss). You can also set the maximum price you will take – the rest will be calculated for you.

The horse racing tipster in question has used this 3% risk method to great success since August last year, growing his bank from £1000 to £3432.99 through it. For more on his method and how you can currently follow free with SBC, read about The Accountant Laying System on this free tips page.

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Be a Bookmaker or Exchange-Tart

If laying at Betfair SP, then naturally you are restricted to using Betfair, yet for those of you placing lays in other markets, I want to encourage you to look at alternative firms.

Just like people who chop and change credit cards are ‘rate-tarts’, I want to encourage you to be a bookmaker-tart (or indeed exchange-tart)!

SmarketsMatchbook & Betdaq offer low commission alternatives to Betfair and the difference between Betfair’s 5% base-line rate and the 2% with Smarkets and Betdaq can be vast.

Take the aforementioned football laying tipster available to SBC members, who’s results we record at Betfair’s 5% commission rates as standard. During 2018 from 188 lays, it has made a 55.8 point profit at 8.4% ROI to this metric.

If you had placed each bet with Smarkets or Betdaq and enjoyed their 2% commission rates, this profit would have risen to 60.27 points profit at 9.0% ROI. An extra 4.47 points profit in your pocket, simply for using a different website to place your lays.

Forget brand or company loyalty when it comes to bookies – it can hurt your bottom-line. Simply use the best value exchange on offer. Be an exchange-tart.

For More Expert Advice…

I hope a few of the points I have raised in today’s article have provided some food for thought for those of you interested or involved with laying on a regular basis.

When done right then laying can be a fantastic angle, but when done badly, it can be very costly indeed. Don’t get caught out!

If you are after further advice and expertise with your betting, you might like to consider a Secret Betting Club membership. It comes with a 90-day-money-back-guarantee as standard and is at significantly reduced prices for 2018.

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Join the Secret Betting Club now and see what all the fuss is about!

See you on the inside

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor

Learn from the experts – The ‘How I Make Money Betting’ interviews

Today I am pleased to unveil the first in a series of SBC interviews with winning punters, cunningly titled the ‘How I Make Money Betting series.

Kick-started today with the publication of our interview with Andrew, AKA ‘The Value Bettor’ – one of the very finest horse racing brains out there (as judged by the phenomenal returns he has made tipping over the years), the goal with these interviews is to provide inspiration and guidance to you from the experts who are making their betting pay.

After all, profitable betting can be a tough and sometimes lonely profession, so the more insight we get, the better our chances of making it pay.

In this special interview, we delved into Andrew’s background and setup to provide valuable insight into one of the most respected and profitable racing experts – including how he identifies value betting opportunities, the resources he uses, race-reading, the psychology of a winner and much more besides.

Perfectly timed if you are looking for some inspiration to find a winner at Aintree this week or even just on racing in general as much of his insight applies across the board betting-wise.

The How We Make Money Betting Legacy Report

Alongside Andrew’s interview, I have also put together a special ‘Legacy’ How We Make Money Betting issue, featuring my interviews with 6 other gambling experts as previously published by us at SBC.

Featuring discussions with a wide-range of betting experts and punters who are successful across a variety of sports, it provides fascinating insight into the world of pro-punting including:

  • The UK’s top racing tipster on just how he has beaten the bookies since 2003;
  • The bookie insider on his journey to success betting on horse racing;
  • The award winning racing expert on his love of the sport and how he picks out value bets
  • The long-term professional on his love of bookie loopholes and niche angles’

How To Read These Interviews Right Away

The How I Make Money Betting Series of interviews (both Andrew’s and the Legacy report) are available for immediate download with a Platinum ‘Pro Punter’ SBC membership.

More ‘How I Make Money Betting’ interviews with other professional punting experts are also planned for release throughout the year and as long as you have a Platinum membership, you will be able to access all of this content.

As well as gaining access to the full Best Tipster Guide, a Platinum Secret Betting Club membership also grants you full access to our complete ‘Professional Punter’ package including:

  • 1 Year of SBC Magazines;
  • 1 Year of Tipster Profit Reports;
  • Complete access to the Best Tipster Guide (2016, 2017 & 2018 versions)
  • 1 Year of Bet Diary Pro Access;
  • Access to our 12-year Back Catalogue;
  • Access To The SBC Tipping Forum;
  • Gold Tipster Discounts & Trials;
  • Platinum Tipster Discounts & Trials;
  • Our Best Systems & Guides;
  • Full 90-Day Refund Guarantee!

All told – it’s quite the package with a huge amount of expertise and information available to you and all from a genuinely independent source.

Best of all by signing-up today you can also save £45 on the cost of a Platinum ‘Pro-Punter’subscription with our 2018 discounted prices.

Click here to get started right away.

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See you on the inside

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor


You can’t make money backing favourites…Or can you?


“You can’t make money backing favourites”

…Or so goes the famous phrase favoured by many in the betting world on the notion that it’s only mugs who bet at short prices.

Yet the reality is that betting (like most things in life) is not quite so black and white and you can make money backing favourites…as long as you back the right ones…

The right favourites – such as those put forward by the ‘myth-busting’ racing tipster featured in the latest SBC Magazine (Issue 104) who has made a fine profit backing short horses.

Our review of this tipster found that over the course of 1676 bets advised over 2 and a bit years, he had made a baseline profit of 5% Return on Investment (ROI).

For those who prefer to concentrate on Return on Capital (ROC) this equated to a figure of 140% over the same period.

To put that into easy to understand financial figures…

  • A £1000 starting betting bank would have grown to £2,400.
  • A £5000 starting betting bank would have grown to £12,000.
  • A £10000 starting betting bank would have grown to £24,000.


And best of all – solely from backing favourites.

Although it’s fair to point out that it’s not always the favourite he tips up, but sometimes also the second favourite – in general it’s selections 5/2 and below at the front of the market

Ultimately – the saying “You can’t make money backing favourites” should really read “You can’t make money backing bad value favourites” as therein lies the difference between making a profit or loss betting.

If you are taking 9/4 on a bet that should be 6/4, long-term you will make a profit. Just as you might taking 20/1 about a bet that should be 10/1.

So, the next time someone tells you that backing favourites is a mugs game…you know what to say!

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Major Benefits Of Backing Favourites

There are also some very important additional benefits from backing favourites to be aware of – here are 4 of the most relevant:

1. It’s easy to improve profits with Best Odds Guaranteed offers

I used the word ‘baseline profits’ when discussing the tipster above as the reality is that you can easily improve the profit figures if you have access to the Best Odds Guarantee concession in your bookmaker account.

We equated the potential to improve your ROI by as much as 5.4% simply by using Best Odds Guarantee offers.

As many as 40% of all bets drifted after being advised by this tipster and were therefore subject to a better price if taking Best Odds Guaranteed.

2. Hit a high strike-rate – easier on you mentally

If you are one of those punters who struggle when facing a losing run, then a short priced tipster might be the right answer for you. After all – not everyone is cut out to handle low strike-rates, nor have the patience to wait for the winners to hit home.

This favourite-backing tipster has a high strike-rate of 43.1% from the 1676 bets with 723 winners and 953 losers during this period.

Ensuring in general, short losing runs and a regular supply of winners to put your mind at rest!

3. You can get on with the bookies – even if you win

Perhaps best of all, favourites are very easy to bet with the bookies as they know most punters backing them will be long-term losers.

Your betting account might show a fair profit but when they see its from backing horses at 5/2 and under – they will often assume that in time you will lose and you have been lucky thus far. Even if you are chucking £100, £200 (or more) on these tips to win.

Making backing short priced tips such as those advised by this tipster ideal for those of you worried about betting restrictions. It’s just a fact that if you are backing 2/1 winners instead of 20/1 winners, your betting account is much more likely to go un-restricted.

4. A genuine betting-exchange option

Even if you can no longer bet with bookmakers, this favourite tipster is very easy to follow on the betting exchanges.

Our analysis found that you can actually IMPROVE your profits by as much as 1.1% ROI by simply taking better odds available 15 minutes after the tips are advised.

At the time these tips are put forward (10am) there is also considerable money available to trade on all betting exchanges and we found no issues getting our bets matched on these favourites.

So, if you are limited to betting with exchanges like Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq or Matchbook, it’s a very valid option for you.

Read All About It In SBC 104 

If you want to know more about this tipster and the profits he has made backing favourites you can read the detailed SBC review in our latest magazine – Issue 104.

Inside the review you can also find details on how you can save 25% on the cost of joining this tipster as an SBC member.

SBC 104 is available now to Silver, Gold and Platinum Secret Betting Club members – you can save as much as £45 if joining today via our much-reduced-2018 prices.

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All of which comes with a 90 day money back guarantee – so you can sign-up totally risk-free, with everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Join the Secret Betting Club now and see what all the fuss is about!

See you on the inside.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor

2 new profitable, betting-exchange friendly tipsters to check out in SBC 104 (both with 43% high strike-rates)


The Latest SBC Magazine (Issue 104) is out now and features reviews of 2 new profitable, betting exchange-friendly tipsters.

It includes the uniquely profitable Tennis System with a 5-year winning track record AND the favourite-backing Racing Tipster with 140% bank growth. Both tipsters are ideal for following on betting exchanges – ideal for those of you unable to bet with bookies.

Sign-up now to gain instant access to SBC 104 or read on for more details…


Inside The Latest SBC Magazine

Here is a brief rundown of what you can find in SBC 104:

  • Review 1: The Tennis Betting Expert
    Discover this unique tennis rating system with a clear edge in both the Men’s (ATP) and Women’s (WTA) tennis tournaments. Hitting a 43% strike-rate and with 5 years of profits behind it – this service is suitable for exchange-only punters and is run by a very well respected professional (he writes regularly for both Betfair & Pinnacle). PLUS you can SAVE £45 on a 3-month subscription as an SBC Member.
  • Review 2: The Favourite-Backing Myth Buster
    Blowing aside the myth you can’t make a profit backing favourites in horse racing, this expert has made 140% betting bank growth over 1600 bets at the front-end of the betting market. Also hitting a high 43% strike-rate, its another tipster you can follow with ease on the betting exchanges. PLUS you can Save 25% on the cost of subscription as an SBC Member.
  • Expert Guide: How To Bet on Tennis
    Interested in betting on Tennis but don’t know where to start? In this special guide, we explain everything about betting on the sport from the bookies to use, tournament & betting market structure, type of bets & much more besides. Ideal for those of you interested in following the Tennis Betting Expert featured in SBC 104.

How To Get Your Copy (& The Entire Back Catalogue)

You can access your own copy of SBC 104 and our entire back catalogue of magazines the instant you join the Secret Betting Club.

This includes every single tipster review we have ever written (there are literally hundreds available!) and all of the Hall of Fame Tipsters we recommend to make you money betting.

You can also enjoy significant discounts on the cost of joining many of these tipsters via our unique Tipster Discounts exclusively available to SBC members only!

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Save Up To £45 & Enjoy The 90 Day Money Back Guarantee

Best of all, by joining today, you can also save up to £45 on the cost of a Secret Betting Club membership. This is because we have slashed our prices for 2018.

All of which comes with a 90 day money back guarantee – so you can sign-up totally risk-free, with everything to gain and nothing to lose.

We offer the 90 day money back guarantee as we are 100% confident that we can help you and your betting. This is based on our 12 years experience helping countless punters like you transform their betting.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor