Back to Lay Betting Strategy

Published: 18th October 2018
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 13th January 2021
Back to Lay Betting Strategy graphic

Back to Lay Betting Strategy

Betting as a concept of its own involves an element of risk which makes a betting process so thrilling and exciting. The excitement fades away when you suffer a losing bet, but finding a good betting strategy is a way to minimise the risk betting exposes you to. Moreover, certain strategies – if employed properly – can even go that as far as to guarantee you a profit.

One such strategy definitely is Back-to-Lay Betting.
What it involves is finding a selection to back on a relatively high price – through the pre-event odds or In-Play opportunities – than to lay the same selection later on for a profit when the market moves the other way and heads in the right direction.

Naturally, this type of betting is available on betting exchanges since bookmakers will rarely present punters with an opportunity to lay a selection as that is the role of a bookmaker you assume through betting on an exchange. There is an exception to the rule, which will be explained below.

Back-to-Lay Betting is Best to Use At:

  • Pre-Event Betting
  • In-Play Betting

Exchanges allow punters to bet against each other through backing and laying the selection at different odds.

A good way to explain how Back-to-Lay betting actually works is through a pre-event offer in – for instance – horse racing. Be aware that Lay-to-Back can be used in almost any given sport, but horse racing (and football) remains the two arguably most interesting and popular selection markets most of all because of the great pre-event odds.

Some time before a certain event, bookies will usually offer odds that exceed everyone’s expectations which is why it is easy to find a horse at 20/1.

Should this horse win an event before your big race, there is a good chance that odds on this horse will be shortened which is why it is a good idea to lay the horse you backed at odds of – let’s say – 14/1, thus locking a profit, for example, one day before the race is on. This way you have secured yourself a guaranteed win without being worried that your selection might end up losing the race.

When it comes to In-Play Betting and In-Play Back-to-Lay betting, the best way to explain it is through football. The best strategy to go with is to bet on a draw. Select a game expected to be close and tight, especially without too many goals. Let’s say you find 11/4 odds and stake £100 to back this outcome, then once the game starts and the results stay intact for 20 minutes, you are up.

The bookies will slash the odds to 2/1 and you will earn somewhere around £126 if you lay the draw and either side win. The liability in this particular case is £250 or so, which is below the potential return from your initial bet. This means you are here guaranteed a profit regardless of the outcome – draw gives you a profit of £280 at your original Back bet, whereas the Lay bet at 2/1 will yield a profit of £30 for the liability of £250.

The previously written text explanation of the pre-event and in-play strategy makes for the two biggest tips that make a sound Back-to-Lay strategy. With all of that being said, bettors who wish to hang on a profit with Back-to-Lay betting need to make sure to:

  • Protect your outright bets
  • Get out when things are still hot

Self-control and money management are vital with Back-to-Lay betting which is why it is so important to be on your toes at all times, making sure to protect your bet and knowing when to stop. There will be times when your long odds will go on to win, but that is the risk you need to accept and take. Even more so, that is the reason why you need to be protective of your outright bets. You don’t need to lock in the same profit as your initial bet. Our advice, in this case, is to cover your initial stake and let the rest of it go until the end.

At the same time, you need to know when it’s time to move on and give up on a Back-to-Lay strategy. One thing you need to think about always is having an exit plan. Set a price in mind and lay the selection when it hits your designated mark to make a profit and get out without too much thinking.

Also, you need a plan in case things don’t go the way you planned. At this point, you need to find a good way to lay a bet to a minimum toll. Minimising defeats and costs is as important as locking in profits. To conclude this guide on Back-to-Lay betting, it needs to be stated that this betting strategy requires quick reflexes, quick thinking and timely reactions. Timing can be everything with Back-to-Lay betting so you need to remain sharp and vigilant the entire time. In the end, an exception to the rule we mentioned earlier. In addition to the betting exchange, Back-to-Lay betting can be done through regular betting platforms. Punters need to do a little bit of odd shopping, however, but the donkey work will pay off.

Finding two different odds for the same outcome is vital, so let’s say you found 4/1 on a horse with the bookmaker A and 5/1 on the same outcome with bookmaker B. Backing it at 5/1 and laying it at 4/1 with a £50 bet each creates a no-lose scenario which lets you collect £300 if your horse wins and lose £200 on 4/1 odds which yield a profit of £50 once the stake is removed.

In another scenario, if your horse is beaten, you lose £50 from the Back bet and win £50 from the Lay bet which is enough to cover the costs and walk away without any lost money from your pocket.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.