What is liability in Betting?

Describe liability

You will frequently hear the word liability discussed as you begin your matched betting experience, but what exactly is it and how does it function?

The amount you could potentially lose from a lay bet if it loses on the betting exchange is known as the liability.

As soon as you place a lay bet on the betting exchange, the liability for that lay bet is immediately deducted from your balance.

Whenever you place your lay bet, Smarkets or Betfair will hold onto your liabilities until the event’s outcome. In this case, if my lay bet wins, the exchange will reimburse my £32 liabilities and credit me with my £8 lay stake earnings.

In the alternative, if my lay bet fails, the exchange will not return the £32 of liabilities that I locked up and I will not win the £8 lay stake since that money would be paid out as winnings to the back bettor on the exchange.

If any lay bets lose, your liability will always be regained. If your lay bet loses and you subsequently lose your liability on the exchange, you will win the liability into the bookmaker account where you put your back bet.

How matched betting calculates liability

A standard formula is always used to determine your guilt.

Set a stake




Make bets



Set a stake


In light of the preceding example, the math for placing an £8 lay bet with odds of 5.0 would be as follows:






5 .0


– £8


= Liability of £32

You effectively play the bookmaker when you place a lay bet. By laying and betting against an outcome, you are basically accepting another exchange user’s back bet on it.

Let’s break that down: if you placed an £8 back bet with a bookmaker at odds of 5.0, you could anticipate a return of £40 if the chance won (£8 of that would be your own initial back wager).

When you lay a bet, you’re on the bookmaker’s side of the equation. If your lay bet wins, you’ll keep the £8 the back bettor staked as winnings, but if it loses and the back bettor wins their wager, you’ll have to cover your liability to them, just as a bookmaker would if you were betting on the outcome to occur.

What happens if a Lay Bet is lost?

You would be liable for £200 if you placed this bet and lost. To cover the payout, you would require this sum on your account.

Keep in mind that you want the bet to lose when you place it; if it wins, you lose, and in the case of the example above, you would lose £200.

What Happens If A Lay Bet Wins?

The backer’s bet stake and the liabilities funds will be reimbursed to your account if you win the wager. The obligation for matched betting is essentially the same as the one mentioned before; you must have funds in your account to pay any losses incurred when you make a bet.

In contrast, the goal of matched betting is to wager on numerous outcomes in order to earn free bonus bets or other rewards from the bookmaker.

You must understand matched betting in order to fully comprehend this, therefore let’s first define it.

Can You Lose a Bet on a Match?

As previously said, matched betting is a risk-free strategy to gain money if done correctly. Although unlikely, losing money is nonetheless possible.

Those that lose money typically do so because they are reckless.

For instance, gamblers neglect to back the wager with another bookmaker or make errors with the odds. Another way people lose money is by failing to realize that the free bets that bookies provide them occasionally have time restrictions, so be sure to review the specifics for each site.

You’ll use the Betfair exchange when betting, especially when lay betting. Here are some ideas and tips to assist you in understanding liability with Betfair and avoiding any mistakes.

The Betfair Exchange: What Is It?

You can wager against other individuals on sporting events through the Betfair exchange. You become the bookmaker because you can back, lay, and establish your odds.

What Does Betfair Liability Mean?

On Betfair, liability refers to the amount that must be in your account to cover any lay bets you place. If the lay bet is accepted (placed), the obligation is securely held in reserve pending the outcome of the event. The liability will be refunded to your account if you win the lay bet; on the other hand, if you lose the lay bet, it will be given to the backer.

Liability Calculation for Betfair

A liability calculator for Betfair is accessible online for free. You can get a breakdown of your prospective profits and liabilities, and it’s easy to use.

It is worthwhile to use the calculator to calculate liability funds, commission fees, and potential outgoings in order to prevent errors and hidden losses.

Liability in Betting FAQs

1) Does liability for matched betting disappear?

If any lay bets lose, your liability will always be regained. If your lay bet loses and you subsequently lose your liability on the exchange, you will win the liability into the bookmaker account where you put your back bet.

2) What does “payout liability” mean?

You must distribute the winnings if the pick does succeed in winning. Your responsibility is the possible payment that could be made. That is the amount you would have to lose if your wager failed.

3) What is matched betting with shared liability?

Liability in the context of matched betting is the sum of money required to make a lay wager at the betting exchange. Although the lay stake and liability amount are different expenses, both are required in order to place your lay bet. Then, until the event is over and the wager is settled, these funds are kept.

4) Can responsibility be shared?

It’s crucial to understand that responsibility (or liability) can range from being entirely attributable to one party to be entirely attributable to the other. Each participant receives 50% of the value of their claim when blame is divided evenly. The majority of vehicle accidents involve shared liability.


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