Lay betting is a type of sports betting which is followed on exchange markets. In this type of betting, instead of backing a bet to happen, you back a bet not to happen.
Examples: I bet that horse won’t win the race; I bet that player will not score any goal in the match.
In short, it is an activity where you bet against an outcome. If you are right, you will win the bet, and if you are wrong, you lose it. Lay betting is followed in almost all popular sports nowadays.
Lay betting explanation
This type of betting is especially feasible when you haven’t an idea of who is going to win the match, but you are certain that a particular player or team will not win. In that case, you can lay that team or player. In actual, you are backing the other team to win.
There is a catch though. If you lose a lay bet, you may have to pay much more than you actually bet. This is because the liability in lay betting is trickier than a normal bet. It means if the team you are laying wins, you’ll have to pay the winner the liability. This is why it is important to know the lay liability before you even start betting.
What is Lay Liability?
Same as every other bet, the liability is the maximum amount you can lose in a particular bet. The difference is that in a normal bet, you can only lose the stake you bet, but in lay bets, you can lose much more than the stake. Here’s how it works.
In sports like Football or a tennis match where there are only two sides when you bet on one side to win, you are actually laying the other side.
Let’s take the example of a Football match. You bet $5 that your team will win while your friend bets $5 that the other team will win. The odds are even or 2.
It is the same as you laying $5 on the other team. So, you are betting that the other team will lose, and since the odds are 2 here, you will get $5 (stake) + $5 (win), if it happens.
But what if the odds are not even or if there are more than two sides in the game?
The liability of a lay bet will change depending on the stake (odd or even).
Let’s try to understand this with the example of a dice game.
A standard dice has six sides, so there are actually six possible outcomes. If you choose only one winning number, the odds here cannot be 2 or even as the probability of you losing is more than you winning.
Winning probability – one
Losing probability – five
This bet will be represented as 5/1 odds, or in exchange terms, 6 (your stake plus potential winning). That means you can earn $5 by investing $1 in your bet. And if you lose, you will only have to pay your stake of $1.
Lay betting on uneven odds
Now, let’s understand the above example in respect of lay betting. Instead of choosing a winning number, you actually lay back a number to not occur. You bet that number six will not occur.
The probability of that happening is five out of six, so your winning odds will be 5/1. It means you get five times the amount of your original stake if your selected number does not appear.
Now, suppose if your original stake is $1 then you will get $5 if you win the lay. But what if you don’t?
In case if your selected number appears, you will lose the bet and will have to pay the liability amount. Now, here is the catch. The liability, in this case, will not be the same as a normal bet.
Lay liability = Odds x Stake Amt. = 5/1 x 1 = $5
It means you will have to pay $5 if your selected lay bet wins, even if your stake was only $1.
This is one of the reasons why some bettors avoid this type of betting.
The situations like above example where all the money being invested into the market is paid out, without any leakage or profits, represent true odds. This, however, doesn’t happen very often as bookmakers also need to take a profit from the bet amount.
So, in general, the liability of a lay bet is not exactly what we see in the above example. It may change depending on what option you choose to back.
There are many online software and sports betting websites where you can easily place lay bets. These websites will even let you know the liability amount which you can lose in the worst case scenario on your lay.
When backing the liability is simply the stake you make, but when laying it’s the maximum amount you can lose. Make sure to check the liability before you consider laying on anything.