Betting Exchange vs Bookmaker – What’s the difference?

When it comes to betting exchange vs bookmaker, which one is better?

So, there are two main options available – bookmakers and betting exchanges. While both offer the opportunity to place bets on sports events, there are some key differences between the two that every sports bettor should be aware of.

You should also check the first lesson from our Betting Exchange Course – “What is Betting Exchange“.

Firstly, let’s define what a bookmaker is. A bookmaker is a company that accepts bets from customers and sets odds on the outcome of events. The bookmaker will then offer odds on each possible outcome, with the odds reflecting the probability of that outcome occurring.


The bookmaker adjusts the odds so that they are slightly lower than the true probability of that outcome occurring. This difference between the true probability and the odds offered by the bookmaker is known as the bookmaker’s margin or overround.

For example, Pinnacle is a bookmaker. Yet, Sportmarket is not really a bookie, is a betting brokerage.

Exchange Gambling vs Trading

On the other hand, a betting exchange is a platform that allows users to bet against each other. In other words, you are betting against other individuals rather than a bookmaker.

Some exchanges take a commission on the winning bets. But they don’t set odds – the users themselves determine the odds. However, the betting exchange does manage the odds to some extent.

Betting Exchange Advantages

One of the key advantages of a betting exchange is that you can often find better odds than those offered by bookmakers. This is because the odds are set by the users themselves, and not by the bookmaker. As a result, you can often find better value for your bets on a betting exchange. Those are also called “fair odds”.

Another advantage of a betting exchange is the ability to trade bets (back and lay options). This means you can place bets on both sides of an event, effectively locking in a profit regardless of the outcome. This is known as trading and is not possible with traditional bookmakers.

If you realize that sports trading is different from betting, you will truly understand the value of exchanges.

Betting Exchange Disadvantages

However, there are also some disadvantages to using a betting exchange.

Firstly, the commission charged by the exchange can be higher than the margin of the bookmakers. This means that you may need to win a higher percentage of your bets to make a profit.

But remember that the commission is applied only to winning bets.

Additionally, betting exchanges can be more complicated to use than bookmakers. They require a good understanding of how to lay bets and trade bets, which can take time to learn. This can be a barrier for beginners who are new to sports betting.

But we are here to break that barrier! You just have to follow our activity.

Betting Exchange vs Bookmaker Conclusion

So, between Betting Exchange vs Bookmaker which one is better?

The answer is that it depends on your personal preference and betting strategy. If you are looking for better value and the ability to trade bets, then a betting exchange may be the better option. However, if you are looking for simplicity and ease of use, then a traditional bookmaker may be more suitable.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between a bookmaker and a betting exchange is essential for anyone interested in sports betting. While both offer the opportunity to place bets on sports events, the way they operate is fundamentally different. By weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of each, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

At Football Trading Academy, we specialize in providing valuable insights and resources for sports bettors who prefer using betting exchanges over traditional bookmakers. While we occasionally cover topics related to traditional gambling, our primary focus is on the benefits and strategies of using betting exchanges.

As avid supporters of betting exchanges ourselves, we believe they offer the best value and opportunities for sports bettors.

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