How to lay bets off

Most of the major bookies now let you “cash out” your accumulators but that may not be the best way to secure the profit. If you have a Betfair account you can lay bets off to get a potentially bigger profit or cover your stake.

Lay bets are different to traditional types of bet and can often be a good way to boost your winnings on a wager.

They’re becoming increasingly popular with more advanced punters and are regularly used when using a Matched Betting strategy.

Only a select number of outlets offer lay betting, so if you’re looking to get in on the act then you need to pick your sites carefully. At Betting Apps, we know all you need to know about lay off bets, and below you’ll find our complete guide on what they are and how you play them.

What Are Lay Bets?

Lay bets are a type of bet that are exclusively offered by betting exchanges as opposed to traditional Android or iPhone betting apps and basically work on the basis that you make a bet against a specific outcome happening.

For example:

Let’s say you wanted to bet on a football match between Liverpool and Everton. If you were to place a bet at a regular bookmaker, you’d be placing a wager on a team to win. In this instance let’s say Liverpool.

With a bookmaker such as William Hill, you would make a ‘Back’ bet on Liverpool, as you would be backing them to win the game.

However, in a betting exchange like Betfair, you can place a ‘Lay’ bet which means you would be betting against them, meaning you would win the bet should the match finish a draw or Liverpool win the game.

This ultimately means two outcomes are in your favour and one isn’t when playing this particular Lay bet.

How To Lay Bets Off To Secure Profit

Placing a lay bet is relatively easy, however, you need to find a betting exchange that will offer the ability to do so.

Betfair Exchange is the most popular of the betting exchanges and is certainly the place we’d recommend going to enjoy lay betting.

The first step, of course, is to have a Betfair account and download the Betfair app.

Once your account is opened you can begin to place lay bets. There are a number of reasons for why you would do so. Most commonly that’s as part of a Matched Betting tactic, although you can also benefit from placing a lay bet when playing an accumulator in-play.

In Matched Betting the idea is simple, it’s about covering all outcomes with value. In the case of the latter, it’s a lot more interesting and offers a solid way to earn some returns.

The way to do this is by first finding a bet that’s winning that you want to lay off. This works best when you’re down to the last game, make sure you have a note of the odds and your stake.

Now you need to calculate how to lay it off, start by going to and select back/lay calculator. If you’re on iPhone this site won’t work so you can download the free back/lay calc app 

Enter the details of your accumulators’ odds, stake and the lay odds from Betfair, or another bookmaker, for the final game. Then hit calculate and it will tell you the exact lay stake for Betfair. This is almost always higher than the “cash-out” option from the bookies, just make sure you double-check the numbers so you’re getting the best profit.

For Example:


From the images above we created an example of how this is done using the iPhone calculator app.

In this scenario, we have backed an acca at 50 (£5 at 49/1) and we have one game to go. The odds for the lay is at 1.5, with lay odds appearing in red, so we’ve added these details to the calculator.

If we let it run the acca is set to return a £245 profit, but if we’re nervous we can lay £166.67 at 1.5. Remember this is a lay so the liability is £88.33, which you will need to have in your account. If we place the lay we are secured a £161 profit regardless of the outcome.

Choosing when to place a lay bet in this scenario is always down to your own judgement. You might decide it’s the best time to lay off if for example the team takes the lead and it’s 1-0 with 10 minutes. You’d still lay off at that point and make a profit. The odds will probably be around 1.18 so we’ve added this as an example. If added to the calculator you can now get a £206 profit.

It’s always worth checking the odds to lay of bets if you feel nervous. It’s your choice if and when you do it but it’s good to cover it as there’s nothing worse than losing a big acca to a last-minute equaliser!

If you have multiple games remaining then you can use arb cruncher site to make a double lay bet by using the multiple lay calculator. Select the two games and it will calculate the return for laying them both so if one loses you’ll get an even return, you can then add this to the back/ lay calculator. There is a chance if you do it this way then you can win both lays making an even bigger profit.

Where To Place Lay Bets

You can only place lay bets at betting exchanges. Generally, these are a little few and far between, particularly in comparison to the number of standard iPhone and Android betting apps on the market.

We’d always recommend Betfair. They’re one of our most trusted bookmakers and have years of experience via their Betfair Exchange. It has a large number of markets to place lay bets on and every major fixture across football, horse racing, and many other sports are available.

You can ultimately place a lay bet on any sport and any market. If the Betfair Exchange is offering lay bets, then you can use the methods above to cover all bases and make a profit.

They give you that extra safety net, and if you need that in your gameplay, then using lay bets is definitely for you.