What Is Spread Betting?

There is a significant difference between betting with fixed odds and spread betting. There’s different markets and different pricing structures . Both have their advantages and disadvantages. We discuss them on this post.

First of all we will look at fixed odds betting to better understand the difference between these two systems.

Fixed Odds Betting

Fixed odds is the most popular way to gamble on sports. This is where odds are offered against a specific outcome occurring, with a stake set against it. If the outcome occurs, the person placing the bet gets the return reflected in the odds. If the outcome does not occur, the person laying the bet (eg the bookmaker) keeps the stake set against it.

For example – placing a £10 stake on a team winning a football match at odds of 10/1 would

  • Return £100 (plus the £10 stake) should the team WIN.
  • Lose £10 should the team DRAW or LOSE.

Spread Betting

Spread betting is done on a points system, with a marking range for a specific outcome occurring. People can then place a bet on whether the outcome will be fewer or greater than the marking point. The stake set accordingly represents one point on the marking system.

To give you a better idea, imagine the marking range in a football match for the first goal scored is set between 34 and 37 minutes.

People can now decide whether they believe the first goal will be scored before 34 minutes, or after 37 minutes. Whichever they choose the amount they place will indicate their point value (1 point = 1 minute in this case). The distance away from the marking range of the outcome will depend on the return or deficit.

So if a £10 stake were to be placed on fewer than 34 minutes and a goal was scored in the 20th minute, the bet would have won by 14 points as the first goal was scored 14 minutes fewer than the marking range . As the point value was set at £10, this bet would return £140 (£10 x 14).

However, if the first goal was scored in the 84th minute the bet would be 50 minutes away from the marking range being bet on (in this case 34). This would cause the bet to lose by 50 points. Therefore, the bet would cost the person placing it £500 (£10 x -50).

Greater Rewards Bring Bigger Risks

Spread betting may sound attractive initially with the chances of big returns. However, the opposite can be said and large losses can also be incurred.

The stake set does not represent the final outlay and users can and do find themselves in the situation of having to settle a negative balance.

There are ways and markets on spread betting that can minimise risk. For example, betting on the goals scored market. If the range is set at 2-3, there isn’t going to be a huge potential difference in points, compared to the earlier example.

Is Spread Betting Right For Me?

Our best advice is to steer clear of spread betting if you are a complete beginner to betting. Get used to the fixed betting service first and get some experience on how betting works, while knowing exactly how much you are potentially going to lose. You would then be in a much better position to check out spread betting.

For those experienced punters who are just getting in to spread betting, sniff out the lower risk markets first, such as the goals market. Once the process makes sense and there is a full understanding of how each market works, that’s when we recommend experimenting with low point stakes in the more riskier markets.

More Information On Spread Betting

We hope we have provided enough information to understand the differences between these two betting systems. However, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the intricacies of both systems, especially spread betting.

Each market comes with its own set of rules and we urge everyone to fully understand what they are betting on before committing. This is especially important in spread betting when losses can exceed deposit amounts.

Most betting apps have an online help section that can answer most questions. Betting apps that offer spread betting options have a guide on how spread betting works. They also have an information icon next to each spread betting market that breaks down exactly how the market works. Use these resources to broaden your spread betting knowledge.

Recommended Spread Betting Apps

Sporting Index


Spreadex Sports app

Recommended Fixed Odds Betting Apps

William Hill

William Hill app icon


888Sport app logo new


Boylesports app logo new