When Betfair launched in 2000, it took the betting world by storm. It was the first major betting exchange in the world, and for the first time ever, players from around the globe could bet against each other. Since then, a few things have changed: One example is that the Betfair commission has increased by quite a lot. At the same time, Betfair has now created its own bookmaker as well, known as Betfair Sportsbook.
But overall, it’s still a very attractive place to bet, and we recommend doing so. The main benefit is that there are no personal limitations at the exchange – you’re only limited by what the market has to offer, and that is rarely an issue since Betfair has a lot of liquidity. Read our full review for more information on Betfair, or sign up immediately.
Whenever we describe Betfair, we have to separate it into two: They have their exchange, and they have their sportsbook.
As for the exchange, the odds you will be shown are usually quite high and very appealing. Especially in major sports such as football and tennis where liquidity is high. Betfair’s exchange stands out when it comes to outright winners in various tournaments since the odds are actually fair, and not downgraded such as with typical bookmakers. But always keep in mind that you need to pay commissions on your winnings. This can vary from country to country, in some places the commission is 5%, and in other places, it is 6.5%. It’s possible to achieve a lower commission rate by betting a lot through Betfair.
If you use Betfair through a broker, such as SportMarket, there is a 2.3% commission which is quite amazing. Therefore, we highly recommend using SportMarket if you can do so. It will give you access to Betfair with a huge advantage.
You can also bet with Betfair’s own sportsbook. There is no commission here, as Betfair calculates their own odds, just like any other bookmaker would do. On major sports leagues, such as the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, the payback percentage can reach 98%, which is certainly not bad. On average, Betfair Sportsbook will offer around 95% in payback percentage, meaning it’s in the middle of the pack. The bad news is that they are fast to limit their players, but more about that later.
You can bet on almost all sports in the world through Betfair.
The sportsbook offers a bit of everything, and you can easily get an overview of the sports by visiting the website and looking at the selection. However, there are no Asian handicaps on the sportsbook – a negative for sharps.
You will find Asian handicaps, along with many other variants, on the exchange. For that reason, most serious players stick to Betfair’s exchange. The game selection is very strong here as well, but it’s all dependent on the market. Usually, it will be hard to place a lot of money several days in advance, but on the same day where the event takes place, you will find a large game selection with high liquidity and good opportunities to place lots of money.
We can state this quite easily: Betfair’s exchange has no personal limits, only the natural limits of the market, but Betfair’s sportsbook places limits very fast on the winning players.
Eventually, most sharps and winners will only be able to use the exchange, but that is completely fine because that’s the main attraction anyway. Due to the lack of any limits on the exchange, we are awarding the best possible rating to Betfair in this category.
Betfair usually offers bonuses to all new customers. The size of the bonus, along with the wagering requirements, will be different from country to country. In most places, you can get a big deposit bonus through the sportsbook, whereas the exchange will typically offer a free bet to all new players.
If you place a lot of bets in the exchange, you will collect Betfair points. They will make it possible for you to lower your commissions. There can also be several other campaigns that you can take advantage of – visit the Betfair page of your country and see what they have to offer. In some countries, such as the UK, it is possible to reject all bonuses and promotions and instead receive a commission of just 2%. This is better than any bonus out there, so if you have that choice, take it!
We generally like the layout and navigation of Betfair. It’s quite smooth and professional, just like what you would expect from a company of this size. The color scheme is somewhat unique, and even though Betfair doesn’t have the prettiest website in the world, it usually works very well, and it is simple to navigate around.
A funny thing is that in the exchange, you can search for players, teams, events and leagues, but you can’t do the same in the sportsbook.
New players might need some time to get accustomed to the setup of Betfair’s exchange. There will be a lot of numbers and a lot of different options since you can back and lay. Betfair gives you to chance to bet on AND against each possible outcome. This takes some getting used to for new players, but it is simple enough once you learn it. It opens up to a lot of opportunities that you won’t find at the regular bookmakers.
Betfair’s website is accessible in most mobile browsers, so you can always bet when you’re out. However, they might block the page if you’re outside of your own country, which is an obvious downside. So if you’re traveling, it may not always be possible to place your bets with Betfair.
You can also download their apps. Betfair has one app for their exchange and one for their sportsbook. Both are available on iPhones as well as Androids. You log in with the same account, as your user has access to both betting platforms. Their apps are generally working well and have similar designs to the website.
Betfair has English customer service, and you can contact them at any time of the day. They can be contacted by phone and email. The phone is fastest, but email can be useful if you want to show them screenshots or if you need to attach any documentation.
You will also find customer service in many other languages. If you bet through the Spanish version of Betfair, for example, you will also get Spanish support.
In general, Betfair aims to reply to all customers within 4 hours. Problems are usually solved fast, although there can occasionally be problems and differences between players and support workers. If you have any experiences with Betfair’s customer service, good as well as bad, then let us know in the comment section.
Deposit and withdrawal
You can use all the most common deposit and withdrawal methods when you want to transfer money to/from Betfair.
VISA and MasterCard are the most typical choices, but you can also use e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal (may vary from country to country). Bank transfer is also an option and it probably works best for large deposits and withdrawals.
Expect that deposits will be there immediately if you use a credit card or an e-wallet. Withdrawal can take a few days if you’re using an e-wallet, and up to a week if you’re sending a bank transfer.
The options are good overall, but we would like to see even more options. Cryptocurrencies would be nice, but let’s see if they will ever open up to that.
How to sign up
Signing up is fast and easy. Go to Betfair’s website and start your registration. You have to fill in a lot of data, such as name, address, date of birth, and so on. It’s a requirement to be at least 18 years old to bet with Betfair. You will likely be asked to provide documentation of your identity and your address. It’s a part of Betfair’s know-your-customer (KYC) policy. The same thing is also required by almost all other bookmakers.
Betfair’s exchange is amazing and should most certainly be used by winning players. The sportsbook is good at first, but it’s also fast to place personal limits on winning players.
It’s due to the strong and limitless exchange, arguably the best of such in the world, that we are recommending Betfair. It’s a must to have Betfair in your bookie portfolio, so be sure to sign up.
Remember: You can also use Betfair through SportMarket if you live in a country where it is accessible.