How the Smarkets betting exchange works
Smarkets is the peer-to-peer betting exchange which allows you to bet on sports, events and politics in a competitive, modern and fair environment.
Not everybody is familiar with betting exchanges so, to help you get ahead, we’ve put together a definitive guide on Smarkets, how to join, get started and begin bringing in your winnings.
What is the Smarkets betting exchange?
The main difference with a betting exchange is that, rather than betting against a bookmaker, it provides a platform for users to bet against each other on the outcome of events.
And this means instead of being limited to the odds set by a bookmaker, a betting exchange allows users to go head-to-head against one another and create their own odds. One user will back a certain outcome, while the other will lay (laying is betting against a certain outcome).
Smarkets make their money by taking a small percentage of your winnings in commission, an “industry-low two per cent.”
Still unsure on exactly how all of this works? Take a look at Smarkets’ simplified example below:
You and a friend are watching Djokovic vs. Murray. You believe Djokovic will win, while your friend disagrees and believes Murray will claim victory. He offers you odds of 2.00 (evens) that Djokovic won’t win.
You both agree to bet £20. If Djokovic wins, your friend pays you £20. But if Murray wins, you lose and pay up the £20 to your friend.
Smarkets’ odds are based on what percentage of their users are backing a certain outcome. For example:
- Ipswich are at 85% (1.18)
- The market makes Ipswich 85% (1.18) to win
- Smarkets’ traders have Ipswich’s price at 85% (1.18)
- The implied chance/probability of an Ipswich win is 85% (1.18)
From football to politics, Smarkets offer a range of markets and a collection of guides (which can be found here) to help novice traders better understand them.
How to join Smarkets
You can sign up to Smarkets by following these three steps:
1. The sign-up page
From 3 December 2019 until 10 February 2020, Smarkets are offering new and existing customers the opportunity to earn a £10 risk-free bonus each week.* To find out more about this offer, visit the Smarkets sign-up page, where you can join by creating your account details: email address, password, date of birth and currency. If you have a referral code from their “refer a friend” promotion, you’ll enter it here.
*18+ only. Ts&Cs apply.
2. Personal details
Once you’ve set-up your account details, you’ll then be prompted to enter your personal information, such as full name, country of residence and address.
Finally, with your account all set up, you’ll have the chance to make your first deposit (£20 minimum) — before you do, you must verify your email address and identity.
To verify your email, follow the instructions on the Smarkets email which will be sent to your provided address.
Smarkets will try to verify your identity electronically but if they can’t, you’ll be required to provide some photo ID and proof of address.
How to place a bet on Smarkets
Once you’ve deposited your first £20, Smarkets will give you access to your £10 welcome bonus and, furthermore, will even refund the first £10 that you lose. So, how exactly do you place your bets?
First, use the navigation tool on the left of the screen to pick the sport, competition or event you wish to bet on. If you’re having trouble with the navigation tool, there is also a search bar at the top of the screen.
Once you know what category you wish to bet on, it’s time to select an event. For example, if you picked Premier League football, you can now pick out which fixture you want to bet on.
Finally, it’s time to enter your on the bet you’d like to back (for) or lay (against), enter your price and click ‘Place Bet’.
Smarkets will verify the result of an event before paying out to customers and they will only take their commission on winning bets.
You have to be over 18 to gamble. For more information go to BeGambleAware.