Your Guide To The Betfair Exchange
Punters will be familiar with the two main betting types offered by bookmakers on racing: fixed-odds and tote betting.
As we’ve already explored, the Betfair exchange offers an attractive and dynamic fixed-odds option.
But what of tote betting?
Betfair’s answer to this is the SP (starting price) market.
The BSP (Betfair Starting Price) is a true market price: backers and layers enter their stake for their horse as desired, with the price simply calculated by the weight of money on either side. Of course, this means the price is moving all the way up until the race jumps, as money enters either side of the market for each runner.
Winners are paid out at the final starting price, with Betfair deducting commission from the winnings in the same way as exchange betting.
Betfair SP: Odds limit
One very useful feature of BSP is the ability to set an odds limit: a minimum price for backers, and a maximum price for layers. This allows you to enter your BSP stake ahead of time as usual, but only have the bet placed if the price reaches your desired limit.
This is done by selecting “Set SP odds limit” in the betslip, and entering your price. For example, you may back a horse at SP on the morning of a race, but set an odds limit of $5. In that case, if the SP pays $5 or greater, the bet will be placed as desired. If it pays less than $5, the bet won’t be placed.
This is obviously an extremely useful feature for those working with a rated price.
Many knowledgable punters refer to Betfair SP as the true “market price”, as it’s not corrupted by anything: it’s purely money from backers and layers.
Betfair SP will often pay a higher dividend than the totes. This is particularly the case at the longer end of the market, where Betfair SP will generally pay a lot more than the totes.
All of this makes BSP a very compelling alternative to more traditional tote betting.