Betfair vs Smarkets exchanges, which is the best for matched betting?

Betfair vs Smarkets
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Betfair vs Smarkets Exchanges

It is no secret that when we start out matched betting there is a ton of encouragement to use Betfair Exchange but does it really have the upper hand over its main competitor Smarkets? Nearly every guide on the internet recommends it and even my own step by step matched betting guide used Betfair Exchange in the example, so which wins the war of Betfair vs Smarkets.

Surely with all these tutorials and recommendations it must be a guarantee that Betfair is the king of betting exchanges, well the answer to that is a bit of yes and no! You see for us matched bettors we are always trying to find value and squeeze as much risk free money out of the bookies as possible so surely we would not willingly want to be throwing away our hard earned money to a betting exchange. Unfortunately this is the case as at Betfair you are paying a hefty 5% commission on winning bets were as at Smarkets you are paying 2%, this may not sound much but believe me on the large stakes and numerous bets on the majority of non sign up offers it will soon add up. On the other hand though Smarkets can also be inferior to Betfair, so lets have a quick look at the pros and cons of each betting exchange

Betfair exchange logo




Betfair exchange pros and cons



  •  Betfair has a huge market that covers pretty much every sport and event that you could possibly need for matched betting offers, from football and horses to grehound racing and NFL and everything else in between.
  • Great liquidity on all markets means that you will find it very easy to get all your matched bets layed.
  • Easy to use interface makes it a breeze to navigate.


  • Betfairs 5% comission on winning lay bets is a profit killer especially when using high stakes on offers such as hi5 and 4 means more.
  • Using Betfairs exchange whilst matched betting on their sportsbook or Paddy Power will more than likely get you gubbed.

The Smarkets betting exchange logo





Smarkets exchange pros and cons



  • Smarkets low commission rate is set at 2% which represents a huge saving over time on big matched bets
  • Easy to use once you grasp where everything is.
  • Good mobile app for use when on the move.


  • No where near as many markets as there are on Betfair
  • There has been a few times when Smarkets has crashed and as you might guess it is always at the time when you need to lay a big bet! admittedly this has not happened for a few months now though that i have noticed.
  • Not as much liquidity on the betting markets meaning that it can be hard to match your bets on lower profile matches and races.

Betfair vs Smarkets conclusion

In conclusion i would recommend that you should use Betfair Exchange over Smarkets until you have got to grips with how matched betting works. Once you have got your head around laying bets fully and have built up a decent float/bank i would definitely recommend opening an account with both Betfair and Smarkets as they both have benefits for different parts of matched betting. I would be lost without Smarkets on large stake, high profile football matched bets! likewise i would not be able to take part in Betbrights 25% cashback offer on greyhound racing with out Betfair exchange, so as you can see they are both beneficial to have in your matched betting arsenal. I would advice that you should practice with smaller stake offers when starting up matched betting on a new exchange until you get a feel for the platform.

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