Betfair vs Smarkets – Find Out Which is Better

Betfair vs Smarkets: Betfair is an online betting company and is also counted amongst the world’s biggest online betting exchanges. It has a wide range of betting options to offer, from online casinos to fixed-odds betting (Sportsbook), online bingo, and online poker. It was established in the year 2000 with headquarters located in West London in Hammersmith, United Kingdom, and in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Within a short span of time, Betfair gained popularity and became one of the largest online betting exchanges in the world of betting, without having to face much competition in the market. Betfair claims to have a turnover of £50 million in a week, with over 4 million engaged customers.

Smarkets is also a betting agency of the United Kingdom, established in 2008 with its workplaces in London, Malta, and Los Angeles. Smarkets Exchange is well known for its peer-to-peer platform and betting services on numerous political markets and sports variations. From the very beginning, Smarkets Exchange has focused on transparency, simplicity, and topmost commission rates in the industry. The peer-to-peer policy allows Smarkets to maintain a pellucid salary policy where the salary of all the employees is visible to their peers, including the CEO of the company on their internal Wikipedia page.

Betfair Vs Smarkets Comparison and Review


The company has facilitated its employees with a self-set salary strategy wherein a time frame of six months, they can decide their own salary with the assistance of a peer-reviewed process at a selected time of the year. With all the efforts, Smarkets is considered to be a world-renowned as well as a technologically progressive betting exchange, and also a serious competitor to the Betfair Exchange.

When an individual has to choose a betting exchange to place some unqualified bets, there are only two names in the market to choose from, and both are equally popular in the exchange market, considered to be the head and shoulders amongst the rest. If you are a newbie in the field of betting, your first step would be to create an exchange account in the betting exchange. Experts always recommend registering with both the giants of the market. If you are wondering why is it so? Here you are with a number of reasons for the same.

Market Presence – Betfair vs Smarkets

There is no doubt that Betfair has got its reach extensively in the market, covering many more sports than Smarkets. However, Smarkets have been doing a commendable job with continually adding new sports and updating themselves from overtime. For example, you can only lay bets for greyhound at Betfair and not on Smarkets, although to access a variety of common offers, you can lay bets at any of the exchanges. However, you will always find more of the indeterminate events and sports that Betfair offers to the market way ahead of Smarkets. Both of these betting exchanges accept requests through live chat to open up markets that are unavailable, provided they feel that the requested market has potential and eventually would become famous.

Smarkets are always the runner up when it comes to market availability. Betfair wins the competition with its vast range, more than its requirement for matched betting. You can blindly head to Betfair to lay your accumulator when it comes to price enhancement on several markets.

Smarkets do not offer accumulators in writing on their website. As part of the matched betting, it is vital to consider the accumulators at a glance rather than calculating every lay stake for every single game.

The Rate of Commission – Smarkets Vs Betfair

The crucial part of matched betting profit earning is co-related with the rate of commission the betting exchanges will charge on your net winnings. Betfair’s rate of commission is standardized at 5%, whereas Smarkets deducts a commission of only 2%. This mere difference becomes significant and adds up to a colossal amount of accumulated betting and with time.

For example, if you lay £100 bets every day and these £100 wins at the Smarkets exchange, you will be paying a charge of 2% that is £2 per day. So, for a month, it will be just £60 of your total winning amount. Whereas, if you compare this with Betfair, they will levy £5 for the same winning amount of £100 on a daily basis. If you calculate the same for a month, the net worth of a month’s bet would be £150 – which means you will end up paying £90 extra from the profit earned every month towards the commission, which subsequently would add up to £1080 in a year. That would definitely burn a hole in your pocket, and just for choosing Betfair trading over the Smarkets.

Although Betfair rewards their loyal customers with a point system that reduces the commission rate for them depending on the total amount that they bet each week, one more reason for Betfair to charge a higher commission rate than Smarkets is that they outdo Smarkets in a few key areas.

Technological Factor

Smarkets have beaten the Betfair exchange in terms of technology. They are ruling the market with their advanced technology. It is correctly said by the Smarkets, “Smarkets is the world’s most technologically advanced betting exchange,” and it is really hard to deny this fact.

Smarkets own the incredibly slick Android and iOS apps, and their Instant Match and Trade out features are the best in the market for the end-user. The Smarkets also brag about their ingenious lay betting in which the better does not have to worry about oscillating odds. The moment your lay, odds decrease before you deposit your lay bet, and your lay stake gets automatically adjusted according to the recalculation done by Smarkets.

Reliability Factor

Another area in the field of matched betting where Betfair steals the first position is Reliability. At the initial stage, Smarkets strived with the reliability factor. Due to the fast growth and fame of the Smarkets exchange, they floundered during the busy hours to handle the increased pressure.

Comparatively, they are in a much better position in recent days though. Smarkets have managed to overcome the problems of the past and captured a vast customer base by refining their scalability through the proper investment of resources and time.
Betfair exchange has been reliable, and they are well sorted with their customer handling. Notwithstanding the fact that they too have periodical downtimes of their website like all other websites, although very rarely. Because of better technical support and servers, Betfair can cope up with the augmented traffic in a better way than Smarkets.

Liquidity Factor

Liquidity means the availability of money in a market; without liquidity, your lay bets would not get matched. Traders mostly use the Betfair Exchange, which increases the availability of funds in their markets in comparison to Smarkets. However, if you compare the liquidity of both the exchanges, you will be surprised to see that they are more than what is required for matched betting and the odds too tend to be almost similar.

At times, Betfair starts as an event with higher liquidity, but as the event progresses, Smarkets play catch up and get closer. While placing your qualifying bet, it is essential to place these bets on big games with higher liquidity, irrespective of the betting exchange.

Display Factor

Both exchanges possess different display factors. The Smarkets layout will only display the main market when an event is clicked. Usually, that is the market you would like to check; in case you are searching for some other market, you will have to scroll down to open it by yourself. This approach has led Smarkets to keep the look of the exchange clean. Smarkets are considered to be a pure form of exchange, unlike Betfair, which has created distractions through Casino, Sportsbook, and numerous other branches. On the contrary, Betfair displays various markets with just one click on an event, which gives them some superiority in terms of display and navigation.

Welcoming Offers

Your choice of selection of a betting exchange should not get too much influenced by the welcome offers of added bonus upon registration.
Betfair is offering a 0% commission rate for new joiners. A maximum cash amount of £500 will be refunded to the customer, which they would have paid as a commission within 30 days from joining.

Smarkets also run an awesome offer on what they call the Premier League, where both existing and new better can receive £10.00 risk-free every week. Here, Smarkets asks you to risk £10.00 or more on a minimum of five different Premier Leagues every week, and you will receive £10.00 on the subsequent week.

Methods of Deposits

Both Betfair and Smarkets are reasonably good in terms of methods of deposits. Several deposit options are open for you like credit cards, debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, direct bank transfers, and PayPal. In the case of Smarkets, you can get an extra method of deposit known as Trustly. This particular method lets you make instant bank transfers that directly reaches the Smarkets account.

We can say that in terms of deposit methods, Smarkets is a step ahead due to its extra valid alternative.

Pros and Cons of Betfair and Smarkets

Pros of Betfair:     

  • Customer can back and lay selections
  • Due to markets being controlled by customers, Betfair has better prices on the et
  • Liquidity can be an issue on certain markets
  • Betfair charges 5% commission on all winning bets

Talking of Betfair Exchange, you get a number of advantages as compared to using various other online bookmakers. One of the most significant benefits that you can get is to make money even if one of your picks doesn’t win. You can still win all the wagers providing the tournament is won by any player that you did not lay. Betfair Exchange offers a wide range of options to choose from. You can use Betfair as an advanced form of cashout and partial cash out to either lock in a profit or minimize losses apart from using it against an outcome happening pre-match. Betfair is considered to better option as compared to bookies. It means more profit. On the Betfair Exchange, you can lay whenever you want for, however, and whatever the market allows. They get their commission whether you are making a profit or a loss; hence they are not concerned about winning or losing. Betfair takes a 5% commission on all winning bets on the Exchange.

Cons of Betfair:

  • Fear of loss of money
  • Chances of ending up making less profit
  • You can only cancel your own bet
  • 5% commission is quite high

Advantages and disadvantages go hand in hand. Where there are advantages, there ought to be some disadvantages too. Let’s discuss the cons of the Betfair Exchange. One of the major drawbacks of Betfair Exchange is you are at risk of losing a good chunk of money if you lay a long-odds bet. Here the bet is not limited to the stakes as in case of standard bets. There are chances of making the desired profit and end up with small profits if you get the calculations wrong. You can only cancel your bet. 5% commission is not a small figure, especially when you are winning on lays. If you are running markets, there are enough chances it affects the margin. There are only a few betting exchanges. If there are more players, then the commission will be less, as having limited players will always have an increase in the percentage of commission.

Pros of Smarkets:

  • A low commission rate of 2%
  • Really easy to navigate and place bets
  • Smart lay technology
  • No distractions of the sportsbook or casino games etc
  • Easy sign-up bonus

If compared with its counterpart Betfair Exchange, then you will find Smarkets has the edge over Betfair. In most cases, there are advantages to using Smarkets. The biggest advantage is the safety of using Smarkets since it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gambling Authority. It is considered among safe bookmakers for placing bets and trading. Using intelligent technology, Smarkets helps to place your bet at ease. It offers a much lower flat-rate commission of just 2% on all winning bets as compared to Betfair’s 5%. Apparently, it may appear 3% isn’t much difference in the scheme of things. However, this is a -60% difference. It has launched an improvised version of cash out – ‘trade out.’ Unlike Betfair, here you can cash out your exchange bets at any point. The new Smarkets trade allows you to cash out a single bet within a market.

Cons of Smarkets:

  • Lower liquidity than Betfair
  • Lack of casino games
  • Phone services and customer care live chat and hotline are limited to the people who have already signed up and not to others


If we consider the comparison between Betfair and Smarkets, it is really hard to overlook the 2% commission rate of Smarkets, which is much less than the 5% commission rate of Betfair. Again, Smarkets gives you a vast range of markets for gambling comparing to Betfair. In fact, Smarkets services have come up with open markets for diverse sports events like football, handball, horse race, etc. Smarkets has earned fame due to its political markets. These markets allow the betters to bet on anything ranging from the next world leaders to any significant political party that will win control of specific election areas. Moreover, a particular range of services has been brought by Smarkets concerning entertainment and current affairs that include X-Factor and Oscar winner.

But, Smarkets has its weakness too in comparison to Betfair, and that is liquidity. Betfair has won in this regard by keeping possession of a large proportion of the entire market share. Other betting exchanges are facing difficulty in entering in the betting market.

If you count on our decision, then we will prefer Smarkets as a better exchange due to their convenient and easy to use the site in the juxtaposition of Betfair. Smarkets’ customer support is outstanding, and you can get an instant solution. However, that doesn’t mean that Betfair is not fair. Afterall, Betfair is the biggest online exchange in the world. The markets and sports range are incredible. We will be happier if more rewarding offers appear with time for the new customers of Betfair Exchange. Plus, there are some deposits as well as withdrawal methods that involve a different charge. The controversy will continue due to the Premium charges.

You can open an account with both the exchanges and experience yourself. You will be able to figure out which one is most suited for you and bet accordingly. After all, it’s all about making more profits than losing money. You are the best decision-maker, and unless you bet through both the exchanges, you will never know which is bringing the best future for you.

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