Smarkets vs Betfair – The Differences
Smarkets or Betfair? This is a question that is asked frequently, so it’s only fair that I give my honest judgement. I have ran these side by side, for almost two years now.
This review should cater for all, whether it be advice for a new member of Matched Betting Forums, or an experienced member who is looking for advanced techniques.
The Main Advantages
Betfair is The leading exchange meaning it has increased reliability, and as it’s more popular there’s always more money in the markets
There are a larger range of markets to bet on. First goal scorer etc, which aren’t available with Smarkets
Occasional promotions (exchange only)
Auto Stake Edit – the lay bet automatically calculates the difference in the lay bet if the odds move, which is a clever feature that can help save time and money
Sign up bonus – this is a £10 rebate on your lost bets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does reliability matter?
Reliability is a huge deciding factor when comparing products. Before I purchase an item I tend to research common faults, and the same applies for when comparing a service.
In this instance, Betfair Exchange cannot be rivalled.
Betfair invented the idea of having an exchange, allowing punters to place bets against each other. They have continually grown, to the point where they are one of the leading Online Bookmakers.
With this, comes experience,meaning Betfair have better resources available; faster servers, a larger scale technical support team & better developers.
During testing I noticed that during large profile events, Smarkets would lock up leaving an error saying the technical team are working on servers etc, but it happened so often (without prior warning) that I became convinced that they couldn’t cope with traffic levels.
Further research, I read that these errors would also cause more damage. I read how the system can mislead you, it’s possible that if you place a lay bet you think fully matches, it may actually not even be placed on their system. This can leave you with huge potential losses, it hasn’t happened to me, but I would be distraught if so as I’m now regularly betting anywhere up to £5,000 a bet.
It’s also in Smarkets terms that they don’t have to pay out if they don’t see fit. Which, they wouldn’t as it would leave them out of pocket.
My advice here, is if you have to place bets on any high profile events, or notice there are any issues on Smarkets, ensure you have some funds in Betfair to use their systems.
Will the range of markets affect me?
Both exchanges offer all horse racing meetings, Golf tournaments and Major Tennis opens.
However, Smarkets has a flaw In the fact they don’t cover many football matches outside of the ‘elite leagues’. Betfair will cater for more or less any football match, even catering for the lower league of Saudi Arabia!
Not only this, Betfair also cover a huge amount of market on each football game.
They cover things like first Goalscorer, Match Result & BTTS, over/under in cards or corner markets. You can also recently lay off games playing the same time, meaning there are more ways to make money matched betting.
Smarkets do not cover these markets, only covering full time result, Over/Under Goals, BTTS, correct score etc. Betfair cover these and much more, meaning for you to be able to complete every matched betting promotion you will need to take advantage of Betfairs Exchange system.
Will I benefit from paying less commission?
Smarkets are certainly in the driving seat when it comes to commission, charging 2% compared to Betfair 5%, you will save extra money long term.
However, you do get what you pay for, so it may be worth considering paying slightly more to ensure you get a top class service.
The commission saved up over a year could be wiped out with one mishap.
Do exchanges send out promotions/offers?
Betfair offer a free bet of £20 when you sign up
Smarkets offer a commission rebate of £10.
In terms of ongoing offers, exchanges don’t tend to do this (they are well aware they don’t need to tempt matched betting individuals in!) but I have received promotions from Betfair Exchange three times this year stating ‘£100 cash rebate if you don’t win on exchange bets’. All this requires is to back an outsider on Betfair, if they lose you get your £100 cash rebate! I’ve taken £94 profit from this on three different occasions.