Allows gamblers to bet for and against outcomes.
Allows gamblers to offer their own odds to other gamblers.
Winners are welcome with the only stake restrictions being what other gamblers offer.
The odds are usally better than with bookmakers.
Covers 100s of cricket matches a year including smalller competitions like the TNPL and KPL.
Allows gamblers from most countries to bet.
Although most matches have a win market there are very few other markets available.
For smaller leagues there is limited liquidity before the start of the match..
Betfair was launched in 2000 as an internet betting exchange. It was designed as a person to person gambling platform to allow gamblers to bet against each other. If you do not like the odds other gamblers are currently offering it is possible to offer your own. The platform resulted in much more generous odds as there is no bookmaker involved. The exchange makes its money by taking a commission of between 2% and 5% on winning markets.
Cricket is one of the few segments still growing on the Betfair exchange. The advent of more and more televised Twenty 20 leagues throughout the world has led to more and more liquidity. Cricket is a perfect sport for inplay betting with every ball being an event that effects the match odds.
Betfair customers also have the option of betting using their own traditional sportsbook. This offers more markets for some matches and better odds pre-match on low liquidty games. The same account can be used for both the exchange and the sportsbook.
Markets are offered on all international cricket. Test matches, One Day Internationals and T20s. The smaller leagues such as the TNPL, KPL and Shpageeza league are offered.
The match odds market is by far the biggest market. It is not uncommon for up to £30 million to be traded on a single match in a smaller league such as the TNPL in India.
Other markets include innings runs, top batsmen and bowlers, toss winners and so on. They also have a completed match market. If the weather is looking suspect millions of pounds can be traded in this market.
Betfair allows gamblers to both back (bet for) and lay (bet against) outcomes.
The picture above shows the Betfair market for 3rd T20 between Pakistan and a World XI just over an hour before the start. I have Pakistan backed earlier at odds of 1.87. If I wanted to I could now lay (bet against) Pakistan at odds of 1.8. This would give me a small risk free profit of £3.88 regardless of who wins the match.
The big advantage of Betfair over traditional bookmakers is that you are able to trade the markets in this way. Instead of placing your bet and waiting for the result you can close out your bet at any point. You only pay commission on the amount you win on a market. If you lose you pay Betfair nothing.
The Betfair match odds market remains open unmanaged throughout the game. For games on TV the amounts traded go into the tens of millions and there is plenty of liquidity available for every ball.
Gamblers can bet at any point during the match. For instance, if you think a batsmen has a good record against a particular bowler you can back his team when the match up happens. You can then trade out and lay the team when the bowler finishes his over. If you think a wicket is about to fall you can back the bowling team and lay the team at reduced odds if the wicket happens.
In short, you can bet on the outcome of any passage of play by trading the match odds market.
Opening a Betfair betting account is a simple process that can be done on either on mobile or desktop computer.
The Betfair sign up page looks like this.
Cricket Betting Bookmakers