Matchbook is a betting exchange where you bet against other punters rather than a bookie.
It operates in a similar way to Betfair and Betdaq, in that you can both back and lay bets on a variety of markets.
However, the way its commission is structured is a little different to those two exchanges and a little bit more complicated as well!
Below we take a look at how commission works at Matchbook.
With a bookmaker, they offer you slightly worse odds than they should, so that they can make a profit. This is called their “overround.”
What it means is that on a coin toss for example, they would offer you 10/11 or 5/6 on both outcomes rather than the true odds of even money.
With a betting exchange such as Matchbook however, you generally get better odds than you do with the bookies.
On the above example of a coin toss, you could expect the odds on either outcome to be 2.0 or very close to it.
However, you have to pay commission – that is how the exchanges make their money.
With Betfair, it is very simple – you just pay commission on your winnings, whether you back or lay.
With Matchbook though you pay commission on both and winning and losing bets (although at a much lower rate than Betfair) and differing amounts depending on whether you have accepted a bet or requested one.
We go through this in more detail below.
Commission for Offering Bets and Accepting them
At Matchbook, the commission you pay varies depending on whether you put in an offer in a market for someone else to potentially match, or whether you accept odds that are already there.
If you accept odds that are already there, then you would pay 1.5% commission.
If the bet wins, you would pay 1.5% commission on your profit and if it loses, you pay 1.5% commission on whatever is lower of your stake or potential profit/liability.
Let’s look at an example:
It is a tennis match in the French Open between Ostapenko and Wozniacki.
As you can see from the odds, it is a close match and should be an interesting contest at Rolland Garros.
Now let’s say you back Wozniacki at 1.787 for £20.
If the bet wins, you would pay £0.24 in commission – i.e. 1.5% of your profit of £15.75.
If the bet loses, you would also pay £0.24 in commission – i.e. 1.5% of the lower of your potential profit of £15.75 and your stake of £20.
Backing Example – Requesting Odds
Now let’s say you wanted to back Wozniacki, but instead of taking odds that are already posted of 1.787, you request slightly higher odds of 1.8.
Presuming the bet is matched, you would be looking at the following commission rates:
You would pay 0.75% commission if the bet wins.
So that would be £0.12 commission – i.e. 0.75% of your winnings of £16.
If the bet loses, you would pay £0.12 in commission – i.e. 0.75% of the lower of your potential profit of £16 and your stake of £20.
So as you can see in this example, it is better to request a bet than accept it in terms of the commission you will pay.
Obviously you have to weigh this against the chance of not being matched, but in most instances where this is good liquidity, you have a fair chance of being matched if you request odds just one tick above the current price.
Commission on Lay Bets
It works in the same way for lay bets. Let’s have a look at an example:
In this example, we are looking at the tennis match between Kevin Anderson and Marin Cilic.
This is a match where the market is expecting Cilic to win and has him as strong favourite.
Let’s say you agree with the consensus opinion and choose to lay Anderson at 4.55 for a liability of £71 and a potential profit of £20 if he loses the match.
If Cilic wins the match, you will win your bet and pay £0.30 in commission. That is 1.5% of your profit of £20.
If Anderson wins , the commission you will pay is £0.30.
That is 1.5% of your potential winnings of £20 – i.e. it is the lower of your potential profit of £20 and layer’s liability of £71.
Example Two – Request Odds
In this example, we will look at a lay bet where you are requesting odds rather than accepting them.
Let’s take the same tennis match from the French Open, Anderson v Cilic.
You want to lay Anderson for the match, but instead of accepting the odds of 4.55, you offer odds of 4.5 to lay £20 for a liability of £70.
If the bet gets matched, you are looking at the following rates of commission:
If Cilic wins and your bet wins, you will pay £0.15 in commission – i.e. 0.75% on your profit of £20.
If Anderson wins and your bet loses, you will also pay £0.15 in commission – i.e. 0.75% on the lower of your potential profit of £20 and layer’s liability of £70.
Matchbook commission is quite complicated and does take some explaining.
However, here is a neat little summary of the key elements to it:
- You pay a commission of 1.5% on your winnings if you accept odds that are already posted.
- If you request odds and your bet is matched, you will only pay 0.75% commission on your profit if your bet wins.
- If you place a lay bet at odds that are already there and your bet loses, you will pay 1.5% commission on the lower of your potential profit and liability.
- If you request a lay bet by setting the odds yourself and your bet loses, you will pay 0.75% commission on the lower of your potential profit and liability.
So there you have it, basically you are paying between 0.75% and 1.5% commission depending on what happens.
You can see that there is an advantage to requesting a bet at slightly better odds than are currently available, as not only can you win more but the commission rate is lower.
So long as you give yourself enough time for the bet to be matched and make sure to amend it if isn’t matched as the start of the event approaches, then this appears to be a worthwhile step to take.
The other point to mention is that if most of your bets are winners (and by extension if you are backing largely at odds-on) then Matchbook may be preferable to Betfair in terms of the commission you pay, which could be as low as 0.75%.
However, if lots of your bets are losing, then you are paying commission (albeit small) on your losing bet as well as having lost money.
Overall though it is a good commission structure in our opinion and is well worth comparing to what you may be paying elsewhere.