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Backing and Laying Under the Minimum Stake Amount in Betfair

At some stage, after extensive paper exercises and calculations everyone will reach the phase where testing a system or strategy with real money is necessary.

3d - Man under crossbarImage: Scott Maxwell / LuMaxArt (Shutterstock)

However watertight the system seems on paper, if it includes laying at high odds, the risk of depleting the betting bank quickly is also high if complying with Betfair’s minimum stake of 2 € / £2 on all bets.

However, there is a way to bypass the minimum ensuring you can play with stakes as small as you wish.

This is not a technical error or a ‘cheat’ as the trick has existed since the beginning of Betfair.

So, how does it work?

Back Bets

Step 1:
Select the desired bet and ask for odds that will not immediately get matched (in this example, unrealistic odds of 500). Stake the minimum amount of 2 units – of course, the bet will not be matched:

First step

Step 2:
After the bet is not matched, go to “My Bets” and change the stake to whatever amount you want to have plus 2 (the minimum stake). In the example below, we want to bet with 0.10, hence the stake of 2.10:

Change of Stake

Step 3:
Betfair will accept this new stake but also not match it and both stakes will remain technically separated: One bet for the original 2 € / £2 stake and another for the additional 0.10 € / £0.10:

Cancel (delete) the first bet of 2 € / £2 and change the odds for the other bet with the smaller stake

Now, cancel the original bet of 2 € / £2 (simply click the red cross on the left) and change the odds for the remaining stake of 0.10 € / £0.10 to the market odds (in our example, 6). Submit this bet.

Here’s a screenshot with the confirmation:

Confirmation of the transaction

As you can see, the 2 € / £2 bet was cancelled and the 0.10 € / £0.10 bet placed at the new (market) odds with the following result:


Instead of the minimum amount of 2 € / £2 there is now just 0.10 € / £0.10 placed on over 2.5 goals:

The bet under the minimum amount is placed!

For lay bets the procedure is exactly the same but instead of choosing ridiculously high odds to start off with, set the lay price to 1.01 to ensure no immediate match. After the minimum amount of 2 € / £2 for this bet has been processed the stake needs to be changed to the desired amount (risk), and the original 2 € / £2 needs to be cancelled so that only the smaller amount with the desired odds remains.

Betting below Betfair’s minimum stake is exploited particularly by ‘bots’, which can perform the mechanics of the process at the touch of a button rather than manually following each of the steps described above. If you’re not into bots then the manual method sounds more complicated than it is but we assure you it’s fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it. It certainly helps to test systems with real money, but reduced risk.

As we update this article in June 2012, rumours are beginning to circulate that Betfair is closing the accounts of customers who regularly flout their minimum stake requirements. Whether this is true or not remains unconfirmed.

Lastly, another of Betfair’s features we find very handy for testing purposes is the opportunity to register several accounts under different user names but retaining your usual address and real identity. This opens the door to testing different ideas in different accounts to keep everything neat and simple…

Last Update: 16 October 2011

Categories:Betting Exchanges Betting Guidance

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