Our latest betting exchange review – Betfair Exchange, brought up some interesting opinions. Now, we are going to look at one of their biggest competitors – Smarkets betting exchange platform. So, with our high hopes that this review will bring the same kind of interest and engagement, let’s begin.
The Smarkets review needs to start with our immediate thoughts on why we think is one of the top sports betting exchanges in the business and why is suitable for a beginner. They just guarantee a 2% commission on winning bets, which is lower than a large number of their rivals, for example, Betfair, that takes a 5% commission on winning bets. This separates them from the earliest starting point.
They offer odds on all the best markets and they additionally offer some that are viewed as curiosities, similar to world legislative and political issues, e.g Brexit outcome. They manage both in-play and pre-match markets, from most of the sports out there, from small leagues to bigger highlight ones, such as Premier League, Champions League matches. Another aspect, which we believe differentiates them from the rest, is that they have an extraordinary support framework for their clients.
Smarkets Exchange reached their success and gained a considerable market share by having a different approach in comparison to other players in exchange market landscape. Their thinking is that the betting process should be easy and priced like an everyday product. Also, due to their CEO vision, Smarkets doesn’t get involved in the wider gambling industry such as poker, bingo or any casino platforms.
You can say that their attention focus on sports event betting by either placing back or lay bets. We, Everyday Betting team, think that they do this incredibly well and the Smarkets commission scheme can be very appealing for everyday bettors, especially if you are involved in matched betting.
- 1. What is a Betting Exchange?
Smarkets Review – Introduction
- 2.1. Smarkets Exchange Review – Markets Availability
- 2.2. Smarkets Review – Odds
- 2.3. Smarkets Betting Exchange Review – Smarkets Commission
- 2.4. Smarkets Review – Liquidity
- 2.5. Smarkets Exchange Review – Technology
- 2.6. Smarkets (App) Review – Customer support
- 2.7. Smarkets Exchange Review – Payments accepted
- 3. Smarkets review – Our Conclusion
What is a Betting Exchange?
If you are already aware of what is an sport betting exchange ignore the next paragraph, but if you just begun your betting experience: A sports betting exchange is an e-platform that will match punters bet with an opposing opinion and outcome; basically you as a gambler are playing the bookies role also. Betting exchanges are having a smaller risk than traditional bookmakers, they just supply the technology and the environment to pair gamblers “predictions”.
As you probably know already, a good betting exchange is very important in matched betting and arbitrage betting. For example, you as an everyday bettor, can use the Smarkets betting exchange to minimize the risk in your bets by getting a potential profit from bookmakers’ offer & promotions.
Smarkets Review – Introduction
Now that we covered first impressions on this platform (please see above a screenshot from Smarkets interface) and the minimum definition of sports betting exchange, let’s focus in our Smarkets Exchange review. For this, we are going to have a closer look at some of the most important elements which we believe are making the Smarkets a real excellent betting exchange.
Please feel free to skip ahead using the following anchors if you don’t want to read the entire post (is a big post so, hopefully, these links are making your life easier).
Every bettor knows that market availability is one of the most important aspects of a great betting exchange. More markets you have at your fingertips, better chances you have to take advantage of any offer/promotion.
Smarkets are not going to let you down when it comes to markets available. As we stated before, being one of the main betting exchanges in the industry, Smarkets will make available events on most of the popular sports such as: Football, Horse racing, Tennis, American football, Basketball, Cycling, Boxing, Cricket, Darts, Golf, Handball, Ice hockey, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Snooker, Motorspots. And as e extra, they cover Current affairs, TV and entertainment odds.
Definitely, as a beginner in matched betting, for example, you will find that the markets listed above will be sufficient. However, compared to market leader, Betfair Exchange Market, Smarkets does lack more niche categories.
Don’t panic, but seems like their credo is to cover thoroughly a market before offering events on to a new market. Safe baby steps as we call it. So, for sure Smarkets Exchange team is pushing incredibly hard to add more and more markets whilst ensuring they cover really well the existing ones; this makes them a contender to 1st position in the industry, isn’t it?!
As overall, there will be hundreds if not thousand of different markets, events and sports on which you can place your “predictions”. Unless you’re after a rare market, you will be fine using Smarkets for your everyday betting encounter.
Smarkets Exchange claims they offer very competitive odds than traditional bookmakers as they don’t have to add in their margins, which can make their platform odds to be higher with up to 20%. Smarkets (app) model is a peer-to-peer betting platform so, their business model for odds is driven by supply – demand principle. As a general rule, usually the betting exchanges are offering better odds than most bookmakers, but that’s an inherent part of any betting exchange. Same case here.
In online gambling, odds are generally consistent between betting exchanges, but is still one of the main features bettors keep in mind when choosing where to place their bets. Therefore, we took some random events and looked at their odds into analyzed exchange markets.
The outcome was that both Smarkets and Betfair offer really similar odds, maybe we can go a step further and say that they are having the same odds (we believe this is really common these days). Betdaq and Matchbook offers slightly shorter (lower) back odds for our picked favorites outcome and longer (higher) lay odds for win and draw.
To keep it simple, we have compared the back and lay odds at Smarkets with Betfair Exchange platform and they seemed similar. However, at Betdaq the odds weren’t as close together. In an ideal scenario, the odds should be very similar.
As a summary of this section, we think Smarkets did incredibly well in terms of offered odd, especially in comparison to the market leader.
Now, maybe the most important aspect for your bankroll health, betting exchange commission rate. A betting exchange makes money by charging a commission on player’s net winnings. As we mentioned earlier, the Smarkets commission rate is just 2%.
This is where Smarkets beat the competition outright and have gained so much attention and popularity, especially amongst sports betting traders or everyday matched bettors. For the example sake and to put things in perspective, we are going to use the scenario where you won a £500 bet at a betting exchange.
Now, at Smarkets (with a 2% commission) you are paying a £10 winnings fee; meanwhile, at Betfair (with a 5% commission) you are paying a £25 winnings fee. Therefore, you are taking home £490 if you were using Smarkets Exchange and only £475 if you were using the Betfair Exchange platform.
As a summary, if you are a beginner in betting and you have a small bankroll, those £15 will make a difference in long run, isn’t it?!. Therefore for matched bettors out there, the Smarkets lay commission rate of just 2% is very valuable and makes them one of the first choices, if not #1 choice.
Another important aspect to consider in choosing your betting exchange market is liquidity. If you aren’t sure, liquidity can be defined as the amount of money waiting to be matched for a given market. The higher the figure, the better. Normally, the liquidity figure of any market is showed underneath the market price, highlighted in the image below.
In terms of Smarkets liquidity: definitely they don’t disappoint. They’re not quite at the same level as Betfair yet, but we strongly believe that they can handle high volumes, especially in the high profile events and markets. If you are looking to place a bet on a more low profile market, maybe check first Betfair Exchange market liquidity.
As in the previous section, we have looked into liquidity for random events on all 4 exchange markets. The outcome is not surprising: Smarkets wasn’t quite far behind the Betfair liquidity, Betdaq and Matchbook come out a little bit worse than Smatkets, but not that far.
We, at Everyday Betting, believe that technology is another key ingredient that makes your betting experience a great experience. Same case, here. The guys from Smarkets are making sure that their platform is right at the forefront of betting technology by developing new systems and functions that punters can use and eventually love.
Also, by using the right technology, the visual aspect of any software will become an important criterion. As everyday users, we think that their UX efforts are great and are making their platform cleaner and more appealing.
The founders of Smarkets, Hunter Morris and Jason Trost built the company around tech systems used within the financial trading industry. Smarkets spent a huge amount of money on updating and developing their software to keep up to date with the cutting edge of technology. Therefore, Smarkets technology is incredibly reliable.
Over the latest years, we,ve had very few issues with this exchange market and on the rare occasion there has been an issue, their support team has been incredibly helpful – a point we’ll look at next in our Smarkets review.
As we said before, Smarkets offer an amazing support. From very useful and detailed articles that are available online to an outstanding live chat service. They really know how to make it personal and how to answer any questions you may have very promptly and easy to follow. We can proudly say that they are our model in terms of customer support.
They definitely are standing out in the world of gambling because they think about customer satisfaction more than any other betting company out there. You can see this through their tutorials, articles and customer support guides and all the effort they put in to keep up their reputation at the highest level.
The last but not least aspect we review is the payment methods they accept. As an everyday user of the internet, you know how important is for all companies, and in this case, the online betting companies to offer safe and secure payment methods.
As you’d anticipate, Smarkets accepts a large range of safe and secure payment methods that have been tried and tested along. These include Card transfers, Bank transfers, Neteller and Skrill.
An important note, as many bookmakers also, there is a minimum deposit amount of £10 for a card and bank transfers. For Neteller and Skrill transfers the limit is £20. (at the time of writing this article).
You can use all the same methods for withdrawing your funds and you must withdraw a minimum of £10 with each method except bank transfers where the minimum is £20. You are also charged a fee of £10 to withdraw using bank transfer. So, please keep in mind all of these aspects when you are choosing your method of payment/withdraw.
In summary, we are going to choose Smarkets 9 out of 10 times as our main betting exchange platform. They’re changing the reputation of the betting industry whilst pushing for the latest developments and strategies all the time.
Their low commission is also a major aspect to take in consideration when you are picking your sports betting exchange market, especially if you are a beginner in matched betting. Their liquidity is growing all the time and their customer support is really good and not to forget, in our opinion, the platform’s looks are better than their competitors.
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