To place a bet click on either back or lay next to the selection you are interested in.
In the following example you are backing Arsenal at odds of [4.6]. Enter your chosen stake (minimum £2) and your potential profit is displayed in the bet slip on the right.
If you are happy with your odds, stake and potential profit click submit. If you have 'Verify bets' (at the base of the bet slip) ticked you will again have to confirm your bets. This is the bet offer.
Now you need to be sure your bet is matched...
Matched and Unmatched Bets
For a bet to be struck, it must be matched with another customer - someone who has an opposing opinion.
When submitting a bet offer, bets can be returned as unmatched, partially matched or matched in full.
If you are taking the price shown on screen, you will be matched on the majority of occasions. Markets change continually though so don't assume you are matched - always look at your bet slip to confirm it.
The bet shown below has been matched - it cannot be changed or cancelled.
The status of your bets is displayed under the My Bets tab.
In the following example the bet is unmatched. Be sure to click on Continue after your bet offer has been confirmed, otherwise your bet slip will not be updated.
Until your bet offer is matched by someone else, you do not yet have a bet. If nobody matches your bet before the market closes then you get your money back.
Important: Your bet could be matched a split-second after the unmatched bet slip has been shown as above.
Just because it hasn't been matched instantly does not mean it can't still be matched.
Unmatched bets stay in the market as offers until you decide to cancel them.
In a worst case scenario, you could place another bet thinking your first bet wasn't taken and then another and another as the prices change. Then the market moves back the other way and you get matched several times when you only wanted one bet!
It is much safer to change the odds of your unmatched bet than trying again and again to get matched.
As prices and amount of money available constantly change on an exchange, particularly just before a race or when a market is in-play, you may have to adjust your odds or stake to get matched. Sometimes you'll only be partially matched as in the screenshot below.
Note that the odds and stake value can still be changed. You are still able to change or cancel it at any time until the bet is matched.
Customers always want the best price whether backing (as high as possible) or laying (as low as possible).
Be aware that the Betfair market screen will normally refresh every few seconds but the Betfair server can process hundreds of bets per second. In a busy market, prices and volumes will change constantly - don't assume that the prices only change when you see them on screen. Click on the refresh button just above the market to view the latest prices.