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Betfair Starting Price

Traditionally, Horse Racing Starting Prices (SPs) have been returned via the findings of a team of SP Reporters using the prices on the bookmakers-boards at the racecourse the race in question is being held at.

However, in keeping with their reputation for innovation, Betfair now offers punters the chance to take the Betfair Starting Price, or Betfair SP, about any horse in any race; many of which are bigger than the standard SPs.

Why Betfair Decided To Declare Their Own SPs

SPs have always been open to industry-wide debate, mainly because many punters and professionals consider the current SP system to be outdated. Many consider that SPs only take into consideration bets placed on-course, and the current system should also take into account off-course bets, including bets placed online, by phone and in betting-shops. It was this initiative that spurred Betfair on to create their own SP System to try and reflect current betting-markets more accurately.

How Are Betfair Starting Prices Calculated?

The Betfair Exchange has always been about offering punters the choice of being a backer or a layer of horses, and Betfair Starting Prices are determined by balancing these two types of bets between Betfair Exchange Customers.  

Using both sides of the exchange, Betfair Starting Prices can be calculated fairly and transparently, achieving SPs that both backers and layers will be happy with. Betfair Starting Prices also do not require a profit-margin to be built-in, which means that Betfair SPs are much more-likely to be returned at bigger-odds than traditional SPs. * However, some are not, and you will also need to calculate how much commission you need to pay when working out whether Betfair SPs are working for you.

How To Place A Bet At Betfair Starting Price

When betting on the Betfair Exchange, make sure your Market View is showing “Betfair Starting Price”. You can choose to view just the “Back” Market or the “Back & Lay” Markets. 

How do I place a bet at Betfair Starting Price? 

Firstly, you need to have the ‘Betfair Starting Price’ box ticked above the market-view. This will bring up a new column in the market-view allowing you to back at SP. If you have the ‘Back & Lay’ box ticked you can also lay your selection at SP. You can then just place your “back” or “lay” bet at Betfair SP.

When Do You Find Out What The Betfair SP Is?

Betfair SPs are declared between when the betting-market is suspended due to the race being off, and the in-play market being opened. You will find out the SP your bet was matched at, and your potential winnings. 

How Are Bets Matched 

Betfair start matching bets by matching SP-backers with a specified stake with SP-layers with a specified liability, whilst some bets are matched with lay-money on the exchanges.

Minimum And Maximum Stakes

The minimum SP-Backers Stake is £2 (or currency equivalent), whilst the minimum SP-layers stake is £10. However, there is no maximum stake, making Betfair Starting Prices of particular-interest to successful punters who may have had their accounts limited by wounded-bookmakers.

Owen Smith
Director Owen Smith


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