Sports Betting

What is Back And Lay in Betting and When to Use Them

If you are just starting your journey in online sports betting, it is important to understand what is back and lay in betting. They are two of the simplest and most commonly used in betting strategies, both in online exchanges and on popular online sports betting Malaysia sites

However, what exactly do they mean in terms of gambling? As part of our free tips resources here at Garuda Casino, we have compiled a simple to follow guide on what “back” and “lay” betting is for you. 

What is Back And Lay in Betting Actually?

There has been a lot of talk about back and lay betting lately. Of course, the reason is simple: you can get a better value for money, better odds, and you can even do match betting to make sure winnings will come your way. Here is the explanation about what is back and lay in betting that you should know. 

Back Betting Explained

Back Bet Definition

To answer the question of “what is back and lay in betting”, let’s start from “back”. What you mostly know as a “bet” probably fits into the back category betting types. Commonly known as “backing” (e.g. “I am backing Manchester City to win”), it includes staking money on a certain result occuring. 

Whether it be something as simple as the winner of a sports match, though to something as niche as the points number both teams score in the third quarter of a basketball game. 

Moreover, the possibilities are limitless when it comes to events that you can back, with sports betting sites offering hundreds of different options to back in some major events like NBA Basketball and Premier League

In “backing”, it involves risking a nominated amount of money of your choice, alternatively known as a “stake”, at odds prescribed by the bookmaker on their online gambling site or app. For example, if your bet is successful, your stake will be multiplied by the odds offered and returned to your account in winnings. 

Lay Betting Explained

Lay Bet Definition

To give you more idea about what is back and lay in betting, let’s move to lay betting. A far less used strategy of betting on sports and horse racing, “lay” is the opposite of “back” betting. By laying, you are betting on a result to not happen by accepting the stake of someone who wishes to “back” said result.

Laying is efficiently what bookmakers do every time they accept one of your bets. They will take on the risk of having to return more money than they took from their customers and they will adjust their odds based on the liability they collect on a particular result. 

While the “back” strategy is the most common when not the only way of betting on some online gambling sites, exchanges will allow you access to lay betting anonymously. 

It will take on someone who wishes to back the result you don’t want to happen, similarly to an informal cash bet between two players! We bet now you already understand what is back and lay in betting. 

Differences and Similarities of Back and Lay Betting

As you already know what is back and lay in betting, you must also be curious what the differences and similarities are between both of them. Well, other than cheering for a result to happen when backing and cheering for its failure when laying, there are different cases in which one method of betting becomes more suitable than the other. 

When laying, rather than making a bet that will hopefully be multiplied by the advertised odds, you will instead offer your own odds to a backer and nominate the maximum liability you will have to pay out to the backer. If you win, you will receive their stake instead of a multiplication of your own money. 

When to Right Time Use Each Strategy?

From the explanation about what is back and lay in betting, it leads us to the question: when is the right time to back and lay?

Backing is the simplest and often most used method of betting, as there is no feeling quite like seeing your balance grow significantly, after you choose to back a winner at big odds. 

However, laying is used in the right situations that can be an effective method of betting successfully. Laying is a common good option when you feel the “favorite”, the result with the smallest odds of all possible outcomes will not win. 

Rather than having to find the right outcome like choosing the outright winner market for the Premier League, laying the favorite (or any other option of your choice), it means you can cheer on all other possible results and have more chances to come out on top.

To help you understand more what is back and lay in betting, laying a result with very low odds also means you don’t need to take on much risk as the payout to the backer will be fairly low. However, if you win you will get the entirety of the stake you take on as the laying party.  

Calculating the Potential Winnings

Besides what is back and lay in betting, you also need to understand how to calculate the potential winnings. Backing is pretty simple to calculate: you multiply your stake by the odds to work out the potential winnings. 

If you were to stake MYR 1000 on Manchester City in the game Manchester City vs Southampton at odds of 3.20, your potential return will be MYR 3200 (MYR 1000 multiplied by 3.20). 

Therefore, you will may wish to accept MYR 1000 stake anonymously from a backer at odds of 3.20, that will earn you MYR 1000 if City don’t win the match, or you will have to pay out a liability of MYR 22000 (MYR 1000 multiplied by 3.2 minus the stake of MYR 1000). 

Final Words

Long-term successful betting is about lowering your risk where possible, even if it means at the expense of some potential winning. Therefore, it pays to know what is back and lay in betting and when is the right time to use them. 

Every case and condition is unique and is going to call for a different method. So, learning the basics will allow you to use knowledge, instinct and strategy to win in the long run.


Garuda Casino is the Malaysian independent online gaming authority, providing trusted online casino news, guides, reviews and information.

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