When it comes to matched betting, you will most likely want to choose between either Smarkets or Betfair or Matchbook as your exchange. This article is a Smarkets Review to help you learn about what they have to offer.
Smarkets are a slightly newer player than Betfair and Matchbook in the betting exchange world, but they've quickly risen to prominence and taken a big market share. They are based in London and were founded in 2008.
They began (in 2008) as a small group of investors and developers who saw the potential to apply financial trading principles to the online sports world. Currently based in London but with offices in Malta and LA also, they have grand plans to shake up the industry with a mission to provide the the lowest commission and therefore fairest odds in the world.
When evaluating an exchange that is suitable for matched betting, we generally look at three main areas - reliability, liquidity, usability, market depth and commission rate.
Market Depth and Liquidity
Smarkets have very good liquidity on the majority of their markets, so you won't usually struggle to get your bets matched unless you're betting on some very obscure events. In terms of big matches, the liquidity is great and more than sufficient for matched betting.
They also have very good market coverage, with bets available on all major events for football, horse racing, golf, tennis, cricket and basketball. They've made major steps forward over recent years in improving their market coverage further, increasingly offering additional markets like Correct Score, Over/Under and Both Teams to Score, along with Match Odds. We're hearing that this range of markets is likely to increase very soon and will comparable with Betfair.
Smarkets have had some hiccups in the past with their reliability (as have most of the exchanges). Generally, the website is stable. The reliability issues, which unfortunately tend to happen at the busiest times e.g Saturday afternoon, are becoming less and less frequent and the are clearly investing a lot of time, effort and money in making sure that the site stays up at all times. You just need to take a look at the Smarkets Tech Twitter feed to see how uncommon site downtime is nowadays.
Smarkets charge a flat 2% commission rate on your net profits from bets using the exchange. This is extremely competitive, especially when you compare it to the commission charged by most other exchanges. This is the primary reason that you'll want Smarkets to be one of your two core betting exchanges; you can save a lot of money by using them in the right situations. Their main selling point and advantage is their low commission rate.
Smarkets website is very easy to navigate and use. The search bar at the top enables you to quickly and easily find the particular betting market that you're looking for, and the menu on the left makes it simple to navigate through specific sports, leagues and teams. They recently launched a new site design and mobile app, both are very easy user-friendly. What we especially like from Smarkets is the increased focus on personalising the customer experience. they are using machine learning and other data led methods to recommend events, teams and sports which are relevant.
Much like Betfair, Smarkets is a key tool in the arsenal of any matched bettor. They are the preferred choice of many experienced matched bettors due to the low commission rate and most importantly they are improving a lot. Innovation and technical advancements create a more competitive industry and it drives the companies to improve as well, ultimately it benefits the customer.
We recommend that new matched bettors start by using Betfair, due to its reliability and usability, then when you are comfortable with using an exchange, move on to Smarkets or Matchbook in order to maximise your profits. Often that choice comes down to personal preference on the site itself, or the commission rate at that given time. At the time of writing, Smarkets have the lowest commission (disregarding any special offers), so that's where you would save the most money.