What to Do if You Have an Unmatched (Or Partially Matched) Bet at the Bet Exchange

SmarketsBetfair, Betdaq and Matchbook are all betting exchanges – a place where people can bet with each other. For a bet to take place there has to be someone (Or more than one person) willing to match the bet with the opposing view with the same amount or at least the same amount of money.

An unmatched bet happens when the other person (OR people) doesn't want to completely match your bet.  The word used for how much that you can back or lay is "liquidity".


* The liquidity on 2.12 lay is £172. This means that you can lay up to £172 at odds of 2.12.

If liquidity isn’t sufficient, your bet is queued until someone is prepared to match it. Often, depending on whether the odds you’ve requested are realistic; your bet will be matched eventually – but as a matched bettor it’s not ideal because you want to make sure you’ve opposed the view of your lay bet because if it isn’t you’re leaving yourself open to risk.

For example, if you want to LAY a stake of £200 at odds of 2.12 then you should make sure there is £200 available to lay.

In the example above there is only £172 available to lay so you should only lay £172 or less if you want it to be matched straight away (Which is what we want).

A common reason for having an unmatched bet is when availability of the odds you want reduces while you’re in the middle of laying a bet (i.e… before you hit the confirm button). If this is the case, just hit the cancel button and start again. Remember to change the odds in the calculator to suit the available odds so that you can recalculate the stake for your lay bet.
If your bet is completely unmatched, then you can cancel the bet at the bet exchange and then do the bet again at the correct odds.

The most complicated scenario is when the bet has been part matched. This happens when you manage to get some of the lay bet matched and some of it unmatched (and is therefore queued).

The example below shows the following scenario:
I have backed a selection at the bookmaker for £25 at odds of 2.0. I have now layed the selection and it is partially matched. The lay odds were 2.04 when I first looked and there was enough liquidity to take my bet. Following the instructions in the calculator, I layed a stake of £25.13 at Betfair. Unfortunately the lay odds have changed to 2.1 and only £12.57 of my bet matched at odds of 2.04.

This is when most people panic as you can’t cancel the whole bet and you don’t know how much to LAY at the new price.

If this happens, cancel what is left of the original lay at 2.04. To work out how much you need to lay for the remaining part of the bet, load up the mobile friendly calculator and click 'part lays' as shown below or use the tricky bet calculator and use the part lays already in place section as shown below.

part lay a bet



tricky bet part lay

This is designed to help you figure out how to calculate partially matched bets.

Fill in the calculator:
Use the same bet type as instructed in the guide for that bet (Normal, Stake Not Returned (SNR) or Stake Returned (SR)).
Back stake is the stake you originally entered in the  Calculator (£25 in our example).
Commission (5% for Betfair, 2% for Smarkets).

partially unmatched bet

Or with tricky bet calculator:

unmatched bet

So in the example above, the key points are:

- I have a total back stake of £25.
- The current odds are now 2.1. I enter this in the top section.
- The lay already in place is £12.57 at odds of 2.04. (There is room for 2 part lay if you have another part lay also)
- The amount I need to LAY now at 2.1 is £12.19.
- My overall loss for this qualifying bet with all of the LAYS matched is £1.48