Lay The Draw Trading Technique:
How to Do It
Table of Contents
Laying the Draw is one of the most popular trading techniques which betfair traders use.
You can pretty much guarantee that all Betfair Traders have used this technique at some point on their trading journey.
In this guide, I will be explaining what Lay the Draw is, also showing you the best ways to make money from this strategy.
We have two aims, to minimise risk & to make money.
What is Lay the Draw?
Laying the draw is a Betfair Trading technique, which is something that we’ve written about before.
If you have Matched Betting or trading knowledge, you should know what a ‘lay’ bet is, but if you aren’t sure; it’s where you’re betting against an outcome.
You actually take up the role of the bookmaker, which is really interesting.
Let’s say for example you Lay £20 on Manchester United at odds of 3/1 (4.0).
You actually need to put down £60 worth of liability, which is the amount the ‘punter’ would win, if he took your £20 at those odds.
Betfair Exchange is the most popular, but Smarkets has soared in popularity recently and is a great contender in 2020.
Now we know what laying is, it’s time to explain laying the draw.
In it’s simplest terms, laying the draw means that you’re betting against a draw as the final outcome.
If Team A or B wins, you will make money. However, if it finishes as a draw, you would need to payout, meaning you lose.
The main aim of this post is to teach you exactly what Lay the Draw is, but also show some strategies for using this technique.
Our main aim is to minimise any risk, so we won’t be taking our full stakes to the final whistle when we have the chance to cashout.
I’m a believer that you should earn little and often, instead of big once!
The best strategy for Lay the Draw is to trade out of the market, for a profit, when a team scores.
However, it doesn’t work all of the time. The vital thing is timing, and also picking the correct matches.
How to Pick the best Games
There’s so many variations of lay the draw, where you can make a profit.
Your first aim for picking the best matches is to find a game which has plenty of money in the markets.
This is known as liquidity and it will make it much easier for you to trade out of your positions, fast.
If you struggle with Betfair, check Smarkets out, the same goes the other way. I like to use both, as the odds are sometimes favourable on different markets.
When searching for a Lay the Draw game, another great tip is to look for games where goals are expected.
A team like Man City vs Bournemouth is always a good shout, but also don’t discount big rivalries such as Man City vs United, or Liverpool vs Everton.
As all of the teams I’ve mentioned tend to focus on attacking, it means there should be goals.
Which is exactly what we need, to trade out for a profit.
When picking a giant vs a minnow, always be prepared for a bore draw, where the underdog parks the bus and plays for a single point.
We prefer the closer matched teams, as they’re both confident of getting a result, which leads to more expansive play on the field.
How to Minimise Risk
Ensuring that the risk is next to none is our main aim, as we like to play close to risk free!
It’s not always possible when trading, but it’s something good to aim for.
As I mentioned above for picking the best games, it’s good to wait for a team to score, which would then enable you to cash out for a profit.
However, this can provide it’s own risks. If the underdog was to score, the odds for a draw would actually move out of your favour, as the bookmakers would now put the team that was initially favourites, as favourites to score the next goal.
This would have the game at 1-1, which is bad for laying the draw!
In this scenario, you’re almost just left waiting, as you won’t be able to cash out of the draw without losing around 30% of your stake.
It’s all well and good if the favourites were to score once more, as you could cash out. However, the underdogs would make it hard for them to play, and would sit back hoping to ride out a 1-1 draw.
So, when I mentioned that it’s good to use favourites, remember, it can still come back to haunt you.
The ‘sweet spot’ for odds on the draw is around 3.5, but we’ve seen this strategy work long term on odds anywhere up to 7.0 (or 6/1).
If the odds are lower than 3.5, you really have to consider if the profit outweighs the risk.
How to Reduce Liability
Although it’s not favourable to lose, you need to be aware of how to protect your bets so that you lose as little as possible.
Cashing out a losing trade will be much more profitable long term, than leaving it to run and making a loss.
I’ll be honest though, it will most likely be difficult to start cashing out for a loss. Your gambling mind tells you to let it ride. Sometimes, the result may end up going your way. Other times, you’ll be left with a 100% stake loss.
This is when hindsight will kick in, you’ll find yourself asking why you never cashed out initially.
Your best option is to exit the trade once the underdog scores, you’ll find yourself at a 35% loss, or there about.
I’m certain you’d rather lose 35% than the full 100% of your stake.
For Reducing your liability in play, you should take every game as it comes.
There’s no single strategy that works for all, but remember that you’ll need to define a time where you should cut your losses.
You’ll gain experience with every trade you make, if you’re noting these trades down you’ll also be able to establish a pattern, where you can see what you’re better at, but also where you need to improve.
An Example of Laying the Draw
The best thing we can do, when trying to explain how to lay the draw is to show you an example.
For this, we will be using Smarkets. You can feel free to use Betfair Exchange, as that’s also very popular.
I’ve actually chosen a high risk match here, picking the Chelsea vs Norwich game. Norwich have been officially classed as relegated, so I’m not too sure how they’ll perform against Chelsea (who are pushing for Champions League).
Chelsea are complete favourites, which means the draw LAY is priced at 11.5. I deposited £20, as I don’t want to risk anymore than that for an example bet!
As you can see, I am risking £19.94 to win just £1.90.
I’m looking here for an early surge from chelsea, where they go 1-0 up pretty quickly. Then, I’ll be able to Trade Out, taking around £1.50 profit hopefully.
This part was edited in play. Chelsea went 1-0, but didn’t look convincing. 1-0 is the scariest scoreline in the world, so I decided to Cash out.
I Hit the trade out button, next to the draw, which automatically bought the draw for £1.18 at 18.5 odds.
Interestingly, the odds for the draw dropped to 12.5 for the next 20 minutes, which would’ve earnt me less of a profit.
Chelsea ended up winning, but it’s always best not to run your bet to the final whistle (all of the time).
We are trading, not just gambling for 90 mins, remember.
I ended up winning £0.71 after commission, which isn’t that bad considering I completely removed all risk.
It was a risky one, as I advised low odds favourites can be.