Advantages of Matchbook
Much Lower Commission Than Betfair
Matchbook has two different commission rates, 1.5% or 0.75%, depending on whether you accept another user’s offer, or whether they accept your offer. This is excellent value, considering Betfair’s starting commission rate is 5%.
In most markets, Matchbook doesn’t struggle with liquidity. This is partly due to the low commission rate which continually attracts new market participants (as well as converting existing Betfair traders).
Recognisable User Interface
Matchbook have been sure to distinguish their brand from Betfair with an ultra-modern site that’s very easy on the eyes. Yet the exchange functionality itself remains traditional, and recognisable… almost identical to Betfair, in fact. In other words, it’s perfect for those migrating from Betfair.
Growing Range Of Third Party Applications
Part of being a sports trader is utilising tools to improve, scale, and automate your betting strategy. Unlike Smarkets, Matchbook offers an API — so there’s a growing number of third party applications compatible with the exchange. The ability to run Bots (such as BF Bot Manager) and other tools adds a whole new dimension to your trading.
Disadvantages of Matchbook
Fewer Markets than Betfair
One of the downfalls of Matchbook is that it doesn’t cover as many sports as Betfair. But in fairness, the liquidity within their active markets is sufficient for most. They’ll be filling in the gaps once they’re satisfied they can maintain fully active markets.
Complex Commission Structure
It’s a little more difficult to understand how Matchbook’s commission is charged. First off, it charges you different rates depending on what you do:
- 1.5% if you accept an existing offer in a market.
- 0.75% if you post an offer, which another user then matches.
- If you were successful (you won) you’re charged this rate on winnings.
- If you weren’t successful (you lost) you’re charged the lesser of the stake or potential profit
So in other words you’re charged something whether you win or lose — unlike at Betfair and Smarkets. I’ve done two worked examples below, comparing the commission charged at Matchbook to Smarkets and Betfair.
AVG Comm = average commission paid per stake placed at stated odds.
Backing £10 @ 2.0 (50% chance of win)
In this case I’ve simulated the outcome two times, with one winning bet expected on the 50% shot.
If you average out the two Matchbook commissions, assuming you bet only half of your stakes at 0.75%, it works out at £0.11. That’s slightly more than Smarkets (negligible 1p difference).
Backing £10 @ 4.0 (25% chance of win)
In this case I’ve simulated the outcome four times, with one winning bet and three losses expected in the 25% shot. This gives us a clearer picture of what commission to expect per bet, on average.
When you average out the two Matchbook commissions for the four simulations it works out at £0.17 per each £10 bet. Again, that’s slightly more than Smarkets (assuming you only manage 50% of your stakes at 0.75%).
Note that in this case Matchbook charges lower losing bet commission based on the £10 stake risked rather than the potential profit of +£30.00 ((4.0 x £10) – £10) — because that’s the lowest value of the two.
What this table suggests is that Matchbook is the best value betting exchange (of the three) provided you request prices and get matched (0.75%). If you take the existing market odds, then what you’ll pay away in commission (1.5%) is more than at Smarkets, but significantly less than at Betfair. Which is still great — just a shame that they don’t keep these commission calculations simple.
Sports Betting Markets
- American Football
- Australian Rules
- Greyhound Racing
- Horse Racing
- Ice Hockey
- Mixed Martial Arts
- NCAA Football
- UK Gambling Commission
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission