Smarkets Review

Smarkets was founded in the UK, back in 2008 and is the world's second largest betting exchange (yes other exchanges do exist besides the mothership, Betfair). I was using the Betfair Exchange and only Betfair to place my lay bets from early 2012 and it wasn't until last year that I gave Smarkets a sniff. And boy was I pleasantly surprised! In this Smarkets review I will be going through the features on offer with Smarkets and how they compare against others


I'm not saying Smarkets is better, however, I am saying you should absolutely create an account and have it in your betting exchange arsenal. If you need convincing, below are my main reasons as to why you should start using them alongside Betfair:

2% Commission Rate

The main talking point in the Smarkets vs Betfair debate is of course the fact that Smarkets offer a very low flat-rate commission of just 2% on all winning bets, which is less than half that of Betfair, who offer 5%.

Now, you may be thinking that 3% isn't much difference in the scheme of things, however if you break it down per qualifying loss you may start to think differently.

If you find a 2.4 back bet with lay odds of 2.5 then you'll be looking at a qualifying loss of £3.47 from a £50 trigger bet, using Betfair Exchange. Compare this to using Smarkets for the same bet, you will have a qualifying loss of £2.59 - a difference of £0.88, which soon adds up if you're matched betting regularly.

Smarkets £10 Bonus

0% Commission Rate Specials

Smarkets offer a special rate of 0% commission on all Queens Park Rangers (QPR) football matches. They're are official betting partners of the English Championship team, QPR, and as a related promotion they do not take a commission on any bets placed on any of their fixtures for the 2016-2017 season!

This promotion is ideal for placing mug bets - place mug bets on a QPR match with the bookmakers and then lay them off using Smarkets and the 0% commission offer.

Improved Smarkets Liquidity 

Matched betting is all about keeping the qualifying bet as low as possible and although I always knew about the lower commission rate I thought it was irrelevant if the liquidity on Smarkets meant there weren't very close matches (causing higher lay odds), costing more money than the commission saved. It's only in the past 18 months that the liquidity has improved significantly. To the point where the majority of lay bets on big events are the same price as they are on Betfair, meaning that combined with the lower commission you're saving money by simply choosing to place your lay bet with Smarkets instead of Betfair.

Smart Lay Betting

Smarkets use some clever technology that really helps relieve frustrations when placing your lay bet. All too often I would calculate the lay bet stake only for the odds to have dropped on the exchange, leaving me to calculate the lay bet stake again. Smart lay betting technology makes this a thing of the past as they'll automatically change the stake to compensate for any change in price once you've clicked 'bet' - using something called 'Best Price Execution'.

Best price execution will only ever increase your profits, never will it increase your potential loss, as the bet quantity will stay the same (stake * odds). When best price execution is actioned it simply increases the stake (stake = bet quantity / improved odds), but with better odds the liability is not increased.

Industry Leading Challenger

smarkets review

Smarkets genuinely poses great, healthy competition for Betfair. It's state of the art digital technology, alongside it's easy to navigate, clean design make for a fantastic user experience. You'll never have to worry about losing out, the platform is super fast and capable of processing a transaction in milliseconds and has the capability to handle thousands of transactions every second. They claim; "Smarkets offers consumers access to its agile trading platform at unparalleled value, focusing on transparency and treating the customer fairly"

The site can be accessed from all devices; desktop, mobile and tablet, however they don't currently have a mobile app. Although after speaking with them directly I was told an app for both iOS and Android was coming in early 2017.


Smarkets Free Bet


Smarkets also offer a very simple and generous free bet bonus of £10. All you need to do is make sure your first deposit is at least £20 and then any losses you incur will be refunded up to £10 - see here.

smarkets free bet

Smarkets Review Summary


  • Low commission rate of 2%
  • Really easy to navigate and place bets
  • Smart lay technology
  • No distractions of sportsbook or casino games etc
  • Easy sign up bonus


  • No mobile app (iOS and Android App Coming Soon!)
  • (Slightly) Lower liquidity than Betfair


As mentioned earlier, I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a better alternative to Betfair, but I would definitely recommend having an account to allow greater flexibility in your exchange betting. They are very exchange focused, so put everything they've got into making it as seamless and enjoyable for the user as possible - this comes at the expense of a sportsbook or casino offering, which depending on what you like is either a good thing or a bad thing. They have the right attitude and right ideas and I can definitely see them competing even more closely with the Betfair Exchange in the near future.

Either visit our Smarkets Welcome Offer Guide to make risk-free profit or jump straight in with the Smarkets bonus via the link below: