Top 3 Betting Exchanges

Smarkets Welcome Offer

It’s not an offer that will you have telling all your friends about on Social Media but it’s a decent and best of all, very simple to claim.

Just deposit 20 GBP/Euros in one go (avoiding the Skrill and Neteller payment methods) and start playing.

Once you accumulate losses of 10 GBP/Euros, the bonus will be activated and ready for you to use. Just be sure to use it within three months of being awarded it.

There are no bonus codes needed or any of those other complicated things that some other companies have so that’s good news.

Full terms and conditions are here.

Register an account

Go to their site and click on the Create Account tab in the top right-hand button. Or alternatively just follow this link.

As soon as you start entering your details, you’ll see their trademark cool green-and-black design that makes the site instantly see like a class act.

smartkets signup offer

 Other Smarkets offers

Now is the time to point out that SMarkets is a betting exchange rather than a Sportsbook so that should be taken into account when you consider what other bonuses they offer.

2% flat Commission

Let’s quickly recall how betting exchanges make their money as a business. Two (or more) customers  place a bet against one another and when the bet is settled, one customer will be a winner and one will be a loser. The winning customer then has to pay a commission on their winnings, for using the services of the exchange.

It’s impossible to talk about betting exchanges without mentioning Betfair. Betfair charges between 2% and 5% commission on winnings with the amount depending on how regularly you bet and how much money you turn over through the exchange every month. Many people feel that charging 5% is quite excessive so they’ll like the fact that here at SMarkets you’ll only ever pay a maximum of 2% even if you only very rarely bet and in small amounts.

Furthermore, Betfair applies a Premium Charge to customers who generate a large amount of money for themselves through making 100s or 1000s of trades every week, that is far higher than the ‘regular’ 5% commission.

Given that SMarkets never charge more than 2% to anyone, it goes without saying that big hitters will never have to endure any sort of Premium Charge at all.

% Commission on QPR matches

The company sponsors English football club QPR so as a nice little initiative, they’ve decided to not charge any commission at all on winnings generated from matches involving the London outfit.

Smarkets App

iOS app

If you’re in the habit of using apps for sports betting companies you’ll know that getting the Apple version is dead easy to download. Just click on this link and click on the blue Free Download button.

Android app

Just follow this link and then click on the ‘Get it on Googleplay’ button before proceeding to follow the next instructions.

smarkets app download

Smarkets Review

The first thing we’ll say is that if you’re looking to bet on more obscure sports- say squash, badminton, speedway and so on- you’ll be disappointed to hear that markets on these sports aren’t on offer here.

But maybe that’s missing the point about SMarkets. Rather than offering a load of sports that very few people want to bet on, they’ve focused on the main ones- football, tennis, cricket, golf as an example- and thus ensured that these always have very good liquidity, which in many ways is the primary objective of a betting exchange.

And the liquidity is pretty good indeed. You might not have 100s of thousands of pounds waiting to be matched on certain outcomes but the all-important gap between back and lay prices is very narrow, the way you’d want it. In other words, whether you want to be a backer or a layer, you’ll be able to do so at the prices that they should be. This isn’t always true on the slightly smaller markets, like a first goalscorer or a top batsman but almost always applies to a match odds, over/under 2.5 goals, or say a golf tournament winner.

As regards the selection of markets, it’s obviously not nearly as exhaustive as what you’d get on say Bet365, Paddypower or Ladbrokes because there wouldn’t be punters willing to lay prices on smaller markets and they’d end up empty. But all the main ones are covered. And in comparison to the main exchanges: probably more markets on offer than Betdaq but not as many as Betfair.

SMarkets have tried to make a name for themselves as the leading betting exchange when it comes to politics betting and a quick look at their offering suggests they’ve done a very good job of that.  There’s plenty of liquidity in all the politics markets they’ve put up and we’re paying them a huge compliment when we say that they’re probably on a par with Betfair when it comes to their Politics stuff.

Their Specials section is also pretty impressive, sometimes offering markets that literally no-one else does.


We’ve covered this already but as a recap: there’s plenty of liquidity in main markets on the major sports although you won’t be able to get huge bets on at the prices you want, like you could on Betfair. Well, maybe with the exception of their politics markets. You will however struggle to get fair prices on some side markets. But there’s generally better liquidity than on Betdaq, with the possible exception of horseracing.

Deposit methods

Choose from Visa Debit, Neteller, Skrill, Visa Credit Card and Mastercard when it comes to depositing funds.

Customer Service

This is generally the area where Sports betting sites fall short in our reviews but they’ve done pretty well in this regard. There are no big complaints about not having head queries dealt with in a suitable way nor are there reports of major issues withdrawing money. It’s typical of a start-up that they realise that every customer is extremely valuable and they don’t want to upset them.

Where they do sometimes let themselves down is with technical issues that result in the site not being available. But let’s hope they sort them out in the long run.

Product Features

They’re not Betfair but one could argue that whereas Betfair have peaked and don’t have too many more ways they can improve, SMarkets certainly can and may well do so at a faster rate than their big competitor.

They boast an excellent politics and specials product and do pretty well in terms of major markets on major events in big sports.

But of course their big selling point is the flat 2% commission rate. It may not sound like much but over a year or so it will make a big difference if you’re paying 2 or 5% especially if you’re a pretty active punter. The ideal scenario is therefore to have accounts with both them and Betfair and alternate between the two as and when.

The Breakdown

Range of Markets
Bonuses and Free Bets
Ease of Use
Customer Support