Top Betting Sites Similar to Betfair

In this guide, we’re going to talk you through how betting exchange sites like Betfair work. We’ll touch upon the differences between an exchange and a traditional betting site and what each can provide for your betting experience. Betfair offer both a betting exchange and a traditional sportsbook. We’ll guide you through both of these and what sites similar to Betfair can also offer you.

How we choose similar betting sites

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Yes (Matchbook Zero)

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#ad / 18+. Use code COMMFREE to trade with 0% commission for 60 days. New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Instant Banking. Full T&Cs apply.

Smarkets are an out-and-out sports betting exchange. They offer a fantastic range of sports and markets for you to back and lay, and are the exchange of choice for a variety of bettors. This list of sports and events you can trade on include football, racing and basketball, as well as novelty markets such as who will be the next James Bond or Eurovision Song Contest winners.

Their commission rate is generally around 2%. Many Betfair alternatives also offer a similar rate, but possibly not as consistently as Smarkets do.

One aspect that is lacking with Smarkets is their lack of casino and live casino options. Betfair similar sites tend to offer some form of casino betting, but this isn’t available with this operator. If you’re looking for a betting exchange that just concentrates on sports trading, this won’t be an issue to you.

In our Betfair vs Smarkets research, we found that there is little difference in terms of the amount of sports you can trade on. Betfair offer a similar amount, and currently offer the same 2% commission rate as their competitors do.

In addition to their sportsbook and casino options, Betfair also offer their Exchange Games facility, something that, as we’ve touched upon, Smarkets currently do not. These games consist of blackjack, card derby racing, Hi Lo, Hold ‘em, baccarat and Omaha Hi. You can also play turbo versions of the majority of these games.

As a Betfair alternative, Smarkets are an incredibly attractive option. The range of sports and events you can bet on is impressive. If you’re looking for more than just sports trading, you might want to consider a different operator, but for backing and laying on sporting events there are few who can compete with Smarkets.


#ad / 18+. Only new users registered using the “MB20” bonus code are eligible. You must make a qualifying bet of 1.8 minimum odds within 14 days of registration to claim this new customer offer. The maximum refund is £20 as a Free bet, expiring after seven days. Deposits via paysafecard, Neteller, or Skrill are exempt. Matchbook’s general Terms and Conditions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

Another alternative Betfair site is Matchbook. An extremely popular betting exchange, Matchbook have won a huge array of fans and customers in recent years. In addition to their standard betting exchange, they also offer Matchbook Zero, as well as casino, live casino and virtual sports facilities.

Matchbook Zero offers zero commission and zero margin. You can back or lay one bet per event. Currently, the only sports available for this facility are football and horse racing but if these are the sports you concentrate on laying, we recommend you check out the Zero arm of the Matchbook repertoire.

Like other sites similar to Betfair we’ve researched, Matchbook offer a good range of sports and events for you to back and lay. There are also often a range of Enhanced Specials you can lay. In addition to this, there are Colossus Jackpots you can take part in, though it’s extremely important you read all terms and conditions before you attempt to join a Jackpot group.

Matchbook certainly offer a well-rounded betting exchange experience. Also, they are the only exchange we’ve looked at for this guide who offer regular bonus opportunities.

How we choose Betfair related sites

In our guides and reviews, we adopt an unbiased approach and maintain accuracy as well as clarity. For our comparison of sites like Betfair online gambling, we examined and analysed a number of parameters so we can compare each operator accurately. When you’re choosing a new bookmaker, particularly when you’re looking to forage into laying, as well as backing, bets at an online exchange, there are particular factors you should consider. The following aspects are what we consider to be the most important, and what we explored in order to give an accurate review.

  • Sports

A sign of a good betting exchange is the number of sports and events you can back and lay on. Both betting exchanges we looked at in this guide offer a plethora of sports, meaning you have plenty of options when you’re looking to find value in the market. Most major sports are covered by all of Betfair, Smarkets and Matchbook, including football, basketball, horse racing and tennis.

  • Commission

2% commission seems to have become the industry standard in recent years. All three betting exchanges we’ve looked at in this review all offer 2% commission as standard. Note, though, that there can be occasions when this commission rate is reduced. For example, on major sporting events, some exchanges can reduce this amount or, in the case of Matchbook with their Zero facility, be removed for selected sports.

  • In-Play

In-play betting has become a massive part of online betting. You can find live betting options at Exchanges, too. All of the bookmakers we researched for this guide all offer some form of in-play betting. Note, though, that the number of in-play betting options are generally much less than those that you’ll find at a traditional sportsbook.

  • Liquidity

Liquidity is a hugely important aspect of backing and laying bets at a betting exchange. In the most simple terms, liquidity is the maximum stake a customer can place on a market, applicable to both backing and laying a bet. All of the exchanges we’ve analysed for this review offer high liquidity, in particular Smarkets and Betfair Exchange.

  • New Customer Bonus

While most traditional online sportsbooks offer some form of new customer bonus or welcome offer, this isn’t always the case with online betting exchanges. Out of the three operators we’ve examined in this article, only Matchbook are currently offering a new customer bonus. It’s a good idea, though, to look out for bonus offers that are open to existing customers regularly, as they could be available for the biggest sporting events.

  • Payment Options

As with all forms of online betting, having plenty of choice when it comes to transferring funds to and from your betting account can be advantageous. All sites like Betfair we’ve examined offer a good range of payment options, including Debit cards, online wallets and bank transfer options.

  • Licence and Security

The single most important aspect of betting online is that you do so safely. Ensure that whichever online betting site, whether that be an exchange or a traditional sportsbook, is licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. All three of the betting exchanges featured in this review are regulated by the relevant authority.

  • Customer Support

Betting online can often be much easier to accomplish than needing to visit a land-based bookmaker. This, though, can potentially cause an issue. If you encounter a problem at a land-based operator, you can usually get your query or problem dealt with face to face. If you bet online, this isn’t a possibility.

Which is why it’s important that operators offer a functional customer support service. While no one wants to come across an issue with an operator, it’s important to trust that if we do, it can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Sites similar to Betfair, including the sites we’ve talked about in this guide, all offer a comprehensive customer support feature.

Updated: 27.03.2024

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Are there better betting sites than Betfair?

To answer this question is difficult, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to back and lay bets on UK based sports, Betfair might offer you what you need. If you prefer to back and lay bets on sports from across the globe, in particular those taking place in the USA, Matchbook might be a better alternative. However, if you’re looking for a site that provides both an exchange and a traditional sportsbook, Betfair could be the operator for you.

What betting sites have a bonus like Betfair?

Most traditional betting sites like Betfair offer some form of welcome bonus or new customer offer. Out of the bookmakers we’ve discussed in this guide, only Matchbook currently offer a welcome bonus for their Exchange customers. There can be opportunities for bonuses in general for existing customers, particularly on the biggest sporting events. However, new customer bonuses or offers for existing customers tend to be focused on traditional sportsbook sites instead.

What betting sites are similar to Betfair with live streams?

Live streams can certainly provide an enjoyable betting experience. Typically found at online sportsbooks, there can be opportunities to access live streams at betting exchanges, too. Currently, Matchbook offer live streaming on selected horse racing and greyhound racing. Smarkets do not currently offer a live streaming service.

Which betting app is similar to Betfair?

All three of the betting exchanges we analysed for this review offer excellent mobile apps that are free to download for both Android and Apple operating systems. Each have been optimized perfectly for mobile use, as you’d expect from three of the biggest names in the industry. If you prefer not to download an app, you can access mobile versions of their desktop sites using your mobile browser. Note, though, that these are not optimized for mobile play.

Which is better Betfair or Smarkets?

As we touched upon earlier, it’s difficult to judge which betting exchange is better, without knowing what it is you’re looking for. Both Betfair and Smarkets offer a wide range of sports for you to back and lay, as well as 2% commission and high liquidity. If you’re looking for casino options as well as sports options, Betfair comes out on top in the battle of these two operators. If you’re solely focused on backing and laying on sports only, Smarkets could be the better choice.