What is Lay and Back in Betting?

meaning of back and lay in betting

Almost all punters have the same question. What is lay and back in betting? It’s a relatively common expression used in the betting industry but not always utilized. It’s primarily because these bets only work at a betting exchange rather than a regular sportsbook. So, let’s find out everything about back lay betting in India.

What is “Lay” Betting?

If you visit any sports exchange website, you’ll find both the “back” and “lay” options. You’ll also find separate back and lay odds. Let’s start our journey by learning what is lay in betting.

The “lay” means going against an outcome. In Hindi, the expression for lay betting is “Khana”. If you add a lay bet for a team in your bet slip, you’re essentially rooting against that team. You only get paid if the team loses the match or it ends in a draw. Keep in mind that not all betting exchanges allow a draw. It’s recommended that you don’t place the bet before reading the terms.

As for back and lay odds, they work in the same way as in a traditional bookmaker. If it’s decimal odds, you multiply your stake by the odds. Bear in mind that decimal odds include your stake as well as the profit. All you have to do is deduct the stake from the final payout.

For example, in an IPL back and lay betting site, if you’re “laying” Kolkata Knight Riders at 2.50 odds, it means you’re hoping KKR will not win the match. If you stake ₹1,000 and KKR loses, you get a total payout of ₹2,500 where ₹1,500 is your profit. But if KKR wins the match, you lose the entire ₹1,000 stake.

Lay in betting

What is “Back” Betting?

Now that you know what lay betting is, let’s go the other way. It’s “back”. It’s nothing but the opponent of lay in betting. If lay means betting that you’re rooting against a team, back means you’re rooting for it.

When you place real money bets at traditional betting sites, you’re only placing back bets. The operator is one on the lay side because it doesn’t want you to win. You have to understand that whatever you lose on an online betting site is the profit they make.

When you “back” an outcome, you’re automatically laying the other outcomes. Of course, the concept only works when you have only 2 possible outcomes in a market. This is why we’re recommending that you read the T&C to see if 1×2 or other 3-way bets work for back and lay odds or not.

Let’s use the same example from the lay betting section. If the opponent is Mumbai Indians, let’s assume you’re backing them at 1.60 odds. Using the same ₹1,000 bet, you can win a ₹600 profit if MI wins. But if it loses the match, you lose the ₹1,000 stake.


What is back and lay in betting? You should know the answer by now. From what we’ve seen, most new bettors try to steer clear of this betting strategy. But if you know how to use it, you can minimize your losses as well as increase your likelihood of landing big wins.

Jarin Ahmed
Like many aspiring writers, Jarin focuses on bringing life to the text for her readers. She is an avid sports lover, growing up in a family obsessed with bookies. She is an expert in the iGaming niche and has secondary obsessions with Gardening and cooking.
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FAQ. Frequently asked questions
  • What is a lay bet?

    In simple words, a lay bet is when you bet against an outcome. The general expression for lay in betting is “laying” an outcome.

  • How does back and lay work?

    Backing a bet is favouring it and laying a bet is going against it. You surely need to research the teams and the match status before you can expect to make profits from back and lay betting sites.

  • How do you play back lay?

    It’s a very simple process as long as you have a betting exchange account. After you log in, you’ll find the back and lay odds right on the homepage.

  • What is back and lay in betting in IPL?

    It’s the same concept that we’ve discussed so far but you’re using it for IPL matches.

  • Do back and lay work on IPL?

    Yes, back and lay betting works on IPL or any other sports event you can think of.