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Frequently asked questions


  1. About Smarkets

    • What is Smarkets?

      Smarkets is a betting website that allows users to place bets against other users.

      We facilitate person-to-person betting where odds are decided by users, not by a bookmaker.

      We offer markets in all major sporting events as well as current affairs and politics, with better odds than you’ll find with online bookmakers.

    • How is Smarkets different from a bookmaker?

      A bookmaker makes money by offering bad-value odds. There is no negotiation over the odds on offer, and users are restricted to betting for an outcome. Winning accounts are often limited or closed, making bookmakers a poor option for serious punters who are looking to make a profit.

      Smarkets is different. We are an exchange, letting our users be the bookie and bet either for or against an outcome. Our prices are better because the odds are set by the market, and not by a bookmaker tightly managing their profit margins. And as we make money from a low commission on winning bets, we don’t shut or limit winning accounts. That makes Smarkets the perfect place to trade if you know about sport.

    • What are Smarkets charges?

      With Smarkets you’ll only pay fees when you win a bet. We take a flat 2% commission from users’ net winnings on each market. You can place as many bets as you like in a market and you will only be charged on the net winnings of those bets; not for each bet you placed.

      This means Smarkets offers the best value in the industry.

    • How is my money protected?

      All of your funds are held in separate, ring fenced accounts and, in the unlikely event of Smarkets going out of business, will be fully refunded to you. We are regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority in Malta and are regularly inspected and audited to ensure our security and financial procedures comply with their regulations.

    • How do I access Smarkets from a mobile device?

      You can access the mobile site from your portable device at The site provides a mobile friendly user interface and handles mobile internet connections well.

  2. Deposit & Withdrawal

    • How do I deposit money?

      You can deposit money on the account page. We accept most major debit and credit cards, Skrill, Neteller and bank transfers. Visa Debit cards are free, but for some other methods we may pass on the fees we incur in processing your payment. For full details on these fees check out our payment methods page.

    • How do I withdraw money?

      You can withdraw money on the account page. We offer a variety of payout options, including bank transfer, to debit card, Skrill and Neteller e-wallets. The options available to you will depend on which method you deposited by. For full details on our payment methods, check out our payment methods page.

    • How do I claim my welcome bonus?

      After depositing £20, any loss you make up to £10 will be automatically refunded. Full terms & conditions and details for other currencies can be found here.

  3. Placing a bet

    • How do I bet on Smarkets?

      1. Open an account and deposit some money.
      2. Search for events by sport or use the search bar to find specific events.
      3. Decide if you want to bet For or Against, set the stake and odds and click ‘Place Bet’ and ‘Confirm Bet’ to make sure your bet is placed.
      4. Check your active bets on the right side of the screen to see how much of your bet has been matched. Find out more about matching bets. Find out more about matching bets.
      5. The bet will be settled after the event has finished.
    • What are the minimum and maximum stake amounts?

      The minimum stake is £/€/$ 0.05 and the maximum stake is £/€/$ 99,999. You may bet more than this by splitting your bet into multiple amounts.

    • If a market only shows ‘bet now’ can I still place a bet?

      Yes! This means that prices aren’t currently being offered on the exchange, however users are able to set their own prices and wait to be matched by another user.

    • How do decimal odds map to percentage chance?

      Although by default we display decimal odds, when processing your bet these are mapped to percentage chance to the nearest hundredth of a percent.

      You won’t usually notice this conversion, but very rarely it can make a small difference to the liability and return of a bet when compared to the true decimal odds value. However we always show your actual potential return and liability when you are placing your bet, and we publish the decimal odds mapping values here.

    • Why is my bet unmatched?

      An unmatched bet means that no other user or market maker has yet taken the opposite side of your bet at the odds you are offering. If you have an unmatched bet you can either wait and see if someone matches it later or you can cancel it and bet again at different odds.

      There is a chance that the market may move during the process of you placing a bet. If you place a bet at the offered odds and it doesn't get matched then the likelihood is that the market has moved to a new price.

    • Can I cancel my bets?

      You can cancel unmatched bets and the unmatched portion of partially matched bets. Fully matched bets cannot be cancelled as these equal a contract you entered into with another user. You can however choose to exit your position by taking the opposite bet.

    • What happens if an event is abandoned?

      When an event is abandoned, all bets will usually stand so long as the match is completed shortly afterwards. However, for longer delays bets will be voided. Please check out our betting rules for specific details of how your bets will be treated

  4. Your Account settings

  5. Jargon / Terminology

    • What is a matched bet and a partially matched bet?

      A matched bet simply means that users have bet against each other on the outcome of an event.

      Once a bet has been matched it cannot be adjusted or cancelled, but you might be able to ‘trade out’ of your position by placing the opposite bet.

      If a bet is not matched before the close of an event, your money will be returned to you regardless of the outcome, but no winnings paid.

    • What is a bet ‘against’?

      A bet 'against' (also called a 'lay bet') is a bet for an outcome not to happen. If you were betting "against Arsenal to win", you are in fact betting for the other possible outcomes (a draw or the opponents to win).

    • What is the ‘backer’s stake’ and ‘liability’?

      Backer’s stake is the amount the backer risks when placing a ‘for’ bet. On a lay bet the backer’s stake is the amount you could win on that bet.

    • What are ‘active’ bets?

      Your active bets are any bets that have been placed on the exchange, for which the outcome has not yet been decided. They can either be matched or unmatched. An unmatched bet that is subsequently cancelled is no longer an active bet.

    • What is a ‘risk-free bet’ bonus?

      A risk-free bet bonus will refund any losses you make on the exchange. If you win a bet then your bonus is unaffected.

      You cannot withdraw the bonus money, you can only withdraw the amount that is shown in your balance. You can see the amount you can withdraw on the withdrawal page.

    • What is a ‘reduction factor’?

      The Reduction Factor rule governs what happens when a horse is pulled out from a race. It replaces the bookmakers’ “Rule 4” and ensures that all bets are treated fairly in the event of a horse being pulled out, by reducing the liability of layers in a horse racing market.

      A reduction factor is assigned to each horse according to Smarkets’ estimate of each horse’s percentage chance of winning.

      In a win market, if a horse withdraws and becomes a non-runner, and it has a reduction factor less than 2.5%, all bets on other runners will remain unaltered. If the reduction factor of the withdrawn horse is equal to or greater than 2.5%, matched bets will be adjusted by this factor and all unmatched orders will be cancelled.

      In a place market, the reduction factor will be applied to all winnings and unmatched orders will be cancelled, regardless of the size of the reduction factor.

      To ensure that everyone is treated fairly, both backer's and layer's bets are subject to the reduction factor. A backer's stake is not affected by the reduction factor; it is the odds (and therefore potential winnings) which are affected. A layer's stake will be partially refunded to ensure that they receive the same return without increasing exposure (or requiring the backer to increase their stake).

    • How is the reduction factor applied?

      In 'To Win' markets, reduction factors are applied only if the reduction factor is greater than 2.5%. In 'To Place' markets, reduction factors are applied regardless of their size.

      Reduction factors are applied to the odds of a bet. For example if two users bet against each other at odds of 5, and a reduction factor of 12.5% is applied to bets in the market, the new odds would be reduced by 0.625 (12.5% x 5). That would leave the reduced odds as being 4.375.

      Once a reduction factor is applied, the backer’s winnings and the layer’s liability are reduced according to the new odds. So if a reduction factor of 12.5% is applied to a bet with backer’s stake of £5 at odds of 5, the backer would expect winnings of £16.875 (5 x (4.375 - 1)), instead of £20 as in the original bet. Similarly, the layer’s liability would be reduced from £20 in the original bet, to £16.875 in the new reduced bet.

  6. Troubleshooting